Athens GA, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia MO, Columbus, Denver, Des Moines, Duke University, NC, Durham & Chapel Hill, East Lansing, Flagstaff, AZ, Houston, Iowa City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Lubbock TX, Manhattan KS, Muncie IN, New Orleans, New York City, Oneonta, Pittsburgh, Plattsburgh, Providence, Richmond VA, San Fernando Valley, San Francisco, Twin Cities, West Georgia (University)
I get cat called and lewd comments walking by this construction site. I now walk across the street which I shouldn’t have to do. It’s not like assault of course but it’s endless and makes me scared for what they do to women in less public settings. Very disturbing and makes me feel powerless.
One morning (this was last summer) I woke up and threw on whatever clothes were lying on my chair to go to the deli across the street to get coffee – a big grey sweater, shorts, and boots. As I left my apartment, I passed the same two older men who are always sitting there in the same spot on their folding chairs outside a refrigerator repair shop, leering at women as they pass, saying this or that under their breath with a half cocked smile and a glance to their friends as they smugly chuckle. I felt their eyes on my that morning and I thought so help me god, EVERY time I leave my home – I’m so sick of this.
Lo and behold, one of them called “Hey mama, you look like Brooke Shields.”
I turned around and overtly rolled my eyes at him, continuing to walk down the sidewalk and about the cross the street.
He yelled back at me, “Hey! You say thank you when I give you a compliment!”
I felt myself snapping and I whipped back around and yelled “No! I don’t have to say anything to you!” I turned back and realized the light was red so there was nowhere I could go. I felt them both staring at me, their lips curling with anger, especially because a few other people on the sidewalk had heard me and were sort of watching out of the corner of their eye.
“Get the fuck out of here,” the other one yelled. “Go back to Iowa, bitch.” (I guess because I was wearing boots…? Good one…)
Eventually the light turned green and I went to the deli. But all I could think was, why did I do that? These people know where I live, they know who I am, it’s not that hard to just enter my walkup building after someone else who has a key is going in, now I’m going to see them every day until I move and what if they decide to show me I shouldn’t have talked back?
I still do see them every day and they give me these bone chilling looks of scathing disgust. All of the guys in my building think that they’re such great characters, out there in their wife beaters smoking cigarettes and feeding the birds and welding refrigerators in the middle of the sidewalk while Spanish ballads blast from the basement of their shop, and it strikes me to what extent we live in such a different world.
It was about 3 PM. I was walking west on Lincoln place towards Classon Ave. I noticed about 10 men in reflective safety vests that were shoveling some snow around the sidewalks and in the intersection. As I approached I prepared myself to be catcalled. It makes me mad that I even have to think that. Then I walk through a group of about 5 of them standing and shoveling at the corner. I said, “Excuse me,” politely to one of the workers in the process of shoveling since we were about to cross paths. I got a couple stares from some guys. I made normal eye contact as I was walking by. I made it a few steps passed them and then I heard one of the guys from the group loudly say, “Nice nice nice nice.” I assume he was directing that at me. I can’t be sure and I’d love to think he was just complimenting his fellow worker on his nice shoveling job, but I’m not optimistic that was the case. I didn’t turn around or react. I just kept walking. I wanted to scream that that’s no way to flatter a woman. If you want to tell someone they look nice, then say it to their face before they walk passed and say it respectfully. As a person approaches say to their face, “Hello, you look very nice today.” That’s all it takes. Then the person is complimented or at least they aren’t creeped out. There is a polite way to compliment a stranger. These men definitely were not out to make me feel good. They wanted to make me feel like an object that they approved of. Granted this is far from the worst experience, obviously, but it still boils my blood that I even have to tolerate these minor offenses. These are supposed to be expected and accepted. It’s wrong.
On top of all of that, they are city workers. My taxes pay their salaries. I indirectly paid to get catcalled. Fun stuff NYC. Fun stuff.
