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I am a rather conservatively dressed person. And yet today I heard the comment – ”you’re beautiful”. A nice thing to hear, but I know where this could lead – no stranger says this for no reason. So I ignored and tried to walk on. Looking down as to not engage in unwanted eye contact, my wrist was suddenly grabbed by this man. I felt anger more than fear. I hoisted my hand away and walked away quickly down the long empty street. This was in broad day light. I was sober – he seemed sober.
Comments I can ignore – but unwanted physical contact – why does this still occur in a ”civilised city”?
Last night I walked home from work in the sunshine in London, an 80 minute journey. I was wearing a bobbled grey woolen (but tight) dress and thick black tights.
The first man said “ooh lookin’ fiiine!”
The second two men said “BOOTAYY, man check out her bootie!”
The third man stared me up and down and kissed his teeth
The fourth man held up traffic at a junction and stared sideways at me not the road
The fifth and sixth men twisted their necks as they walked past and muttered whatever they wanted
The seventh group of men were having a beer outside in the pub I passed and stopped and said “woah check THAT out”
The 8th beeped his horn and laughed
The 9th, a group of three men in my neighbourhood said “ooooh you looking sexyyyyyyyyy” as i walked through the middle of them
By this point I turned around and shouted “are you JOKING??? That is the NINTH comment I’ve had in one journey…GET A GRIP”
They replied that I should be pleased and god blessed me.
I felt quite guilty for shouting when I got home and my friend told me that it’s just how they are and they probably thought they were complimenting me, and at least they find me attractive..
It’s not a compliment, I’m walking home (pretty covered up for a hot day), I’m not ‘giving them the eye’ or ‘asking for it’ (no one is ‘asking for it’) it is not acceptable.
Last week on a train I had to sit next to vile men ‘spotting’ “great tits” as ladies went past to the toilet or on-board shop.
When will we actively start teaching our sons that showing women respect has absolutely nothing to do with catcalling or objectifying them as sexual entities to be judged as they walk home from work, or go to a shop??
The following is typical of my daily commute. I travel by metro and foot between Petworth and Takoma.
I’m footsteps away from work and passing the bus stop at the intersection of Carroll and Laurel. As I walk by I notice a man sitting on the bench and wearing sunglasses is making all kinds of hissing and sucking noises, but don’t realize it’s directed at me until he says “mad fine” as I pass by. Normally I’d ignore him or even smile, wanting to avoid any possibly dangerous conflict with a stranger, but today it caught me off guard.
I’m hunched over carrying a heavy backpack, wearing a dirty old hoodie with my hood pulled over my head. The only thing that could have possibly been sexy were my legs, fully covered in denim and visible only from the front when he had already started making a scene.
Baffled, I pull my hood off to reveal my fully shaved head and just shrug at him, thinking, “what are you even talking about?”
The entire time I’m still walking towards work and suddenly I hear him yelling from behind me, “Enjoy being a girl!” He says it as if it were a command.
I go into work and open shop, but it ate at me all day. It’s sad that a passing rude remark can send me spiraling into an anxiety attack, but it just got to me and I guess that’s the point. I was relieved it didn’t escalate further: I waited and watched him board the bus, having become suddenly neurotic he would follow me into work.I was distracted for the rest of the day, regardless, thinking of his words over and over.
“Enjoy being a girl!” ?
It could mean so many things. I think to him it simply meant “You deserve this”.
I was safely in my home feeling a bit hungry and decided to order takeout. I order takeout from my new favorite place and the guys there are usually friendly and take my order and chat for a bit. I was waiting for my order and it was taking a little longer than usual when a random number came across my phone screen. Apparently the driver got lost and wanted to ask someone for directions. I gave him the directions trying to be as polite as possible even though I was a bit irritated. As I finished giving the directions, the man thanked me and then proceeded on saying how “I sounded super sexy and young” like I was a phone sex operator! It appalled me and horrified me and the only thing I could do is hang up the phone and cry. I texted my best friend how I was feeling and she was understanding since the other day a man yelled at her to suck her cock. This makes me feel afraid to order food since these men have all of my personal and sensitive information. I do not need to feel scared or violated just to order food. It isn’t fair to me or the girls around me! Men everywhere need to realize that these unwanted advances are NOT CUTE and are not flirting; it is plain and simple street harassment. And this needs to be stopped!
saturday 17 march 2014
A man came to me and proposed to me a bag of candy. He had a scary face. I didn’t accept it because the man was strange . I walked and he follow me but I went into a coffee shop and ordered a drink and saw the man in the window
I was very afraid to be in the street alone at night.
