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I was walking to 30th street station today (June 24) after work, it was around 4:15 by the time I had gotten to the intersection. I crossed the street to walk on the median strip to avoid and oncoming family with luggage, and to cross Schuykill Ave. into the train station with more ease. As I approached the intersection I noticed a large knapsack sitting in the sidewalk but no one was near it. As I came closer to it a panhandler came out of traffic and approached me. He asked me for money of course, I replied that I was sorry and didn’t have any. He then began to verbally attack me and as I walked past him he hit me with his cane on my right thigh/hip. He shouted at me:
“What the fuck are you sorry for, are you sorry for being alive, for being healthy. You don’t have to struggle, look at you dressed up working. You’re a dirty fucking cunt you know that.”
He continued to shout insults at me and verbally berate me the entire time, about 2 minutes, it took for the light to change so I could cross the street.
A man walked behind me for a block yelling “sexy sexy sexy!” while staring at me from behind. I turned around an said “no! You don’t know me, you have no right to call me sexy and act offensive.” He shrugged his shoulders and said “whatever” then turned the corner.
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.