Athens GA, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia MO, Columbus, Denver, Des Moines, Duke University, NC, Durham & Chapel Hill, East Lansing, Flagstaff, AZ, Houston, Iowa City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Lubbock TX, Manhattan KS, Muncie IN, New Orleans, New York City, Oneonta, Pittsburgh, Plattsburgh, Providence, Richmond VA, San Fernando Valley, San Francisco, Twin Cities, West Georgia (University)
This is quite possibly the most vile thing anyone has ever said to me. It’s not the first time I’ve been the victim of verbal street harassment, and I only wish it will be the last. It was about a week ago, and I stood texting my boyfriend on National Avenue (near One Stop Golf), the same place I’ve waited to meet him from work most weeknights for over 3 months. Before this the same group had done the odd wolf-whistle but that’s it, yeah it’s demeaning and unpleasant but nothing compared to the latest catcall.
Last week as I stood in the usual place, 4 guys (late 20s) cycled past and one of them shouted, “Don’t think you’re going to get any business stood there!” I was completely in shock, I froze and just stood there looking down at my phone in horror. My boyfriend arrived a few minutes later with his friend and they were both really concerned. I’m normally quite quick-witted and things don’t usually shake me this much but I was feeling so awful and sick from the comment I could not even react. It turned out the guys who cycled past actually work with my boyfriend, and I had to beg him not to say anything because I’m certain if they know it bothers me, they’ll get worse. I have even resorted to hiding down the ten-foot until I’ve seen them go by. I’ve never felt so ashamed to be a woman in my life, I kept thinking, “Do I really look like a prostitute?” It took my boyfriend, his parents, his brother and my best friend to convince me that they were just stupid boys saying stupid stuff. I can take a bit of banter but that was too much…
I recently moved to San Francisco for a summer internship. In the 10 days that I’ve been here, I’ve experienced catcalling and other forms of verbal street harassment (from strangers intentionally blocking my way as I’m walking and creepily saying “hello” to making ominously threatening comments about me) on 5 different occasions. That’s every other day. Each time, it triggers memories of my prior experiences with sexual violence and reminds me that I am constantly at risk of experiencing such violence again.
Just today, I began to notice all of the subconscious ways I’ve been responding to this harassment. I look down to avoid all eye contact with passersby (hoping to go unnoticed), remind myself to walk and stand in aggressive ways (in attempts to appear strong), stand near the exit on public transportation (so I can easily escape if I need to) – and that’s just during the day. If the sun has set and I’m alone, I stay in my apartment. Period.
The way that street harassment polices the bodies, actions, and lives of women and many other marginalized populations is unacceptable. I shouldn’t have to feel scared, tense, or anxious about walking out my front door. These are my streets too.
I was walking down St. George’s Rd to ASDA near the train line. A maroon car drove past and the driver pressed his horn, leaned out of the window, and yelled, “Get your tits out sexy.” I was disgusted. I know it’s no excuse but if the guy had been young I’d have brushed it off as someone trying to show off. This guy was middle aged he should have known better than to victimize a teenage girl walking down the street alone.
I was recently sitting and waiting for the bus with no one else near me at midday, although the street was very busy. What appeared to be four young men, maybe late teens early twenties, sporting baseball caps, pulled up by the bus stop in their car and began yelling and laughing at me. I had my headphones in and did not remove them. I gave them a stern look, to show I acknowledged and was rejecting their harassment, then turned to look at my phone again. They continued yelling things at me (and I mean yelling) for a few minutes before finally driving off. I was spared from hearing what they were saying because I turned my music up so that I couldn’t hear it. I’m harassed too often and will avoid hearing the vulgar comments if I can. I wish I’d caught the plate numbers. I had no idea a resource like this for harassment existed, and my city should certainly get involved.
Since January, these two boys from my grade (6th!), who walk home the same route I do, have been making comments about my “fat, juicy ass.” And in April it got even worse. They started having loud conversations about how they were going to rape me or how they were gonna put there “spout up my c**t” I’m no longer the cheerful girl I once was. Thanks to two 12 year old douchebags who love to street harass.
Last night, while I was going back home with my best friend (who’s also a woman), some guy asked us if we’d like to come party with them. My best friend said no, yet they kept on insisting, so I told them simply “no thank you.” Right after I said the guy told me to shut the fuck up, that I was probably some fucking racist, and that I looked ugly. When I asked him what was the point of disrespecting me this way while I did nothing but remain polite he started calling me a slut, a bitch, a whore, a loser etc. And then he started threatening to beat me and spill his glass of beer on me, saying that I deserved to have his glass of beer thrown at my face and that he wanted to spit on me. Luckily my best friend didn’t get scared and managed to calm him down. Now I’m scared to walk out at night alone and get attacked, beaten for no reason.
I was walking at Northgate Mall to meet a friend for lunch. A guy stepped close to me and said, “Hey, be easy!” I stopped him and asked him to repeat himself. He did. I said, “Don’t approach women like that, you don’t know what’s going on in my life, don’t do that”. He apologized and I thanked him.
So I am a 13 year old girl and have had to walk 1.6 miles to my middle school all year. I had people honking at me and shouting out of their cars every day, and it made me feel absolutely disgusting. A little while ago a man on the sidewalk asked me where I lived, and when I ignored him, he tried to grab me. I ran to my house and called the police who, after picking him up, dropped him back off saying he was just drunk and “didn’t cause any actual harm.” However, I am now extremely paranoid and petrified that he knows which house I ran in to.
I was biking to yoga at 5:30 am and was closely trailed for a long block by a male cyclist who was verbally harassing me.
I was 7 months pregnant and jogging to the corner store to get a snack. A man on the street said: “Damn girl, you in shape.”
I ignored him and kept jogging.
“You pregnant?” he asked.
I responded, “Yup!” mainly because I thought that once he realized I was pregnant, he might leave me alone.
“Is this your first baby?” he asked.
I said, “Yup!”
“Want to have another one later?”