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Since I moved to New York City from the Midwest four months ago, I’ve been harassed almost every day. I always just try to ignore it. Tonight, I was walking down Seventh Avenue to meet my parents and boyfriend for dinner, when an older guy yelled, “Hey gorgeous, anyone ever tell you you’re beautiful?” As usual, I ignored him and kept walking, but the guy kept following me, yelling out, “Hey beautiful, c’mere,” and the usual stuff like that. I started to get a little scared; the route I’d planned would take me down a quiet street, away from bystanders and lights, and he was still following me closely.
I stopped to wait to cross the street, and the guy stopped with me, still catcalling. Without planning to, I looked the guy straight in the eye, glared, held up my hand, and said, “Dude. Not cool. Go somewhere else.” He looked startled, and I said something like, “You shouldn’t bother people like that. Go away and leave me alone.” I made a shooing gesture–and he left! He turned right around and crossed the street, away from me. I couldn’t believe that it had worked–or that I’d stood up for myself like that!
Thanks for letting me share my story, and for helping me find the confidence to Hollaback. Maybe that guy will think twice before he harasses someone else.
Submitted by Hannah
“Hello.. beautiful, gorgeous..” This guy tried to bother me & my friend and a young woman 15 ft. behind us. I turned around, “Smile!” He said if we waited he’ll take off his shirt.
I have lived in NYC my whole life and as a girl have had to deal with this harassment for years. I always tried every solution to deal with this from yelling back to ignoring. I wanted to share one solution I started a few years ago and have been telling everyone. If you are harassed by a man in a van or car with a company name on it write down the license plate and call the company. Do the same thing with anyone in work clothes with the name of the company. I have spoken to supervisors who are very angry and have let men go over this.
I will be submitting photos of the men who are not in company cars/vans and company clothes here. Great idea!
Submitted by Elspeth
Dressed in my finest power suit, I walked along a tree-lined street in cobble hill, the sun was shining and I felt great as I mentally prepared for my interview. As I passed a brownstone where people were unloading party supplies from a Party Rental LTD truck, you know the one with the pink hippo painted on the trucks, one of the delivery men came close to me and whispered in his best husky voice “hey sexy, i would want to get to know you”, I was shocked, for some silly reason I thought no street predator could possibly bother a woman in a power suit… Normally, I would walk away fuming or give the jerk a dirty look, but I was my power suit damn it, so I walked up to this man and asked him his name and why he felt it was acceptable to degrade women. Robert (no last name) covered his work badge, and cowered away yelling out apologies as I threaten to call his company and report him. Funny enough I drew a mob of woman backing me up – the solidarity of women (and hopefully the firing of Robert) left me feeling empowered, but sadly, this is only one jerk that may second guess harassing women.
Submitted by Gina
His cowardice became larger and much more evident when I asked him if he wouldn’t mind if I took a photo.
“Why do you want my photo? Here, take a photo of this,” he slobbered as he held up the porno mag he’d just been reading in the middle of 6th Ave. at 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon.
“Because I like to take photos of all the men who harass me in the streets.”
“YEAH! look for it online!”
I went back to my comfortable office and sat down at my comfortable desk and enjoyed a good laugh as I uploaded his photo. Street harassment enrages me, but this guy was so pathetic I couldn’t help but chuckle.
Submitted by Betty Sue
I was walking home from class (college), down one of the main streets in town, in the middle of the afternoon, minding my own business, zipped and bundled up against the cold. A nasty, middle aged man approaches me, staring. I glare at him, but as he passes he says, “nice tits”. I was so furious! I have been commented on before, catcalls etc., and always just tried to ignore it and not give it any attention, and felt so angry and humiliated afterward, but this was just too much that day and I finally turned after him and said, “fuck you, asshole!”. It did feel a bit better to say something than to remain passive as I have before, but I hate that I still felt so helpless and humiliated and embarrassed when he was the one who should feel embarrassed not me! Next time I hope I can muster the courage to yell at the next douchebag who says something to me, and louder, and label to him and anyone who might be around, what the hell he thinks he has the right to say to me as the nasty, pathetic harrassment it is.
Submitted by Livia
I was walking down a country road in rural PA with my mother, who is a disabled woman. As we walked a truck full of young men drove past. They then hit their brakes and reversed towards us. One was in the bed of the truck and another hanging out the door leering at me. They asked me who I was and we kept walking. They drove slowly pacing us for about 2 minutes, then called me a bitch for not answering their catcalls and yelled out “We know where you live!” before spinning tire and speeding off.
The one in the bed of the truck acted like he was going to jump out and come up to us at any minute, and there was no where to go. I don’t know how I would have protected my mother if he had tried anything.
It was so scary because it is a small town, we were walking on the road my mother lives on, and they probably did know where we lived!
Submitted by Sabrina
I was walking home from [law] school last night around 10:20 p.m. My walk is only about 15 minutes, from Tribeca to the Financial District, and I normally walk very rapidly.
I’m always aware of my surroundings, especially at night, and am careful to remain in well-lit areas where other people are as well. As I was walking down Broadway, I noticed 2 boys in front of me. One was on a razr-type scooter, the other one (orange polo) was just walking.
Eventually I passed them, and as I did, the one of the scooter, who had been going around in a circle said, “Hey gorgeous.” I ignored him and walked faster. After about 30 seconds I could hear both of them behind me, and they were beginning to keep pace with me. They followed me all the way down Broadway, to Fulton Street. Along the way, they were muttering things to each other like “Yeah, she does have a nice ass though.” I probably behaved pretty stupidly, but I thought because there were people all around me, that these guys would give up and leave eventually. They seemed younger and weren’t overly intimidating. I pulled my phone out and had 911 ready-dialed in case it escalated too quickly. They continued to follow me down Fulton Street, but eventually the guy on the scooter pulled back. The second guy was still keeping stride, though, and as I neared a cross street, I heard the scooter guy yell, “Now, Man (Max, Mac?)” and the guy in the orange polo said “Now?,” began running past me, and grabbed my ass. He then slowed, stood at the next corner, and watched me pass. I felt so violated and completely degraded. I took a picture of him with my camera phone as I walked by him, because it\’s all I could think to do, but it came out very blurry.
I was out jogging on a Sunday morning around 11:00 AM while visiting my in-laws, who live 2 blocks from Frontier Park in Erie, PA. A tall, brown-fuzzy-haired, fit, attractive college-y looking guy in his early 20′s with wire-frame glasses in red basketball shorts and a grey t-shirt passed me, smiled, and said “hi.” I’m a New Yorker so I don’t usually greet strangers but I figured it was probably common courtesy in Erie, so I said “hello.”
A split second later he came up from behind me, pulled me up against him, and groped my crotch. I elbowed him and he bolted down the street where my in-laws live. My husband and his family drove around the neighborhood searching for hours and never saw him. To my knowledge the cops never caught him either.