Story, Verbal

N.R.’s Story: “Control” in the gym

Today I went to my local (mixed) gym in Brussels.
An older man came up to me while I was on a cardio bike. He asked me if he had seen me before. I told him that I didn’t remember him so probably not (staying friendly but not engaging in the conversation).
At the end of my 1 hour cardio session he comes back telling me he likes my thighs and that my shorts made me show too much leg and that I should wear something else the next time I would come to the gym. Because he could “control” himself but maybe other younger men in the gym would not be able to”control” themselves. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I told him it was not my job to dress to his “standards” (less eloquent because my french isn’t that awesome). I blocked the following of the conversation and the man left.
When I was done (ten more minutes of anger pedalling and not believing this happened. I went to the desk and asked the employee if there is another female-only gym in the neighbourhood (they have it for a reason). She replies nicely and then I explain I will not be coming back and explained what happened.
I went for my bag and the head-employee storms towards me with her sandwich steaming. She was not-amused something like that happened and wanted to know who had said such a thing. I pointed out the man by saying what machine but told her I didn’t want a confrontation.
her colleague told her to confront the men when I left (which I was about to) and she almost stormed toward him. She also confirmed me that I was in my right and that being properly dressed wasn’t up to the man to decide. the short was good enough.
So I am sad I am leaving this place though.

I've got your back!
8+

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Story, Verbal

Jessica Renae’s Story: Five men barking

Honestly, today’s experience of verbal harassment is nothing new to me. I am so tired. I was walking into my place of work (which I love and always feel safe at) when a group of five men that were by a moving truck started barking at me and said “we see what you got and we like it.” I was grabbing stuff out of my car and trying to hurry into work as they continued barking. I turned to them and just said “can you not” and they all laughed. I can’t tell if they were moving into the building next door (God I hope not) or just helping someone move. I work in the vicinity of the University of Michigan, where verbal harassment (and sexual assault) are huge issues. I feel so powerless and sad. I came into work and texted my supportive, feminist boyfriend. I am sitting at my desk trying not to cry. This happens to me weekly, at the least. I am sick of not feeling safe. My boyfriend suggested calling the non-emergency police line and reporting verbal harassment. I wasn’t even sure if I really should…will anything be done? This happens to me all the time. It’s nothing new. But that doesn’t mean that I am immune to it. I hate it, I resent it. I feel sad and helpless. I preach being a strong, independent woman. But nothing makes me feel smaller or weaker than being verbally harassed. I. a.m so. tired.

I've got your back!
13+

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Story, Verbal

J Delgado’s Story: “Creepy, dirty man”

I was walking by Balcony Bar minding my own business when a creepy, dirty man (about 48-49 years old) wearing a blue bandana around his head says to me “beautiful body.” I stopped, turned around and said “please don’t say that, I don’t appreciate it.” He then went on to call me a “fuckin bitch.” Thankfully I was in a public space because this man looked like he could’ve gotten physically violent. It’s definitely something to be aware of when fighting against this verbal abuse. The man was drinking and looked like he was intoxicated, which could’ve elevated the situation.

I've got your back!
15+

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Story, Verbal

Melissa’s story: “Not going to let some creeper ruin my day!”

It was a gorgeous day and I was driving to work with my windows open and stopped at an intersection. I was just eating an ice cream bar I had just purchased at 711 when a guy driving a minivan next to me yells “I wanna bite!” I yell back “f*ck off you f*cking weirdo!” and start to roll up my window. But then I think “no damn it! I was enjoying the nice weather and opened my window back down and turned up my music. I’m not going to let some creeper ruin my day!

I've got your back!
8+

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Story, Verbal

Jordan’s Story: Struggling between holla-ing back and feeling safe

Today I was walking with my friend trying to get to the subway when a male passed me and told me I shouldn’t look so angry anymore. I was annoyed by the comment but let it go and put some distance between us. Sadly him and his group of friends stopped and I had to pass them again. I guess one of his friends made a comment about me and the original male said aloud that “I just told her about herself”. I know I shouldn’t have but I snapped and told him to f*** himself. Something about him thinking I needed to listen to a stranger on the street really got to me. I regretted saying anything tho because as I made my way to the train I got scared that he was following me and that him and his friend would try and hurt my friend and me. I hate that I let him gain power over me. I feel like he won.

I've got your back!
34+

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Stalking, Story, Verbal

Miriam’s Story: “I hid so he wouldn’t be able to tell where I live…”

I am an avid yogi and I work hard to make it to yoga class every day with my busy schedule. I was so excited when I moved into the city within walking distance from my yoga studio. I usually walk the 5 minutes to class then walk home when it’s over, still in my yoga clothes. Apparently me wearing yoga pants is an invitation for men to comment on my most blessed attributes. Two days ago I was walking home from class when about 3 blocks from my house a white car drove up next to me, rolled down the side window and said “damn girl look at that ass”. I ignored them as I always do… the car drove down the block, turned around at the round about and rolled past me again, “ASS all day!”. He did this turn around/drive-by and yell thing about 6 times before I ended up running the last block home. I hid in the alley behind my house so that he wouldn’t be able to tell where I live and I cried. I now drive the 7 blocks to my yoga studio everyday out of fear that the same man or someone else might take it even further than that.

I've got your back!
25+

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Story, Verbal

Erin’s Story: Walking the dog is not an invitation

I try to walk my dog every day. When I was very good about it, we would often go through the trails of the park and explore. One day, I decided to cut the walk short, so I went through the shortcut that leads back to the playground and parking lot. The shortcut is a wide stretch of grass, clearly visible from both ends of the park, and not private at all. As I walked, there were two men, (who behaved like boys) and one shouted at me something along the lines of, “Walk that dog, girl!” I knew they wouldn’t try anything because my dog is large, but it didn’t stop me from feeling paranoid and unsafe.

I've got your back!
12+

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Story, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO : Heathens.

Man yelling at young women that they are heathens for wearing shorts. Seems religiously oriented.

I've got your back!
13+

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Story, Verbal, youth

HOLLA ON THE GO: “I’m fourteen”

Was looking at a menu on the side of a building and two men walked by and they appeared drunk (it was 4 o’clock) and one preceded to say something inaudible and I managed to pick out the words “you look nice and tight” and they walked away. I’m fourteen and was with my parents although they weren’t directly next to me at the time so they didn’t overhear.

I've got your back!
36+

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Story, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: No I don’t want a ride.

A car kept verbally harassing me while I was waiting for the bus. They kept asking me if I wanted a ride in a really sleazy way. They wouldn’t stop asking me until I started taking photos of his car.

I've got your back!
30+

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