Verbal

The trauma of street harassment is very, very real

The summer 2005 was the happiest summer of my life. Little did I know it would be the LAST happy summer in my life.

I had dressed into hippie clothes, long green skirt and a flowery sequined shirt. I went to the library to lend a DVD and then to the shop to buy candy to accompany it, and I saw this man with a ponytail (take note; if you see an old scruffy man with a ponytail, it basically screams STAY AWAY FROM HIM!) but I paid no attention to him.

Later when returning from the library, I walked past him when he was sitting on a park bench. He glared at me angrily and grunted: “Nice tits.”

I was horrified, but I could not do anything else than flip him off. He flipped me off with both of his hands, called me a “fucking asshole” and started cursing with his face up to the sky that all women are whores.

Result? I was traumatized so much (and it was not the first and last time when I get harassed) that I became suicidal, and later I was taken to a mental hospital (where I was still harassed). I have been in the loony bin three times and I have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar and mid- severe depression. I still take medication for it, and every single fucking day I hear his voice, and all the other dude’s who have made my life hell.

Who said men are the superior sex? They’re the nothing but the things they describe women: attention whores.

Submitted by Miia (Pardon my English)

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Verbal

Revolted, Dumbfounded, Appalled, and Disguested

I was about to cross the street when I saw a scooter coming down the street pretty quickly, so I waited, thinking he would pass.  But then he started waving his hand, motioning for me to go ahead and cross.  He was still travelling at a high speed, though, and I didn’t trust he would slow down in time, so I continued to wait.  Finally he stopped, with his front tire in the cross walk and I had to walk around him.  But as I passed him, I heard him start to make “smooch” noises and I looked back to see him looking directly at me whilst continuing to “kiss.”  Appalled and disgusted, I just glared at him and said, “Don’t do that.”  Then he zoomed off.  I felt like I immediately needed a shower.  After the fact, I wish I had said or done something more aggressive.  But not being a UK citizen (I’m an American student), I didn’t know what I was legally able to get away with.  After telling my own boyfriend about it, he said he thought girls like getting catcalled.  I really don’t understand how a guy can think girls like that or will respond in a positive manner.  I’m revolted and dumbfounded.

Submitted by Emily

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Street harassment in the media, Verbal

Note to humans: dirty animals at Nostrand and Putnam

Perhaps the talented ladies at “Tell ‘Em Why You Mad’ just coined a new term for scumbags everywhere. Let’s raise some awareness about this global pandemic: CORNER BOYS.

“Hey! I want to suck your…”

JUST SHUT IT, CORNER BOY!

Enjoy the video.

Tell ‘Em Why You Mad Ep 004 Harassment from Tell Em Why You Mad on Vimeo.

one comment 
Verbal

Power Play

One of a gang of young men with hooded parkas smoking weed called to me from behind, I ignored them and kept walking. He carried on ‘EXCUSE ME?!, EXCUSE ME!?’ I thought maybe I’d dropped something, cos he sounded so urgent. I turned around ‘Yes?’ he said ‘how are you?’ they all laughed. I said ‘fine thanks’. He said ‘I like your knee socks’ I said ‘thanks’ sarcastically. they kept following me til I went through the barriers at Warren Street station. I’m not saying they had any intention of hurting me, I’m fairly sure they didn’t. Their intention was to dominate me, to intimidate me by taking up my time and assessing my outfit and entering my personal space, asserting their power over me. It isn’t nice. Sorry don’t have a photo, couldn’t even see them cos of their hoods. Just thought I’d share.

Submitted by Jennifer

2 comments 
Verbal

Scum of the bus

I had just gotten out of class and I was taking the bus home, and was already in a foul mood , then i notice this man looking me up and down and smiling. i felt violated, but chose to ignore it. until he started looking back at me talking. i took my ear bud out, and he said “how you doing” i said bad, and asked him to leave me alone. he then told me i wasnt hot shit, and that i wasnt even the hottest “piece of ass” on the bus, and i told him to fuck off, and he called me racist, i said “im not fucking racist, im just sick of being looked at as if im only an object fuck off”

i put my music back in, and he yelled at me, and i ignored him. this bus was not empty mind you. people just choose to ignore whats not happening to them. Fuck being harassed and feeling like shit because other people are scumbags.

