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The following is typical of my daily commute. I travel by metro and foot between Petworth and Takoma.
I’m footsteps away from work and passing the bus stop at the intersection of Carroll and Laurel. As I walk by I notice a man sitting on the bench and wearing sunglasses is making all kinds of hissing and sucking noises, but don’t realize it’s directed at me until he says “mad fine” as I pass by. Normally I’d ignore him or even smile, wanting to avoid any possibly dangerous conflict with a stranger, but today it caught me off guard.
I’m hunched over carrying a heavy backpack, wearing a dirty old hoodie with my hood pulled over my head. The only thing that could have possibly been sexy were my legs, fully covered in denim and visible only from the front when he had already started making a scene.
Baffled, I pull my hood off to reveal my fully shaved head and just shrug at him, thinking, “what are you even talking about?”
The entire time I’m still walking towards work and suddenly I hear him yelling from behind me, “Enjoy being a girl!” He says it as if it were a command.
I go into work and open shop, but it ate at me all day. It’s sad that a passing rude remark can send me spiraling into an anxiety attack, but it just got to me and I guess that’s the point. I was relieved it didn’t escalate further: I waited and watched him board the bus, having become suddenly neurotic he would follow me into work.I was distracted for the rest of the day, regardless, thinking of his words over and over.
“Enjoy being a girl!” ?
It could mean so many things. I think to him it simply meant “You deserve this”.
It was 2am Friday night in Arcata Plaza. We were standing outside Don’s Donuts & my friend Z was talking as this guy walks passed her & says “damn you’re beautiful” while he stares at her butt. I noticed him ’cause of the drool dropping from his mouth. I said “what the fuck? This guy is staring at you like he’s going to devour you”. He went on some rant about me hating on my friend. I told him he was objectifying her. So he gets in a car & drives up to us & calls me (& my friends) dogs.
Walking up the 16th Street mall with my colleague, around ten in the morning, a group of three young men, probably early twenties, yelled “nice pussy” as we passed.
I was safely in my home feeling a bit hungry and decided to order takeout. I order takeout from my new favorite place and the guys there are usually friendly and take my order and chat for a bit. I was waiting for my order and it was taking a little longer than usual when a random number came across my phone screen. Apparently the driver got lost and wanted to ask someone for directions. I gave him the directions trying to be as polite as possible even though I was a bit irritated. As I finished giving the directions, the man thanked me and then proceeded on saying how “I sounded super sexy and young” like I was a phone sex operator! It appalled me and horrified me and the only thing I could do is hang up the phone and cry. I texted my best friend how I was feeling and she was understanding since the other day a man yelled at her to suck her cock. This makes me feel afraid to order food since these men have all of my personal and sensitive information. I do not need to feel scared or violated just to order food. It isn’t fair to me or the girls around me! Men everywhere need to realize that these unwanted advances are NOT CUTE and are not flirting; it is plain and simple street harassment. And this needs to be stopped!
I was walking home with my sister from school about six months ago with headphones in when my sister tapped my arm and told me to look at something to my side. I hadn’t heard because of the music in my ears, but at the bus stop was two guys and a girl.One of the guys was literally screaming at us telling us that we were ‘bitches’ ‘sluts’ and ‘pricks’.
I turned up my music and walked away. The girl just looked at us with a smirk on her face and the other guy did as well. Literally three minutes later, a car drove past with a girl leaving a leavers jacket (so she must have been a year 12) who yelled ‘sluts!’. Her mother was driving the car. The reason why my sister and I were abused was due to the school we attend, which is a rival to theirs. It is a private school, so we were wearing stockings, a blouse, a grey pinafore dress to our knees, a tie and a blazer.
I wish I had said something, especially so that I could have been a better example to my sister. We were 13 and 14 at the time.
You ask where. It’s happened to me in different cities and states meaning it’s global. I’m now 65 so this doesn’t happen anymore. But I remember cringing walking by guys at construction sites and putting up with the remarks. I remember a work place near my bus stop where the guys would come out and holler at me until I looked at them and then they’d laugh at me and go inside.
I believe they did it to any woman, didn’t matter, just because they could. So to stop it I learned to give them what they wanted and looked at them so it would stop. There was no sexual harassment in those days. But I always felt horrible after realizing now I gave up my power and let them control me.
I’ve been gripped with the “accidental” hand passing over my butt, been grabbed that way leaving a crowded dance floor. And the all time comment that pushes my go nuts button is “smile”.
