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Within twenty minutes, one man stopped in front of me and looked at me, two men walked past and said “hello pretty, how are you doing?” Then started talking about how rude I was for not responding. Third man walks past and says “hello miss, you should be a model”. When I continue to ignore him he says “did you hear me? Look at me! What’s wrong?” I tell him I want some time alone. He tells me to smile and asks for 80 cents. Hate feeling this uncomfortable in Clark Park.
A man in the passenger side of a trash truck (on the job!) stopped at the light and he began to yell out at me and tell me how I was ‘looking good’. When I ignored him and kept my headphones in he kept yelling if I could hear him. When I made a ‘no, stop’ motion he yelled at me ‘are you OK boo?’
A car full of young men drove by and yelled lude things at my partner as we tried to make our way home. One man hung his head out the window and gestured with his hand.
A man approached me and my partner asking for money. When we politely replied that we had nothing to give he seemed to be done and started to walk away. While my partner unlocked her bike he turned around bent down and licked his lips and made sexual comments about her butt. I told him to cut it out and go away and he slowly started walking again.
My friend and I were crossing the street and two men tried to get my friend’s attention and get them to come to their car. Hoping they needed a question answered my friend responded. The men made lude comments and asked if the two of us were dating. We quickly exited the scene. I’m sharing this because I have experienced or witnessed street harassment so many times (already 3 times in the past 7 days) I didn’t know where to start, so I started somewhere.
Editor’s Note: Like we say at workshops and in our blog posts, trust your gut given the circumstances surrounding each harassment situation when deciding how to proceed. Sometimes the harassment merely needs to be noticed and called out for the harasser to stop, other times it may not be safe to intervene, either as a bystander or as the person being harassed. Given your interpretation of the situation and safety of the circumstances (like lighting, time of day, people around, etc.), use your best judgment when deciding how to respond!
I get harassed by men every time I go outside, normally multiple times in the span of minutes. I never responded in the past, but remembered reading an advertisement on a SEPTA bus recently that said something like “that’s not okay”, encouraging individuals to speak up to stop street harassment. So this morning while I was waiting for the bus to go to work, a man as usual drove by me very slowly saying tons of nasty things out of his window. Remembering the advertisement, I decided to address his comments instead of being silent. To make a long story short, the man exited his car and after a handful of threats threw a cup of hot coffee in my face.
As a social worker I am excited about the idea of empowering individuals. As someone who lives in a high-crime rate neighborhood and who has been the victim of multiple crimes in said neighborhood, I think engaging anyone in such a setting is plain stupid. As a licensed CCW holder, I am constantly judging the threat level of my surroundings – but still didn’t see it coming. Do not underestimate the level of crazy that prolonged poverty and/or drug-use can drive a person to. I am excited about the movement but felt it was important to share. Be careful ladies.
My taxi driver thought it was okay to spend the entire ride hitting on me and leering at me and trying to get me to give him my phone number.
And then came the “So, what are you?” as he tried to guess my ethnicity, telling me how exotic I look and how sexy that is. When I told him I’m Native, he told me that I should have lots and lots of babies, because there aren’t a lot of us left. Right. What I really want is to be a broodmare. Cool.
He finally asked if I had a boyfriend. I lied and said yes (I have a GIRLFRIEND, but wasn’t going to bring that up…) and he commented on how if I was with him, he wouldn’t let me go around alone at night.
When we pulled up to my intersection, he wouldn’t let me off at the corner, and really pressed about which building I lived in, if I lived there or was visiting friends, if I lived there alone… It was invasive and scary enough to be trapped in a car with him, I didn’t want to give him any clues about how to track me down.
I said I was staying with friends, and gave him a fake address a few doors down, anyway. I pretended to be digging through my purse for my keys until he drove away.
I had just gotten the motivation to go on a run, as I was running out of The Enclaves apartment neighborhood along the driveway I noticed a silver volvo waiting to pull out in front of me. My anger immediately started to boil because obviously a girl going on a jog is not faster than a vehicle. The 20-something male driver obviously was waiting for me to keep running so he could drive behind me and stare at my ass. I thought the creepy moment would end there, I would get over the fact that this driver would be behind me for a 15-30 seconds as he passed by while I ran as close to the side of the curb as I possibly could. But NO.
“Excuse me, miss?” the driver said, as I was still trying to run.
“WHAT? yeah, what?” I said, first angry, then catching myself because maybe he needed directions and I was just being rude.
“I’m sorry but I just have to tell you, you’re the most gorgeous girl I have ever seen, are you single?” the creep said.
“What? No! Keep moving,” I said.
“I just had to stop and say that to you”
“No, women don’t like to be catcalled!”
… and the creep drove off. I was so angry. My motivation to run had been completely annihilated by my frustration with this freaking creep! Why does he get to just talk to ME out of no where?? Why does he think he can just interrupt my workout to talk to me?? What does he seriously think would come from hitting on a girl in the middle of the day while she is just trying to mind her own business and go on a run??
Two men in a car at the light wolf whistled at me as I crossed the street. Then they did it again, trying to get my attention.
I was walking down Girard Avenue on a warm, sunny day with a lot of people out. An older man shouted at me as we passed one another: “HEY SEXY!” I resisted my usual urge to flip the bird and told myself to ignore him as I kept walking. He stopped and shouted “Hello!?” Like I owed something to him. I kept walking and ignored him. Then I heard “Fuck you!”