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
Last year, a man went on catcalling at me almost every morning the moment I left home on my way to work. He was always riding in his car, and shouted something like “hey beautiful” while he drove past me. He even purposedly changed route, just to be sure to greet me every time he saw me approaching. That pissed me off so much, but I was never able to answer back because I was always too angry or he just drove past too fast. Sometimes I also considered changing my morning routine in order to avoid him! That stopped when I actually changed my habits, luckily for other reasons.
My friend and I were walking to get coffee, it was a bit dark outside, a group of highschool boys started following us, we turned a corner, they turned a corner, they started yelling things at us asking us to turn around, to say high, we kept ignoring them, finally I felt something hit me in the back, they had actually thrown a rock at me, and not a small rock either. This isn’t something that only happens sometimes, it’s every day. It’s disgusting, and it needs to stop.
I walked out of my town house to meet the tow truck for my car (really bad day). I walk into this guy at my front gate. He looked me up and down and asked me my name. I was silent and glaring at him. I turn around to go inside my house. And he asks “you a daughter?” He cat called me and assumed I couldn’t afford my own place. I went inside and waited while peaking out the window to see if he left. Went back out afraid to be by myself.
Cat called at least 4 times while walking alone in St. Louis yesterday.
When I was 14, my female friend and I were walking around the mall, when this group of guys a couple years older than us started following us. They were about a foot behind us, and one of them was telling the other to touch my friend’s butt. He was reaching his hand out, and we walked faster and hid in a store until they moved on to play that really funny joke~ on someone else probably
It was about 3:30 am on a Friday night/Saturday morning when I decided to walk to the Dunkin’ Donuts near my apartment to grab a scoop of ice cream. I crossed the brightly-lit intersection, seeing in the corners of my eyes, the cars waiting for their light to change. I noted a convertible at the front of the intersection and closest to me, which was fully seated with three men and a girl. Suddenly, I heard a male voice yell from the car, “How much?” With a quick glance back, I retorted, “Go fuck yourself! to which the man haughtily replied, “She said, ‘Go fuck yourself!’ Hahahaha!!!”
Needless to say, I was incredibly offended by this stranger’s unabashed objectification of me and my body, by his diminishing me into something that can be bought. I feel extremely angry thinking about it. The sexual objectification of women in our culture is pervasive. Some people feel that cat-calling is a minor, practically non-issue. But as a young woman in my twenties, I am telling the world that it is far from a minor infraction. Nearly every day, I deal with cat-calling. I’d like to be able to walk out of my apartment to run errands or buy some ice cream without worrying that I will be verbally or physically violated. I cannot wait for our society to be one that demands respect for women at all times.
My friends and I were walking down the street when a car full of guys slowed down, one of them had a cucumber and started rubbing it and making faces at us, we jumped into the closest building
I was getting into my car but the key wasn’t working, I heard a man getting closer, he started saying things like sexy beautiful gorgeous, I got nervous and it made the key more hard to work, finally he was right in front of me and he yelled “hey bitch,” I stared at him and yelled shut up and finally my key worked and I got in my car and drove away
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.