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As I was walking to school the other day, I had a little adventure…
A man accosted me on the street and started a conversation, which went like this:
Man: in his best sultry bedroom voice, “serious question.”
Man: “has anyone ever told you how beautiful you are?”
Me: “serious question.”
Me: “has that ever worked for you?”
I walked off. He proceeded to follow me, calling me a “bitch,” a “cunt” and so forth. He told me he just wanted to tell me how beautiful I am, I must be frigid, I must hate sex and, now, he’s changed his mind and I’m ugly. I continue to ignore him and, finally, I see my chance–I duck into the school bookstore to escape. The last thing I hear as the door closes behind me is, “and yes, it has worked for me! All the time!” I tell the woman who works there, who I’m friendly with, what just happened. She says, “wait, hang on,” and she describes him to me perfectly. She asks, “is that the guy?” I answer, “yes, absolutely.” It turns out that he was in the school bookstore not 10 minutes ago, making passes against her and rubbing up against the books.
Submitted by CJ
Walking towards the subway I see two guys eyeing me, but try to ignore them. Then I hear one of them say, “Hey baby, how you doin’? How you feelin’? COME SEE DADDY!” (impossible to put into words how creepy and disgusting that last part is.) I turn around to confront the guy. “How can you talk that way to someone you’ve never met before? I don’t know you! Why don’t you learn some manners? Why don’t you go home and ask your mother to teach you some manners?” All he can manage during this tirade is to repeat “go away, aw, go away.” Funny, he wanted my attention so badly a moment ago.
I turn and keep walking, but then remember my cell phone, so I go back to look for him. I spot him and his silent friend through a window, inside a small store. I step in and aim my camera at the back of his head. “Hey, loser!” He turns around and I snap his photo. He realizes, too late, what I’m trying to do. “Oh, no” he says, as he tries to step away, but there is no room to go anywhere. He says again, “go away, go away.” I respond, “You’re going on the internet, loser!” and walk out of the store.
Submitted by Nancy
The woman was taken to the hospital and is in serious condition. The driver of the truck is still at large. If he’s ever found, police say they may charge him with attempted murder.
Submitted by Ann
Although I do not live in New York City, I was recently in a gas station near my school in a different city. I was buying a pack of gum before school with my mother and sister. I came in alone quickly. I walked up to the wrong register and the cashier smiled and said other counter. I am normally very friendly and polite so I smiled and said okay.
As i was buying the gum, the man had enough gut to say “You are very pretty. How old are you?” My smile quickly faded. As i turned deep red, I mumbled something and ran out. I was so mad that some random man could just ask me a question like that and assume it’d be okay. I felt very violated. i know that my story isn’t nearly as bad as most of the other’s, but I wanted to share it.
Be careful out there, girls. Even we are at risk. The harassment has already begun.
Submitted by K.
Tonight I was walking home with a friend from a wonderful dinner/girls’ night out in D.C. Normally she would have just taken a cab and I would have walked home, since the restaurant was in my neighborhood.
But she was concerned about my safety (which I thought was silly, because that’s how I am) and we were engrossed in a good conversation. A few blocks from the restaurant, a completely trashed guy came up behind us and started walking along side us/just behind us, speaking loudly. “So, where you ladies been? Was it nice? Where you off to next?” I ignored him and kept walking, while my friend gave very abrupt, short answers.
Eventually, when it appeared he wasn’t going to back off, I stopped with my friend and told the guy to go on. He turned around and muttered something about us “being like that” and moved along. The entire thing was so jarring, a firm reminder of how vulnerable we were on that street. I couldn’t help but feel at once relieved that he hadn’t been more agressive and threatened by the idea that I could have been alone. I couldn’t help but wonder how that might have altered his behavior and I felt like a complete moron for thinking previously that I could walk home alone–clearly a luxurious privilege to which I am not entitled as a woman.
While I’m fairly sure he was just a drunk asshole and that either way it would have been fine, the entire thing was a reminder of how free men feel to violate women’s personal space and to continue doing so, even when it is very clear that they’re uncomfortable and not at all interested in pursuing the conversation.
It also pissed me off. I’m a grown woman. I shouldn’t have to feel stupid for considering walking home alone for five blocks in my own neighborhood. I also shouldn’t have to feel that I need to take a cab everywhere in the city not because I’m too lazy to walk, but because I’m afraid of the insensitive and unpredictable predators that I might find along the way.
