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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.
Guy working at a cell phone booth near the mall food court called “hi sweetie” as I passed. I’d never seen his face before. I told him not to call me that and not to give nicknames to strangers because they don’t like that. He didn’t take me seriously, but he got told.
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 along a park path around my neighborhood this afternoon having a conversation with a friend on the phone about birth control and reproductive health.
Two young, professional-looking men on expensive racing bicycles wearing expensive gear slow behind me, listening in. One of them shouts “big black dick!” to me and they rode away, surprising me of their presence, giving me no time to respond. Proof that racist misogyny knows no income bracket.
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.
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!
Two of my roommates and I went to a party in our college town. I saw one of my friends and while trying to talk to her, this guy kept dancing with her and tried to get me to join in. We were in the middle of the dance floor so I casually danced while talking to her. He kept trying to grab my hand and make me dance with him. I kept telling him no and shaking him off me. He told me I was rude and that if I didn’t want to have a good time I could just go somewhere else.
So I started talking to other friends. While hanging around and dancing I noticed that these girls were trying to talk to their friend who was pinned against a wall by this guy. I approached the friends and found that they were trying to leave and the guy wouldn’t let their friend go anywhere with anyone. I approached him and told him that I needed her to come with me. He pushed her aside and got into my face saying that he caught her trying to hook up with his cousin and that she wasn’t going anywhere without him. I grabbed the girls hand and put myself in between them. I told him that she wasn’t going to stay with him nor hang out with anyone else for that matter because she was leaving. He told me that I better keep her out. As he left I ushered her to her own friends.
At this same party while I at attempted to find my own friends, I heard yelling at the staircase. I walk up hoping not to find the same offended. But it was worse. There was a group of guys yelling at this one girl. She was crying and yelling. All sorts of names were being thrown at her. I grabbed her hand, and pulled her towards the door, amazed at what a disaster this party was and all the harassment. She sobbed that he said he had loved her “but he didn’t really mean it,” she cried, clinging to my arm. I was at a lose for words and pushed her towards the door and remember telling them to stop and that we were leaving. I hear my own friends across the house. I turn to see if I can see them, when someone grabs my arm, telling me that this girl was never allowed to come back because SHE created a scene. I turned towards the door. I can’t find this girl I just ushered out. I turn to one of the guys outside asking if he saw a girl. He “informed” me that two of his friends escorted her off the property. Luckily for me they hadn’t made it very far and I found her friends to take her home.
By this point I was over this exasperating party so I get my friends to leave. While we were walking back across town through Main street I notice there surprisingly wasn’t as many people walking about as I expected. Behind us there was a man on his phone. He was around his age and I’m talking to my friends minding my own, but then I hear him say “these asses though, bro. It’s like watching a porno.” I feel my gut drop realizing nobody else is around and this guy has been following us. I turn around.
“Excuse me?! My friends and I are walking home. We just came back from a party we are not dressed up like this for you! Don’t EVER compare anyone to a PORNO. This is my body and it’s not here for your entertainment.” At this point the guy reaches towards me as if to COMFORT ME. I push his hand away from me and tell him “And do NOT try to touch me ever again. Leave us alone” and we turn to go on our way. He stops following us though.
I think it is disgusting how girls who go out are expected to be there to entertain the men. This is not our purpose. We have our own rules to our bodies and we should not be expected to be intimidated and pushed around when we go out.