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I was outisde a starbucks, on the phone with my mother of all people, when a group of 3 men in a car pulled up and said “hey cigarette girl” and when i didn’t respond they persisted with “what, you don’t like blacks?” It was dark outside, i was on my own, and i’m 14. It scared me and ruined my day.
Walking home at around 2 in the afternoon I was verbally attacked for no reason at all by a woman and her young daughters. I was a block away from my house and they started calling me a “raggedy ann bitch” repeatedly and yelling at me to get out. They continued to taunt me but I didn’t react, just continued walking. I crossed the street and apparently crossed into their ‘territory’ or something because there were two more young girls on the corner who stared straight at me and yelled at me for being a “raggedy ann bitch.” I continue walking, getting upset and yelled back to stop at which point the mother yelled at me for talking back and threatened to beat me with a brick that she had picked up. The entire family began to follow me at a distance at this point and I yelled back to leave me alone, fuck off, and stop following me. They continued at which point I tried to call a friend but her phone was dead. When they saw me get out my phone they made comments about what was I doing trying to call someone to get out of their territory etc. Finally I got to my house (in a gated community) and locked the gate behind me. Two of the daughters come up to the gate a minute later and started yelling at me that I was a bitch at which point I yelled back at full force to fuck off. One of the girls then got down and went under the car gate and started following me through the complex! I started walking towards a man in a van inside and waving at him to help me but he ignored me. I had also tried to get the attention of a cyclist earlier who continued on as well. Finally the girl turned around and left and By the time I got to my apartment I was shaking and crying.
I just couldnt believe that they started verbally abusing me like that for no apparent reason, and that it was an entire family of women involved as well! I am so upset and scared to leave my house and run into them again because I don’t know what they will do if they recognize me. I just wish someone who had witnessed this happening to me had stood up for me as well…
I was waiting for the bus to get to work, a man drove up and asked if I was waiting for the bus. I nodded, he than told me to get in his car (no he did not say, “would you like a ride”, he said ” get in my car”). I shook my head for “no”, than he started telling me what he would do to me once I got in his car, it was very vulgar and sexual. I picked up a rock and threw it at his car. It was a small rock and I’m sure it did no damage however I got the reaction I was expecting, he called me a bitch and started to drive away so I threw a soda it his car, it went through the window and soaked him. He drove away. I wouldn’t recommend doing this, it was in the heat if the moment and I was very angry, but to say the least I’ve seen the same guy since and he crosses the street when he sees me.
Well I’ve put ‘verbal’ but this guy was walking towards me with his arms out as if to hug me on a dark station platform late at night with his two friends in tow and I didn’t know if he was going to grab me, lift me up or push me into the tracks! This is in an area where there has recently been very high profile sexual assaults of several women and also the rape of a young girl just down the road. I was tired after a 12 hour shift and as a reflex (why am I even explaining the reasons for my reaction?!) I said “get away from me” as he got so close his face was in mine. At this point he immediately launched into firing insults about every aspect of my physical appearance. It was constant “look at the state of you look at the state of you look at your disgusting face bla bla etc”
I responded by saying I didn’t care and that I am 36 years old where upon he said “you look 46.” I told him very calmly that I didn’t care what I looked like and that I liked to read and learn things and that’s what was important. He shouted in my face “stop talking stop talking” “you’re so ugly you should kill yourself.”
I don’t know why and I regret it a bit but I decided to say “yes yes! Oooh im incredibly ugly yes look at the terrible state of me oh it’s awful isn’t it I’m a disgusting mess etc” then the station staff man who was in the little unit box thing on the platform opened his door, I think he could see I was surrounded by these three men. At this point the guy who tried to hug me said to him “she started on me!”
I said “I was just minding my business!”
My train came and I walked far away in case they were in my carriage but they weren’t even getting in the train and it sailed past all three who looked at me as the train went by.
How unnecessary the whole thing is! I wish I’d said more, of course in retrospect I thought of a million better things to say but my heart was racing and my legs were shaking. I thought he would punch me I really did, he looked so angry.
I wish I’d said something like “one day when you’re about 54 you’ll probably be married and work in IT and gave two children one probably a girl and when this happens to her, when a man walks towards her at night you’ll hope she can stand up for herself and say “out of my way” but you punished me for doing it with the typical lazy reaction of “oh god you’re so ugly!” You’ll live your daughter and want to hurt those people but now, when you could actually make a difference to your culture you choose to be a coward.
I went home and have tried to feel strong but you know what? I’ve been looking in the mirror and thinking “yes, you are ugly!” “Yes, the time you were homeless took its toll and shows in your face” “yes, the death of your father at age 7 probably gave you a permanently sad face and his absence probably also gave you no self esteem” etc etc on and on.
I know this is because I’m programmed. I look the same as I did when I left my friend’s earlier and felt fairly ok about life. Weird thing is, I was not standing there claiming to be a great beauty. His remarks were as if he were refuting done statement if made. I admit it, I feed sadder than I did before it happened. It’s one more nail in a long long coffin of comments and shouting and being grabbed and insulted, often complimented and then insulted when I haven’t wanted to talk. I’m tired. I’m so tired of knowing that I either acquiesce or have my existence and appearance torn apart. It’s so cowardly. Bored of it. Bored and angry and sad and frustrated. I have so many stories from over the years. Always I am verbally ripped to pieces when I answer back. I’m tired that I was forced into a conversation I didn’t want, yet again. I’m sure I could have avoided all the esteem destroying remarks had I hugged him or smiled or made some kind of simmering sounds of non threatening friendliness but why should I? It would be an act and an act of fear. So, there’s the deal. I think every time we answer back we risk a personal inventory of our faults so perhaps that’s why many people do not answer back and the whole thing continues. I’m tired of this. Tired of no back up. I do not drive and work hard so I am alone on public transport a lot which I should be able to be!
