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It’s Halloween weekend in Baltimore. My friends and I put in our time at the restaurant we served at, enjoyed some libations at the bar we frequented, and were walking to 711 for some good old fashioned convenience store treats. There were four of us, all women, enroute when all of a sudden I felt my skirt raise and someone place their hands on both butt cheeks and did what I could only say is juggled them. I, stunned, pulled my skirt down and slowly turned around. The man who did this was running in the direction he came from and never turned around as one of my friends yelled obscenities at him.
I stood there in a daze wondering what it was that I did to invoke such behavior. Was I targeted because I was fat and in the back, an easy target. Was I targeted because of my skirt? I mean, it was my uniform. I had to wear a black, above the knee tight skirt. Was it because of my clown accessories; striped socks, rainbow suspenders, and over sized glasses? We continued to the store talking about the incident and what would compel someone to do such a thing.
My friend, the one yelling obscenities to the man who groped me, approached Captain America, remember it was halloween, at the coffee bar asking where he was when the assault happened. He replied,” look at what she’s wearing.” I don’t remember the rest because I was utterly shocked to hear this come out of someone’s mouth. I thought it myself but to hear it out loud was mind bending. My friends and I eventually started making light of the situation calling the assaulter “The Butt Juggler” and laughing at the ridiculousness of it all. This was just over a year ago and it wasn’t until I stumbled upon this movement that i realized what I experienced was assault. Who knows what would’ve happened if I was alone. What if he didn’t run away but further his assault? I was lucky. So many women, and men, aren’t.
I was riding on the train, standing near the door. This man gets on and stands near me. There was space for him to be near a pole or something for support, but he deliberately stood near me, making eye contact. Every time the train moved, he would graze my breast and slide his hand down my side. I didn’t want to cause a scene, but felt so creeped out that for the rest of my visit I walked everywhere, and avoided the trains.
I was walking my dog one lovely summer day, as I was walking from my house, around the usual walking spots I go with my dog, a man in a beat up car decides to honk rapidly at me and I turn around then he rolls down the window and yells “YOU’RE SO FUCKING HOT!” Wide eyed I decided to keep walking and got more annoying honking.
I am 14 years old.
I don’t want to heat your disgusting comments or your loud honks.
I was walking alone past a man loitering on the sidewalk arguing with a woman. As I walked by he said WORK IT GIRL WORK IT. I turned around and Said FUCK OFF. He said I was a bitch and a dumbass.
When I walked back to my car, he said – I gave you compliment – I said, this is sexual harassment you don’t talk to a woman like that who is alone on the street. If you feel dis-empowered in the world you can’t take it out on me. don’t talk to me like that don’t talk to anyone like that. I got dirty looks from the women around him. He said I didn’t even know what a woman was.
Im 15 and I was walking to the library and I past these guys playing basketball the all of a sudden they stare at me.I feel uncomfortable and I keep waling then one of the guys say “hey mami let me tap that” and I was shocked than another said “let me get your number ma you fine as hell ..dayumm I would have you all to myself” by then I was scared and I was afraid they might come at me . So I kept walking faster ,I looked at them quick and they were staring at me then one of them winked at me.
This happened over a year ago, but after posting one (unrelated) story on Hollaback!, I realized that I couldn’t let this guy get away with it too. I was a senior in high school and had to ride the school bus for that day. I noticed one kid staring at me on the bus but I didn’t think much of it. I knew he lived by my apartment so I was not even surprised when he got off at my stop and came to walk a step behind me. I finally reached my apartment and as I was about to head in through the main door, he asked me if I wanted to “come over for a good time” and, when I politely refused, that he would, in his exact words, “suck my tits dry”.
I was shocked and angry that he would even dare to say that. But most of all, I was scared. This guy, even though he was younger than me, he was physically much larger. I ran inside my apartment and just collapsed onto my bed, relieved that nothing more had happened.
I went into the liquor store to get a bottle of wine for a party this evening. As I was waiting in line to pay, an employee walked in front of me and leered at me. I ignored him and kept staring straight ahead. Then, as I was paying, the same employee came up and stood right next to me, and asked the cashier if I had smiled. The cashier said I had not and then asked me why I wasn’t smiling. I didn’t know what to do or say, so I just mumbled something about how I didn’t want to, and he continued to ask me to smile. At the same time, the first man was still standing beside me, alternating between joking with the cashier and telling me to smile. He told the cashier not to let me leave until I smiled. I tried to ignore it all and keep my face blank until the transaction was finished, and then I got out of there as quickly as possible. I want to report the incident, but I’m afraid that if I email the store, it will just go to one of them and nothing will be done about it. It makes me so mad because I was so excited to find a conveniently located liquor store, and now I can’t go back.
Me and a friend were waiting for the MAX (a lightrail public transit) under the Burnside bridge, at a stop that is very sketchy and known to be bad for harassment.
An older man came up to us and asked, “20 bucks for the both of you together? I live just down the street…” I didn’t get it at first, I was kind of in shock, but my friend immediately shot back with a “Excuse me? Fuck you! We’re underage!” and soon after I helped in the verbal defense.
Typically, he raised his hands in defense, saying something like “Oops sorry girls, I thought you guys looked 18!” and backed away. We glared at him until he was out of sight.
I was walking across the street and I heard someone yelling from a car up ahead. A man in the passenger street very hatefully screamed suck my dick and then they sped off honking at slow cars at the intersection ahead. At first I though someone had cut them off they were yelling so hatefully but I realized it was me when there was no one else around. I feel humiliated and dirty. I’ve had men say gross things or just call at me, but never like that. How can someone think it is funny, yelling at an innocent young woman just walking to the store? I don’t understand it.
So, I have been thinking about this thing for a while, and I actually didn’t realize how big of an issue it had been with me until I took some time off thinking about it.
There has been this one time, among many others to be honest, which has really tampered with my confidence of walking around at night.
It was during spring, I was going back home with a friend (also a girl) after a couple of drinks out, but was not wearing anything particularly showy and it wasn’t really late either. The area we were walking in was kind of famous for being a quite safe area to walk around, so we didn’t think much of having to walk back.
As we are chatting I noticed this guy on a bike riding past us and openly staring at me and my friend. Now as it is quite common to get stared at in Japan, I didn’t make much of it. After another ten minutes the same guy passes again, but then again, I was a little bit on the tipsy side I guess, and generally being quite self-confident I don;t mind these kind of things very much.
But when after another couple of minutes the same guy comes back from behind me on the pavement and gropes me real hard before rushing away I was left in shock for a while.
I had never experience harassment in a physical way, and was was taken aback by what had just happened. I felt like crying and screamed back at the guy who had already ran away. My friend had not witnessed any of it until my scream. She asked me whether I wanted to stop in one of those 24/7 convenience stores, but I just said I wanted to go home.
After this incident, it came quite easily to joke about it. Everyone was just saying it must have been my “popularity” or stuff like that, and I was playing along.
Until I realized that because of this experience, and some others I had later in the future, I feel very defensive walking in an area with people I don’t know, and in particular I feel defensive of men in general.
I don’t understand why we should be made to feel in this way and also why it seems to be a matter of course to take these things lightly. I want to feel safe when walking around by myself, without anyone creeping up on me from behind touching as they please.