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The stories below are recent encounters with street harassment from around the world. Click the “I’ve Got Your Back” button under each one to anonymously show your support.
Today I went to my local (mixed) gym in Brussels.
An older man came up to me while I was on a cardio bike. He asked me if he had seen me before. I told him that I didn’t remember him so probably not (staying friendly but not engaging in the conversation).
At the end of my 1 hour cardio session he comes back telling me he likes my thighs and that my shorts made me show too much leg and that I should wear something else the next time I would come to the gym. Because he could “control” himself but maybe other younger men in the gym would not be able to”control” themselves. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I told him it was not my job to dress to his “standards” (less eloquent because my french isn’t that awesome). I blocked the following of the conversation and the man left.
When I was done (ten more minutes of anger pedalling and not believing this happened. I went to the desk and asked the employee if there is another female-only gym in the neighbourhood (they have it for a reason). She replies nicely and then I explain I will not be coming back and explained what happened.
I went for my bag and the head-employee storms towards me with her sandwich steaming. She was not-amused something like that happened and wanted to know who had said such a thing. I pointed out the man by saying what machine but told her I didn’t want a confrontation.
her colleague told her to confront the men when I left (which I was about to) and she almost stormed toward him. She also confirmed me that I was in my right and that being properly dressed wasn’t up to the man to decide. the short was good enough.
So I am sad I am leaving this place though.
Published on August 26, 2015 at 3:58 pmno comments
I went for a bike ride from the East End over to the Legislature and back. It was around 2 PM on a Saturday. I wore leggings and a tee shirt. I am 38 years old, a mother, and a busy professional. I am not used to strange men commenting on my appearance or trying to talk to me. However on this particular day I was harassed twice on the same ride. Once in Wascana Park in a crowded area, and once on the intersection of Assiniboine and University. Both times, a strange man shouted “Hey Baby.” One also asked me “how I was doing.” That I was harassed was fairly shocking as I was simply out exercising. I have recently moved to Regina and have been having a hard time liking the place – and this certainly did not help. On this particular day, the first catcall didn’t bother me because I was in a crowded area and felt safe. But regarding the second one, we were the only people on the street, and it scared me. The harasser had a bicycle and could have followed me. It was awful and I have not been out exercising since.
Published on August 26, 2015 at 2:02 pmno comments
Honestly, today’s experience of verbal harassment is nothing new to me. I am so tired. I was walking into my place of work (which I love and always feel safe at) when a group of five men that were by a moving truck started barking at me and said “we see what you got and we like it.” I was grabbing stuff out of my car and trying to hurry into work as they continued barking. I turned to them and just said “can you not” and they all laughed. I can’t tell if they were moving into the building next door (God I hope not) or just helping someone move. I work in the vicinity of the University of Michigan, where verbal harassment (and sexual assault) are huge issues. I feel so powerless and sad. I came into work and texted my supportive, feminist boyfriend. I am sitting at my desk trying not to cry. This happens to me weekly, at the least. I am sick of not feeling safe. My boyfriend suggested calling the non-emergency police line and reporting verbal harassment. I wasn’t even sure if I really should…will anything be done? This happens to me all the time. It’s nothing new. But that doesn’t mean that I am immune to it. I hate it, I resent it. I feel sad and helpless. I preach being a strong, independent woman. But nothing makes me feel smaller or weaker than being verbally harassed. I. a.m so. tired.
Published on August 25, 2015 at 10:55 amno comments
I was walking by Balcony Bar minding my own business when a creepy, dirty man (about 48-49 years old) wearing a blue bandana around his head says to me “beautiful body.” I stopped, turned around and said “please don’t say that, I don’t appreciate it.” He then went on to call me a “fuckin bitch.” Thankfully I was in a public space because this man looked like he could’ve gotten physically violent. It’s definitely something to be aware of when fighting against this verbal abuse. The man was drinking and looked like he was intoxicated, which could’ve elevated the situation.
Published on August 21, 2015 at 9:33 pmno comments
It was a gorgeous day and I was driving to work with my windows open and stopped at an intersection. I was just eating an ice cream bar I had just purchased at 711 when a guy driving a minivan next to me yells “I wanna bite!” I yell back “f*ck off you f*cking weirdo!” and start to roll up my window. But then I think “no damn it! I was enjoying the nice weather and opened my window back down and turned up my music. I’m not going to let some creeper ruin my day!
Published on August 21, 2015 at 3:23 amno comments