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This happened to me while I was traveling alone in Spain, which I guess in our patriarchal and rape culture society means that by virtue of being female and alone, I was “asking for it”.
I was sitting at Plaza Mayor, just enjoying the sites and people watching while I enjoyed some down time for my feet after a full day of walking. An old man, and I don’t mean an older man, I mean a senior who was old enough to be my grandfather, sat next to me. I didn’t think anything of it, I didn’t see any kind of threat from somebody who is the age of my grandfather. He started speaking to me in Spanish, and I should have pretended that I didn’t speak Spanish, but it was an opportunity for me to practice. So I took it. The conversation continued and he kept asking me to go get coffee with me, and eventually tried to tickle me several times and slid his hand down my back to grab my ass.
I immediately stood up and told him that I had to leave, and he put on this simpering face and voice “don’t you want to go for coffee with me?!”. Absolutely horrified and feeling violated, I left the plaza citing that I had to go meet a friend. The amazing thing is that the plaza was full of people and everybody saw this happen, but nobody did a thing about it. Sadly, this was not the only incident of harassment that I had on this trip.
These combined experiences put me off so much that the next time I traveled alone, I cut my hair short so that I would look less feminine and the sad thing is that that actually worked and I was not harassed. Goes to show just how much we objectify women and those who do not fit a certain normative ideal of beauty…then we’re left alone. But we shouldn’t have to change the way we look and the way we want to look to avoid being harassed.
I was driving to grab some lunch earlier today and I had just turned onto the main street from the little street my apartment is off of when a man in a big SUV slowed way down so he could do typical creep things like smile/wave/wink/etc at me while we drove side by side.
I eventually was able to get over and behind him, thinking this would be enough to make him continue with his day, but no. He got back over so that he could get behind my car. I was nearing my destination so I took a really sharp, signal-less right turn to go into the side driveway of the plaza, in the hopes that would lose him. It didn’t. He had to slam on his brakes and do a hard right turn also to stay behind me. I did another immediate, signal-less right turn into the plaza and it all happened so fast that he didn’t have time to turn in and follow me. I parked my car and sat there for a few seconds looking around to make sure he didn’t come in a different way. I didn’t see any sign of him so I got out of my car and started to quickly walk toward the restaurant.
Guess who I see over to the left driving up and down the aisles of parked cars?! Yep, him.(keep in mind this is a huge plaza, I could have gone anywhere and he found it worth it to try and find me) Guess who pulls up like he is about to leave the plaza but then spots me at the last second and sits there in his car staring and smiling and waving? YEP! Him! I walked quick with my head down across the street into the restaurant. I couldn’t stop shaking and I could barely talk enough to order my food, I was so scared.
I got my food and I went to leave. I got my self defense cat and my phone ready, just in case, but there was no sign of him anywhere. I got to my car and jumped in and locked the doors. I checked all around my car to see if he was anywhere to be seen and he wasn’t. I went home a different, longer way so I could see if he was following me again and he wasn’t. I got home and I broke down crying to my husband on the phone. Fuck that guy. Fuck him for being able to ruin my whole day in the matter of minutes. Fuck him for thinking that was an ok thing to do.
When you’re dressed up as Snow white, you should simply expect some (unwanted) attention because you kind of stick out. Like, when I was waiting for my dad to pick me up and a car slowed down and stopped to make a little joke (“Hey, can we be your dwarfs?”). But not on a themed party where most people are dressed up, right? All right, I can take a one-liner (“Still looking for a prince?”) but there are some boundaries that need to be respected. So yeah, I didn’t like it when that one guy lifted my skirt or when that other guy stroked my hair or when that whole ‘gang’ of guys were just blatantly staring and smirking at me, or when that other guy just grabbed me and said ‘Snow white’ in the most perverted tone you can imagine. God, that last one still sends shivers down my spine, especially the way his fingers stroked my belly when I pushed him away. But yeah, when you’re dressed up as Snow white, I guess you should simply expect some (unwanted) attention in our sexist society.
