I was walking down the street to my car after one of my shifts at work, straight-faced, focused on getting to my car safely with pepper spray in hand. “Why don’t you smile?” I heard it and immediately turned red with rage. His buddies laughed. I kept my paced, looked over my shoulder, yelled “that was sexist bullshit!” and spent the rest of the night angry at him, the comment, and myself becaused I wished I would have confronted him and his buddies face to face.
These clever guys in my DC neighborhood use this adorable pickup gimmick when I bike home after work: they slow their car, make comments about my body, and even stop traffic to “cheer me on” as I slowly bike uphill. What would I do without their compliments and attention each day? Street harassment is the BEST. So far, three different cars have done this – one was a group of young college-age men, and the other two have been individuals. Tonight was a man who actually pulled over to wait for me after following me side-by-side for a block as I bicycled uphill, stopping traffic and making me worried I’d get followed. Luckily, people started honking and he drove away, but I was worried he’d catch me later on in my commute. I wish him a thousand flat tires.
I was walking back to work throught the skyway in downtown St. Paul. A man started walking close to me and making disgusting and perverted comments about my body. I gave him a stern look and he then became more aggressive. He said “how am I not supposed to say anything to you”. He followed me and continued to make comments. I then looked at him and said “you are being disrespectful. Leave me alone”. He continued to make comments and follow me for a short while, but then left. There were other people around and no one said anything. I then had to either get into an elevator or climb a set of stairs to get back to my office and I was afraid.
Two men told me I smelled good.
Just the normal “compliment” not meant as a compliment. Makes me feel like shit.
I passed by the hired security guards daily because their desk is directly across from the elevators at my university. One guard (who I’ve never spoken to) would make me feel uncomfortable because he would stare at me as I waited for the doors to close. I often tried to look busy so I didn’t have to make eye contact with him. I was leaving campus one day and he FOLLOWED ME through the lobby, out the door and into the parking lot. I didn’t notice until he caught up to me and stopped to ask me, “what’s your name?”… Really? A security guard was following me through the parking lot? After that, I took the stairs to 8th floor so that I didn’t have to see him. The next year I found out he was fired for harassing other female students.
I’m verbally harassed in public at least twice a month. The latest I can remember was when I was in the grocery store at night, alone, passing by a man who was obviously checking me out while he was on the phone asking his wife or girlfriend which kind of frozen waffles to buy. He passed by me in a different isle as he was walking to the checkout line and said, “girl, I could eat you up like chocolate”. Who says this stuff?!?! Situations like this happen to me so many times I feel like all I can do is pretend I didn’t hear them. Even then I’m called names for not engaging in conversations with them. I shouldn’t need a boyfriend with me to not be harassed at the grocery store.
Boston university students verbally harassed me. I am a trans girl and they were making fun if my Halloween costume calling me, “he and him.” They said I looked like Gene Simmons of KISS.
Walking down the street, two men shouted “You look good, baby!” at me.
I’m 27 now and these are few things that happened many years ago. One instance was more than 18 years ago and another happened about fourteen years ago. They’ve stuck with me and they still make me cry whenever I think of them.
The first instance happened on a Friday, I remember because my dad got paid that day and we (my mom, siblings, and I) were going to go grocery shopping at a shopping center a few minutes from our house. We were hungry so my mom took us to a McDonald’s in the shopping center and we sat in our car to eat before going into the grocery store. My mom was in the front seat and my sister and I were in the very back. A homeless man came up to our car and asked my mom for some money. She gave him some change and apologized saying that that was all that she had to give (we didn’t have very much money). He then angrily told her something in Spanish and my mom responded back to him and tried to roll up the window as fast as she could, but the homeless man threw the change at my mom before she could completely roll up the window. We were scared and my Mom was crying/upset. My mom then found the security guard that was supposed to be in front of the store and told him what happened and he said they called the police. We waited and waited in our car for what seemed like forever, but the police never came and we just went home. When we got home we told my dad and brothers what happened. I remember my sister and I telling them that we thought he asked our mom for some of our food before he threw the money. I now know what he said to my mom. She said that after she gave him the money and apologized he said, “then give me one of your daughters” I don’t remember when I found this out, but that incident still haunts/disgusts me to this day to the point where I will not go to that shopping center/area of the city anymore. It scared me so much that I won’t give homeless people money.The one time I gave someone a couple of dollars a few months ago, I had my brother give it to the man while I was in the car with the doors locked and the windows up.
The second time I was in junior high and walking home from school when it happened. I passed by an apartment building that was down the street from my house. The street was pretty lonely and there were construction workers on the roof that started saying things to me when I passed by. The word “chica” was used a lot in conjunction with the stupid “ch, ch” sound. I just ignored them and walked even faster then I was already walking just to get home as quickly as possible. I was to scared to tell my parents what happened at the time. I felt so disgusted and ashamed of what happened. Now I realize that I shouldn’t feel that way, those assholes should for acting the way they did.
Those things taught me that if something does happen, I’m going to do my damndest to fight back. Thank you for this site/movement and for listening.