I cycle to work everyday. I have had to change my route recently because I can’t cope with the verbal and non-verbal abuse e.g. comments about my appearance and objectification towards me making comments about my body and bum for example. I am wearing lycra yes- and?
Minding my own business in the cycle lane a highway maintenance van with three men in the front slowed up and started making kissing faces and gestering sexually. I tried to lag behind as I was getting upset.They continued to look back and comment. This is one example of many I have when cycling on my bike.
I’m 15 and am always being street harassed. Part of the time it’s at school. I have been assualted and verbally harassed. It doesn’t make me feel better. I gave into it before and let boys do what they wanted. But I got to much attention for my ass and things got way to out of hand. I’m currently doing a factoid friday/infomercial about the topic street harassment and it’s made me stronger the facts I know. And to also know that I’m not alone in this is great. But this situation still goes on in my life and I want it to stop.
Today, a man drove up alongside me in an SUV and started making fun of my clothing. I ignored him. He kept commenting on what I was wearing. It is October. I had on a shirt, floor-length skirt, and a sweater. I kept ignoring him. He screamed at me, calling me “a bitch” for not acknowledging him.
A few years ago for Halloween, my friends and I went to Salem, Massachusetts, as was becoming our tradition after going several years in a row. My friend’s 15-year-old daughter was with us, my surrogate niece. She and I spent a good portion of the day wandering the town. At various times, I kept feeling a man watching us, which could not have been creepier, and since it was Halloween, he had on a hockey mask like the character Jason from the horror movie Friday the 13th. Each time I saw him watching us I linked arms with my “niece” and moved into the group of everyone else, eventually bringing up that it couldn’t be coincidental that he was literally in doorways behind us or looking around building corners at us every so often.
After a full day out and still wandering near dinner time, my “niece” and I found ourselves a few steps behind our group, chatting away. As she was talking I heard a very low, deep voice FAR too close to us saying,”bitches…” over and over. I thought I would throw up. I grabbed her, not even needing to turn around and started running and screaming for help. A friend’s husband and several men we’d never met had to step in and physically drag him to police officers because this horrifying man was chasing after us and became so fixated, he was completely out of control.
That was far from the first time I have been harassed, followed, catcalled, verbally abused for no reason and petrified of a strange man on the street. Unfortunately it was a terrible lesson in “the danger of being female and in public” for a 15 year old girl that night.
A man approached me as I was coming out of class. He asked me if I was interested in prostituting and making us some money in Miami. He said “you do it for free.” He commented on my body and told me how I was making his dick hard. I reported it to the police. The responding officer asked “have you never been hit on before?”
I was strolling around downtown Portland with my boyfriend. Just moved to the area, first time visiting the city. We walked by a little park area where this man dressed in bright orange was complaining very loudly about his “whore mother.” My boyfriend and I just walked past, but I guess the guy must’ve caught sight of me because he started following us. He was walking closer behind and yelling at me about my dyed hair for a while. “Little American girl, why have you colored your hair? Why have you done that? It looks terrible. Not sexy,” stuff like that. I wasn’t looking or responding, so he decided to call me a “worthless American cunt” and finally turn in another direction. All of this was said in a terrible French accent, which he definitely wasn’t speaking in before. All of it was just bizarre. Anyway, we got to our destination and my boyfriend asked why I looked like I was about to panic. Apparently he hadn’t even noticed the creep following us for several blocks and yelling at me. We continued walking around after lunch and I kept having to change sidewalks, hide in shops, or literally run down alleys to get away from this creep who just kept popping up everywhere. At least he wasn’t hard to notice because of his outfit and need to be so loud.
I have two stories that stand out for me while I worked at Mercury Marine as a mechanical designer. Five women worked in the building with about 150 guys. All the other women worked there as secretaries. One guy called me over to a spot where he was standing with a group of guys I did not know. He asked if I was wearing a bra. They were all wondering. I felt so humiliated. Another guy told me within a job interview for a different position within the company that he felt I had penis envy and questioned that I had the skills needed to do the job. Despite that I had been working there about eight years doing that very job with a different group with in the company. There was lots of sexual innuendos, lots of comments about my appearance that I laughed off or ignored. One guy hung a calendar of nude women by his desk which I found offensive. I went out and got a calendar of nude men and hung it by my desk. He thought I was being silly and causing problems.
I was in my class one day and I was chosen to answer a question. I answered and it was wrong. Then these two boys in my class decided they wanted to make a comment about how I’m Asian and therefore am supposed to be really smart. They called me a stupid Asian since I didn’t know the answer. This went on for a while and they chose to use other harsh stereotypes at points in the school year. My friend stood up for me and then the teacher yelled at her to stop being so loud. I told the teacher what they had said to me and she said they were just joking and not to make a big deal about it. When I told my parents this, they didn’t want me in this environment so they chose to put me in a different class with a different teacher.
A man made me feel sick by calling out friendly comments and then whispering gross, disturbing ones under his breath. I turned around and swore angrily (gut reaction, for better or worse) only to have him repeat this each time I walked away. It ruined my walk home and left me with a little less faith in humanity.
Me and 11 girls from my class were on a weekend in London from Sweden. We went to the restaurant Chiquito to eat, however, in the middle of dinner, a complete strangers approached our table and started to make really offensive comments about the fact that 8/12 of us were blondes and Swedish. We tried to make him understand that we did not want to talk to him so we began talking in Swedish, however he stayed and ordered a glass of water and refused to leave. We had to ask the waiter to get him to go away. It completely destroyed the happy mood of the dinner because if a big group of girls sit together, they probably want to stay there together and talk to each other not strangers that makes sexist jokes about stupid blonde Swedish girls.