I was walking down a hill to get to my friend’s house when I was about 13 or 14 years old. There was an intersection and a man (at least 10 years older than me) stopped, even though there were no other cars passing through, wound down his window and, as I walked by him, he said ‘You’re amazing’. I walked faster and when I got down to the bottom of the hill there was another intersection and a man stopped for me to pass in front of his car, but I could see he was obviously staring at me and continued to do so until I was out of sight.
Walking along the street towards universities on my way to an exam, it’s pouring with rain. Pavement is quite narrow and there was a group of 4-5 guys standing around, so I have to walk quite close to them.
As I get close one of them loudly says “hey you should try smiling sometime”. I ignore and keep walking. As I’m past the group a couple of them shout after me “oooooh SHIT”.
Felt so annoyed, I was already drenched from the heavy rain, and on my way to a stressful and difficult final exam at the end of my degree. Not what I needed and not cool at all.
When I was a freshman in high school, there was a guy that I had a crush on. My friends always told me he was staring at my butt, but that always made me uncomfortable. The first time he grabbed my butt was in PE and he told me that his friends pushed him into me. I convinced myself this was only a mistake. The second time I could hear him loudly talking about how my butt looked so nice and then he grabbed me again. I never did say anything to him about it, and I never told anyone what happened.
I was walking home from a friends house alone on a Friday night at 1:40 am and I had to pass by two obviously intoxicated guys and one of the tells me I’m going to get raped and I shake my head and keep walking. He says it again so I say that’s not something you joke about and he says it’s just a joke and I say rape isn’t funny and then he says dude it was just a joke. I kept walking the whole time. He also kept saying something along the lines if come back to hear the joke.
I was waiting my turn at a gas station, and was about to pull up to the pump, when an older (late fifties, sixties) man in a truck pulled up in front of me and blocked my way. He and his friend started acting like something was funny, pointing at me, waving in a mocking sort of way. I signaled them to please move, but they kept on acting like the whole thing was a joke. I held eye contact with the man and kept my finger pointing in the direction he needed to go. He finally pulled away, and as he did so he rolled down his window and yelled “Nice smile, bitch!”.
I managed to hold my calm as I pumped gas, but I started bawling once I was on my way home.
So, I was waiting for my daughters’ bus, and a guy in a red SUV honked at me, slowed down, and looked like it was going to pick me up. I flipped him off, and turned around. Because I holla back.
Last night I did a little bit of grocery shopping. I’m a chubby middle aged lady now, so I’m not as often the target of harassment as I used to be. When I was checking out, there was a young male employee bagging groceries and an attractive young woman cashiering. As I was putting my groceries on the conveyor belt, I couldn’t help but overhear the bagger repeatedly exhorting the cashier that she should, “Smile more,” because she’s “So much prettier when she smiles.” Because, of course, the whole purpose of this young woman being employed by the grocery store is for his personal benefit. Well, that annoyed me a little bit, but it didn’t seem like an appropriate thing for me to interject myself into, so I kept quiet.
But then, the bagger felt the need to comment on some of my groceries in a suggestive way! When he said, “So juicy and delicious” when he was bagging my grapefruit, I initially thought it was an innocent comment because the grapefruit did in fact look particularly juicy and delicious. But then I saw that he was leering at the cashier when he said it. Then he got to my turbinado sugar – the store had only the brand called, “Sugar in the Raw.” So Mr. Poobrain BaggerBoy saw fit to say, “Sugar in the Raaaaaaaw,” in the most suggestive way possible. That was it for me. I pulled myself to my full 5’3″, squared my shoulders, set my jaw, and said something to the effect of, “Hey. You are being a jerk, and the fact that you think your comments are acceptable does not make you less of a jerk. This young lady has not been placed here by divine providence for your amusement, and I am not purchasing these groceries for the benefit of your comments. You had better wise up right here and right now. Now, I will finish bagging my own groceries. Go and reflect on your behavior!”
Ha! He did NOT expect to be called out, let alone scolded and basically given a time out by a customer! Well, I don’t think I changed his behavior permanently – but maybe I had some tiny impact on his future behavior.