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As I’m walking down Broadway, the man on the left hisses “niccccccce.” I ignore him, when again I hear “niccccccccce.” I turn around to see if this old dude actually has the nerve to harass me. He lifts his cane, points it up and down my body, and with raised eyebrows repeats, “niccccccccccce.”
Apparently for these two, wisdom doesn’t come with age.
THE SCENE: Me, walking down Broadway between 178 and 179th streets on a 60 degree day in February, enjoying my lunch break. Mr. Man is heading my way with his buddy, and gives me an exaggerated look up and down.
Mr. Man: Yo baby, you’re gorgeous! I wanna hit that! Mmmmmmmmm…..
Me: (walking, walking, and then bam: 180) Sir, can I take your picture?
Mr. Man: Why do you want to take my picture?
Me: Because I’m taking pictures of everyone who thinks I’m pretty today.
Mr. Man: Girl, you can take my picture everyday!
The weirdest part was, as soon as I started talking to him I could sense that he wasn’t a kidnapper, rapist, or even really an asshole. He was just a confused guy with absolutely no lady skills. Still, if I hadn’t turned around for the HOLLABACK, I would have walked on feeling a little shaken and self-conscious. How I am supposed to know which are the nice guys and which just don’t get it?
Hollaback 1, Mr. Man 0.
Play better next time.
Okay, so it’s not New York or even America but whatever, it still irritated the hell out of me. I am 13. I moved to Barcelona a few months ago from London and I have found the attention here to be a lot more blatant than in England. For example: The other day I was in the park going for a walk. I was strolling through, enjoying the sights as one does when a guy of about 25 walks past, stares at me and goes “Hollllaaaaa’. When I ignore him he goes “Hola, guapa!” (Hello beautiful) and WINKS at me. I walk faster and get away, feeling freaked out but glad I’m
safe. A few minutes later, I come across him again, this time sitting on a bench. At which point he ponts his middle finger at me, SUCKS IT and gives me the most lecherous stare I have ever seen. It was only after I’d got away that I realised I should have taken a picture. It wasn’t only the way he talked to me that bothered me, it was the fact that I am blatantly a 13 year old girl, and not going to screw him. I guess the fact that afterwards I felt like kicking his head in for treating me like an object didn’t bother him.
My friend Mari and I had been discussing how placid our lives have become since school ended, now that we have traded the emotional highs and lows of college life for steady paychecks, steady relationships and predictable routines.
Fortunately, however, you appeared with pleasingly ironic timing to shake us out of our complacency. We were just placidly browsing along St. Mark’s Place when you suddenly told Mari and me about that very naughty thing you wanted to do with us. And not just you, but the guy who was working with you, too! Thanks!
We hurried into the store next door, and I thought about you for a few minutes (oh yes, I did). I finally decided to preserve the experience for my Internet scrapbook (i.e. my blog) by taking a photo of you with my handy camera-phone. I don’t understand why you looked so surprised. How could I let this precious moment slip by without taking a photo?
I also don’t understand why you didn’t answer me when I asked you why you said those things to us. After all, you did initiate the conversation, and I genuinely wanted to know. And I don’t understand why you got so angry when I mused out loud that it might be because you’re an ugly pervert who gratifies himself by harassing random women. After all, I thought you might also want to know how it feels to be treated like a piece of meat.
I think you should be honored to know that you’re the first man I’ve ever snapped back at. Over the three years I’ve lived in New York City, I’ve had many strange men do and say extraordinarily nasty things to me. In fact, some of the things they’ve said or done have been even nastier, and even more degrading. But you, dear sir, are the first.
I’ve been told that I should just get used to it; that, being a woman and all, I need to take it for granted that I will be harassed on the street. But while I have become a bit complacent, I like to think that I haven’t yet mutated into a doormat.
Hugs and kisses (not really),
P.S. By the way, if you’re going to sexually harass someone, try not to do it while you’re at work. I think that sock store deserves more attentive employees. Plus, with all those frilly anklets in stock, your boss might not be happy if you start scaring away the lady customers.
They were totally absorbed in their stupidass bantering (they had moved on to other targets) and didn’t even see me bust out my phone and snap a photo. It was the first time I did it and a little scary, but I encourage all the grrls to get up close for them photos if it’s safe – these fuckers need exposure & humiliation!
I live on a major street in Oakland, and for whatever reason I can’t leave my front door on foot without getting harassed at least once on my way to Point B. I love this city, so it really bums me out that this is the case. The most frightening was when I walked under the highway overpass and not one but TWO cars tried to pull up next to me within a minute of each other.
The worst incident in recent memory happened in a yuppified neighborhood north of here. I had just gotten off the train and was on my way to work. I was very hungry and the supermarket was a few blocks away, but I found a Tootsie Pop left over from Halloween in my bag, so I thought, “This will hold me until I can get some real food.”
So there I was, eating my Tootsie Pop and thinking cheerful thoughts when some asshole walking towards me interjected, “I’ll give you someting to suck on, baby.” I was stunned. I couldn’t believe it. As soon as I realized what he had said, I turned and threw the sucker at him as hard as I could. It didn’t hit him, but I couldn’t have gone on eating it after that.
Written by Sarah.