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I was in the elevator at work, coming back from lunch, when I encountered a dude who randomly started talking to me while I was zoning out on phone. First, he called me “toots,” and then he made a kissy face at me. When he asked me how I was doing (my reply: “Just trying to ride the elevator, man”) he smiled and backed me into the corner. Then, his coworker (oh right. Because there were other people in the elevator) said “Oh, haha, just ignore him, he’s sick,” and my new friend leaned in so close I could actually feel his breath on me and said “Is that how you like it? Sick? You into that?” Then he grabbed my badge out of my hands and said “Where do you work?” before butchering the name of my company and sliding off the elevator (which, incidentally, I ride with him roughly twice a week. He works on the floor below mine).
Last week, I ran into him again. This time he oggled me all the way up to his stop, then leaned into my face and said “BYE!” like a 13 year old mean girl, before stepping off the elevator. On a whim, I followed him. He looked startled. “I’m coming with you today,” I said. He looked me up and down. “Lucky me,” he said.
He was a lot less cocky about 10 minutes later, after I’d followed him to his office, demanded to speak to his supervisor, and told his boss – and his boss’ boss – that the next time New Friend tried to make a love connection with me, I’d be calling the cops.
Submitted by Mads
Does this awesome hollaback make you wanna stand up from your desk and throw a few fist pumps in the air? How about donating to show your support? Say it with $5.
I had come downtown to visit my partner while he was on a break from work and he and I separated after he walked me to the bus stop. It was mid-afternoon and I didn’t expect a long wait for a bus as it’s a well-trafficked stop and many routes stop there.
A group of two men jaywalked diagonally across the street and surprised me as they neared by leering at me, coming far too close into my personal space and saying, “Nice legs.”
With big grins plastered on their faces, they moved on rapidly, passing by another woman behind me and commenting, “She has nice legs too.” I watched them walk away and it was obvious that they were continuing on their running commentary with other women at stops further down the street.
Submitted by Ashley
It has become a regular occurrence for me to get cat called as I walk to work, go home, or go about doing my business. I am a 29 year old Asian American woman who graduated from Columbia University with a Masters in Urban Planning. I find it deeply demeaning and offensive for men who are ignorant to call out to me in Chinese or some other Asian dialect, as if I don’t speak English. I hate being whistled at, called baby, being asked out jokingly on the street. It is disgusting, and there have been times that I have gotten hostile (throwing my ice cream at someone, or yelling at them) because their remarks just got to me so. How can I go about doing my work, when my day is interrupted by sexual hostility? This is a real problem, especially in a city where smart successful independent women are so visible. These cat calls need to stop. Men need to be made aware that this is an issue. It is not our culture here, and they need to know that what they do is abusive, and uncivilized. It is not enough that NYC is a hard place to find a good decent man to date, but that we have to be subjected to men we aren’t even dating as well?
Submitted by Diana
While walking to my car this morning a man who was driving slowed down his vehicle just to make “smooching” sounds to me. I gave him a disgusted look and got in my car. I sat in my car for a moment, and then realized that the man had driven back around and was sitting in his car, stopping traffic to stare at me. I was very scared because I was trapped between two cars, and him, and had no way of driving away. He eventually left, but it was not the best way to start my day.
Submitted by Desiree
He leered and hissed at me, and said inappropriate things. I asked if he did not have a sister…he was ashamed. I reminded him that God could see him…he averted his eyes. I chided him that his mother knew…and he was embarassed.
Do we really need a law regulating cat calls? Why don’t we as mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, and friends help to teach both our daughters and sons, nieces and nephews to be respectful of themselves and others? To not be worried about saying “Stop!” To be empowered and emboldened to speak the truth, “The words and sounds coming out of your mouth make you sound like fool!” Carry pepper spray.
I live in a region where female circumcision, honor killings, and child brides are accepted, even if not legal. Catcalls are the least of my worries. A council’s decision will not carry as much weight as your own words and actions. If you want to help women, speak up for yourself and work to end domestic violence, female circumcision and honor killings, they all occur in your city of New York.
Submitted by GypsyRose
NOTE: Although it has been picked up in the press that we are looking for a “law” to end street harassment, that’s actually not what anyone at the hearing asked for. We asked for education, research, and police sensitivity, among other things. To read Hollaback!’s testimony, click here.
The story today on page 19 in the New York Post made me think of a business trip I made this summer with a female co-worker. Me, a male co-worker, and a female co-worker were walking to the train after our meeting. A police officer paused and leered at her as we walked by and he said, “How are YOU doing today?”
It sounds innocent, but the tone and the way he was looking at her was pretty obviously a weak come on. It was like out a 1950s movie. Very creepy. No wonder people don’t make eye contact or smile in the city. Very sad. Thanks for calling wanted attention to it.
Submitted Chris, Plantsville, CT
Male Students in the hallways at this school are constantly yelling “suck my dick!” at females. They even use the same vile language to female teachers in the classroom. New York City DOE Administrators allow them to get away with it. It is disgusting. How will these male students be acting when they are in the workforce? What message are we sending girls about how they can be expected to be spoken to at work when the graduate?
Submitted by Marie
Earlier tonight (around 7:30/8), walking down 33rd after running some errands. Dressed in work attire (for me, a shapeless pair of tan pants, white shirt, and cardigan) and carrying bags.
Two men in a work-type van pull over to the side of the street a little ahead of me, and motion me to come over. I’m about to ignore them, but one says “Directions?” and I figure that since they look like they’re from out of town (Connecticut plates) and they’re in a WORK van, they must be really lost.
“Can you give me directions to (mumble mumble)?”
“What?” (and I move a little closer, to see if I can hear better)
“Can you give me directions to Pussy Avenue?”
At this point I kind of stared at them in shock, and the passenger unlocks his door and moves like he’s getting out, so I turn around and book it in the opposite direction (it’s a one way, so they couldn’t drive towards me).
I was so angry at myself for not saying anything. This is why I’m so rude to strangers in this city…99% of the time, a man talking to you on the street is actually a creep.
Submitted by Liz
I was followed from the subway this afternoon. A man walked about 10 feet behind me, chanting in a sing-song voice, “helloo sexy legs! hey, cutie! hellooo, sexy legs, sexy legs.” I was wearing a knee-length skirt and flats. Yes, I have legs, I am a human who walks upright. He followed me for about a block, chanting the whole time, non-stop. I got my phone ready to take a picture in case he caught up to me and started something else, but after a few minutes I didn’t hear him anymore. I snapped this pic backwards over my shoulder to see if he was still there.
Submitted by Anne Marie