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The Hollaback NYC blog reminded me of a scary thing that happened to me when I used to work for an inventory service. I sometimes had to work stores in downtown Denver and we wouldn’t get out till after dark. One night as I was leaving, this really freaky dude was standing there on the 16th Street mall. I ignored him and kept walking to get to my car which of course was 5 or so
He suddenly shouted “Hey, Bitch, do you know what time it is?” I ignored him and kept walking. He shouted “Hey, Slut! Yeah, I’m talking to you! Don’t ignore me or I’ll cut your fuckin’ throat!”
I hurried around this corner and was about to duck into a bar and tell them to call the cops. I guess he lost sight of me because he kept walking down 16th street.
I’m sure he was mentally ill but compassion was lost to fear at that point. People like that really shouldn’t be out on the street. Who knows if he was just spouting stuff or if he’d really have done it if he’d gotten hold of somebody?
Written by Cie.
The past three days have been clouded with sexual harassment and I feel like I failed to fight back until today. For some reason men have been making unwarranted passes at me and saying unnecessary comments to me and I just freeze. But today I didn’t want to take it anymore.
written by Brigitte.
written by Angela.
I was walking to the corner to get eggs and milk for a pancake dinner and some guy says “Hey, Slut” right to me. Without even thinking, I just yelled back “What the fuck is wrong with you?” Actually yelled. Then I was a little scared thinking he might come after me, but he just kicked some trash and kept walking. Perhaps I have a bit of pent up aggression stored up right now. Anyone who has spent a lot of time with me lately is thinking “just a little bit” a la Sixteen Candles church scene. Perhaps I was inspired by Holla Back – my uncle sent me the link a few weeks ago.
The funny part is that I was wearing my hair back, glasses, no makeup, and a big puffy winter coat. I think the guy was seriously drunk. That is why I kind of feel bad for yelling at him. Isn’t it insane that now I feel bad about yelling at the drunk guywho called me a slut on the street? Just a little bit.
Written by Mara in NYC.
Episode 1: This morning I was walking to the donut shop for my daily Boston Cream and kick-off coffee of the day, dressed quite alluringly in several layers of winter garb and thinking about criminal procedure, when I heard beeping and a man’s voice. “Hey, hey,” yelled a guy who was sitting in the passenger seat of a blue van. Without saying anything, I gave him the finger. “Oh, thank you very much,” he responded.
Episode 2: No Hugs
If Creep Valley High School existed, that guy with the car would be stuck in the remedial classes. He would have to go to the pre-9th grade summer program just to catch up to the rest of the student body, and THEN the school administration would place him in the program for low-end creeps.
Written by Lauri.
I was living in Astoria, and I use the word ‘living’ — Hold the phone. You won’t believe this. As I was writing this Hollaback, a guy came into my office and sexually harrassed me. He asked me if I like to be flogged, and since it was hot in the office I should get naked. He asked me to cuss because cussing women turn him on. What a fucking creep. Problem is, since he doesn’t work here, or work anywhere, there was nothing I could do. He’s a member of the synagogue. I just tried to steer the conversation towards more neutral ground and towards business. And now I feel stupid because I didn’t stand up for myself more. So, Hollaback, Shelly! I hope you get a papercut on your dick when your jacking off tonight to Hustler.
I was living in Astoria, and I use the word ‘living’ loosely as it was wll about 95 degrees and we had no air conditioner. Also, you don’t live in Astoria, you kind of just wait around in Astoria until you can move to Brooklyn. Anyway. I went out to the store a block away at around 11pm really just to wander around in the Rite Aid air conditioning. This guy on my way to Rite Aid said something nasty to me, and then turned around and followed me into the store. He continued following me around the store, saying nasty things to me under his breath. I alerted the security guy, and the guy walked outside, standing right in front of the door, waiting for me to come out. The security guard said, “What do you want me to do about it?” I said, “Can you tell him to leave me alone, or walk me out the door or something?” and he said, “Boys will be boys.” What a fucking mother fucker. Anyway, I truck it out of the shop, doing my lengthiest stride, and asshole is still following me. I know of an apartment building on my way home where the front door is always unlocked. I decide to go there instead of home. I walk in the front door and disappear into the garden for about 10 minutes. I return to the front door, expecting him to be gone so I can go the fuck home. Nope…
He’s standing right across the street gawking at me through the front door. Anger grabs a hold of me. I step out the front door, and I point right at him. “YOU!” I say. He looks confused and looks around. I yell at the top of my lungs, “YES, YOU. STOP FUCKING FOLLOWING ME.” The guy looks scared and walks away. Just then a Police car drives up. I tell them what happened and they agree to take me home. They just have to take care of a jumper on the roof. HIL-arious. So, they drive me home, and my Landlady gets a nice view of me coming home at midnight in the back of a police car, as they shine their search light full blast at the front door and say in a mega volume loudspeaker, “Can you find your keys?!?” Hollaback to you, asshole mutter-follower. And a special hollaback to that piece of shit guard.
