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When I was thirteen, I was taking the city’s metro back home. A man, far older than me, came and sat by me. He started to talk to me and told me I was too “sexy” to be that young. As I stood up to get off at my stop, he tried to block my path and trap me in the seat. Another passenger pulled him out of my way. I was so scared I ran all the way home, and didn’t tell my parents because I blamed myself for dressing a certain way. Without that man pulling him out of my way, who knows what could have happened?
The first time I was harassed, I was seven, sitting in a movie theater, watching a kids’ movie. A man came and sat-down next to me. He put his hand on my seat and spread his fingers open, trying to touch me as I squeezed over as far to my left as I could get without leaving my seat. (Changing seats never occurred to me; I was a shy child.) Maybe the creepiest part of the whole creepy thing is that as he left, he dropped three dollars into my popcorn, which was quite a bit for a kid in 1958. I was so innocent, I was totally bewildered.
An interesting footnote is that I was groped again in a movie theater, in Denver, CO, when I was in my late twenties. The man behind me put his hand through the space between the chairs and touched me on the breast. I chased him out of the theater but gave it up when he ran out the door.
I was fourteen, waiting with a friend by the school crossing. The streets were not so crowded, and there were other students from my high school there. A man came up to me, grabbed my hand and tried to kiss me. He was a stranger, and old and I was so embarrassed. Needless to say, I just shoved him and ran like there was no tomorrow. The worst part about it though, was that I felt like it had been my fault. I was standing in the wrong place, at the wrong time. That maybe, I should’ve just gone home instead of talk to my friend.
I’m happy I don’t feel like that any more.
Gentleman in a black Dodge Charger with the white racing stripes sits across from the Turnberry apartments condos. Sat in his car for hours and hours watching the place. Vandalism and stalking in the area. Picture shows headlights. These headlights are parking lights on
Stalking from CVS and Sleepys parking lot overlooking Turnberry. Black or dark blue Jetta, 4 door, New York license plate. Young male with glasses. Got behind and took a picture of his license plate. He took off soon as I got near him texting someone else. Stalking and vandalism in the area Queensbury, New York, the corner of Bay Street and Quaker Road
It was about 11 pm and my sister and I were about to carpool to go visit my mom since she had just been in the hospital. My sister was about to get in my car when I heard a few whistles coming from the porch of someone’s house. I told them they were being disrespectful and to stop. As soon as I got back in my car they started up again.
I was driving to school, and a few men on the back of a garbage truck started yelling “hey sexy!” until I drove away.
Walking during the day to go have lunch with my sister I noticed a group of men following me yelling at me in another language. I understood and translated that they were harassing me. They followed me for a few blocks.
I started walking faster. I then found two older college aged girls sitting on the steps of a building just talking together. I approached them and said “hey girls so good to see you!” as if I knew these women as my own friends. I explained that I was being followed and they let me sit with them until the men passed me and walked around the corner. I am thankful that these women were protective and helpful.
Walking to the train station, someone in a car slows down to wolf whistle at me, laughs and makes revolting ‘kissy’ motions at me when I flip him off.
Company vehicle, crowded street (with kids) and he knew he’d get away with it. This is the culture women have to put up with. Demeaning and dehumanizing.
An open letter to my street harasser (what I wish I’d said, and what I will say next time):
That was not a compliment. I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that you give this kind of unsolicited feedback on the regular, so here’s a tip: what you might think is complimentary, someone else might perceive as deeply wounding and offensive. Especially when coming – unprovoked – from a complete stranger. Please think before you speak, and you might not hurt as many people. Then again, if you simply don’t care that what you say might make someone uncomfortable or self-conscious, then you’re just an utterly worthless piece of shit. There’s YOUR compliment.