Verbal

An’s story from India: Crossing the line

Two weeks earlier some guys teased my girlfriend.The were teasing here from a week before, but that day the just crossed their line. The bumped up in front of her 3 ,4 times, still she ignored. And finally they try to stop here and used rash language like “which air you are in girl” etc. She was full of fear that day.She aint replyed those basterd…s any thing. Day after the incident i went to the place where me and my girl friend used to roam. Those basterds also had a P.G. around my Girl friends P.G. , i asked here where they lived, i ponted at those bastereds. She said lets go from here.Mean while I called my friend ,so that together me and my friend cud talk to those bastereds. By the time my friend reached, those bastereds were behind me. One of those said why were u pin ponting towards us. I said wat, my G.F. was showing me ur faces. i was asking which one. Damend they were not shameful of there act. They wanted fight. Meanwhile my G.F. was awful, she was fearful. And said to those bastereds that she is comited. The scene goes on. Me and my friend solved the issue that day. But those bastereds were not seem to be over. And yesterday the strike again. Me and my girlfriend was on that place. I was there to leave her for the P.G.. We were having a normal talk. One of the bastereds from his P.G. shouted “dont stand here”. i said “what happend bro”. bastered replied “shall i come near you, to tell you not to stand here” . i said ” yes why not”. My girl friend was awful, and fearful again. She said leave, kasam and all. I said okay.

Now, i want to ask what to do. I cant go to poloice, neither does she. where to complaint against these bastereds tell me..

Dated 18 april 2011

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demonstration, The Movement, Verbal

Lou LaRoche’s Story: GOOGLE IT, DICKWAD!

Took my son out to the park and to visit with a friend this morning. It’s hot, so I’m wearing a vest and some baggy trousers. On the way home, a driver at the motorway junction beeped, whistled and made a kiss-face at me as I passed him.

Already pissed off (my son had been misbehaving) I stopped walking, turned to look at the “man” and shouted, “Hollaback, asshole!” then continued on my way home – feeling much better.

Only wish I’d told him to google it, too.

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Verbal

ella’s story: slaptick comedy or street harassment?

I’m au pairing in Nantes this year, a city full of bicycles. Riding from work tonight, I just tackled the one hill on the way home and was stoked that I’m getting better at it when two scooter twats start catcalling and riding around me. Instantly too nervous to even try to decipher insults in a language I’m struggling with at the best of times, let alone when my mind is racing with the implications of where this could lead and calculating just what my odds would be… I felt threatened til one of them kicked the other on his scooter and the other fell, stopping them both to collect a piece of scooter and fight between themselves.

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Verbal

Anon’s story: Body shaming doesn’t make anyone feel better

I’m not sure if this really counts as harassment, but it was something that really bothered me as a child. When I was younger, whenever I went out shopping with my mom she would point at other women, nudge me, and say “Am I as fat as that lady?”. My mom had some body issues so she would pick out middle-aged overweight women (or sometimes just slightly chubby ladies), and I’d always be put in the awkward position of having say, “No mom, you’re not as fat as her” or something similar. This was particularly painful because she almost always said it loud enough for the women to hear (maybe on purpose), and when I’d tell her she was being too loud and it was rude, she’d only speak louder and exclaim, “Don’t be ridiculous! She can’t hear me.”

This was harmful behaviour because not only did it do nothing to help my mom’s body issues, but it also taught me as young kid that your worth is determined by your weight (luckily I got over that). It also told the women she picked on that they couldn’t go outside without being judged by their appearance and put into competition with other women on the street… even when they were just trying to shop and minding their own business.

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The Movement, Verbal

Elizabeth’s story from Toronto: A daydreamed hollaback

I was walking to catch a bus in Toronto when a man pulled up beside me in a convertible and said:
“hey, baby, do you like things that go fast?” he then revved his engine.
I flipped him the bird. He had friends in the car and they all said “boooo” and drove away (fast.)