In those days you sucked it up. Last time a man said that to me all the years of anger came pouring out. WTF for, why do you want me to smile, explain yourself, go and ask that man over there to smile…I’ll watch. He couldn’t getaway fast enough. I hope I stopped him from doing that but alas my daughter now gets the same crap. Anyway, felt good after that!
Two guys with a balcony and a megaphone host “17th and Pearl Live” in which they street harass anyone who walks by.
I live nearby and hear everything they say, including calling girls “sluts” and “whores” and telling pairs of men “hey you two guys should fuck”
Some of the people in my office have the job of calling people that they have worked with and seeing if they are using the programs that were recommended to them. Usually, these calls are pretty straightforward and include a brief questionnaire. What I have noticed is that the guy who sits in the cubicle next to me, whenever he is talking to a girl, and they say they have been following through with the programs, he responds with “good girl”. I cringe every time I hear it. It makes me feel as if he is talking to his children or his pets, and not human beings who are doing their best to be better versions of themselves. I woke up this morning thinking it was time I approached him about it. I couldn’t sit in silence any more. So when he walked in this morning,I told him that we needed to talk about something that made me uncomfortable. I explained the situation (shaking the whole time because I am horrible at confrontation), and he apologized. He said he didn’t realize that he was saying “good girl”. He said if he ever said it again, I need to stop him because he knows it isn’t right. He said he appreciated that I brought it up, and that if his children knew what he was saying, they would probably be upset too.
I couldn’t have asked for a better response. He understood where I was coming from and felt ashamed for how he had acted. I know that I am not the best at confronting street harassment, I usually just ignore it and walk away… but I like to think that if we stop people from using the same terminology in the work place, maybe it will have some sort of ripple effect when we walk out on the streets. In the very least, I can feel a little more comfortable in my cubicle.
This happened in Crewe, UK. I was just walking down the street in the evening, approaching a junction near Tesco (car park side) when some guy in a black pickup drove past and put his window down to shout at me with a big grin on his face. I couldn’t make out what it was and it might’ve been in a foreign language. I think there was another guy in the passenger seat. The guy who shouted at me was sallow-skinned and wearing a black and grey hoodie and had a beige peaked cap on back-to-front.
Every day I would take the subway to work, get off at 68 Street Hunter College, then walk a couple blocks to my work place. I was 20 at the time, wearing professional work clothes. On a good day, I would only be stared at. However, most days, a man somewhere, whether on the train, walking down the street, or leaving the subway, would make some kind of comment, noise, or gesture toward me. I learned which streets to avoid due to experiences with men yelling at me or inappropriate staring.
A particularly unsettling occurrence happened on the subway train on my way to work one morning last summer. I was standing on the crowded train, attempting to lean against the side of the train, as it made a sharp turn and I lost my balance. I stumbled a little and regained my balance quickly. I was fine and didn’t need any help, but unfortunately a man decided this was the opportunity to move in and force me into conversation. The train had cleared out after the first few stops, so I sat down in the seat closest to the door, keeping my eyes to the floor. A man with his bike, probably 15 or so years older than me, was holding onto the pole directly in front of me and wouldn’t stop staring at me. I was clearly not interested in talking to anyone, but he asked me if I was okay and needed any help. I told him I was fine, leaving it at that, but he persisted and started talking again. I don’t remember exactly what he was talking about, something to do with his bike, but then he started staring at my legs and telling me how “sexy” and “fine” they were. I didn’t know what to say and felt grossed out, so ended up awkwardly laughing and ignoring him, even though he continued to stare at me the entire time I was still on the train. The worst part was that the train was delayed and was taking forever to get to the next stop, where I could escape. After he made the comment about my legs, I ignored him and waited for what seemed like forever, finally getting to my stop and running off the train. I never rode the train without headphones in again, even if I wasn’t listening to music.
Things like this still happen all the time when I go to NYC to visit my sister, yelling, staring, lewd comments, whistling, and other atrocities. It doesn’t matter what area you are in, it happens everywhere. I am fed up with men thinking this kind of behavior is okay. Do they seriously think they are going to attract women in this way? It makes me sick.
Please raise awareness and tell people that this is not okay. My boyfriend wasn’t aware of how bad street harassment is in NYC until I told him the stories of my daily commute. Let people know it is not right and that it makes people feel disgusted, worthless, and unsafe! It is not a compliment if you are yelling at someone on the street.