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Craving a late night cup of joe from the Starbucks in the Duke Hospital, my friend and I waited on the corner to cross the five-lane deserted street. Entranced in our conversation, we hardly noticed the car slowing to a stop on our left. Before making their right turn, the men in the car decided it would be appropriate to halt mid-turn and comment on our “asses” and “how fine” we are and that they would love to “give us a ride.” I wonder how could they even see our asses, considering it was the middle of winter and we had on more layers than an onion. Scared, we didn’t make eye contact or reply, hoping they would just go on their way. Luckily, they kept on driving, while we ran across the road into the safety of the hospital.
I was walking my dog at around 11 pm in a family housing area on a military base when a male at a house across the street, presumably there for a party or something, started hollering at me about my “tiny shorts” and walking around by myself at night. I didn’t hear anyone else in the group either encourage or discourage him. I considered yelling back at him, or even just flipping him off, but decided against it for my safety as I was approaching a darker and less populated area. Just goes to show street harassment is an across-the-board issue.
I was leaving a grocery store at about 8pm on a Friday night, when I passed a couple of very drunk men in the parking lot. One of them slur-whispered “Oh baby, so beautiful” to me in Spanish, followed by something else that I couldn’t hear. When I didn’t break eye contact, he then said “hi” to me in English. “Oh hi,” I said, and then I asked him, in Spanish, whether he was sure that he didn’t want to say anything else to me. So gross.
Stopped at the gas station for a snack and the bathroom. I walked in the bathroom to find a man with his pants around his knees and his junk clearly visible. Ran out of bathroom (women’s) and told clerk. She didn’t care. Called police, they also did nothing, despite this man flashing in the women’s bathroom. I was told I was mistaken.
This is not the first time this has happened to me in New York City. Actually the 4th. I grew up here. And am aware of my surroundings. This morning a young guy – looked relatively normal – was looking at me from the platform. I was sitting inside the R train. One other man was in my train car but seated in the opposite direction.
The young guy exposed himself and was masturbating towards me. I didn’t know how to react. Normally I would say something but I realized I then didn’t trust the other male in the train car with me. My instinct was to look down. I cried realizing it ruined my judgement of the other male who could have been a nice person.
As an after thought I should have maybe taken a photo to report him. Wish I could do something more.
Guy working at a cell phone booth near the mall food court called “hi sweetie” as I passed. I’d never seen his face before. I told him not to call me that and not to give nicknames to strangers because they don’t like that. He didn’t take me seriously, but he got told.
Dude standing right in the middle of my path on the sidewalk, rubbing himself quite visibly and leering at me. When I asked him what was wrong with him, he asked me if I wanted to do it.
I was walking along a park path around my neighborhood this afternoon having a conversation with a friend on the phone about birth control and reproductive health.
Two young, professional-looking men on expensive racing bicycles wearing expensive gear slow behind me, listening in. One of them shouts “big black dick!” to me and they rode away, surprising me of their presence, giving me no time to respond. Proof that racist misogyny knows no income bracket.
I was walking up the hill on my way home and had a bunch of guys hanging out of their car yelling ‘hey sexy’ and other things. One of them tried to slap my ass from the window and the car got very close to me! I was unable to say anything or so anything because it happened so fast!
My story is not necessarily about one incident but many over my time here in New York. I live in a neighborhood where I am, on average, verbally harassed about 3-5 times a week. These interactions range from kissing and sucking noises, to verbal assaults (hey baby look at that fat ass) to derogatory intentions hidden behind kind words (Oh, God Bless you, baby) and beyond. One time a man was saying very rude things, and while that was happening another man drove up in a car and yelled “don’t talk to him baby, talk to me!” I screamed “thats harassment” to him as he drove off.
I’ve also been physical groped. When I was groped I chased after the man but unfortunately lost him in the crowd. I was fortunate that the cops were supportive and drove me around looking for him, but I know that is not every woman’s experience.
For a while I just dealt with it, but I’m at my wits end. Its to the point where I have actually started emotionally preparing myself for the three block walk from my apartment to the train. When I had the thought “well, maybe I should just stop wearing yoga pants in public” I knew that they and gotten into my head and it was time to do something.
I’ve begun confronting these men. Some engage while most walk away as if nothing has happened.