Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Berkeley, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia MO, Columbus, Des Moines, Durham & Chapel Hill, East Lansing, Fredericksburgh VA, Houston, Los Angeles, Muncie IN, New York City, NYU, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Plattsburgh, Richmond VA, San Francisco, Tucson, Twin Cities
My partner (a guy) and I enjoy making and wearing costumes (and in my city there is no shortage of costumed events). For Halloween, I had decided to be a video game antagonist known for the huge helmet he wears. While the helmet covered my entire face and most of my torso, anyone could still tell I was a woman because the rest of the costume was an A-line undershirt and a butcher’s apron over leggings -not skimpy but you could see my shape.
Because I have a good case of bitch-face and a fast aggressive walk, I rarely get hassled in daily life but while I was an anonymous woman wearing a mask on Halloween, I got the most harassment of my life. Even with my guy standing next to me, randoms would come over to touch me (like I was a Real Doll), to tell me how hot I was even though they couldn’t see what I looked like, and when I tilted the helmet to peer at them they would tell me to leave it on, as if I were a fetish object for their pleasure and confronting them with my personhood would ruin their good time.
Even when my partner would intervene they wouldn’t stop trying to pick me up until we relocated. Of course, when we had successfully gotten away from one jerk, another would take his place. It’s not even as if they knew my character! The worst offenders had no idea what I was even supposed to be, only that I was a woman’s body without a visible head. I have never felt so much like a piece of meat in my life. I’ve never been to a Con but think maybe now I know how the women that attend those might feel.
I was walking to go get some coffee in my neighborhood, when some guy driving by yelled “YOU’RE GONNA GET RAPED!!!” extremely aggressively.
It was terrifying and I started crying.
I was waiting for my boyfriend to pick me up after class, near the entrance to the parking lot. I was looking at my phone and into the parking lot, wondering if he had parked and I had not seen him. I wondered around a bit and didn’t see the car, so I started to walk back towards the entrance. As I was walking, a man sitting in a parked truck whistled at me and made some other noises. At first I thought he was calling a DOG, I looked around and then looked at him. He made the same noises along with a come here hand motion. I shook my head and he continued to make the noises and whistle.
I was so offended that he thought it was not only acceptable behavior, but that it would work. I ended up shouting, “I AM NOT A F**KING DOG A**HOLE!” Flipped him off and walked away. Perhaps not the best way to handle the situation, but I was mad. Still makes me mad thinking about it.
Me and my friend were just getting out of a concert and started heading to this marketplace across the street. It was pretty empty by then and we just sat down, having some drinks, looking over our pictures from the concert when some guy started walking towards us. The way he looked at us made us really uncomfortable so we got up and started walking away. We took a turn thinking he would go about the rest of his night but he kept following us. We ended up speed walking until we found some security guards and stood by them. Then we turned around and the man was gone. We were so frightened and I honestly thought we wouldn’t be able to outrun him.
My old neighborhood, the slopes, was awful for street harassment!
One of the worst was when I was having a bad day, trying to keep to myself on the street, and finally perked up and smiled looking at a friendly text, and someone yelled from their car that I had a beautiful smile and was gorgeous.
He probably thought he was being so nice, but that smile was for me, and I want to reclaim it!!
I was just walking down the street next to the apartment complexes at my school. All I was doing was walking to class, not even paying attention and I hear a load of boys yell “Hey wassup Gurl?” and a bunch of boys whistling and cheering. I didn’t want this to happen, all I wanted was to walk to class.
It wasn’t okay and it didn’t feel alright, I didn’t even want to walk past their apartment again. I didn’t even feel comfortable walking on the same sidewalk, now I feel like I can’t walk that way. My problem is that they think it’s okay, they think its okay to yell at girls and cat call.
Nobody says anything, they just accept it and keep walking. I shouldn’t feel uncomfortable walking to class, it shouldn’t be okay to be yelled at an whistled at for being a female. I want to be able to walk down the street without feeling uncomfortable.
I was standing at the metro station around 10am, waiting for my train. A man came up to me and said I had beautiful eyes. I thanked him and then continued reading email on my phone. He then asked when the train was coming, and since there are several trains coming into this station, I pointed to where the schedule was. He asked me several questions in a row, what my name was, what school I went too, etc. I shook my head and said I don’t want to talk. He got mad at me for not talking to him and yelled, ‘Oh I guess you just don’t like black guys, I see how it is’. I was so angry- just because I am white and he is black, that is not why I didn’t want to talk to him. I was so frustrated that he felt I had to talk to every stranger that approached me, and then blamed it on race when I didn’t want to talk to him. After that comment, he disappeared on the next train, so I didn’t have a chance to say anything back.
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.