So that’s what I actually did in that situation, but here’s how I WISH I had responded to the question “hey, baby, do you like things that go fast”:

“Sir, I don’t think you comprehend exactly how much you have failed at attempting to use what we refer to as the ‘innuendo’. You have asked me if I like things that go fast and then revved the engine of your car, suggesting that you not only care little for the environment, but also that your car does, in fact, go fast. The issue is that you are not only insinuating that I should appreaciate your car, but also you, the instigator of this poorly executed, yet entirely offensive act of sexual harassment. The problem with your innuendo is that you, as I mentioned, are using your car as a metaphor for yourself. This means that by implying that your car goes fast, you are also stating that you “go fast.” Thus, in asking if I like things that “go fast” you are asking me if I enjoy men who “go fast” in a sexual sense, meaning that they orgasm quickly. So, to answer your question honestly, do I like men that “go fast?” No, I don’t. In fact, I feel like most people prefer sex to last over long periods of time. Hardly anybody wants it to be over quickly. You and your car are both equally disappointing. Go fuck yourself.”

I didn’t get to give the above speech, and that made me sad. The moral, my friends, is that things that go fast lead to disappointment.

I feel better getting to write that here. Thanks!

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demonstration, Verbal

Sarah’s story from Mississippi: Lonely party in creeps’ loney pants

Bad: driving out of the Barnes Crossing parking lot, I stopped at the intersection next to one of those lifted trucks with ridiculous shocks. Two young-ish guys were in the cab, & just as I was making my turn, the driver yelled, “There’s gonna be a party in my pants tonight, & you’re invited!” I know, I know, creative come-on, huh???

Worse: my BF was with me, & demanded I pull back around & chase them. I did not, partly because I felt embarrassed enough & just wanted to get away from the scene of the crime, but mostly because I didn’t wanna have to bail him out for assault (I don’t have the $!!!).

Worst: my DAUGHTERS were in the van with us. I now get to try to explain to them everything that was wrong with that whole exchange. F***ing fantastic!

one comment 
Stalking, Verbal

M’s Story from Connecticut: Harassment ruins a good day

Hi. I am a pre-op transsexual woman, and I have lived in West Hartford for over 11.5 years. I have been ‘out’ since May of 2006, and have worn women’s clothing 100% of the time since then. My life has been about transition since coming out.

Some people read me as ‘guy wearing women’s clothing,’ and other people read me as ‘woman,’ or ‘girl,’ it is hard to tell.

I am writing because I read about this website in Marie Claire earlier this afternoon, and was catcalled at about 2:10 pm today not very far from where I live. The people who catcalled me were roofers working on someone’s house. I was walking down the street, which I do quite often, and I was starting to feel good on my walk. I had just passed a woman who was on a bicycle and she smiled and said hello to me. I started to feel better and was going over my thoughts in my head when I looked across the street to my right, and there was a man staring at me. I quickly looked away, but not before they had seen me and I heard a loud yell from one of the roofers on the roof, responding to me. I tried to get a gauge of the situation but I could not, there were three or four of them and I wanted to look away and get out of there. I felt lower energy after they catcalled me and had a frown on my face. Before they did that I was smiling and I felt good about myself. West Hartford is a very negative energy place, and there are lots of these types of people around here. I usually avoid them, but I cannot always.

I had an experience a week ago Friday, as well.

I was coming out of the salon, where I had just gotten my haircut, and I had had a very good appointment. I walked about 30 feet down the street and I heard someone from the corner of my awareness say ‘Hi Sweetheart.’ I knew immediately that it was a deadbeat in a truck, and so I didn’t look. He then moved his truck closer and I heard him say ‘Hi Sweetie.’ I looked, and he had his window rolled down and had slowed down to do this to me, and I gave him the finger. He seemed to feel some sense of fulfillment, then he went on his way.

I have been catcalled by young girls on that street, as well.