This girl was sitting next to me on the four train in Brooklyn heading to Manhattan. Then some guy comes over to her and said “I saw you looking at me.” She took off her headphones and said “No I was not looking at you.” Then he got closer to her and said “I saw you.” By this time, I had removed MY headphones and was ready for anything. I wasn’t going to let this jerk upset this girl, or who knows what! So he put out his hand and said “hi, my name is (whatever). She looked at him and said “no.” He looked let down and finally walked away to the other end of the car. I smiled at her and said “I’ve got your back.” She was happy, and we chatted a bit about how annoying and creepy men can be.It really felt great that I was going to help her, and I felt strong and really good about myself. So, we said our goodbyes when it was her stop, and we both happened to notice that he was talking to yet ANOTHER girl! We saw him putting out his hand for her to shake…and she did.
This was probably the strangest encounter I’ve experienced. Usually when guys bother me on the street they tell me I’m pretty or how they wanna make me their wife and when I keep walking and ignore me they usually either make a remark about how I’m rude or follow me for a few steps. This guy moved from one end of the subway car to where I had just sat down. He asked me something and I removed my headphones to hear him clearly. He asked, Do I have makeup on my face? I said, No. He asked again, Are you sure? Like, do I have lipstick on my face from making out? I said, No, and put my headphones back on. He continued to stare at me disturbingly. His eyes or body did not move and he kept licking his lips. It was fucking creepy and I got off at the next stop and went into the next car. I saw him through the window and he was still staring at me. At the next stop I moved again and was worried he would follow me but luckily I didn’t see him for the rest of my long train ride.
A few weeks ago, I was on the 7 train heading from Manhattan to queens when a man in sweatpants kept smiling at me on the train. At one point he came very close to me and smiled and said something. I took out my headphones and he asked the time. Both myself and the woman next to me said the time and he smiled very close to my face. At the next stop, the woman got up from next to me and he sat down and put his hand on my thigh. I quickly got up and moved to the center of the car. No one in the train did anything. I moved to the next car at the next stop and I believe he noticed me. He also got off at the same stop that I did, but I walked quickly and lost him. I did not report it.
One of my fondest childhood memories is going to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York, which was an annual tradition in our family. I look back to those times before my parents’ bitter breakup as an idyllic time. So I go every year. It doesn’t matter that I’m single. If I’m not dating, I go by myself. I just watch the floats and breathe in the crisp fall air, and close my eyes and I feel that warm sense of comfort and tranquility. This year, something happened that spoiled it.
I’d arrived early and got a good spot up front at the police barricade. People joined me as the crowd gathered. A family – a yuppiesh couple in their late 30s, and these cute little girls about 10 and 6 – settled in beside me. They were very well dressed; the father wore an expensive coat and scarf. They looked like a Hallmark card. The girls were up next to me, and Mom and Dad standing behind. All so nice. Until I felt the dad’s cock against my ass. It wasn’t innocent; it wasn’t THAT crowded, and his dick got hard in under a minute.
I know what that louse, with his perfect hair with just that gentlemanly touch of gray at the temples, was thinking. He knew I wasn’t going to make a scene in front of his family. No, how could I? Hey, he probably thought he was doing this lonely young woman a favor, honoring her with physical contact and body heat on the holidays. Maybe I’d back up on him a little, a nice trophy. That was his plan for this fine Thanksgiving morning: to hump my ass for 45 minutes or so as he played Mr. Perfect Dad. And you know, I almost let him win. I looked at that adorable 6-year-old girl smiling so happily and looking back every once in a while to tell her father who a float was and ask him about ones she couldn’t identify. And he’d answer oh-so-patiently. How could I ruin her perfect day, and rob her of a cherished memory?
Then I looked at his wife, beaming at him with adoration. She’s going to spend the next 10 years thinking she’s married to Mr. Wonderful, until one day, eventually, she finds out he’s a cheater and a liar. I could have just moved, or I could have said, “Excuse me, could you back up?” That warning, if you do it in a stern voice, gets 90 percent of pervs to back off.
But instead, I whipped around, looked the guy dead in the eye and said, “Can you please get your dick out of my ass!”
You should have seen the panic in his eyes. Then he hustled the family away, telling his wife as they moved to another spot, some bullshit about “crazy New Yorkers.” But the wife made eye contact with me. And I thought, “She knows now. “
I have more I wanted to say, but this is just too upsetting to right about. It is triggering some painful memories of my own father and his betrayals. Thank you for letting me vent.
In high school, people are constantly made fun for being gay and are called extremely offensive terms such as the “f” word for gay men. They are outed by their peers, such as are talked about as being “such a f……”
This is unacceptable to the LGBT+ community.