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I was diagnosed with breast cancer one year ago today at 30 years old. I have been through hell including 8 months of chemo, 33 rounds of radiation and a double mastectomy. I was contemplating all of this while walking down the street when a middle aged guy said to me: “Cheer up! At least it’s not raining!” I glared at him and kept moving but it was infuriating to be told I should be happy on such a difficult day.
I just started to school in Honolulu, and I was sitting outside of a coffee shop near Waikiki doing my homework and minding my own business. Being that Waikiki is a huge tourist spot, I saw a ton of people come and go. Only one person decided to bother me in the three hours I sat there: he was probably twice my age, and was super greasy. He sing-sang as he danced around my table, “I’m single, looking for a girlfriend.” I gave him the coldest glare I could and replied, “I’m single, and I’m not looking. Get lost.” He proceeded to act all offended and told me he “didn’t appreciate my attitude, sugar.” Thankfully after that, he left me alone.
I called my mom immediately afterward, and she called me “the Ice Queen.” My aunt added in that I “shouldn’t have made rudeness my first reaction,” and that if I didn’t want the attention I shouldn’t have been doing my homework at a coffee shop. I don’t know which is more humiliating, the fact that I was treated like an object by the stranger, or that my own family thought that I was the one in the wrong by shutting him down.
I was crossing the street in the crosswalk when a car revved up behind me and yelled “Fucking dyke!” out the window as it sped by, narrowly missing me.
Well I wish it was just one story… I’m finally fed up after incidents every day for the past THREE days. I finally posted a Facebook status and my cousin sent me here, so hooray for this site!
First one I was leaving work late in Soho in London with a scarf wrapped around me. A guy in his 20s said, “excuse me, are your Russian?”. While walking I said, “No, Canadian.” Kept walking. He continued to engage me even though I was clearly in post-work dress (not that what you wear matters!). He kept holding my hand for what was supposed to be a handshake. Finally when I let go and cut off what he was saying with a curt “bye” he called me a bitch. Awesome.
Second one, I was walking home from the bus stop by my flat and one guy in a group of 5 on a terrace gave a “Hi sweetheart, do you have a boyfriend?” type thing. I carry a knife in my pocket for that walk and I so desperately wanted to call back, but fear still overtook me. It was dark and I was outnumbered and alone – I stayed quiet.
Thirdly was last night, and I was walking from the Thames to Trafalgar Square after playing a gig. I was carrying my guitar on my back and holding my metal stand (which, in my mind, I could wield at any moment as defence on a Saturday night). A group of guys passed me and tried to engage me. THREE TIMES, I thought. I cannot catch a f*%king break! Verbally, this came out as a loud, “Come on, really?!”.
The feelings are so sickening. Feelings of harassment, which one tries to counteract with a quick retort, but that feeling being stifled by the reality of: I. Am. Not. Safe. I just want to feel safe. I’ve considered self-defence classes. I’ve gone over and over what I wish I could say if I had more courage. I’m sick of being played with. I am not a f#%king stray cat. I am a person.
Today I volunteered my time to help transport the elderly and disabled to and from the UW husky stadium and the parking lot. To transport, we used carts with about 7 seats and had certain pick up locations to pick up our passengers.
I had a great learning experience and here’s why:
1. I learned that if you ever want to be harassed and doubted about your driving skills, simply sit in a parked cart and be female. Sit in this parked cart while being female at a husky game and you will get to have multiple men question why you’re in there.
2. I learned that the whistles management gave us in lieu of the horn that’s missing from our cart should only be used by men unless you want other men to chant “blow harder” after using one.
3. I learned that when traffic directors stop you, they’re not stopping you to tell you where to go, they’re stopping you to tell you, “damn, you look fine.” Every. Single. Time you pass by.
– everyone else will also do this if you are a female in public.
4. I learned that i should never simply walk through a crowd as someone (most likely man) is most likely to grab some body part as i walk by.
5. I learned that saying no to someone several times does not actually mean “no”. It’s actually just a word females sometimes say to make noises and doesn’t actually mean anything at all apparently.
