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I lived in the NY/NJ area for 7 years – and over that time, I had men expose themselves to me on the subway, call to me on the street and then masturbate, and one time I wasn’t even off of the steps to my building when a guy said “nice tits”. But the worst experience I had was when I was living in Jersey City, NJ and working in Manhattan.
I often took the bus in and out of Port Authority. One night, I was out in NY with friends, and was going home about 11 PM so the terminal was pretty empty and quiet. It was summer, and I was wearing a white sundress that fell just below my knees. As I was standing on the escalator going up to the next floor, I felt my skirt brush my leg. It was odd because the escalator wasn’t crowded, and when I turned to see what caused it, I discovered a man lying on the escalator behind me, peering up my skirt. I immediately started shouting, “Stop it! Get away from me!” and I ran to my bus platform as quickly as possible, because I knew there would be other people waiting there as well. The man followed me. As I neared the platform, I continued shouting, “That man is following me – he just looked up my skirt” By this point I was crying and very upset. The worst part of it, however, was the indifference of the people waiting. Someone actually said, “what do you expect?” and everyone literally avoided me, as if I was crazy.
When I got on the bus, I was sobbing uncontrollably, and no one wanted to sit next to me (which was fine with me). Then one man politely and respectfully asked if he could sit next to me. After he sat down, he apologized for the behavior of everyone else. He asked me if I wanted to talk about it, and I told him what happened. He again apologized for my experience. And then he started asking me random, small talk questions in an effort to divert my attention and make me feel better. He was the only person in a bus load of people that didn’t treat me like a leper. He even offered to walk me to my door, but there was no way I was going to trust him just because he was nice to me. I don’t know if he was trying to take advantage of my being in a vulnerable state, but I like to think that he was just a good guy in a sea of creeps.
My husband and I recently moved into a brand new townhouse. There is still a lot of construction going on in the neighborhood, especially right behind our house. I am in my early 20’s and have been harassed on the street too many times to count. If you are a woman or a part of the LGBTQ community, I am 99% positive that you have been harassed by a construction worker at least once in your life.
One day this summer I went out to get the mail. Since I live in a townhouse my mailbox is not simply at the end of my drive way. While I was walking back from grabbing the mail, a construction worker started to catcall. “Hey! Hey pretty!” I ignored his comments. “Hey! Hey I’m talking to you!” He did not like that I did not give him the time of day. I did not flick him off like I wanted to nor did I even look his way. By the time I reached my garage he was still trying to get my attention. I closed the garage door and stormed into my house. I was pissed! I was pissed that I was harassed at my own home. Home is a place where you are supposed to feel safe and welcomed. Every other time that I have been harassed I have flicked the guy/s off. I believe the reason why I did not respond was because I did not feel safe to do so; the bastard knows where I live.
On another day before the mailbox situation, I was walking back from the grocery store next to the house. This guy driving a construction bobcat pulled up next to me and said “Hey pretty, why don’t you hop on up here and I’ll give you a ride?” I said, “No.” He responded, “Just trying to do something nice for a lady.” He winked at me and kept driving. I was only 20ft away from my front door.
Some drunk guys walked into me (I was stationary, just standing and chatting with friends) and called me a lesbian (as if that’s an insult), and called me a bitch and told me to suck his cock. I, perhaps, reacted strongly and walked after him half a block shouting obscenities at him. He did not expect that reaction and scampered away. I’m not saying that was the safest thing I could have done, but he definitely tried to get away from me.
I was on holiday in NYC for 2 weeks- here are some incidents I dealt with during that time.
-I walked past a guy, and he made that “psssst” sound, three times as I was walking past. I ignored him, naturally, and carried on walking, while grimacing.