When I got home, I found this blog by accident through Blogger’s Blogs of Note. I’m just sad it didn’t occur to me to take a picture, but next time, I’ll certainly try. This is a wonderful idea and means to give voice to the small disturbances and demeaning experiences women face all the time, and pretty much accept as part of their daily lives.
Dude, if you’re out there and reading this, you should be ashamed of yourself. I’m ashamed for you.
The first real incidence was when I was 12 or so, kneeling down looking at books in a bookstore. There was a man in sweats reading a book at the same section. I get totally absorbed when I read but he kept moving closer and closer. Next thing I know hes about 2 feet away and has a giant boner sticking out of his sweatpants. I quickly got up and went to a different part of the store (It disturbs me to this day that I didn’t do anything, perhaps because that man has or is molesting a child, and I could have done something to prevent that. I would like nothing better then to go back in time and change my reaction).
The second time it happened I was interning in DC. A man sat down next to me in the metro and proceeded to start asking me all sorts of questions. Did I like to party? What kind of partying? Do I like to have sex? How much do I like to have sex? The metro was extremely crowded and I was afraid of making a scene. I would have made a scene had it happened to me now. Then he started to try and touch my breasts. I jumped up and got the hell out of there. While I probably was in no actual danger, I felt disgusting and shaken.
The third time was a few weeks later when I was in London. My friends and I were in a large group because the premiere of The Last Samurai was in town and we were trying to get a glimpse of tom cruise. There were so many people and we were all crushed up against one another. All of a sudden, I realize that there is someone behind me trying to grab my breasts again, with one hand on my ass. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t even tell which person it was, but I freaked out and got out of there quick.
These three accounts don’t even begin to describe all the catcalls and obnoxious words I have heard on the street while just minding my own business, trying to get to or from work up and down Third Avenue. It doesn’t take into account the hundreds of times I have seen men do it to women other then myself. The above stories were simply the most terrifying and disgusting.
I kept running away. Well, I am sick and tired of running away. Hollaback NYC has given me back what was brutally taken from me, and that is my respect and my power. It sickens me to think that these men think they have a right to demean a woman like that. What sickens me more is that I let them up until now. Who teaches them that such a thing is an acceptable way to treat an other human? It is just another example of how, in this world, women very often are not considered human. I have my camera ready to show them next time that not only am I human, but one who is able to Hollaback. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent, and I am not giving mine any longer by being a passive observer of abuse.
Submitted by Katie
My latest incident happened on Saturday, Dec. 30th, passing by construction site on 3rd Ave. and 10th St. I felt “the leer”, and gave the worker the benefit of the doubt by simply nodding, and looking away.
He proceeded to say creepily, “Oh, fuck, that’s a pretty pussy. Do you take it in the ass?” I just kept walking and shaking my head. I’ve lived in New York for 6 years, and I’m just tired. I live around the block, and now avoid the construction site. I’m angry at myself for feeling like it’s my fault, but most of all that he can get away with it.
Just found your website, and from now on, I’m going to have my phone in hand. Why do men have to be such a dissapointment sometimes? It makes me appreciate the good ones.
Submitted by S.
I had my cell phone clutched in my hand the whole time, unfortunately it didn’t have a camera so I couldn’t take a picture of the jerk’s face. I’m 17 years old and even though I’ve been told I look 18 or 19, it’s still no justification to hit on someone who is thirty years younger than you. It was just plain creepy and it left me completely shaken. I ended up in tears for the two hours that followed because I was totally unnerved and I lost all sense of safety. This incident was made worse by the fact that the night before I had a group of guys shouting “I want some of that pussy” at me while I was walking down the 42 street train station stairs. I’m use to comments of “hey beautiful” and such and I’ve learned to ignore those, but the vulgarity of what those guys were shouting surprised me and left me a bit nervous. But it certainly compared nothing to how violated I felt last night.
Submitted by C.C.
So I’m walking to the dorms and talking to my mother on my cell phone, when I see this guy in military fatigues sitting in a car. He glares at me until I get close enough (where I intended to walk right past him) and he says, “Hey! I want your number! I want your number!” Creeped out, I stop, glare back, and say loudly into the phone, “Ew, mom. This gross guy I don’t know just asked for my number. Some guys are so pathetic.” Of course, he didn’t look too thrilled.
Sorry dude, I understand it’s been a while, but you really shouldn’t expect women to take “do it for your country” so literally…
Submitted by Emily