I have also had a young girl take my photo, as well.

I have had truckers honk their horns, a man shout from his pickup truck in a busy Blue Back Square, men who were working for the town whistle at me across the street, a man catching my attention to blow kisses at me from his pickup truck, and I have had a man stalking me in his van in Avon, CT.

These experiences leave me feeling unsafe, uncomfortable, nervous, frightened and scared, and I often will have difficulty sleeping at night after an experience like these, depending on the severity and the situation.

I rarely seek help with these experiences, although I do talk in therapy, and often will talk with friends about it.

I feel as though I cannot control what these people do, so I try to ignore it.

Today I wondered if those men who had catcalled felt better after doing it, or worse. I know that I would feel terrible if I did to someone what they did to me. I know that I felt slightly less after they did that to me than I did a split second before they did, so it confuses me as to why these men do this.

I can only hope that men like this will become obsolete over time, and have to either change their ways or be outcast themselves.

I would like to see catcalling, bullying, ridiculing or otherwise verbally harassing someone = mandatory 2 years in jail.

Thank you for the ability to write this information.

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Verbal

Karen’s Story from California: To the men shouting: you’re only embarassing yourselves

A white car stopped to let me cross the street at El Cerrito Plaza. Suddenly, I start to hear strange noises that sounded like animals. The animals were the two men in that white car who screamed aloud so that anybody in the street could notice I was the “cause” of all that noise (at least that’s how I felt). Then they said something about my ass.
I’m not American, English is not my mother tongue and I felt so desperate that I couldn’t find the words to respond to that assault. I just crossed the street as if nothing happened, as if no stupid animal full of testosterone was in that car.

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Verbal

Emily’s Story: An awesome mom raises an awesome daughter

I’m really only sharing this story for two reasons:

1. I said nothing at the time and venting about it here with be something of a catharsis.

2. My mom is an old-school feminist. For context, she joined the boy’s track team back in the day–despite hearty protests by parents and staff–in order to force the school system to instate female sports teams. In other words, my mom is awesome and I want to express why.

My home town is a pretty nice area, but it’s also the hub of a lot of tourist activity. My basic rule is to avoid downtown at all costs because while the locals are typically upstanding folk, the tourists we attract are usually… well…

My mom and I stopped off at a gas station the other day on our way to go shopping and when we were returning to our car we saw that a van of at least four guys had parked beside us.

I’ve had so many experiences with cat-callers that I was filled with dread at the very idea of walking by. The driver even had his door opened, blocking my way to the passenger door. “Oh great,” I thought. “Here we go.”

But before I even got close, he pulled his door closed and for a brief moment hope filled me. Perhaps this was not going to be yet another story I’d share with my friends to the tune of “Why in God’s name do men behave like–”

“HEY BABY! WHOOO!”

Or not.

And it was not simply one of them, but all of them howling and shouting and trying to get my attention.

I ignored them, got in the car, and pulled the door shut.

But my Mom? She didn’t say anything. She never has to. She simply gave them one look–a look capable of melting steel–and IMMEDIATELY the abuse stopped. The driver even began to wave his hands in a way that highly resembled someone pleading to not be shot.

This is not the first time my mom has put an end to abuse without saying a single word. She is only 5’2 and 100lbs, but if you holla at her daughter, she will rock you with just one look.

one comment 
demonstration, Verbal

Brigidann’s story from Chicago: It’s not my job to smile for you

Walking, not having a good day, have my headphones in.

Some old guy loudly says hi, I mumble hi back and keep walking, he keeps shouting at me long after I have passed by.

I just ignored him so didn’t really hear what he was saying, but he was clearly pissed off that I didn’t stop to talk with him.

Guess what, folks? Sometimes people have bad days and are not going to be all smiles, and WOMEN ARE PEOPLE, TOO.

Some random stranger angrily shouting that I should smile more and pretty ladies should be friendlier isn’t going to make my bad day any better.

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