I was walking to the train at 6am on a Sunday. A man passed me and made a comment. I was right by a deli an didn’t feel danger so I turned around and said, are you serious? I’m a woman alone, you’re a man alone, it’s 6am, it’s dark, just think about what you’re doing, just think. He actually seemed to hear what I said, and he apologized! Victory.
I was walking to the metro when this male (not worthy of being called a man) walking with two small children said, “ain’t that sexy” to me as I walked by. I didn’t ask for his input, and it’s infuriating to be referred to as an object, “that”. I did feel empowered, however, to be able to pull out my phone and do something about it!
It makes me sad to think of the poor example that person is setting for those two small children. But I remain hopeful that with campaigns like Hollaback, we will one day end street harassment.
Me and my girlfriend were stopped at a red light when a man got out of his car yelling at us calling us stupid dykes and c**ts flipping us off saying f**k equality and he served in the military continuing to call us faggots. I let him know I have my two year old child in the car he said he didn’t care and continued screaming vulgar names until light turned green.
I was out with a big group from work, and this guy came over to talk to me. He seemed okay at first, but then he started nuzzling my neck out of nowhere and tried to put his leg around mine. I just about ran across the room to get away from him. Fortunately a friend who was still near him explained why what he did was dead wrong, but it makes it hard for me to want to go out to that place again.
I am a woman. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a teacher. I am a student. I am a runner. I am a dancer. I am a consumer. I am a producer. I am a worker. I am an entrepreneur. I am a knitter. I am a sewer. I am a builder. I am a photographer. I am a writer. I am a barista. I am a chef. I am a sue chef. I am a clown. I am a director. I am a friend. I am a fighter.
I am NOT a babe. From November 30, 1983 to November 29, 1984, I was a baby. However, NEVER again will I be a babe or a baby.
I am kind. I am affectionate. I am caring. I am creative. I am hopeful. I am optimistic. I am determined. I am resilient. I am relentless. I am patient. I am fun. I am entertaining. I am outgoing. I am inspiring. I am inspired.
I am sweet as honey. I am clever as a fox. I am happy as sunshine. I am cute as a button. I am sharp as a tack. I am wise as an owl.
I am NOT a baby. NEVER again will I be a babe. Do NOT refer to me as such.
When you honk at me, it doesn’t make me feel pretty. It makes me feel trashy. Yes, it makes me feel desired, but in the way a fast car or fancy golf set is desired, the lust adorned on an object, but not the genuine desire for companionship of another human being who happens to be a woman.
When you honk at me, it doesn’t make me happy. It makes me feel angry, enraged, irate. Angry, because quite frankly, you startled me. No one likes being caught off guard. I was going about my day, being me, but you came blaring in, uninvited. Enraged, because you assume your expression via a car horn will bring you positive attention, a woman looking at you? This I don’t understand. You think honking at me is something I want or need to feel worth while, so in return I will give you the affirmation you seek to feel worthwhile…wrong!
Irate, because this happens more often than a dentist filling molars. You’re not the only one honking at me. You’re not special. Yet, at the same time, I know I’m not the only one you’re honking at, so I’m not special either. Quit living in your disillusioned world that when you honk at me, you will win me. Sorry, the game doesn’t work that way….so, quit honking at me!!!
While walking in the crosswalk (with right-of-way with “Walk” sign still lighted) east across the north side of the intersection at 23rd Street and 6th Avenue in the Flatiron District of Manhattan, the driver of a black Chevy Suburban with blacked-out windows turned quickly northbound onto 6th Avenue directly in front of me, narrowly missing me by only three inches!
I then walked north on the east side of 6th Avenue. As luck would have it, or not, when I started crossing 22nd Street, this same SUV and driver started turning east on 22nd Street and pushing his way into the crosswalk where I and others were already half-way across. I yelled out “Hey!” loudly to warn the other pedestrians and the SUV’s driver, only to have him speed up again through the crosswalk, hitting my knee and bags as I was mid-step. As I walked around the SUV to continue across 22nd Street, the driver stopped and jumped out of his car; a middle-aged man ran to within an inch of my face, assaulting me and yelling “Faggot” at me like a madman!
This is not a specific story per se, but a general rant. Why do so many males in cars honk at a woman walking down the street or waiting at a bus stop? Also, why do they hang their heads out the window and stare at us when they should be paying attention to the road? It really is just as annoying as if they were to yell something out at me. I’ve already had it done twice to me just this morning within about five minutes of each other, while on my way to work. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what I have to deal with in a typical week. What really burns me is that these idiots only do this when I’m alone. Nobody bothers me when I’m with my boyfriend. Really??? So in order to be left the hell alone, I have to be accompanied by a man at all times, otherwise I’m “fair game”? All I had on was a baggy grey hoodie, purple top, grey pants and sneakers. My hair was thrown back in a sloppy bun. Not that any of this should matter. It has seriously come to the point to where I’m ready to start disguising myself as a man anytime I have to go out alone. These assholes act like they’ve never seen a female before in their pathetic lives. YES, I’M A WOMAN…GET OVER IT!!!
I’m just so tired of men yelling at me through my window and trying to open unwanted lines of conversation. If I was interested, I’d talk to you.
About twelve years ago, at a leading New York cultural institution which shall not be named, I attended my department’s holiday party, at which no fewer than four of the men in attendance became drunkity-drunk-drunk. Things started out innocently enough, with everyone decorating the department’s hallways and boardroom with fake mistletoe and blue and silver tinsel and setting up trays of food and eggnog. Then someone decided to spike the nog and things went downhill from there. First people started talking in their outdoor, as opposed to indoor voices. Then there was the music switch from songs like Jingle Bell Rock to freak music, which although better to dance to, emboldened some of the drunk people to grab non-drunk members of the opposite sex and start grinding against them. Oh, and it didn’t end there… Before the party was over, these clowns were pulling women under the mistletoe with them, and saying things that would make a sailor blush. It was like these people had been let out of a cage, and it was their only chance to mate with the opposite sex. Needless to say, the professional fall-out from that evening rained down like ash from Mount St. Helens for months afterwards. Not pretty. And definitely not acceptable.
Does this kind of situation sound all too familiar? Whether it was you making that irreversible decision to get plastered or somebody else, there are some moments in life you just can’t take back. And how do you handle it, if a co-worker took advantage of the “everybody’s drinking” mentality and sexually harassed you?
In the moment, I’d suggest you don’t just go along with it, if it makes you uncomfortable, not only are you not being true to yourself, but you’re also enabling the other clowns in the room to think that type of behavior is OK. Even if it feels out of place to say “Stop,” say it and move away from them immediately. Try and join another group of partygoers who will respect your space. Now if the person, regardless of their professional superiority to you, dares to try and “follow-up” the shenanigans at a later time, when you’re both stone sober, I suggest saying something like, “You know, it got pretty crazy at that party the other night, but it’s not really something I’d like to pursue further.” And leave it at that. This is a noncommittal statement that shouldn’t offend any decent human being, because it doesn’t lay blame. After hearing something like this, a sensible person will know not to pursue you. If you feel that the co-worker/boss won’t leave it alone, then you have the option of responding via e-mail, which will then start a paper trail for HR if it should come to that.
Most situations never get this far, but a new report featured in Forbes this month mentioned how getting drunk at the office holiday party is on the rise, with all the inappropriate behavior that goes with it, mostly due to frustrations from the economic downturn. But this doesn’t excuse having a sense of personal responsibility when it comes to respecting each other’s boundaries. So have fun at this year’s round of parties, but always be safe!