I was standing on the subway platform, minding my own business and I looked up to see some guy passing by, leering at me and looking me up and down. When I made eye contact, he thought I was ready to flirt with him and he cracked a smile and said ‘hellooo!’ Ugh, nope. THEN, I got on the train and after a few stops a guy sat diagonal from me and just kept staring at me. I wanted to take it easy as I had a long ride ahead of me, but I could feel his eyes focusing on my legs. I just wanted to hide in my coat. When I got off at my station and walked to work, I was again met by ‘helloooo, good afternoon’ in front of a building I try to avoid, but didn’t today. What is up with today?
I was walking to the 2 train to go visit a friend when a guy who walked pass me did a 180 and started following me. And by following, I mean was on top of me. His body was literally touching mine as I was walking, asking for my phone number and if I would be his girlfriend. In that moment I went into “fight or flight” mentality that so many of us women find ourselves in. Do I just stay quiet and keep walking, hoping he goes away? Or do I turn around and face my potential attacker? At first I quietly declined his advances, although his body was pushing me to walk faster. I was quickly looking for people who were close by or open businesses that I might be able to walk in to. Then I increased my request for him to leave me alone by simply stating I would call the police if he didn’t leave me alone. This persisted for several blocks, so I finally stopped in my tracks, looked him in the eye and yelled at the top of my lungs “Leave me the fuck alone or I swear to God I will fucking choke the shit out of you!” He laughed and finally walked away.
A man snuck up behind me when I was putting some vegetables in my cart. He was probably in his 50s. Goes “You know how to make those taste real good, girly?” Very close to me and blocking my cart. I said, “What?” Trying to figure out what to say next. He repeated himself without the “girly”, so I told him I roast them. He tried to keep talking so I politely told him I needed to finish shopping so I could go back to work, and backed up when he didn’t move out of my way. He followed me and continued to talk, and I only lost him when he wanted me to follow him down one aisle and I went the other way without saying anything. I left immediately and kept looking over my shoulder because I was afraid he would come up behind me again. I was in a public place so I was probably fine, but still not fun to feel like you’re being followed.
A guy catcalled me in front of my mom. I told him to shut the fu** up and he yelled at me asking why I couldn’t take a compliment and threw a magazine at me.
Leaving woody’s I spent Tulsa and me and one other friend got four catcalls walking from the corner of woody’s to the parking lot behind McNellie’s. Three were in passing cars, one threatening to “fuck us hard,” and the fourth were other pedestrians. A walk of one block, both of us wearing jeans and hoodies, and we were sexually harassed four times in less than five minutes. I no longer feel comfortable walking in downtown Tulsa due to this. We have frequented this area in the past often, but have NEVER been treated like this.
After opening with “hey, are you afraid of Black guys?” I should’ve seen it coming – the man kept talking to me even after clear signals that I wasn’t interested. He opted to follow me across the Hopscotch bridge instead of going up North Capitol like which is where he said he was headed. He kept saying “C’mon” as though I was following him. Finally I turned to him and said, “look, I’m tired and I don’t want to talk to you. I’ve had a long day at work and I’m angry that you don’t understand that I don’t want to talk to you. Leave me alone.” Maybe the twinge of hysteria in my voice is what made him give up and finally leave. I was so shaky that I called a friend in my way across the bridge.
I was crossing the street to my dorm building after an exam when some guys (most likely students) started yelling “huevos” at me and whistling at me like for a dog when I didn’t respond. I asked “Didn’t your mother teach you better?”, they asked “what?” then the light changed. By then I was across and they started hollering as they drove away.
While I was walking up the street, men got really close to my face and told me I was “seriously beautiful” and I “look like a model”. I ignored them but they continued comments until I was out of earshot.
Two men approached me from across the street while I was walking. They followed me for half a block, commenting on my looks, and asking if I was married or had a boyfriend. I ignored them and they stopped as soon as I was near other pedestrians.
As someone who has been taking public transport / works as a cashier, and is in public a lot, I’ve dealt with cat calling and being bothered by strangers for awhile now. I get the usual honking, unsolicited compliments, long-winded conversations, begging for a phone number, and occasionally an ask for sexual favors. Yesterday though it reached a level I really didn’t expect and I’m still in shock over it.
I was sitting on the bus and there was a man who had been drinking (he was acting drunk and had a bottle of beer in hand), sitting across from me. There were three other people nearby me. I ignored him but as he continued to get louder and talked to other people on the bus, I snapped a few pictures of him (I think as a precaution, although I was likely just going to delete them later). At one point he tried to talk to me and he said, “Go to Hollywood and become a movie star.” Eventually, one of my ex friends boarded the bus (we’ll call him Josh), and Josh came and sat across from me. Although we are ex friends, Josh and I are still friendly and on talking terms. So I tapped Josh’s leg with my foot and whispered for him to sit next to me, although I thought I was being kind of silly/paranoid at the time. He obliged and sat next to me.
At one point this drunk person turned to me and said “you’re sexy”. I gave him polite eye contact but said nothing, and then looked away. He stood up and moved to another part of the bus. I made small talk with Josh, starting to feel a little safer, before this man came back. He approached me directly, wrapped his arms around my neck/shoulders, and kissed the top of my head. He then let go and looked to Josh as if non-verbally proving his masculinity to him (or from what Josh told me, I didn’t see this happen myself because my face was in the drunk guy’s chest).
He moved to a different part of the bus again and Josh put an arm around me trying to comfort me, and told me that if the guy approaches again he’ll do something. I was mostly in shock and couldn’t speak. Nobody on the bus did anything. The drunk guy eventually got off the bus and the story pretty much ends here.
I’m still in shock as this happened last night and I don’t know what a proper response or reaction to this is. I don’t even know if this counts as harassment or what. But there you go. I think because of this and many other instances women just can’t feel safe in public. While I do have his picture I am not sure if I will be sharing it for privacy’s sake. But I guess my initial paranoia wasn’t unreasonable.