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While walking to work early in the morning, a group of teens groped me in passing.no comments
I’m used to being harassed about generally being a woman. “Nice ass” “smile baby” etc. However, this was differently, and frankly odd and shocking. I’m very petite, which my friends tease me about. I suppose someone who didn’t know me could consider it a defining feature, but I don’t really think about it. While I was walking with a group of friends, we passed by another group of people in the street, who had obviously been drinking. We were all silent, in a hurry to get somewhere, too rushed to really speak.
A guy in the other group looked up and saw me, then, in the dead silence, yelled, “You’re not short, you’re fun-sized.”
His friends cracked up. My friends and I, hurried and shocked, didn’t respond. Later, a friend said we should have shot back, “You’re not funny, you’re just rude.”
Street harassment comes in all forms, everyone…this was not sexual, but it’s someone feeling perfectly fine in being insulting and rude to a stranger, who happens to be a woman. It’s the same undertone of entitlement.
On my way back in from a stop at the convenience store, there was a younger postman sitting on a stoop, eating a sandwich. I looked at him for a moment, wondering if all postmen took breaks on stoops. He was looking at me, and when I realized I looked down and tried to walk faster.
“Excuse me, miss?”
I just turn and look at him, no verbal response.
“I just have to say, you’re like…the weirdest hot girl I’ve ever seen, if that makes sense.”
I told him it didn’t make sense (“Well, it’s true.”), and walked past my apartment so he wouldn’t know which building was mine. When I got back around the block, he was gone.
Well, not a street harassment issue – but this made me feel much the same way. I was out dancing with a few friends and there was one man making me feel very uncomfortable: just standing on the other side of the room, not dancing or talking to anyone, just staring. I asked my friend if she would go to the bathroom with me soon because this guy was making me scared to go alone.
A few minutes later he looped around the room, came up behind me, and made a negative remark about my dancing. I moved away from him, closer to my friends, and he followed. I said I wasn’t interested in talking to him and he persisted, so I asked him to leave me alone. He got louder and told me to get out of his way so he could leave; he told me several times to “get back in your corner” before he stormed out of the room.
I just can’t get this one out of my head. The amount of anger he directed at me simply because I wasn’t interested, and his weird power play at the end of our interaction (forcing me to move instead of walking around, as he’d done when he approached me) left me feeling shaken, and kind of frightened.
(West oak lane)
I was walking down Stenton ave near Church’s Chicken and a white car beeped at me. I started walking quicker to my destination and the white car pulled up in front of me on the curb and waited for me to pass it. I turned around and crossed the street. It didn’t take long for the person in the white car to notice that I didn’t want to be bothered so they drove off.
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