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I was walking across the USC campus parking lot in the middle of the day when a middle-aged man called to me from the sidewalk. He was standing with a parking guard. He said, “Excuse me, young lady, aren’t you going to say hi to two handsome men?”, gesturing to the guard and himself. They were both smirking. I smiled and kept walking and he called after me, “That’s better, sweetheart.”
It doesn’t matter where or you are, if you are not “controlled” by men, they feel the need to establish their power. What they don’t realize is, that makes them all the more powerless.
Was walking thru Times Square after work at 11pm Saturday Sept 20, looking down texting my boyfriend (not that it should matter but I was wearing somewhat baggy jeans and a blousy three quarter length Tshirt) when an apparent comedy club ticket seller with no teeth (short guy in a black hat and suit jacket) shouted at me “Hey you should smile!” And I flipped around and told him no thank you he continued talking saying he was a comedian and wanted “me” to smile.
Then a block later on 46th and 7th a guy standing in a group of two guys and a girl at a hot dog stand, repeatedly yelled to me “hey miss! Hey miss!”. I ignored him thinking he either wasn’t talking to me and if he was I wasn’t about to entertain him. He then yelled “hey BITCH!” I stopped , turned around, glared at him and said excuse me!? He laughed in my face, as well as the other two guys and girl while he bragged to them “told you she’d turn around”. I was so angry and shocked I just continued on my way home.
Craving a late night cup of joe from the Starbucks in the Duke Hospital, my friend and I waited on the corner to cross the five-lane deserted street. Entranced in our conversation, we hardly noticed the car slowing to a stop on our left. Before making their right turn, the men in the car decided it would be appropriate to halt mid-turn and comment on our “asses” and “how fine” we are and that they would love to “give us a ride.” I wonder how could they even see our asses, considering it was the middle of winter and we had on more layers than an onion. Scared, we didn’t make eye contact or reply, hoping they would just go on their way. Luckily, they kept on driving, while we ran across the road into the safety of the hospital.
I was walking my dog at around 11 pm in a family housing area on a military base when a male at a house across the street, presumably there for a party or something, started hollering at me about my “tiny shorts” and walking around by myself at night. I didn’t hear anyone else in the group either encourage or discourage him. I considered yelling back at him, or even just flipping him off, but decided against it for my safety as I was approaching a darker and less populated area. Just goes to show street harassment is an across-the-board issue.
I was leaving a grocery store at about 8pm on a Friday night, when I passed a couple of very drunk men in the parking lot. One of them slur-whispered “Oh baby, so beautiful” to me in Spanish, followed by something else that I couldn’t hear. When I didn’t break eye contact, he then said “hi” to me in English. “Oh hi,” I said, and then I asked him, in Spanish, whether he was sure that he didn’t want to say anything else to me. So gross.
Dude standing right in the middle of my path on the sidewalk, rubbing himself quite visibly and leering at me. When I asked him what was wrong with him, he asked me if I wanted to do it.
I was walking up the hill on my way home and had a bunch of guys hanging out of their car yelling ‘hey sexy’ and other things. One of them tried to slap my ass from the window and the car got very close to me! I was unable to say anything or so anything because it happened so fast!
My story is not necessarily about one incident but many over my time here in New York. I live in a neighborhood where I am, on average, verbally harassed about 3-5 times a week. These interactions range from kissing and sucking noises, to verbal assaults (hey baby look at that fat ass) to derogatory intentions hidden behind kind words (Oh, God Bless you, baby) and beyond. One time a man was saying very rude things, and while that was happening another man drove up in a car and yelled “don’t talk to him baby, talk to me!” I screamed “thats harassment” to him as he drove off.
I’ve also been physical groped. When I was groped I chased after the man but unfortunately lost him in the crowd. I was fortunate that the cops were supportive and drove me around looking for him, but I know that is not every woman’s experience.
For a while I just dealt with it, but I’m at my wits end. Its to the point where I have actually started emotionally preparing myself for the three block walk from my apartment to the train. When I had the thought “well, maybe I should just stop wearing yoga pants in public” I knew that they and gotten into my head and it was time to do something.
I’ve begun confronting these men. Some engage while most walk away as if nothing has happened.
On a run in my neighborhood today, a man in a car passing me wolf whistled. As a minor, (I’m only 14!), it was my first negative experience of such a kind.
It made me feel unsafe to be running alone because I knew other people with more physical power (a man in a car) were looking at my body sexually, and I could do nothing about it, even if they chose to pursue me further.
I am also deeply disturbed to realize that even as a minor running in a family community, I can be made to feel unsafe.
I want to end street harassment because it makes me feel unsafe and unhappy, and that is no way for any person to feel!
Now, my story is probably going to be quite long.. but Ive just experienced ANOTHER form of harassment on the way home and I’m actually so angry so I need somewhere to vent. Since moving to London about 3 weeks ago I have experienced more of it on the streets of London than I ever have done in my life. Ive been on edge for a few months after an experience in Sydney, Australia when a guy approached me on the street and grabbed me, groped me and ran off and all witnesses to this never did a thing to help. So, I am not the most confident when Im out and about since that and being London hasnt helped matters. Today walking home in Stratford I was waiting at the lights and a guy approached me, I hadnt seen the green man and was still waiting and he made a joke which I laughed off.. he then continued to follow me down the road asking where I was going and if we could be friends.
I told him where to go but that didnt stop him and he walked by my side saying horrible things and making me feel so uncomfortable until I pulled my phone out and rang my mum and he walked away.
Last week I was walking home at night on the phone and a guy came up behind me which completely shocked me and put his arm around my waist and said ‘hey beautiful’ to which I replied ‘get your hands off me you’re disgusting’ and he walked away. Since Ive been here Ive been yelled at from cars, cornered by boys when Im walking down the street, disgusting things have been said to me by boys young enough to be my son and men old enough to be my grandfather and the whole time I am just thinking, what is it I am doing to attract this much unwanted attention? I dont dress provocatively (not that that would matter) and I keep my head down but still this happens to me literally every day in some shape or form and it just makes me so angry. I hate walking down the street now, I dont feel safe and its horrible that there are pathetic men in the world that can make a girl feel like this…just fuck off!