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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.
I walk my dog everyday and everyday I thank god that my dog is big and scary looking, because if I were alone or he wasn’t 50kg’s I’m sure my stories would be a lot worse.
I was walking my dog down the footpath on a busy main road, I get the usual hooks and woof whistles (I now actively avoid main roads because these make me uncomfortable) when i come to an intersection where i normally have to wait a while to to cross.
A car pulls up to the intersection containing two men, they wind down the drivers side window to look at me, one of the men says “I like your dog” I reply with a quick “thanks…” hoping that they’d pull away as the intersection was clear, the man doesn’t and he continues to say “but i like you more”. I am now too terrified to cross the road, as it would mean passing the car where i could potentially be grabbed and dragged into, two men vs a 45kg girl is a losing battle.
cars were piling up behind they wouldnt drive away.
I stand there and stare at them until they realise im not going to come across the road and they drive off.
I don’t go on main roads anymore, I unfortunately have many more stories of being verbally abused in public streets but this is one of my more recent.
I was on the TARC bus on my way home from class at UofL. A man sat across from me and began to hit on a woman who had been there since before he got on. She eventually got off the bus, and my stop was also coming up. When I got up to leave, the man stood up and came up very close behind me (he was a good foot or so taller than I am) and started breathing down onto the top of my head. When I tried to move away from him, he shouted, “Damn, you’ve got some big-ass legs!” I didn’t turn around because the bus driver hadn’t done anything so far and I doubted I’d be assisted if I tried to defend myself verbally and he retaliated physically. The man turned back to another man who had been sitting behind us and said, “Aren’t they some big-ass legs?” The other man grunted in agreement. The men had gotten on at different stops and hadn’t interacted until this point, so I’d have to say this was my first experience with two men who didn’t know each other working together to harass and humiliate me.
I don’t have a car and it gets too cold for me to ride my bike in the winter in Louisville, so the TARC is often my only option. I wish I could say this type of interaction is rare, but really I get harassed the majority of the time I take the bus. I also get harassed on my bike (most recently by a father taking his kids out of church– charming), so there’s no entirely comfortable way for me to get to school.
I wish I had just one story that I could share, perhaps ten years ago I would have had just one. Now that I am in my 20’s I have hundreds of them. I have had guys call me every name in the book from beautiful to hey your lips would look good on me. I’ve had strangers grope me and demean me in front of on lookers who do nothing. I’ve been at work and had to tolerate comments from contractors all while being told if I say anything it’ll be my job not theirs all while maintaining a professional front. It’s really hard to be professional when a guy whom is 10+ years older than your own father looks you square in the eye and tells you “You look good enough to eat” or “those legs look good now but would look better around me”. My skin crawls and my stomach churns. All I can think to myself is how can men say these things when in all reality they would kill a motherf*ker for saying THE SAME EXACT THING to their Mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, best friends, grandmothers.
P.S the picture I uploaded is my best friend whenever i go out! Every girl needs one!