Submitted by kegan

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Verbal

An otherwise lovely, sunny Sunday afternoon

group of awkward teenage boys on bikes with sagging jeans and flat-brimmed hats. Yes, i see you. yes, i walked past you.
no, i don’t need the commentary.
“nice ass!….small tits though!”
calling at me when i’m already past you? why don’t you want to say it to my face?
believe me, i am more than aware of my body. i don’t need observations made in public, on an otherwise lovely, sunny, Sunday afternoon.

Submitted by Danae

one comment 
Verbal

This city I call home

I’m a native New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn. I have been harassed throughout my life during train traveling and walking. I have had beer spat on me, due to my ignoring guys saying things from a car to me, while I was at a phone booth. A guy screamed on the train loudly “nice tits”. I even got propositioned on the L train for a threesome. I told the guy I wasn’t interested.

But recollecting, this has to top the list of all time. I was in my 20′s walking in NYC, some guy was walking next to me and tells me “he’d love for me to sit on his face”. I was so terrified. I just kept walking. What kind of human being would tell anyone that?

Submitted by Jill

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Verbal

Harassment at home, school, work: Where does it stop?

I first heard about HollaBack when someone posted about it on a Xanga forum (Lovelyish). Needless to say, I’m in shock about the countless stories these women have and how closely they parallel my own stories. I’m now thinking twice about my surroundings and the sexually-charged comments that so many say to take as a ‘compliment’.

UNF is known for being a safe campus and I couldn’t agree more (there haven’t been any ‘violent’ occurrences like mugging, fights, etc.), however, when it comes to sexual harassment it’s a different story. There isn’t a day when I walk out of my dorm and get cat-called by guys that bum around on the benches in front of our building. One time, I was walking to the gym with one of my friends. I was stretching out my quads before jogging across the intersection, when a car packed with guys comes racing by, several of them make a ‘smooching’ face out the window. Just because I’m asian doesn’t mean “me love you long time” (which was a long-standing harassment phrase back in highschool).

I gave them two middle fingers (much to pride of my boyfriend).

Catcalls and harassment have become so ridiculous that my boyfriend surprised me the other day when he wanted to get me some pepper spray.

It’s worse when harassment happens in what you thought was the comfort of your own home. I live in a suburban community and my street is really quiet and hardly anyone passes by, unless you live there. I came home one weekend and was unloading my bags from the car when this older guy (must have been in his 40′s or 50′s) comes out of his truck and grins at me. My dad comes out to greet him and the guy asks my dad if “(I’m) the older one?” He starts leering, she’s a pretty thing. What school does she go to? At this point, I’m fed up and walk into the house, an obvious look of disgust on my face.

I hope my dad stood up for me.

Catcalls always escalate at work. I work for retail and there isn’t a day that I greet someone (customer service) and automatically get some leering comment. I can’t fire back and I calmly try to diffuse the situation. I usually work until 9pm and we park out back, so there’s always some sense of foreboding whenever you have to walk at night to the parking lot.

I really hope that sexual harassment laws or some form of enforcement gets passed. It’s scary to think that you can’t be safe at your school, at work, or at your own home. In the meantime, get some pepper spray and don’t walk alone when you can!

Submitted by Alyssa

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Verbal

Advice needed for nonstop harassment

I’m writing in here because I am a victim of constant verbal abuse.

Every time I step out my front door I can count on some type of verbal harassment, whether it’s an invitation into a car or the more general “Hey baby, come over here”.

This post is not about a specific incident. I seriously need some advice on combatting harassment in a dangerous and overwhelming neighborhood.

Does anyone ever feel like they’re endangering themselves yelling back at these people? How do you keep up your stamina when you have to do it every single day?

Submitted by Maren

4 comments 
Verbal

Nothing says birthday like some ignorant queer bashing

Last night my partner and I went out to dinner in Fort Greene to celebrate her birthday. We were walking home holding hands. A man in his late thirties-early forties started screaming at us about how disgusting we were, how we must have been abused by priests to resort to being with women, how we were going to end up in hell, and how we were an abomination. It continued for at least a minute as he stood on the corner screaming and we continued walking down the street. It was about 8:30 pm and no one did or said a thing as the man screamed profanity at us.

Submitted by Rebecca

Street harassment and other forms of discrimination and abuse go hand in hand. We sure could use your help at ending these offenses. Help us today with $5.

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