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I have no picture, because this happened to me back in the nineties. I lived in Ecuador and the harrassment was an everpresent part of my life. So many things happened, and my policy was to be angry and let them have it. This one time, though, this little man was following behind me closely, muttering disgusting things. I yelled, I tried to act intimidating, but he would not stop. Then I noticed that we were alone-it was the middle of the day, and the businesses were closed. So I made a plan. I pretended to give up, and I walked a few blocks, with him muttering the whole way, always trying to get closer. I walked right to a walkway full of people, and when we were in the middle, I yelled “pervert, leave me alone!” at the top of my lungs. He froze, and I saw his eyes darting around in panic. Right before he ran off, he looked at me and I smirked.
Submitted by Ellen
I was standing on the corner of 26th st. and 7th ave. in Manhattan enjoying my lunch break on a beautiful day. I heard something hissing from nearby, and turned around to this character nodding and hissing at me. A minute after snapping this photo as he walked off, I stopped him and asked if he had just been hissing at me, and if he was trying to get my attention. Here’s what our conversation looked like:
I said “I’m just out here enjoying my lunch break and trying to go about my business and you interrupted me.”
He said “What if I had come up to you and said ‘I think you’re beautiful’?”
And I said “I don’t care, I don’t want anyone talking to me on the street, I don’t like talking to strangers on the street and most women don’t.”
We went back and forth like this for a couple of minutes and he tried to say he wasn’t hissing at me. He said what’s the difference between that and telling me I’m beautiful and I said:
“Well at least that would have been better than standing across the street making animal noises at me.”
He finally said “I’m sorry.”
And I said “Thank You.”
Submitted by V
I’ve never tried to stand up for someone else getting street harassed (half the time I don’t even do it well enough when *I’m* getting harassed)…but last week I couldn’t resist. I was standing on 28th st. at the R train stop to go uptown and a girl exited from the stairs. This guy and his friends started saying all sorts of stuff to her. As she walked away I said “Show some respect. Girls don’t like to be talked to like that.” And the guy said “NO, NEVER!” I pulled out my camera phone and snapped this blurry shot as he was walking away. When he saw it he said, “Take a picture, bitch”. OK, thank you, I just did.
Submitted by Anonymous
It was summer 2009, maybe 6pm, and I was walking back from putting my laundry in the wash at a laundry mat right off of Washington Square Park on West 4th street in NYC.
I was wearing shorts, a billowy t-shirt, and flip flops. I had my ipod on. A man who looked to be around 50 years old stood right in my walking line directly in front of me. He motioned for me to remove my headphones, and I assumed he’d ask for directions. “Yes?” I asked. And then he said, “I want to lick your asshole dry.” Not knowing what to do, after a second I yelled in his face really loud “Go fuck yourself,” and he started walking away. I starred at him and he kept looking back glaring angrily at me. He legitimately seemed surprised by my angry response.
I don’t understand why they always seem so shocked when you get pissed off. What do they really think will happen?
In retrospect I wish I had physically assaulted him in some way, and I generally don’t ever feel the urge to be violent in life, but when things like this happen, I do.
As women we get stuck in a hard position where, we can’t fight back because you never know if the sicko harrassing you is willing to kill you or physically hurt you too. I wish more passersby, men in particular, were willing to step in when they witness this crap. Not that it’s fair, but men seem to react to men differently than a woman when they step up in confrontation.
-Pissed Off in the Park
I’m sick of being harrassed. Love your site and what you’re doing for women everywhere. Really makes a difference.
Submitted by Mary
One of the most frustrating things about living in a big city is the feeling that I can’t walk outside without being harassed on the street at least once a day. When I first started experiencing this I found it annoying, but as the years pass I become increasingly furious. Not a day goes by that I don’t experience one or more of the following: cat-calling, whistling, kissing noises, intensely seductive stares, or pointed glances up and down my body. Contrary to what many men think, this attention is not appreciated and not flattering, and I’m sure most women agree with me. This kind of attention is not like being given a complement …it’s not like being told, “you are beautiful.” It actually feels horrible; it makes me feel degraded and violated, but most of all, it makes me feel utterly powerless. I feel as if my body doesn’t belong to me, and this infuriates me more than anything I’ve ever experienced.
I have tried a variety of things to deal with this situation: I’ve tried saying things like, “what are you looking at?”, I’ve tried using my worst glares, evil eyes, and disgusted faces, I’ve tried looking through men to make them feel invisible, and I’ve tried ignoring them and staring straight ahead. When I talk back to men in a nasty tone of voice, they either pretend that they weren’t cat calling me (as if I was making it up and I should be so lucky to get their attention), or they get equally mad back at me. Glaring, staring through them, and ignoring them doesn’t prevent the harassment either, and it doesn’t make me feel better. No matter what I do, I never feel in control of the situation. I feel imprisoned—I am overly self-conscious about what I wear, and I dread the hot days when I have no choice but to wear semi-revealing clothing.
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I was walking to the Smith/9th street train station at 6.30 (wayyy to early to deal with this, not that I ever want to deal with it). The guy with the scooter and ponytail came up behind me and said “Good morning beautiful” in a “sexy voice.” Hmm how can you even tell if I’m beautiful or not when you haven’t seen my face? Obviously I’m only a pair of legs and an ass to you. I gave him my new standard response, which is a straightforward and directly said “Leave Me Alone.” As I was taking his picture his moronic friends (facing the camera) were begging me to take more!
(The guy on the left is just a by-stander so I cropped him out).
Submitted by Anne Marie
Submitted by Grace
While riding my bike at 6:40am on 4/14/10, I was passed by a gigantic silver SUV, license plate #*******. I heard kissy noises directed out the window at me from the passenger’s seat. The SUV stopped at a light and I passed them again, and again, I heard kissing/teeth sucking noises at me. This was riding north on Franklin St. in Greenpoint, between Greenpoint Ave. & Green St.
Submitted by Audrey
Today I was walking to the park about 10 blocks from my house. I had on shorts and a t-shirt and some flops…nothing fancy. I had a guy slow down in his car next to me and start honking and whistling at me. Sad part was he had his 2 young sons in the car. A few blocks later these two guys on a bike start saying damn nice legs. Unfortunately all 3 creepers were moving too quickly for me to get a decent photograph. As i continued on my walk I said to myself I’m never wearing shorts again…but the more I thought about it, why not. Its not me thats the problem its them. And although I may get harassed again wearing them I’m not changing myself for any creep. I really believe in Hollaback and the movement that it has started and believe that things will soon be changing. So I’m going to keep wearing my shorts and am going to stand tall.
Submitted by Sarah