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I never had too much of an issue with street harassment on my campus until I lived in one of the dorms along a busier street. As soon as the weather got warm, the harassment started. I would get annoyed and tell my friends about the instances, but then didn’t think too much about exactly how frequently this was happening. After telling a friend about one particular instance, her response was “AGAIN??!” And that’s when I started keeping count.
I was harassed every day that first warm week of spring. And then several random times outside of that, including a guy in a car turning onto my campus who yelled “fa****” at my friend and I just because we were standing and chatting on a street corner.
What’s almost worse than the harassment is the fact that I want to respond (and have studied how and done research projects on street harassment), but I’m always too afraid that the guys will retaliate physically. I end up feeling so frustrated and helpless in the face of this thing I want to help stop.
I was walking alone in broad daylight along a busy street in downtown Ottawa.
“If you help me out I’ll give you free movie passes for a year.” A man appeared out of nowhere at my side with these words. I tensed up and started walking faster.
“What are you, a nervous twit?” he said.
“If you’re going to talk to me like that, I’m not going to help you,” I replied with more rationality than was necessary. I picked up my pace.
“Look at you, you nervous twit! I’m going to get my girlfriend to bang your head in!” He was walking with me now, two meters to my side.
I was horrified and veered away from him. Other pedestrians were in sight now, so he started to turn down a corner. I flipped him off as I continued walking away from him.
“You’re fucking ugly!” he yelled. I held my gesture in place for him and the oncoming pedestrians to see as I walked, and as he retreated from our incident back into the rest of the world.
I was walking home from work at around 5:45pm today. It was a beautiful day. I was on a normally busy public street near George Washington University. However, at that particular moment, there was a brief lull in foot traffic.
A teenager, no older than 13 or 14, was walking towards me. Three other teenagers were behind him. I really didn’t look twice at them.
As I pass by the first teenager who was walking by himself, he slaps my butt. Honestly, it took me a few seconds to register what had happened. I walked a few more steps and suddenly it registered. Apparently, the other three boys were with him and were laughing.
I whipped around and said, “What the fuck?” As they walked away laughing, I continued to get more incensed and said “Really, you can’t treat women like that!” They continued laughing—one of them made a point of pretty much laughing in my face— and told me to “shake that ass.”
I immediately started shaking and crying. I’ve been lucky in my life to not experience much street harassment. This was the first time someone ever felt entitled to touch my body in a public place. And I felt powerless. Since it never happened to me before–someone reaching out and grabbing me–I had no idea what to do. There were no cops around to tell. No one really saw. The kids were laughing in my face.
It’s been two and a half hours. I can still feel the echo of his hand slapping me.
Shoutout to the disgusting, spineless, flea infested neanderthal that yelled ”nice tits” at me/my coworker on June 2nd at 1:45 pm in Lakeland Ridge in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
I was babysitting a 1.5 year old and walking down the street with her in my arms when a group of boys (no older than 16) walked past. “Miss, I like your shoes.” I replied “thank you” (not seeing any malice when being complimented on my excellent taste in footwear.) As soon as he passed by (like the little cowardly thing he was), he snickered “…and your fat ass.”
I was upset because there was nothing I could do because I wasn’t about to hollaback with someone else’s child in my arms and possibly putting her in danger, so I took a deep breath and continued to walk in the opposite direction.
I remember his face and his description (sky blue headphones and all!). I work in the area, and he no doubt goes to the school right by the site of the harassment, as it happened around the time the school lets out. I will be letting the school know about my experience (along with coward’s description) so that they might educate a younger generation that street harassment is unacceptable and illegal.
I’m sure this isn’t the last I’ve seen of him if he indeed attends that school or lives in this neighborhood, and hopefully I won’t have a baby in my arms so that I might give him a nice jumbo size portion of hollaback.
“Don’t talk to me like that. It’s harassment. It’s illegal.”
Maybe next time I’ll have a photo so I can show you what a coward looks like! Stay strong! You’re not alone.
A group of men were on the stoop, drinking and hanging out. I walked past them around 9 PM at night (after dark) after parking my car nearby.
Several men started hooting and making kissing noises. I kept my eyes forward and ignored them. Then one man started following me saying, “Can I talk to you” and “Just give me a minute baby.” I hoped he would stop following me at the end of the block, but he didn’t.
I turned the corner and continued to walk towards my apartment, feeling increasingly scared. The man followed close behind me for two blocks saying things until he finally gave up and went back to his friends.
I thought I was going to be raped.
I was walking to the subway 2 blocks from my house when a car pulled up and started driving slowly beside me. The window was rolled down and the man driving the car yelled out, “Hey sexy.” I ignored him and kept walking. He continued to drive alongside me, then he yelled “Want me to lick your pussy?” I was so shocked, I yelled out “No, gross!” He shouted out “Slut!” and sped off. I was left confused, scared and angry.
Last Sunday I was walking with my boyfriend and his sister to get dinner. We were chatting, so it took a few minutes for me to bother listening to the three drunk guys following close behind us. It wasn’t until I overheard, “She must have a wide set pussy,” “That one’s pussy must be tight,” and “That one could be a girl?” that I realized they were talking about us.
All at once I had an overwhelming sense of shock, rage, disgust, mortification (and some more disgust) that stunned me. They were loud and aggressive, so it was obvious they were looking for attention (or a fight). My logic side knew that talking back (in any manner) would most likely escalate the situation and expose us all to more childish slander. My primitive-rage side just wanted blood and justice…I mean, this was RIGHT after the Santa Barbara killings, so I was a little extra raw.
When they fell behind a little, my friend turned to scope out the situation (glare) and told me they were skinny little twerps. I held up my pinky and said “with skinny little pricks,” to which she replied “not enough for our wide vaginas” and we burst out laughing. Finally, they backed off.
Male passenger in a moving vehicle yelled derogatory names for a homosexual at me.
I pass by this pub every day, and it doesn’t matter what I wear, but this guy keeps calling me baby. I purposely try to avoid this area, but it is unfair that I have to change my habits while he can’t change his behavior. I know I’m not alone in this, but I am tired of hearing old disgusting dudes call out “alright baby,” as if they own me. I literally have to walk places with my boyfriend or my parents in order to feel safe. That isn’t fair to me or to anyone.