Written by Julie
Incident one: We’re walking arm in arm, about to cross 45th st, when a young man bounces over to us. He says to me, “You look nice.” Then he looks at Girlfriend and says, “Don’t she look nice?” We’re just looking at him. He then reaches out his hand and strokes my shoulder. I say “Don’t
touch me.” And he walks on.
He was a young guy – probably a teenager – and I’m not sure he knew that what he was doing was inappropriate. He looked like he thought I’d be pleased, or respond well, and was surprised when I didn’t. Had I been less tipsy, I might have tried to have a little conversation with him, school him a little on how touching a strange woman in a place like Times Square
might lead to said woman and her girlfriend feeling less than safe.
We proceed to the corner of 47th and 7th, where I hail a cab and Incident Two ensues…
Click here to read more…
Two gentlemen in front of me try to take the cab that I’ve hailed, Mr. Touchy’s inappropriate behavior has set me off and I’m having none of it. I say, “Excuse me, that’s my cab.” Drunk, incoherent stares.
“Excuse me, I hailed that cab.”
One of them finally comes to and replies.
“It’s alright,” he says, “let them have the cab.”
The other stares aggressively at me, but decides to let it pass, while his friend opens the cab door for us (totally unsolicited and unnecessarily). Girlfriend and I step in, I go to close the door, and he closes it for me, saying, “Even if they are ugly.”
By this point I’ve had enough, and I scream, “Fuck off!” in the cab with the windows down. There’s no point in making the cab driver deaf, so I roll down the window and scream “Fuck off!” at the men walking away. One of them grabs his ass and rubs in my direction.
Some men take advantage of how unsafe some women feel, and some men just don’t get it.
Written by Johanna
I cried the whole way to my best friend’s apartment–about an hour subway ride.
I managed to pull myself together as I got off the train, so I was no longer openly sobbing. As I walked down the platform, a man grinned and said to me, “You got some pussy on you!”
Then he said it to the next woman who walked past him.
I don’t care what he said. He was particularly gross, but even if he had just been one of those creepy guys who says “good morning” or “hello” to every woman he sees, it is rude and intrusive and dehumanizing to talk to me with sexual intent when I haven’t given any indication of interest. Actually, given the circumstances, if he had been one of those “Smile, beautiful” assholes, I might have clocked him.
It’s rude because it doesn’t recognize that women are people, with personal lives and feelings and complexities. It was a bad day for me yesterday, but this guy didn’t care. Guys who say this stuff don’t care how the woman they’re harassing feels. They don’t care if her kid is sick or she just got raped last night or her dog died or she got laid off. They just care about feeling all masculine and hetero by expressing their ‘interest.’
He made the worst day of my life so far a little worse. And he doesn’t care.
Written by Ashley
I followed all the biking rules, including the lesser known one meant for women, the one about not wearing a head set so you can hear the ensuing attacker hiding in bushes.
I should have forgotten that last tid bit and worn headphones anyway because of the constant harassment of whistling, honking horns, and many a suggestive, “Hey baby, ride that thing!”
I rode through lots of stop signs, red lights, and even on the wrong side of the street to avoid creeps who wanted to follow me and continue their harassment unabated.
When it became too much I started forsaking myself the (cough cough) safety of town for country roads.
The decision worked well, at first, there was plenty of peace and quiet, the beautiful landscape of farm country, no hooting and hollering or comments made about my getting it on with the bike.
Then I was hit by a car.
Fortunately, I didn’t end up road kill or smeared across a windshield, just thrown into a ditch. No major injuries, but I was pretty shook up.
The real icing on the cake was that the asshole didn’t even bother to stop, not even a glance in his rearview mirror!
I wish to this day I’d gotten the plate number instead of the back of his head forever seared into my memory.
This happened a little more than ten years ago and I’ve not ridden my bike since; unless you count a few loops in my driveway, and to this day my family believes I won’t ride my bike because of getting hit by a car.
Well, that’s one reason out of two!
Written by Beth
Thanks for the awesome picture Beth!
Not your darlin’, creep! (Bad picture, but I wanted to be outta there fast.)