Seff’s Story: “I’ve Never Felt so Ashamed to Be a Woman”

This is quite possibly the most vile thing anyone has ever said to me. It’s not the first time I’ve been the victim of verbal street harassment, and I only wish it will be the last. It was about a week ago, and I stood texting my boyfriend on National Avenue (near One Stop Golf), the same place I’ve waited to meet him from work most weeknights for over 3 months. Before this the same group had done the odd wolf-whistle but that’s it, yeah it’s demeaning and unpleasant but nothing compared to the latest catcall.

Last week as I stood in the usual place, 4 guys (late 20s) cycled past and one of them shouted, “Don’t think you’re going to get any business stood there!” I was completely in shock, I froze and just stood there looking down at my phone in horror. My boyfriend arrived a few minutes later with his friend and they were both really concerned. I’m normally quite quick-witted and things don’t usually shake me this much but I was feeling so awful and sick from the comment I could not even react. It turned out the guys who cycled past actually work with my boyfriend, and I had to beg him not to say anything because I’m certain if they know it bothers me, they’ll get worse. I have even resorted to hiding down the ten-foot until I’ve seen them go by. I’ve never felt so ashamed to be a woman in my life, I kept thinking, “Do I really look like a prostitute?” It took my boyfriend, his parents, his brother and my best friend to convince me that they were just stupid boys saying stupid stuff. I can take a bit of banter but that was too much…