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I was grocery shopping when a man approached me in the aisle. He said, “wow you are pretty! can i talk to you for a minute?” and i said, “sir i am in a rush to get some food, i don’t have time now, thank you!” and he said, “now wait a second, you will have time for a man like me.” then he proceeded, as i walked away, to follow me, aisle by aisle, asking why i won’t talk to him. I turned around and said, “you are too old for me (he was at least 50, i am 30), and I am not interested.” this turned into negativity and he wouldn’t let me get away. I finally decided to leave early, without getting the food i needed. I waited in the checkout line, he followed. he shouted after me as i drove away, i was only able to get about 5 things.
Waiting to cross the street after running 4 miles, I was on the phone with my significant other seeing when he would be home. As I was waiting for the light to turn so I could cross I hear someone make kissing sounds. I turn around and two older gentlemen are standing behind me and one mutters that I have a “fuckable pussy”. I just gave him this look like I was going to kill him and walked away, I was afraid they would follow me.
One morning I was on my way into work and stopped into 7/11 to grab a coffee. A man was at the counter checking out while i proceeded past him to get my drink from the fridges. After the man had been checked out he returned to the fridge next to where i was looking, and he kept staring. Having dealt with this before i told him just flat out, I have a boyfriend, in hopes to end the conversation before it got started. But it only worsened. He continued by getting mad at me, telling me that i was ugly and that he would never want to get with me, and telling me that i should just shut up and stop talking and that i shouldn’t say another word. No one really stepped in, the lady at the counter asked me if i was okay. Then the man came back to me at the counter and said that yes in fact he was trying to hit on me though he never apologized. I was too upset to care. I appreciated his honesty but the matter of fact was that simply because i did not feel the same way towards him that he did me, it was okay for him to get mad at me and for me just to go on with my day like nothing happened? and no one had my back or said anything to him. That i think was the worst part, that i was completely alone in that moment and if he had followed me or had gotten angrier, anything could have happened.
It’s raining cats & dogs and here I am standing on the El platform waiting for my train to arrive. A train pulls in on the opposite side of the platform, ” Oh c’mon!” I sigh to myself hoping that my train will arrive so that I can have refuge from this heavy downpour.
As the passengers, unload from the El, a male passenger steps off and immediately begins eying me. I turn my head in the opposite direction disinterested. Unfortunately, he began to approach. Right then my stomach dropped and I got a bad vibe. His clothes are ragged and his hair uncut. He approaches me and begins caressing my arm, speaking softly.
Just then a little voice inside me says “this guy is dangerous”.
I jerk my arm away and say “Ah Un…NO!”. I start to back up slowly not taking my eyes off of him, unsure of what he will do next. As I back away, I gets even closer replacing my steps and begins to tell me to “stop moving back”.
I breathe a sigh of relief as my train pulls into the platform and dart on as soon as the door opens. I think I’m safe when I turn around and see that he followed me onto the train. The automated voice announces “Doors are Closing” and I flee out leaving him on the train.
Two SEPTA employees at the fare collections booth saw me dart off the train and asked me what happened. I informed them that there was a guy who followed me onto that train and I didn’t feel safe. One mentioned that he probably followed me because “I was very pretty”. I was insulted by this comment.
Instead of sucking my teeth and rolling my eyes, I decided to educate this employee stating that I was followed by a man whose advances were unwelcome and affirmed that no one deserves harassment!
I see a train approaching in the distance.
“What do I do now” I ask myself? I was on my way to a committee meeting, I could still call and cancel and say I couldn’t make it. But was I going to change my entire life because of this encounter? Would I stop catching public transportation altogether? What if that creepy guy was a the next stop waiting to get on and continue to harass me?
I decided to take a stand and got on the train. If that guy was waiting for me at the next platform or any thereafter, I was going to stand wedged between the platform and train, announcing as loudly as I could that this man is a stalker and this train isn’t safe until he gets off.
Thankfully I made it to my destination safely! However, after that experience and other street harassment experiences in the past, I admit I don’t feel safe. I’m going to enroll into some self-defense classes, learning how to protect myself when words don’t work.
I was walking down Cecil B Moore and a man in a red car started verbally harassing me at a red light as I waited to cross the street. He kept shouting “hey cutie” “hey girl”. I took a photo of him and he covered his face and said, “go ahead and take my picture, I’ll take yours too!” and pulled out his phone and took a photo of me. I screamed “I don’t care if you take my photo, YOU are harassing ME, so go find yourself on Hollaback and leave me alone!” I felt unsafe and walked down a side street
At the CVS on Market & 10th, a man in an older gentleman in a wheelchair passed by me and told me that I looked very nice. Okay. His remark sounded respectful, wasn’t gross or sexual. I’ll take the compliment.
I went down another aisle, and was comparing hair dyes. Nearly all of the products around me were marketed for women. He came down this aisle, and I assumed he was just moving slowly, or having to maneuver his chair through a narrow aisle.
I continue comparing dyes, and a minute or two goes by. It finally dawns on me that he’s still there, near me. I look over to see if I’m blocking his way or something, and he’s using his vantage point to try to look squarely up my dress.
A man rode his bike by and yelled “hey lady how you doing today?” I ignored him so he rode back around again and yelled “sexy”. I continued to ignore him so he rode around once again and yelled “work it baby!!!!” Finally he rode off for good.
A man walked behind me and said things like, “hey baby! Sexy sexy sexy lady here!” I had my headphones in and ignored him so that I could get away from him quicker. That made him angry and he ran up to yell, “What! You think you’re miss thing?! Uggggly!” Fortunately he turned down another street after that.