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One night in Portland my friends and I decided to go to and under 21 club. When we got in there we mostly danced with each other. Then one guy came up behind me and shoved his crotch to my butt. He then proceeded to grope me without my permission. I didn’t tell him to stop because I was too scared. I thought since he was so close he could hurt me very fast without anyone noticing. So I would, “accidentally” hit him in the face while trying to push back my hair. He eventually ran to the bathroom and was wearing sweat pants. When I got home and got changed I saw huge bruises on my hips from him squeezing me so hard. I had these bruises for weeks and had to explain them to my boyfriend.
On an extra hot day, I had decided to wear- albeit hesitating very much- a tank and jean shorts. I felt uncomfortable wearing this outfit, because of the kind of harassment women and minors get in my neighborhood. However, I realized that if I was restricting my outfit that much to avoid any kind of demeaning attention, whether or not the men (and boys) cared if I was an adult or that I just simply didn’t want it, I was giving these people a kind of power over me. I decided to opt for comfort.
My fiance and I went around the area, walking our dog and getting an errand done. I had in fact, half an hour later, almost completely forgotten about the anxiety of the very thought of being approached by a stranger via harassment or assault. On our way back, a group of rowdy men stopped suddenly. I wasn’t sure if it was at a red light, but they immediately spotted me and began to yell from the vehicle. Making very odd, inappropriately dramatic gestures. Grinning, speaking straight in our direction. I felt like they were looking straight at me.
At first, I didn’t understand what had happened. I was in the middle of a conversation with my partner when this moment abruptly interrupted us. But I immediately felt like something bad was happening or something worse could happen. I frowned at them in confusion, perhaps looking displeased.
The driver, with his window down, repeated his remarks and he drove off really fast. A block of walking in silence and we had realized what they were asking was how much my partner had paid for me.
I was being propositioned. And I knew that day I looked young enough to pass for a minor even though I am 23. In either case, it felt hostile and frightening and made me feel disgusting about myself and furious at not having pepper sprayed them immediately.
My mother took my account with an air of tiredness. All she could say was, “Some men are like that”, and to ignore what had happened.
Sexual/gender based violence (among other serious issues) is very prevalent in my area. And the more I experience this, the more driven I am to do something about it. I’m just not sure how to stop the violence if I see it, and get the community to stand with me without actually getting hurt.
Some young men in a car whistled at a group of two women and a man.
I was standing on the same corner as the group of three, so to distract the young men in the car, I pretended to believe that they had whistled at me. I called out, “Hey, how *you* doin’?” in a flirtatious manner. They seemed to react appreciatively, even though I am a man.
It was late in the evening and my father and I were going to pick up my brother, who was meeting us in a restaurant. My father had gone in and I was lagging behind, tying my shoe or something. That’s when I heard the whistling. I thought someone was calling their dog or something. then I saw them, 3 guys across the road hooting and stuff. oh BTW I was wearing pjs. yep, my dowdiest full length pjs and a dressing gown. I had done nothing to bring this on. What the hell?
Waiting outside a fast food place in Camden after clubbing and a man actually grinded up against me! Gross!
Bus full of man pigs harassing women as they walked by
I had stopped for a slice of pizza on my way home from seeing my boyfriend at the bar where he works in downtown Orlando. I grabbed my to-go box of pizza and started walking towards my car when I found myself behind two guys. A woman was walking towards them and they immediately invaded her space. I’m not sure what they said to her at that moment but she kept walking and said, “No, I’m good,” with her entire body bending away from them and her hand in the air, palm up towards them as if pushing them away without touching them. They then started screaming at her as she hurriedly continued walking.
“You’re f*cking ugly anyway!”
“I wouldn’t even f*ck you!”
“You got a flat ass, you need a f*cking pizza, bitch!”
They stopped at the next bar and as I got close enough for them to hear me, I chose to stand in solidarity with this woman, intervene as a bystander, and said, “So disgusting.” One piped up and said, “What’s disgusting??!” Straight up, I said, “You. You are disgusting.” The barrage of insults then ensued in my direction.
“YOU are fucking gross!” (Good one.)
“You’re wearing glasses, what the fuck?!” (Umm…?)
“I would never fuck you!” (To which I responded, “I couldn’t care less.”)
And then finally I got what is apparently one of the guy’s go-to lines, “You got a flat ass!!”
At this point, I turned around (yes, I was still walking away and was fairly far away as they continued to harass me) and knew it was time #iHollaback. I said, “Well, at least I’VE got a pizza then, right?!!”
Fortunately, this made me laugh and was clearly a bit too clever for them to process so they shut up. It isn’t to say I wasn’t worried they were going to follow me, I was worried. But I felt at that time that it was appropriate for me take one for my ladies and femmefolk and not let these types of men perpetuate the idea that all spaces are men’s spaces and those that don’t identify as “one of them” should just shut up and be harassed. Nope, not gonna take it.
P.S. Officers from the Orlando Police Department were across the street the entire time watching this, outside of their vehicles, arms crossed, seriously WATCHING this go down, and did nothing. Absolutely nothing.
#StopStreetHarassment #catcallingISNOTacompliment #iHollaback
Every day I walk from my house to my gym. It’s only a half mile. I wear compression shorts because I’m a runner and because I like them. Every single day some guy tells me how hot my ass looks in my spandex shorts. I’m serious when I say it’s every day. 100% of the days that I walk to the gym it happens. Most of the time it’s just a quick “you look GOOD!” and nothing more. I ignore it and keep walking.
This week a guy was walking out of his apartment as I was walking by. He quipped “DAY-UM! Where you work out at??” I ignored him and kept walking. He followed me and continued to ask “Why aren’t you answering me? you don’t want me to get in shape like you?”
He followed me a half mile to the gym. My heart was racing. I didn’t know if I should start screaming or start running or turn around and tell him to go to hell. I knew that once I got to the gym, he wouldn’t be able to follow me inside because he’s not a member, but when I was walking home I was shaking with fear that someone would follow me in the opposite direction and there would be no one to help me if the street harassment turned physical. This is the fear I live with every single day. Just because I am female and walk alone to the gym.
A man outside of the local box store with his genitalia completely out.
After experiencing one guy watching me with his video camera at one waterpark, in the same afternoon at a different water park, a bunch of guys watch me go into the wave pool. They follow me and start to surround me as soon as the waves started to get big.
All of a sudden I feel hands on various parts of my body. I turn around and they are just smirking and laughing and getting closer. So as another wave comes i go under water, kick one of them in the chest and swim away. I never told anyone.