Last week in the early morning, as I’m walking in the street, two men were passing by on the opposite pavement. One of them asked me “Hey cousin, do you have any lighter?” I just answered that I did not when this one started to insult my mum and cross the road nervously to beat me up!
One day in the subway, a man came to me. He asked me my first name, I have not answered him. He began to say to the other men in the metro, “Do not tell him I not laugh.” Shocked I tell him to stop! He insults me by saying “bitch” I have girls like you all day and they have earned me money!
Drunk guy in bar harassing my friends. Friends looked at their shoes and tried to stop interaction by not responding. Drunk guy touched my friend inappropriately. I turned him around by his shoulder and grabbed his hand.
Me: Hey man, what’s your name?
Me: Nice to meet you, ___.
Him: I like you. You’re nice to me. They’re being ******.
Me: No, you’re just bothering them and they don’t like it. So you need to stop that now.
Him: Let me show you a picture.
Me: No, I don’t need to see that. You need to go away or I’m telling someone to get you out of here.
Interaction stopped! Did I have to see a cell phone picture of his junk in order to get him to go away? Yes. Did any other larger, more capable, male-gendered (therefore viewed as more threatening and worthier of respect) person in the bar – of which there were PLENTY – try and help me out? No!
But did the guy go away and stop touching my friends?
Yes he did.
As I attend school in downtown Cincinnati, I understood that it wasn’t always a pretty place. I’ll be adding more stories of things that I have experienced and witnessed, but here’s one that was my first.
It was August and still hot on the streets so I wore what was comfortable, shorts and a t-shirt. After leaving school for the day, I headed to the library to meet a friend.
Heading down the street, I noticed the occasional security guards from numerous companies and felt pretty safe. Out of nowhere, a black pickup truck pulled up next to me.
The man in the front seat leaned out and yelled, even though he was directly next to me,”How about you get in and we’ll show you why two is better than one.”
Instinctually, I took off, dashing down the street as his friend yelled,”DYKE BITCH!” out the window.
When I reached the library. I didn’t tell my friend a word of what happened. I regretted not speaking up sooner and blaming myself for the harassment. Even the school dress code told me that I was a distraction.
Street harassment should not be the norm for young girls.
I was just starting my job at a popular bar/restaurant in the town I was going to college in. It was my first real experience working in a fast paced resaurant setting, and I was doing my training with one of the other girls who had worked their a long time.
After a couple days, we were scheduled to work out in the outdoor section, which gets pretty hectic when its nice out. Things were going relatively well, until this large table of middle to older aged men came out. They were loud, and extremely obnoxious. They were sticking around for multiple hours ordering drink after drink, and getting noticeably louder, and increasingly drunk.
Each time I went to the table to take drink order after drink order, they kept calling me names like sweetie, sweetheart, doll, etc. and asking me questions that made me extremely uncomfortable. As the night went on, I was getting more and more shaken. There was even one point where one of them knocked me over and I spilled a tray full of drinks all over the ground, and myself.
I tried my best not to let it get to me, until I took their order again, and then suddenly, as I was taking their order, one of the older men I was standing next to took his arm and just laid it on my shoulders. I’m a really small person, just about 5’2, and so I couldn’t get away. The girl I was training with had to pull me away from him, and she told me not to worry about it.
Not long after that experience, I left the bar, because I just couldn’t handle it. I kept blaming myself, saying,”Well I should have expected that, being so small and working around a bunch of drunk men.” But after awhile, I realized I was just supporting their god awful behavior, and that I should have never excused the way those men treated me that night. Its definitely a memory that will always stick with me.