I live in NYC, and have experienced street harassment many times, both here and in other cities. However, the past few years have mostly been pretty free of issue, since I have a fairly tough ‘don’t mess with me’ aura. I’m rather more aggressive with strangers now, and men in general, especially after I was sexually assaulted by the host of a party I was at.
And none of it (the street harassment) really scared me. It pissed me off, but I kind of dealt with it. I figured, I was in public, so I was ok. And considering the man who assaulted me was someone I knew, I was aware that strangers aren’t necessarily the biggest danger or worry.
However, a few months ago, over the summer, I was coming home kind of late. I got to my bus stop in around midnight, 12:30. It was a weekend, so plenty of people were there, as usual, and my specific stop is right in front of a deli that I go in quite a bit.
This night, there was some (possibly) drunk guy there, bugging people. I ignored him, and was watching a movie on my ipod in the line for the bus. This guy came RIGHT up to me and invaded my personal space, asking about what I was watching. I put up and arm and told him to back off, and he did for a bit. But then he started trying to come closer, and saying things like ‘hey mohawk, hey!’ and then saying ‘I just want to put my hands on your hips baby, just want to put my hands on your hips.’.
I tried to ignore him, but then he actually tried to touch my hair (the side of my hawk was nicely fuzzy. Lots of people thought they could try to touch my head…) and to touch my waist/hips! I got so pissed off, I backed up, put up my hands and yelled at him to back the f- off and leave me alone, or else. (I had pepper spray on me, but I’d rather not use it if I don’t have to.) He didn’t, and I moved further down the line, closer to the deli. He tried to come closer and I glared at him, and then he went into the deli. My bus came a bit later, and I went home. But I was both scared, and pissed off. There were TWELVE men in that line with me, and others around. I was the only woman there. Now, I don’t expect other people to fight my battles for me, but seriously, not ONE person was willing to step up and say something to this guy. I was really scared going home, and I didn’t like that this guy knew what bus I was getting on. He hung out at the subway station near the stop for a few weeks after that, but either he didn’t remember me, or decided not to bother me again. Wish I knew about this site/movement before, so I could have have photoed him and holla’dback.
Submitted by Wendy.