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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 friend and I were walking to dinner. As were walking to dinner, we unfortunately had to split a group of men taking up the sidewalk who, of course had to stop their conversation and make several comments to us, about our bodies, how “sexy” we looked, whole lot of “damn”s and “oh baby”s. I could tell she was uncomfortable, and being very tiny I can understand how she might feel very intimidated. As we continued to the restaurant, we discussed how these types of experiences affect us. I told her that I had recently started yelling back at guys who do this to me on the street. Her fear was that something worse would happen, specifically that the harassers would become angry and physically attack us, rape us, shoot us, stab us, etc.
I can understand this fear, and the time when I was followed for 3 blocks, at 2am, when I was by myself on an otherwise empty street, it would not have been wise to turn around and yell at the guy to F*$% off and leave me alone. It would have been more dangerous. As we were leaving the restaurant and returning home, another situation presented itself. A man walking the opposite way on the sidewalk physically grabbed my arm and asked me if I had plans and wanted to hang out with him tonight. Looking to show her that she doesn’t have to be afraid, I pulled my arm away and yelled in his face that I want nothing to do with him and that he better not dare touch me again (there may have been some expletives in there for reinforcement). He tucked his tail between his legs and took off. My friend was stunned, saying she had never seen me behave like that.
I wanted to share this story in order to promote courage. Courage to stand up for yourself and yell back. Let these men know that you will not take this abuse. Again, listen to your instincts and if you feel you are in an unsafe environment it might be safer for you to keep walking. But maybe you could call someone on your phone, record the incident on your phone, or call the police if you feel threatened. You don’t have to feel powerless against this. You have a voice!
I was at the family thrift store and had to use the bathroom. The store did not have a public restroom so i had to use the one at the bar down the street. After i used it i was walking back to the store. A bunch of trashmen honked at me but i couldn’t get a number to call their company to report the harassment. The next car, a white one honked and the white trash in the passenger side hung out his window and said “hey baby!” I took a picture of the car in hopes of getting a license plate number but only got the one attached. It was bright out but you can see the red tail lights as he stopped at a redlight.
I was walking down a quiet part of the neighborhood, I walk past a construction type truck , a guy that had to be in his 50s or 60s said to me as I walked past “hey little girl” while staring hard at me
Coming out of an alley in Old city, I began to make my way down 3rd Street. A man was collecting garbage. I hear, “Hey, beautiful. Hey beautiful. Hey, hey beautiful. Hey gorgeous! Look over here, gorgeous.”
I didn’t look him in the eye, and kept on walking, pretending not to hear him.
A group of all male religious demonstrators with megaphones were enlightening all of us within earshot about how abortion is a sin, and a white conspiracy to brainwash us into committing genocide against our “babies” (zygotes).
As an indigenous woman (“Indian” in their shout-out to our people), I’ve got a lot of distrust of white policymakers, and a lot of anger about genocide (‘sup contemporary blood quantum laws).
But just trying to walk down the street, I don’t need to hear a group of men telling me that I shouldn’t exercise my right to choose, that I’m a race traitor if I don’t agree to be a heterosexual baby factory, or that my feeble girlmind only believes in the right to choose because I’ve been tricked.
The icing on the cake was getting catcalled half a block from the demonstration.
I was in the magazine section of Barnes and Noble with a friend, when suddenly my friend burst out laughing. He couldn’t speak from laughing so hard. I tried to get him to tell me what was so funny, and he gestured to an old man standing near us. The man had cut a hole in his pocket, and the tip of his penis was sticking out of it. There was no mistaking it. I screamed and the man became flustered, closed his long coat, and immediately left.
This isn’t nearly the first nor will it be the last….but the most “wow” story I have is the other day I was getting off work (My day job) on my way home. Trying to sneak a nap in between jobs is usually the goal for the route H bus. So I laid my head on the window. I see a guy staring at me from another seat but I didn’t pay it much mind. He comes and sits next to me and begins saying “yo” and “Excuse me”. Irritated as I was I told him I was tired. So he says it’s ok and tried to put me in his arms as if to say ‘here lay on me’ I was moving away which was hard cuz I was on the inside seat I said I am ok I jus wanna go to sleep. So he keeps asking my name and I said in tired please jus let me be. Then pulls his fone out like “What’s your number??” As if he didn see my tryna ignore him. I said in n a relationship can’t give u that.”Then he says “It’s cool don’t u wanna be my wife I like u” I said u don’t know me. I have a girlfriend. He says “I don’t care, it’s ok. Dumb idiot. I said no it’s not ok I am in a relationship thanx. So finally he stops talking after what seemed like forever, then eventually went back to his original seat on the bus.
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.