The anger expressed when I do not stop to chat or smile or if I just ignore the shouts. The anger and insults. I don’t want conversations with men I don’t know in the street! Why are they angry when I speak my mind? Don’t they have mothers or sisters? Daughters?
I am baffled and as I think I said. Tired.
I’ve had a hard day. I came to your site to share my story, just one from today. When I started to fill out your submission form, I started to cry. Unsure of which box to check under “Harassment type”, I realized that I would have to make sharing my stories of harassment a full time job if I actually wanted to share my stories that have sadly become part of my life. The countless times I’ve been shouted at on the street. The several jobs that I have either been forced to quit, fired from, or kept from because a “man” can’t keep his thoughts to himself. The nights that I drove home crying from my server job because the door guy couldn’t keep his hands off of me. I just turned 37 and it doesn’t seem to end. It feels just as bad now, as it did to be harassed when I was younger. It has to stop.
I’m a college student working at a restaurant down in South Beach Miami. Today this rich asshole comes in his Lamborghini. Once he was seated, while my female coworker was trying to take his order, he said “Can I stare at your breasts?” (He actually said that) Obviously she looked shocked at then he proceeded to shove his face right into her breasts. WTF? She started yelling at him and my boss came over and asked what was going on. She told him what happened the rich guy accused her of lying. I went over to the table and told my boss that I saw what happened and to call the cops. And this prick sided with the rich guy. Everyone else there saw what happened, I don’t know why no one else was stepping up. My boss didn’t charge him for his food and took the money for his food off of our paychecks (me and the female coworker). Fucking ridiculous.
I was walking home from a friends house, I was 15. A car pulled up alongside me and a middle-aged man got out and said ‘Hey, can I touch you for a few minutes?’ I stopped and looked at him, and kept walking, completely ignoring him until I saw him drive away. Later on the same walk two men (teenagers? Maybe 20?) started following me and yelling ‘hey baby, come here.’ I ignored both of them, too, and they got angry and started yelling ‘what are you deaf? get over here.’ Luckily there was a fence between us and they gave up after following me for a couple of blocks. These are just two of the many, many times I’ve been harassed.
As I approached my bus stop and waited for my bus to work, two incidents of sexual harassment occurred within seconds of each other. First, a group of young men in a car, waiting in traffic beside the bus stop, waved, smirked, and shouted at me. Then, as I reached the bus stop, an older man who was also waiting at the stop approached me. We were the only two people around, but the stop is beside a high traffic road and it was in broad daylight. The older man, a stranger, began a conversation with me that started out innocently enough as we talked about the weather. He then told me that I looked very nice and I was very well dressed, and asked if I was a model. He kept telling me how great I looked and that I should be a model, and when the bus finally arrived at our stop he said he felt flattered and honored to be riding the bus with a model. He also asked questions about my personal life, how old I was, where I work, etc. I did begin to feel uncomfortable, because we were the only people around the bus stop and I could not leave because I needed to use the bus to get to work on time.
I had know him since I was baby his wife was my mums best friend, he was my fathers. I had just turned 16 he was 54 I was working for him, he owned a small spray painting business, it was only ever me and him there.
At the begging everything was fine we were just getting work done, but after a couple of shifts he would stand really close to me and put his hand on my bum, when ever he stood next to me or talked to me he would always be touching me. I just brushed it off as just friendly affection since I had know him all my life. I told my mum thought just for precaution. The next shift he kept on talking about if how I ever got chemicals on me I would have to remove all my cloths and he would have to wash it off me. I found that creepy. The next shift I had to work I sat on paint thinners that were on the seat I only sit on and which he told me to sit on. It was burning my skin but I was to scared to tell him so I just dealt with it. He asked me to help him paint somthing, he looked at me and said I was about to do somthing inappropriate I just laughed, it’s what I do when I’m uncomfortable, he placed the hose witch vibrates between my legs so it was against my vagina, I just laughed. He then continually made jokes about it “don’t have to much fun with that” “I know when you do that you are having way to much fun at work” I had never been so uncomfortable in my life. I went home and told my mum everything and that no matter what I was not going back. She wanted to take it to the police and talk to his wife about it but I made her swear to serequcy I don’t like dealing with things so the less drama we let it cause the easier it would be for me. I hate myself for just laughing but I just didn’t know what else to do. I’m still 16 and I still think about it all the time.
There is a man who works as a cleaner in my apartment block. Since I moved here, I’ve had a couple of interactions with him; held the door open for him a couple of times, greeted him when I saw him, helped him pick up a load of paper after somebody had trashed the complex’s lobby. Basically, I treated him with basic decency. Not excessive kindness or flirtation; just basic decency. When I took the lift the other day to the ground floor, I saw he was in there and greeted him briefly. As the door closed, he began stroking my arm, and told me that there was a girl who looked very like me in a shop he goes to. He then started touching the ‘beauty spot’ (mole tbh) above my lip with his thumb, and said that she had that too. He was standing very close to me, and as we were in a lift, I was pretty scared. I am on the 10th floor in my apartment block, but have taken the stairs ever since.