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Within the span of one block: I was walking and a guy on a skateboard stopped beside me. I was ready for him to say something offensive but instead he said “Hey I wanted to say that your dress is awesome, have a good day!” He rode away and I was feeling pretty good that someone complimented my style without saying something creepy or sexist.
A few seconds later a man in a car stopped beside me and yelled “Hey babe, put a smile on your face. You’re beautiful, you should be happy.” Fuck this guy. I was in a perfectly good mood, but normal humans don’t walk around with huge mindless smiles plastered on their faces. Even if I was sad, I am a human and have the right to feel all emotions (what if I had just found out about a death, an illness, lost a job, etc) not just to “look happy and beautiful” to strangers in cars.
(Frankford & Market)
I was downtown a few days ago and got off the train. I had approached this guy and had asked him for directions. At first he began talking about the stops and signs around us as he led me across the station to another area. We then entered a narrow tunnel and he lowered his voice and began asking stuff like “do you come down here much ?” “do you have a boyfriend ?” “can I see you again ?” , etc , while I was sweating like a hog as I carried a very large travel bag in my arms. When we finally emerged and became surrounded by a bunch of guys that were staring , he just abruptly became quiet, turned the opposite direction and walked off.
(West Oak Lane)
It was during a hot summer day when I went out with my mom to buy some things at a food mart. We took the bus back to our neighborhood as usual. When we got off I pointed to a street to venture down because it looked quiet. So we started strolling and we eventually passed a house with darkened windows. I had a habit at the time to look into other peoples windows so I couldn’t help myself then. While gazing into the darkness of the house i finally heard a burst of laughter coming from a bunch of unseen males. When I turned away and began walking faster I heard “Hey yo !”, “How you ‘doin ?” , “C’mere yo !” , “Yo, where you going ?!” by multiple voices coming from different windows of the darkened house. I payed them no mind but my mom stopped for some reason. I told her “let’s go” and the guys continued to disrespect me even though they saw an elderly person with me ! The catcalling eventually stopped by the time we got to the end of the block and I shortly became self conscious because I wondered why they were laughing to begin with.
(West Oak Lane)
I had gone to the grocery store with a family member and decided to wait outside near the shopping carts while they checked out. I impatiently paced back and forth untill I became tired and then sat on a trash can. It was during the afternoon and there were loads of people coming in and out of the grocery store. My eye began to sting after a few minutes of waiting and I began rubbing as soon as a guy approached. I began to shift my weight around so that I didn’t have to face him. He then said “you don’t have to do that. You don’t have to move.” I didn’t respond and continued rubbing my eye. He went on to say “Are you waiting for somebody ?” in a low voice. I ignored him. “Do you come around here a lot ? Do you live around here ?” . Silence. “What’s your name ?” I told him “it doesn’t matter.” He then asked “How old are you ?” I lamely said “it doesn’t concern you” He then finally got the message that I didn’t want to be bothered and silently strolled off.
Editor’s Note: People choose not to report harassment, groping, and public masturbation for various reasons, and we understand the complexities involved in making that decision. If, however, you ever want to report harassment, groping, stalking, or other crimes on SEPTA, we want to provide that information! You can call SEPTA Police at 215-580-8111, or tweet the incident and any photos at @SEPTA, or the SEPTA Police Chief, Tom Nestel, at @TNestel3.
I was having a great day- had lunch with an awesome client of mine, got a massage and a mani pedi, then stopped home to feed my cats before heading to my boyfriend’s place. I always sit way in the back of the bus so that elderly, disabled, or people with children can have the up front seats. As I walked up the back steps and past a man sitting in the first back row, I felt a hand on try to go up my skirt. I brushed it off, maybe I was mistaken. I took a seat across and back from the man I thought may have touched me and settled in. As I looked up, he had his penis out and was masturbating a staring at me. I felt totally violated and dehumanized and scared. I got up like I was getting off at the next stop, and told the bus driver as calmly as possible. The man was kicked off the bus. I cried hysterically the whole ride.
#5 bus, headed toward Front and Market Streets near Arrot Terminal
(West Oak Lane ) One time I was sitting at the laptop charging area in the library. I was completely enamored with what I was writing and was oblivious to just about everything around me. Suddenly a bunch of teenagers walked past me and exited through the front door. I briefly wondered what was going on in the back of the library because i know that sometimes they hold events. Two guys that looked like they were friends were the last to pass me. They were walking slow and and kept looking behind at me. They left the library and came back in seconds later to pass me. When they came over one of them hid near a bookshelf as the other asked if he could sit down at the table. I had asked him “Do you have a laptop ?” He glanced at his friend and said “no”. I told him “Your only allowed over here if you have one.” (Obviously he didn’t). Then he laughed and quickly walked out with his friend who reeked of cigarettes.
(West Oak Lane) One time I was walking with a parent down a street that was littered with fastfood shops and was filthy. We had just came from a building where a group of guys were staring and giggling at me and were now perched against a store on the opposite side of the street. I walked past and they just screamed “weirdo !” began laughing. My parent just said “leave us alone” and we quickened our pace.
(West Oak Lane) I remember earlier this year I had went to a local drug store to pick up Easter candy because I saw a sale in the paper. It was a very cold day and so I dressed appropriately (scarf around neck, downcoat, hoodie,etc). When I entered the small store a new guy was working there and was standing in the crossroads of the many aisles. He began staring at me while he talked on his phone and I got butterflies in my stomach, so I decided not to walk forward. I took another aisle which circled around him, I passed him and he started at me again in my direction . This happened about three more times. I couldn’t find the candy section so I went to the cash register lady. She pointed in the correct direction and proceeded. When I finally got the the aisle, I saw that the new guy had moved to it. I ignores him as I browsed through the section. He said “come here” in a whisper. He inched closer and put his phone down as his eyes centered on me. He asked “How are you. ?” I think I may have just nodded. Then he whispered “I’ve seen you outside with your face all covered up with your scarf and your headphones on before.” as he invaded my personal space and his face inched closer to mine. I turned around to the opposite section. He followed and said “You need some help ?” I told him no, quickly grabbed the items and went to checkout.
I was standing at the bus stop one afternoon and started kneeling because it had became increasingly hot and there was any benches unfortunately. The traffic had came to a hault before a red light and I had spotted a low car with a guys head popping out of the window. He stared at me until the light was green and the specific car passed me. He looked out again with another guy and yelled out to me “Yo, yo,yo,” and kept staring untill the car was halfway down the block. He sucked his teeth, indicating that he had became impatient with me and the car sped off in a rush.
I was walking east on Cecil B Moore avenue and a man in a car kept shouting “hey gorgeous”, “nice ass”, “why won’t you stop and talk to me”, “can I have you?”, “tell me yes or no” for several blocks. I did not engage and avoided eye contact as I kept walking. He made several turns to drive by me again and again, finally before driving towards me after turning the corner and pulling up next to me. I stopped, looked at him and took this photo. This all went on for about 5 minutes.