demonstration, transphobic

Sara’s Story: Catcalling is harassment not a compliment

I was walking home from uni at around 2 pm in the afternoon, same thing i do everyday, when i passed by these two guys that stopped what they were talking about and one of them said to me “girl, you don’t know what I’d like to do with that ass of yours”.
I couldn’t help it so i turned back and looked at them with a “what the hell are you saying” face. My reaction was normal, but they thought it to be an attack so they decided to follow me to my house, and when i was getting inside, they shouted “now we know where you live”.
They had to be around 16 years old and I am 22, so their effort to threaten me just made me laugh, which offended them so of course they called me in the same sentence a PRUDE AND SLUT.
There were more people in the street, they were watching the scene and they didn’t even make a sound.
What pisses me off it is not that they insulted and followed me or comment about my ass; what bothers me is that their behavior has been normalized and socially accepted. In fact, at least in Spain, many men don’t even see that as an attack to women as a collective.
This is why we need feminism. Having a dick doesn’t legitimize a man to have an unwanted opinion on a woman’s body. Catcalling is harassment, not complimenting. Even if it was complimenting…we don’t need men’s approval on how we dress or look. We don’t need any man’s opinion on how hot or fat we are; in fact, we don’t need any man’s opinion on anything we do, unless we ask for it.

Thanks for reading and hi from Spain to all women out there fighting for equality 🙂

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demonstration, transphobic

Groped at a club

This happened to me years ago but I still cannot shake it. I was at a club with some friends and dancing when this guy just came up to me like he wanted to dance. I ignored him. Moments later, he proceeded to stick his hand straight up under my shirt, under my bra, and felt my bare breast. I was so shocked that it took me a moment to even realize what was going on. I backed away and yelled at him
(the music was loud so I don’t even know if he heard.) I wish I would have told someone and made a big scene and really called him out, but I was just so shocked! It was like it happened in slow motion. My friends even missed it and I never told them about it. In fact, to this day I never told anyone about it, but I think of it often.

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demonstration, transphobic

Lauren’s Story: Home for Christmas

Over the past few year’s I have experienced endless amounts of harassment, from little boys years younger than me grabbing my ass and a man twice my age forcing himself on me in broad daylight – not to mention constant whistles and animal sounds “Hey baby””Hey sexy””Smile love”…

However, nothing has every upset me so much, as an incident that happened last Christmas while I was at home in Ireland for a few days.
I was standing at an ATM taking out money at 10 at night when my friends stood ten feet away waiting on me.
Out of nowhere these two grown men come up behind me and begin making these aggressive whispers in my ear ……
“Holy Fuck what I wouldn’t love to do to that”…”Look at the fucking hole on that”…”Jesus Crist, and those tits look at those fucking tits” …. At this point, I was so overwhelmed and almost couldn’t believe it was happening. I turned around and one of them looked me straight in the face and said “I’d love to get fuckin stuck into you”

More than anything I was so so angry that they though they have the right to speak to someone in such a horrific way.In the end I told him to Fuck off and that they were both absolutely discussing, and there is no way they will ever get a woman speaking like that to women.

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Nonverbal Harassment, transphobic, Verbal

Layla’s Story: Harassed on the bus

As someone who has been taking public transport / works as a cashier, and is in public a lot, I’ve dealt with cat calling and being bothered by strangers for awhile now. I get the usual honking, unsolicited compliments, long-winded conversations, begging for a phone number, and occasionally an ask for sexual favors. Yesterday though it reached a level I really didn’t expect and I’m still in shock over it.

I was sitting on the bus and there was a man who had been drinking (he was acting drunk and had a bottle of beer in hand), sitting across from me. There were three other people nearby me. I ignored him but as he continued to get louder and talked to other people on the bus, I snapped a few pictures of him (I think as a precaution, although I was likely just going to delete them later). At one point he tried to talk to me and he said, “Go to Hollywood and become a movie star.” Eventually, one of my ex friends boarded the bus (we’ll call him Josh), and Josh came and sat across from me. Although we are ex friends, Josh and I are still friendly and on talking terms. So I tapped Josh’s leg with my foot and whispered for him to sit next to me, although I thought I was being kind of silly/paranoid at the time. He obliged and sat next to me.

At one point this drunk person turned to me and said “you’re sexy”. I gave him polite eye contact but said nothing, and then looked away. He stood up and moved to another part of the bus. I made small talk with Josh, starting to feel a little safer, before this man came back. He approached me directly, wrapped his arms around my neck/shoulders, and kissed the top of my head. He then let go and looked to Josh as if non-verbally proving his masculinity to him (or from what Josh told me, I didn’t see this happen myself because my face was in the drunk guy’s chest).

He moved to a different part of the bus again and Josh put an arm around me trying to comfort me, and told me that if the guy approaches again he’ll do something. I was mostly in shock and couldn’t speak. Nobody on the bus did anything. The drunk guy eventually got off the bus and the story pretty much ends here.

I’m still in shock as this happened last night and I don’t know what a proper response or reaction to this is. I don’t even know if this counts as harassment or what. But there you go. I think because of this and many other instances women just can’t feel safe in public. While I do have his picture I am not sure if I will be sharing it for privacy’s sake. But I guess my initial paranoia wasn’t unreasonable.

