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My boyfriend and I decided to go on a weekend away in Milano. I had never been there and was pleased to see what a modern city it is and how everything works.
We were going for the train back home and took the metro to the main station, and my boyfriend was leaning against the door while I was holding his arm, facing him. The car was crowded, but we all had enough space to move around comfortably. At first I thought that the guy behind me had lost his balance, and that was why he was so close to me. When he didn’t get back to a polite distance, I suspected something. I kept pushing closer to my boyfriend and the door but the guy would follow my every movement. My boyfriend got irritated, not understanding what was going on, and that’s when I realized that I was paralyzed, unable to speak up. At last the door opened and I bursted out of the car.
Now would be a good time to say that I am a militant feminist, that I am involved in politics and am used to seeing ordinary sexism for what it is. However, my first reflex has been to add layers to my clothing… I know it’s not the victims fault, and there is nothing to be ashamed of…how many times have I said that in public, in front of a crowd? But that day, I felt ashamed, dirty and guilty…
I wish I could say I shouted at him and took a picture, but I didn’t. As someone who never misses an opportunity to point at machismo and street harassment, I was speechless.
I was walking to the subway 2 blocks from my house when a car pulled up and started driving slowly beside me. The window was rolled down and the man driving the car yelled out, “Hey sexy.” I ignored him and kept walking. He continued to drive alongside me, then he yelled “Want me to lick your pussy?” I was so shocked, I yelled out “No, gross!” He shouted out “Slut!” and sped off. I was left confused, scared and angry.
Last Sunday I was walking with my boyfriend and his sister to get dinner. We were chatting, so it took a few minutes for me to bother listening to the three drunk guys following close behind us. It wasn’t until I overheard, “She must have a wide set pussy,” “That one’s pussy must be tight,” and “That one could be a girl?” that I realized they were talking about us.
All at once I had an overwhelming sense of shock, rage, disgust, mortification (and some more disgust) that stunned me. They were loud and aggressive, so it was obvious they were looking for attention (or a fight). My logic side knew that talking back (in any manner) would most likely escalate the situation and expose us all to more childish slander. My primitive-rage side just wanted blood and justice…I mean, this was RIGHT after the Santa Barbara killings, so I was a little extra raw.
When they fell behind a little, my friend turned to scope out the situation (glare) and told me they were skinny little twerps. I held up my pinky and said “with skinny little pricks,” to which she replied “not enough for our wide vaginas” and we burst out laughing. Finally, they backed off.
Male passenger in a moving vehicle yelled derogatory names for a homosexual at me.
I pass by this pub every day, and it doesn’t matter what I wear, but this guy keeps calling me baby. I purposely try to avoid this area, but it is unfair that I have to change my habits while he can’t change his behavior. I know I’m not alone in this, but I am tired of hearing old disgusting dudes call out “alright baby,” as if they own me. I literally have to walk places with my boyfriend or my parents in order to feel safe. That isn’t fair to me or to anyone.
I was on a 7:50am bus to a watersports course I was taking one Saturday morning. There was only myself and about three other passengers on the bus, a girl about mid-twenties sitting in front of me, a middle aged man in the aisle opposite, and a middle aged lady in the seat behind me. I had just caught the bus in a rush so was still quite bleary eyed and tired. About 5 minutes after I got on the bus a young man, about mid-twenties, got on. He walked passed the lady sitting in front of me before stopping in the aisle beside me, and saying in a very loud assertive voice to me “You! You were out last night.” In shock I mumbled “no”, before he continued. “You, you! I can tell by your face you were out last night. You’re a bad girl.” And he continued walking down to the back of the bus.
This may not sound like the most offensive comments in the world, but his sheer ignorance and nerve to shout about on a young girl’s appearance (bearing in mind I’m a twenty year old student, who was sitting alone on the bus) to a whole bus. I was tired from preparing for my course, but even if I had been on a night out, who was he to berate me for this, as if a woman doesn’t have the right to go on a night out. I sat in shocked silence trying to convince myself to go and confront him, but decided that as I was alone with loads of bags, the risk of him getting off at the same stop as me and harassing me further was not worth it. He got off at the stop before me, not before he passed me and sneeringly stopped to say “Goodbye now”. Before the bus pulled away, he stopped at the window where I was sitting, knocking and gesturing, what I’m not sure as I was to intimidated to look directly at him. I decided the least I could do was express some of my disgust, as there was now the safety of a window between us, and swiftly flipped him off before the bus pulled away.
This guy in front of me on the bus in Minneapolis loudly, repeatedly demanded attention from a lady across from us – then aggressively hit on her. She very politely declined to talk with him, so he called her a lesbian – and poor, because “rich women like me.”
I was walking my dog at approximately 11:36 am on a Thursday. A man in his mid twenties approached in a red sedan and whistled quite obnoxiously. It frightened my dog and startled me. I proceeded walking on my route and from another street I could see him circling. He passed me three times. I eventually picked up my dog and ran home.
I was walking home from school. As I was walking past a church parking lot that was a block from my house a guy pulls in the lot and says “Hey Beautiful.” I look over and walk away with stern body language. As I was walking away and I heard him shouting things at me. Only to make out ” Come here ,I got the money .” He was probably trying to imply that I was a prostitute. I was dressed in normal school clothes, carrying a binder. Why are men so sick? I’m scared to walk home now.
In order to get home I have to walk across a pedestrian bridge and then walk through a local park in my town. I do this walk multiple times a day. Going to and from school, work, and anything else that might get me out of the house. Almost everyday I get catcalled at. My most recent incident: Around midnight I was coming home from an SF Giants baseball game and I had to drop off my rental car then walk home. I braced myself with my pepper spray and wrapped a huge blanket around my shoulders hoping to prevent anyone from talking to me. Some guy in his twenties comes up to me and says, “What’s up beautiful?” I didn’t reply. “A little cold there?” I just kept walking and ignored him. But him and other people who have called out to me when I am walking alone make me so angry. Do they not realize how scared they are making me? Is it a power trip for them? Is it funny for them? I am so afraid of walking to and from my house even during the day. If a man is walking up behind me I immediately tense up and grab my pepper spray, no matter the time of day. I’m angry that the most I can do is ignore them for fear of them doing something worse. I’m angry that they make me so powerless with just a couple words. I hate feeling this way.