I was shopping at the supermarket for my flat and a slimy teenager told me I had a nice ass and catcalled/verbally harassed me. Not that it’s relevant but it is still worth saying I was wearing my vans, jeans and an oversized mickey mouse sweater. Even worse his parents didn’t care.
Drive by comments on my appearance and cat-calls. Was SO CLOSE to making it home today without being harassed!
I was walking outside 878 Main Street in Lafayette, Indiana around 3 PM when a man in a car drove by and screamed “put some fucking clothing on, you whore!”
Not that it matters, but I was wearing jeans and a tank top.
During my freshman year of college, I had to take one of my art classes at night, much to my mother’s dismay. This meant walking home in the dark twice a week. My boyfriend wanted me to be safer, so he would pick me up and walk me home, his broad 6’3”stature giving me instant security. He was very diligent – always on time, every day. There was only one day where he had a scheduled test and I had to walk on my own.
That was the only day I was ever verbally harassed on my way home from class. A group of guys stopped their car by me and yelled out to me, laughing as they did. It wasn’t much and they were probably just trying to be cool, but it certainly was not cool.
They didn’t realize that they terrified me that night. They didn’t realize that I felt like crying. They didn’t realize that I already had anxiety issues and didn’t need any extra prompting for a panic attack. They didn’t realize that in that moment I had to go through every self-defense technique I knew, just in case.
They didn’t know, and I think that is pathetic.
I have a “don’t mess with me” line, and this guy officially crossed it. I was waiting at the bus stop when he approached me and said “You’re pretty”. I glared and looked the other way. He stood over me and continued aggresively flirting (asserting his previous comment, saying “Wanna ride with me?”). Once he backed off, I pulled out my phone and got a picture of him when he wasn’t looking. I have absolutely zero tolerance for being directly talked down to by an adult male stranger, especially when I have not expressed any consent for such contact.
This summer, I decided to make a commitment to be a bit more fitter in my lifestyle. As a result, I have been running about 5 times a week at a large park near my town. On this particular day, I was exhausted and decided walk the entire loop of the park. As I strolled the pathway with headphones in, a tall man yelled something to me while walking towards my direction. I proceeded to take out my headphones and must have looked startled because he asked the question again with his unintelligible thick accent. He then pointed to his ring finger and asked if I was married. He kept following me as I walked the long path and stated that he has seen me run several times. During our conversation, he not only pressured me to come live with him in Jamaica, he asked me to marry him and exchange phone numbers. To be honest, I have never thought of myself as attractive and was never really given attention if I walked down a street. I never thought I would ever be harassed in such a place only because I had this preconception that Americans generally were not interested in Asians like me. This interaction, however, made me very scared and opened my eyes to the harrassment women have to endure on a daily basis.
I have lived on the same block from 5 years. I have walked passed all my neighbors (many of which I know) with and without my husband, said “Hi”, “Have a good day” and all other niceties that neighbors do. Yes, I have experienced the occasional cat calls and harassment, usually not on my block, usually not worth noting. However, while walking passed a stoop on my block a few weeks ago, I stopped dead in my tracks at an absolutely vulgar, disgusting comment. What started as “Hey Sexy” quickly turned into “I could rip that white pussy wide open.” I couldn’t ignore that comment. I stopped, turned back and said “excuse me?” When I commented that I heard what they said and it was unacceptable and disgusting, “keep walking white b****” was yelled at me many times over. I exclaimed that I lived here and it was not okay. Yes, I am white. But as a woman, I should not be made to feel so uncomfortable walking down my own block. Later my husband decided to confront the men, which was not a smart move and I felt too provoking. The group of men was doubled from 2 to 4 and quickly escalated into threats towards my husband. It was all dissolved peacefully eventually. But what stuck with me, is that I was told in the heat of it that I should have “just kept walking”. It is not acceptable to talk to any woman or girl this way. Somewhere along the way, men have learned or decided that these comments are deserved and acceptable because they are men and we are sexualized beings. I still avoid that side of the street and always try to see if that stoop has anyone sitting on it before approaching.
Harassed again from across the street at my bus top. The harassment this time was in drunk, slurred Spanish so I don’t know what was said, but by the pointing, ‘thumbs upping’ and sleazy grin I got, I know whatever he said wasn’t cool. I yelled across the street and asked him to repeat himself, which he did! Then kept grinning and walking away. Wish he’d come over a little closer to say what he had to say so that I could kick his little ass.
I live in Virginia and I can’t walk to my job downtown without being cat called at least twice a day. It’s often an older man asking “How’s it going?” I get mad and uncomfortable every time. Sometimes I think I’m overreacting, after all they’re just asking how I’m doing and that’s supposed to be a friendly question. But then I remind myself it’s the tone they use and the way they look at me like I’m an object for their amusement. So I made a vow to say something the next time.
Sure enough, later that day a group of four young teenage boys called out to me “How you doing?” I almost didn’t hear the first time but they called out two more times so I couldn’t ignore it. Finally I turn and look at them and say “Are you talking to me?” They all grin and say yea. So I respond with “Honestly not so well, because I can’t walk down the street without having guys like you call out to me. And it makes me feel uncomfortable and it’s ridiculous that it happens. You boys need to learn to respect women!” And the four of them scramble and run away. Literally run away from me.
I felt like I was not only standing up for myself but every woman on the street. I hope I taught those boys a lesson and they will think before doing it next time. I will no longer take the harassment. My voice will be heard.
Yesterday I was waiting at a bus stop. I was approached by a white man who started mocking me and talking to me as if I were a very young child. He started using derogatory terms such as nigga and saying he came from Africa, to further mock me. I’m from India. I’m also only 15, and it’s the first time I’ve ever been harassed like this. When I simply wasn’t responding, he began yelling at me, and called me a bitch several times, and started saying extremely rude and dirty things, and finally said “this bloody immigrant thinks she’s the sh**,” and that all he wanted to do was “pick up chicks.” I began crying and wishing I could’ve done something about it, and shout back at him. I’m not sure how long this incident will haunt me for.