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demonstration, transphobic

Leila’s Story: Harassed on the way home

I was walking home from an event only a few blocks from home. I cut through a parking lot and saw a couple guys getting into their car. I was at least 30 feet past them when I heard someone call out ‘hey’ a couple of times. I ignored it and continued walking quickly but he got louder and finally yelled out ‘you with the orange scarf’. I turned to see a guy leaning out the passenger side but I was still walking fast. he said ‘you better look at me when i’m talking to you’. I had already turned my head back around and kept walking. I was right at my back gate but I didn’t want them to see where I live, so I kept walking as if it weren’t my house. At this point I was out of their sight so I walked around the corner to head to my front door, thinking I was done with them. About halfway down the block, a car pulled over to the curb, the passenger window rolled down, and the man said ‘I found you’.
they had gone around the other side of the block. I kept going, this time straight for my front door, wishing i had pulled out my phone. when I got to my front gate, I turned to see the car was gone.

2 comments 
demonstration, transphobic

Cycling across a bridge

I was cycling back home at stound 8pm tonight, after helping my boyfriend move house. The route home is well lit but usually quiet. As I cycled across a bridge a group of 6 middle aged men walking towards me started cat calling and yelling. They then obstructed my path forcing me to slow down and veer to the the other side. I tried to ignore them and cycle away as quickly as possible but I felt intimidated and scared as no one else was around. This is just one example of something that happens regularly but it’s started to effect my behaviour and I want to do something to prevent this insidious attitude happening

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demonstration, transphobic

Harassed at the City Centre

I’m 36 weeks pregnant and single. A few weeks ago I was walking into the city centre alone and a guy appeared beside me and started talking to me. It must have been obvious from my body language and responses that I was uncomfortable, but he continued to talk to me and walk alongside me regardless
I stopped and got my phone out in the hope he’d take the hint and carry on walking but he stopped and waited for me despite my obvious discomfort. He asked me if I had a boyfriend and I lied and said yes. Only at this point did he apologize and leave me alone. It made me angry that he only left me be because he thought I was involved with someone, not because he was making me feel uncomfortable. I felt unable to ask him to leave me alone because I was scared he might become aggressive towards me and my unborn son.

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demonstration, transphobic

Harassed on the bus

I was 13, and was on the bus with my guy best friend. Our relationship was always platonic, and I felt comfortable with him. On the bus, I was tired so I decided to lean on his shoulder and sleep. Just before I dozed off, I felt a hand on my chest moving down to my breasts. It felt foreign, and I was terrified. Then, he put his other hand on my thigh and moved up to my crotch. I was too scared to do anything. When I couldn’t take it anymore, I pretended to wake up, and the hands shot back. Till this day, he still doesn’t know I know what he did to me. He completely betrayed my trust, and I never went out with him again.

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demonstration, transphobic

Harassed in the supermarket

I work in a supermarket, and this morning a decent sized group of builders from another city came in. You could hear them halfway across the store being loud. I was the only person down my aisle, and no managers were close enough to see what was happening. They walked by the end of the aisle and I heard one yell ‘ey let’s go down this one!! she’s fit!!!!’ – they all started cheering and came down, then said hey to me and they all started laughing about how I wouldn’t even smile at him.
I so wish I could’ve retaliated, shown him how what he’s doing sucks, but being an employee it’s my job to be nice to customers, and being a new starter I didn’t want to risk getting into trouble for it, so I had to just walk away.
I’ve had a lot of anxiety issues the past two years and although I know I could handle any situation and not be in harm, I was still shaky afterwards because it truly sickens me to know some people still behave in such a misogynistic, desperate way.

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demonstration, transphobic

Followed on my daily walk

I walk from Saint Nicholas Avenue on 149th street in Harlem toward Broadway almost everyday for work. One beautiful summer day, I began that walk to catch the 1 train in order to get to an audition downtown by 1:30.
I’ve always been able to trust that walk. Tune out and focus.
When I crossed Amsterdam, a man, about 5’3/ late 20’s, caught my attention.
Since I work in the area, I know the majority of people who live on that block. There’s always at least four people I get to say hello to on that block.
As I walked past this man sitting on the white bench next to the very first stoop, I hear, “Wow! Look at this thing not wearing earbuds! Today must be my lucky day.” This line brought me crashing back to reality and I suddenly realized I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings. I wasn’t doing what I had done every day since I moved to New York City. And I was so angry with myself.
As I quickened my pace, he stood up and began to follow me. He asked me where I was going and why I was walking so fast.
I told him that I had somewhere I needed to be and if he could just leave me alone.
His response was, “What? I’m not doing anything. Just walking with you.”
He began to walk very close to me. To the point where he was walking behind me but leaning into my left arm to talk to me.
I continued to ask him to leave me alone, but he persisted.
I could feel myself shutting down. This had never happened to me and I wasn’t able to find the strength or knowledge to get away.
He then told me that he had a friend in the Bronx that could “hook me up” and I could “make a lot of money.”
I couldn’t even respond. I remember a man passing us and looking at me with that “that doesn’t look right” look on his face but said nothing.
My plan was to make it to the coffee shop and ask for help.
Thankfully, a woman I know from the neighborhood was walking her dogs and said hello to me. When I couldn’t respond, I began to cry and she was able to get me away from the man and told him to get lost. He then walked a little farther down the block, sat on a stoop, and watched us. When she threatened to call the cops, was when he finally left. By then, I was sobbing and couldn’t thank her enough.
I haven’t walked down that street since.

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