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Whenever I go somewhere alone, someone verbally harasses me. They say disgusting things, they honk, they try to start conversation, ask for my number. I am always afraid when I am alone, and I can even tell when someone is contemplating approaching me. I glare or pretend I’m on my phone.
My first two years of college I went to an all-women’s liberal arts school in the midwest. Boys loved to drive down the main road that goes right through the middle of campus. There’s a lot of catcalling involved, they revved their trucks up a bunch. Even today I catch myself flipping off anyone who honks at me out of habit.
My best friend and I were walking down the street to get McDonald’s around nine or ten at night. A car full of boys spotted us on the sidewalk, yelled from their windows and sped off only to turn around again on the next street. They passed us again and said “show us some skin!” and again “take it off!” By this point they had a megaphone from some high school that wasn’t Nevada’s. The fourth time, they threw change at us and sped off for the final time. Yes, change. Nickels, pennies, dimes. The rest of our trip consisted of rage and a faster pace.
We were Cottey girls, very confident and proud to be women. There was nothing we could’ve done in that situation, the only escape were unlighted back streets. I felt vulnerable, unsafe and pissed off there was nothing I could do about it, except tell my story. But believe me, if i had ANYTHING to throw at them I’d have scared the bastards past Kansas City.
Nevada isn’t full of jerks, just like all guys aren’t jerks. Being an asshole has nothing to to with gender, just your sole ability to be an asshole.
I was walking with a local guy friend of mine at night back to the school from town. A police officer stopped us and questioned him. He asked where we had been and where we were going.
“I’m taking her back to the girl’s school..”
The officer looked at me and asked “Willingly?” No sarcasm hinted, no smile. Dead serious.
He said goodnight and drove off. It’s sad the officer assumed he was a bad person because he was alone with a girl at night.
I was crossing the street on my way to Union Square when a man walking beside me asked about the name on my shopping bag. I told him it was a store. He asked what they sold and I responded “clothes.” He then became very angry saying, “Oh, you’re going to give me attitude? You think you’re better than me?” and then proceeded to call me names and threatened to “bash my head in.” He was shouting in a crowded street in broad daylight and all people did was watch. I immediately turned around and began walking the other way. He yelled “I see where you’re going slut!”and continued to follow me. I saw a security guard standing outside of a Bank of America and stood beside him until the man passed me. I was shaking and terrified.
Man on a train approached me when I was sitting reading and repeatedly told me how sexy I was and when I told him I was going to meet my boyfriend he said ‘oh so you’re not going to fuck me in the toilets then’ it was in an empty train carriage at 22:30 at night I was terrified.
I was walking to my bus stop when a man decided to give me the “once over” and made lewd comments about my physical appearance.
I have experienced street harassment. Last year, I walked past an Italian restaurant in Watertown, near Boston, when two men hollered at me from the patio. These men looked about 75 years old, and I was 16 when this happened. They told me, “Hey girl! Come over here!” I know that doesn’t sound like much, but I really felt offended. I hadn’t approached them or talked to them or anything, and yet it seemed that they saw a young woman and thought I must be a good target. I was worried about what they would do. There were no witnesses, so all I could do was run away. Thankfully, I haven’t seen them since. But the memory continues to haunt me.
My best friend and I were staying in Surfer’s Paradise in Feb 2012 and we were walking to our hotel room around 1:30am and this weird guy roughly 35 came up and said he just arrived here and wanted to know the best night club. He constantly tried to get us in his car. Was very scary. Be aware.
I was sweaty and gross walking to my car from the gym when a truck with two men in it drove behind me. One of them whistled. I was already in a bad mood and my blood was pumping from my workout. I turned around and flipped off the truck. This, predictably, elicited a, “Yeah, sure! Right now?” from one of the men. They were on their way to the Home Depot nearby, so I got into my car and followed them. As they were walking in, I rolled down my window and yelled at them, “It is not ok to speak to people like that! It is inappropriate, it is NOT OK!” One apologized, the other said, “Yeah it is.” I drove off.
I was at Walgreens when two men in the aisle made a comment about the size of my “buns” as I walked away. They also called, “Hey sexy,” at me as they saw me drive out of the parking lot. I felt disgusted and completely humiliated.
I was walking on a crowded street in midtown Manhattan when a man blocked my path. He said, “how you doin’, gorgeous?” I responded, “that’s street harassment! You should be ashamed of yourself” and then walked away without giving him a chance to engage further. Hollaback has taught me that I should call street harassment what it is since many people don’t realize that what they are doing is perpetrating violence against women.