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I was suffering from sciatica and scheduled for spinal fusion surgery; in the meantime I was walking with a cane. A shop I loved downtown was closing and they were having going-out-of-business sale with a contest to earn points for prizes. I was on of the top contenders. One of the ways we could earn extra points was to carry a sign advertising the sale in front of the shop. So I signed up to do this, despite my pain.
Now, I am not a young girl. I was, then, in my later forties and a bit plump. It was summer, so I was wearing sandals. As I walked back and forth in front of the shop with my sign in one hand and my cane in the other, a young man of about 16 came up to me. He at first asked me if I wanted to buy a video game console. I said “No, but you can try up the street in the campus district. A lot of college students play video games” and continued my task. He walked away for a little bit and then came back and began to make remarks about my feet – how pretty they were, what kind of nail polish I was wearing, etc. I shrugged it off but he persisted. Then he began to try to touch my feet and offered to kiss them and suck on my toes. He actually bent down and tried to grab my feet, which nearly threw me off balance. I let go of the sign to catch myself and told him to leave me alone. He started to follow me, apologizing, but I went back into the shop early, willing to give up my prize to get away from him.
I told the shop owner what had happened, which naturally shocked them. They gave me my points anyway, but I went home and never returned to finish the contest. I felt violated. All he touched was my feet, but I still felt violated. Despite the heat, I wore socks and tennis shoes for a week before being willing to wear sandals in public again. I’ve been cat called and had passes made at me in my younger days, but this was the most bizarre and creepy thing that has ever happened to me. I still regret not calling to the police to at least give them a heads-up on this guy.
I was once walking down the street with my sister, and two men on a rickshaw said “Smile baby, come take a ride!” and they both started snickering.
Around 8pm last friday, I was on my way back from fabric sourcing in Manhattan with my business partner. My dad was picking me up in the car a block away from the train station. As soon as I exit the turnstile, I see this twenty-something guy in a basketball jersey leaning against the wall of a bodega that sells flowers- I knew he was gonna say something as soon as I saw him. Mind you, I was literally wearing pants, converse, and a collared shirt- business clothes, that no one would find “provocative” in the slightest, and I looked like shit since it was a long day. So as soon as I start walking past the bodega, this guy starts making all these suggestive noises and calling me “baby”.
So I flipped him off. And kept walking. Quickly. How does he respond to that?
“Suck my dick!”
“I’d rather not.”
“Suck my DICK!”
“You’re the one who catcalled me, so no. Fuck off.”
I sped up my already quick walking and didn’t turn around. Thankfully, he didn’t follow me. By the time I got to my dad’s car, I was shaking.
And the whole experience really pissed me off, because I should have the right to walk around my neighborhood without fearing for my safety. Not that I don’t need too- it’s obvious that I do need to worry- but it shouldn’t be a necessity. No one wears a bulletproof suit to avoid getting shot. Women shouldn’t feel like they have to wear a certain type of clothing to avoid harassment- but the kicker is, no matter what you wear, it’s gonna happen. And that’s just plain wrong.
I was walking home from work and was cat-called by a man in a car. I ignored him, until he whistled at me. I turned, pointed at him, and said loud enough for him to hear, “I am NOT a dog. You WILL NOT whistle at me.” He got upset and yelled something back at me but he was in a car and I just kept walking.
I was walking down Colfax, and stopped in front of a new restaurant to read the menu. A man who had been watching me before said “I like your dress.” I was wearing headphones, so I just pretended that I didn’t hear him. He stopped and stood staring at me and repeated himself. I tried to focus on the menu. Then he touched my arm, and it was just so disturbing. I pulled away and said “please don’t touch me.” He continues to stand by me and tell me he “just wanted to tell me he liked my dress.”
I started attending college in DC and coming from New York I’ve sadly grown accustomed to being harassed when I walk the streets. I have grown a pretty thick skin and brush things off usually but this incident rocked me.
To be fair, I have used a car service several times and never had a problem, so hopefully this won’t deter anyone from using their services. However this story should stand as a warning to be aware at all times. One day after class I decided to do a little shopping and instead of walking or taking the metro I decided I would just use a cab. The app informed me that my taxi had arrived and suddenly a taxi slowed down in front of my and the male driver yelled, ” Hello beautiful! Do you need a ride?!” I brushed off this as him being polite so I asked, CLEARLY I might add, “oh yes are you my ride?” and even gestured to my phone. He smiled and said yes so I hopped in and told him the address. While in the taxi the driver continued to gush about how beautiful I was and if I was single and where I was from and it soon turned from polite conversation to quite unsettling. Something didn’t feel right and I noticed he did not have his IPhone displayed like several other Taxis do. I again asked the driver if he was my driver and he nodded and said yes. Suddenly my phone rang and when I answered it was the REAL driver asking where I was! I angrily confronted the driver AGAIN and he began nervously babbling about how lovely I was and how pretty I was and I honestly grabbed a few dollars and threw them at him and jumped out the taxi ( just because I didn’t want him claiming I was trying to get out of a fare).
I was so shaken that I just walked back to my dorm from where I jumped out the cab. Yet again I don’t deter anyone from using taxi apps but be aware!
One of my friends went to the redbox outside of this mcdonalds and was physically intimidated, leered at, verbally harassed and gestured at. The dude stood right next to her as she tried to interact with the machine, and then as she left, his buddy walked towards her harassed her again about if ‘she was single or wanted company’. This is also a neighborhood where many women are harassed from vehicles of men trying to solicit sexual services.
Walking near Dupont Circle, Washington, DC USA yesterday. Passed some men who were packing a moving truck. They ogle me and one mutters “good lord! Gotta tuck it in!” Presumably, he was referring to his penis. I felt unsafe, disrespected.
I was in the local store and a young woman came into the store hurriedly like she was trying to avoid someone. She was wearing yoga pants and a tank top like she had just come from a workout. Not five seconds after she came through the door two men came in after her, screaming and being quite loud about how they “appreciate that” and how the young woman was “doing them a service.” It was disgusting, and made everyone around them uncomfortable, the girl ended up leaving.
Walking home from work one evening on a busy dual carriageway, two men were walking on the opposite side of the road from me. One called out ‘oi love, my mate wants to rape you’ I was pretty rattled by this and upped my pace with mobile phone in hand. His friend shouted back ‘I’m sorry about him’. That’s all very well but your mate needs a kick in the groin. It still bothers me that men think it’s a joke to threaten rape.