-A lot of “HEY!”/”Oh, beautiful”/”mm sexy”/”GOD DAMN” comments in my face or as I was walking past
-“SUP! SUP! SUP! ….SUP! SUP!!!! (all the while, I’m ignoring these guys but have noticed them all staring at me and smirking)… “ARE YOU A SUICIDE GIRL? THINK I’VE SEEN YOU IN MAGAZINES. HEY! OI!” – I ignored them the whole time, and they carried on
-Someone made some noise at me on 2nd ave (I don’t remember what exactly, but it was insulting that’s for sure), so I turned round and noticed him laughing, and shook my head and said “that’s really f***ing rude.” – he looked taken aback that I’d replied
-I was on my way home from a show in Brooklyn at about midnight, and two guys were following me down the platform (there was no-one else down there) and were whistling and smirking at me the whole time- that made me feel SO safe… really. I could feel myself panicking but couldn’t do anything until my train came- luckily they didn’t get on
-We were coming through Times Square one night on the way home, and were stopped by a group of guys. To cut a long story short, they were quite intimidating- they asked a lot of questions and basically kept asking if we wanted to ‘hook up’ and have them show us NYC. I replied that I know my way around and that I don’t think my boyfriend would like that. This guy was pretty persistent and didn’t really seem to care… oh and the whole time (about 5/10 minutes, even when he was talking) he was staring directly at my chest. I hate how these guys stand around in big groups, especially on 42nd street, seemingly targeting young females/female tourists and attempting to pick them up. It doesn’t work with me, but I’m sure it works on some girls who are perhaps younger, more naive and vulnerable than myself. You know this group of guys wouldn’t have even looked twice at me if I had been with a guy (whether that’s my boyfriend or a male friend), but as it was two females on their own, they thought they had a shot.
-I think the worst was when we were waiting to cross the street (also near 42nd, duh), and a guy in his van pulled across in front of us, in moving traffic, stopped the van, opened the window and gestured at me to get in. He did it a couple of times, and I was not in the mood, so I gave him the middle finger and shook my head in a pitiful kind of way. He then gestured at me to get in again, then drove off. All the while holding up traffic. We got to the next block and waited to cross again… he was back. He’d driven round the block in about 20 seconds to give me more shit.. this time he actually leaned out of the window (again, stopping moving traffic) and said something while grinning at me, so I just waved him on (the whole time there was a load of people standing with me and on the other side, just watching me and him) and told him “I AM NOT INTERESTED, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE, JUST GO” (being in a crowd of people, I still felt so threatened, not to mention embarrassed that he was singling me out, out of everyone there). Finally he drove off. So that was that… then to make matters 10x worse, two guys crossed from the other side and came towards us. One said to me “he just stopped traffic for you! He wanted to talk to you!” and I said “yeah well i’m not interested, it’s pathetic. I don’t want to talk to people like that, it’s gross.” He replied “yeah, it’s horrible, what can I say. I’m sorry. It’s New York. You don’t want to talk to guys like that.” This whole time I was looking monumentally fucked off, was being very disinterested in him and wasn’t even making eye contact, clearly wanting to just get on with my day. He then asked where we were going, and then said “how long are you going to be around? Do you want to maybe meet up again with me and my friend here?” (his friend then flashed a creepy smile at my friend and I – SERIOUSLY?! I couldn’t believe that in one breath he was seemingly sympathizing with me and the next trying to ‘hook up’ with us, despite seeing how upset I was.
Back in the UK- the other day, my best friend and I were walking around her town, and were walking past a man – he says to us “alright girls?” to which my friend replied “hello” and he then said “fancy a shag?” – why? why is this necessary? It’s degrading, disgusting and sad.
– Yesterday I was walking along a main road and a builder’s van passed me, unfortunately with the windows open, so I had to hear that “OW OW OWWWWWW” woofing type noise the ‘men’ inside felt the need to scream out at me as I walked past.
I am surprised that there isn’t any Hollaback in my city.
Multiple times I have come across men being disgusting either to me or to another woman and I always say something.
This particular incident was when I was leaving work, when we leave we leave through a back alley, across the alley is the back door to a nightclub. Attractive women are often escorted through this door by promoters, and also the staff goes in and out from this door. Being a nightclub the employed women of the club dress provocatively.
One of my dishwashers and a cook came out from my job and the dishwasher proceeded to start whistling and barking as one lone woman made her way past him to the club’s door.