Lastly, i learned that if ever i want to feel the rage of a thousand suns, i should be a female at a husky game.
i was on my way to class and i was already in a cruddy mood because i was late and my humanities professor could be really snotty especially if you were late to her class i was on the elevator to the second floor where my class was located and there were two 40 something year old guys on the elevator and i remember already feeling an uncomfortable vibe so i was relieved to get off when one of them addressed me with ” hey sweetie you’re on the wrong floor” and i was confused until he grabbed me by the wrist and said “just kidding i wanted to holler at you do you have a man ?”
i wasn’t in the mood for some guy old enough to be my dad grabbing on me so i said the first thing i could think of and i told him i was in a relationship then i ran off as fast as i could and you would have thought it would of ended there but the other guy followed me and started on about how i “didn’t have to be a snobby bitch and blow his friend off” but the most upsetting part was there was a lot of people around when this exchange happened but no one stepped in
I was walking home this morning from running errands downtown when a man walked up to me while waiting at an intersection. He proceeded to blatantly lick his lips and look me up and down numerous times. I briefly glared at him then proceeded to ignore and avoid eye contact with him. He then continued to stare at me and speak to me in Spanish. He continued to follow me down the street walking right next to me, blatantly checking me out and saying things I couldn’t understand and laughing to himself. Walking as fast as I could, I could not get away from him. Finally, when I could make out that he was asking if I was going to the library, (which was just ahead), I said, “Are you talking to me?!” to which he replied with something in Spanish. “I don’t speak Spanish!” to which he just laughed and continued to give lewd looks. Finally I was able to walk quickly away from him! I’m used to street harassment and can’t stand it. I generally just avoid eye contact and speak up when I need to. He made me feel extremely uncomfortable and violated. Plus the fact he continued to walk with me and be so blatantly inappropriate made me feel scared! No one should put up with street harassment—we are not things to be gawked at!
I grew up in a small town and hadn’t experienced any street harassment there until today. I am visiting my parents for a couple weeks before heading back to university. I was walking my dog this morning and as we were finishing our walk a car with two guys stopped by us and they asked if I was from here. I said yes assuming they needed directions. I was wrong. They then asked me if I would show them around town. I told them I was busy, but since it is a small town they could drive around themselves and wouldn’t get lost. They then asked if there were any parties going on, and I responded with I don’t know. The one guy introduced himself as Joe and extended his hand to shake. Being polite I shook it and he proceeded to rub my palm. I took my hand back. Joe asked if I was taken so I lied and said yes. This didn’t stop them from asking me for my number which I refused to give. So they told me theirs and said that I better memorize it and call them so they can take me to a party in a nearby city.
I’ve experience “milder” forms of street harassment in larger cities, but I never expected something as creepy as this to happen in my home town. All I can say is that I am really glad my dog was with me because I knew he would protect me if something worse were to have happened.
I was at the train station and had a weird feeling that I might be followed. Since there were so many people going around I didn’t think I was right.
So, I got to the escalator with my bag and suddenly that man started moaning right into my ear and got really close, repeating “Oh yeah, fuck me, baby!” over and over!
I then looked at him with disgust and at the people around me (who just looked away), took my bag, pushed that disgusting person away and ran up to the platform.
Looking back, I wish I had said or yelled something so that others would’ve been ‘forced’ to step in. But in that moment, I was just shocked, disgusted and felt threatened so I couldn’t really think straight.
I was riding the Brooklyn bound L train when I noticed a man in his 50s got on the train at Union Square and stand unusually close to a young lady in her early twenties near the door. He started blatantly staring down her shirt and then started staring at me. So he would switch between us. After a few moments, I looked at her with a “are you OK look?” and she, wide-eyed, looked back. Then she took out her ear buds, and said, “What are you looking at?” He just kept staring down at her. Then I said, “What the f** are you staring at, Dude??!!” And he kept staring at me.
Then the guy in front of me said, “Enough, Dude, enough.” And then the train stopped at Bedford, and I acted like I was getting out so I could try and stand in between him and the girl, but he wouldn’t move. I was still like- “Stop staring at her, you’re being fucking disgusting.” And he responded and said, “I can stare at who ever I want. I’m a vet” “So am I supposed to feel bad for you because you’re a vet?” He responded, “You’re a fucking lunatic, I’m not moving!” as he pressed up against me harder.
Then another woman on the train said to him, “Be the bigger person and stop talking”- which I still can’t figure out if she was trying to help him, or me. We went back and forth and finally he got off the train at the Morgan Ave stop. When I turned around to check on the girl behind me she was visibly shaken up, but kept saying thank you. I hugged her as she broke down, and thanked the guy for stepping in … a little bit, and then hiding behind me.