And then looked at me and the scowl I had on my face he asked me what is wrong.
I told him calmly that it was inappropriate and disgusting to do that to a woman.
He told me I was jealous. (Which is the most infuriating thing ever to hear a man say when you defend another woman, because I feel some women believe this)
I asked him if he was a dog, if she was a dog. He said no. Then I asked Did she looked like she enjoyed it. He said she didn’t have to he knew she did.
At this point the cook tried to tell me that is just how he is and to let it go.
I went off. And this is about what I said:
“In no way shape or form is acting like a complete asshole something you should let go and not reprimand. Would you let it go if that was your mother, sister or daughter? It is disgusting, and telling him to cut that shit out is not me being jealous, it is me knowing what it is like to walk alone and have men follow you, call at you and try to touch you. She looked scared, and he looked like a damn sexual predator. Cut that shit out, if not cute, it isn’t getting you laid and I won’t stand for it while I work here.”
Since then he has only barked at a hostess not knowing I was there, and as soon as he noticed me he hid in the dish pit.
I am now a fem at work and wouldn’t have it any other way.
On the way home from walking to a Now Care clinic with my infant son who was sick, a couple of guys drove past honking their horn and shouting at me. I couldn’t hear exactly what they were saying, but I did catch “MILF”. No one else was out on the sidewalks on either side if the road so it was obviously they were calling to me. But before I could realize which car it was, they were too far gone for me to shout anything back.
I have a baby boy. I’m scared he’ll grow into that.
I was walking down the street when a car drove by with two men in it who thought it necessary to scream at us. They didn’t scream anything in particular, just trying to make noise to startle us or something? Regardless of their intentions, my gut reaction was to loudly screech back at them.
Even though it wasn’t the worst harassment I’ve endured from men on the street, it felt good to shout back at men who felt the need to assert their “dominance” or whatever through street harassment.
I was standing outside a restaurant with my family waiting for our car to be brought around by the valet. I’m 17 years old and was with my older brother, mom and dad. I had worn a brand new mini skirt and long sleeve t shirt to dinner and was so pleased with my outfit! A middle aged man walked by and leered “I love your outfit”. I was so disgusted and felt humiliated and helpless in front of my family. I told him to fuck off after he’d passed but wish I had done something bolder.
First incident, I was walking down the street. It was night time and just got out of school. I was wearing formal attire. Slacks and blouse. Nothing provocative when suddenly someone was saying “Miss, hi, i love you” I looked and saw a truck driving just a little behind me. I paced myself as they follow. “Miss, you’re so beautiful, I love you” that to me was scary. Then My boyfriend was just around the corner. He almost ran to the vehicle when he found out.
Myself and a female friend were walking home after playing basketball on a summer afternoon a couple years ago. We live in a “nice” town, that has very low crime rates, so we were shocked when this incident occurred.
Walking past the local high school, a truck drove by us, and a man shouted something at us as he went by. It didn’t really register because we couldn’t distinguish words, and the sidewalk was set back quite a ways from the street. We shrugged and continued on our way. 2 blocks later, we were standing on a street corner, waiting to cross a busy street. This same truck pulled up next to us, and the man proceeded to harass us. At first, I couldn’t hear him very well, and because I was naive, I actually thought he might be asking for directions. But I quickly realized that this was not his intent.
My friend and I were each carrying a basketball, and these were old, and just so happened to be black. The man started out asking, “Do you know how to handle those balls?” I was 14 at the time, and somewhat sheltered, so it took me a moment to realize what the asshole was implying. He kept going on and on, “Hey, can you show me how to handle those big black balls?” He continued on like this for about a minute.
He was smirking and laughing at us the whole time, as my friend and I cringed in shame. I wanted to flip him off so badly, but all I ended up doing was giving him a “talk to the hand”gesture.
The light finally changed, and my friend and I were eager to get away, so we raced out into the crosswalk. The asshole was turning left, and instead of waiting for us to cross the street, as the law requires, he chose to almost run us over while he leered at us one last time.
I was so angry, and still am, that this happened, and that we had no comeback or retaliation.