Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Berkeley, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia MO, Columbus, Des Moines, Durham & Chapel Hill, East Lansing, Fredericksburgh VA, Houston, Los Angeles, Muncie IN, New York City, NYU, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Plattsburgh, Richmond VA, San Francisco, Tucson, Twin Cities
I was on an uptown C train coming home from work standing next to a man. He kept coughing (I’m assuming to distract everyone) and bent down to “fix his shoe” but really looked up the skirt of a girl sitting down next to us. I immediately took a step up to stand awkwardly close to her and block his view so he wouldn’t try it again. I wanted to call him out on it but I am very small and was afraid what might happen. I let the girl know when I got to my stop what he did and hope she moved her seat.
During the summer, my daughter, myself and my now wife were crossing the street, my daughter and I happened to be less than a foot apart and my wife was walking behind us. This guy pushed between my daughter and I and grabbed my left breast. I screamed and yelled at him. But he just kept walking like nothing happened. My wife asked what happened and I told her, she asked me if she wanted me to beat him (even though she was backing up and moving that direction) I told her no I just wanted to go home. My daughter saw it all. As well as a young boy who said ” he just wanted to cop a feel” like that was ok to do. We walked couples blocks before my daughter started crying and I lost it too. My wife held us both.
This was a while ago, but I was out pretty late with one or two other girlfriends, going to the subway. A man across the street yelled something at me, probably “hey baby,” nothing too memorable. It was then that I came up with the perfect comeback: I gave him the good ol’ raspberries (that’s when you make fart noises with your mouth, it’s kind of gross and more than a little juvenile.) He was really confused and another guy I hadn’t seen started laughing at him. It is now my go-to response. It works better when I’m drunk. In other situations, it’s usually the finger or a dirty look (from me), but when I can get off a good raspberry, it usually ends up being kind of humiliating for the guy, and since that’s what he was trying to do me, it seems like the best case scenario, and I make an effort to get over my inhibitions and just let one rip when called for.
Had my first successful Hollaback! yesterday, after a whole day of incredibly annoying and insulting street harassment.
While I won’t go into the street harassment throughout the day, I’m stoked about my response to the last harassment of the night, as I was walking home.
Four men walked up to me, slowing down and blocking my path on the side walk (you know, the old, scary “slow down in a group” move). They circled around me making, I kid you not, cat “hissing” noises and exclaiming “oh damn…” and the usual.
In a rare Hollaback! moment, I stopped, looked them each in the eye and said “you know what, fuck off, what you’re doing is very disrespectful towards me”. And then, they stopped.
For real, they stopped – and one guy looked down with (I optimistically believe) shame and said “I’m sorry”.
I said “thank you” and we went our separate ways. I felt amazing – which is so strange, because it still sucks that I went my whole day being harassed and feeling like shit. But letting them know that it wasn’t okay – and being HEARD – that was amazing. I love Hollaback!’ing.
Worst street harassment I’ve experienced yet:
(While following me down a mostly empty street)
“You’re a whole lot of woman… That’s right baby… So I guess you need a whole lot of man… Am I right baby? Turn around and tell me I’m right!”
(Now his tone gets meaner)
“Fine, girl. Fine. Just don’t let it turn to fat before you use it. Cuz you know that’s gonna get fat!” (And then I swiftly entered a building, nearly in tears)
Some people still don’t think street harassment is a thing or think it can be cute or its just a way of “flirting” … Just stop it. No girl needs to feel the way I just felt. And condoning it in even the smallest way makes THAT guy feel like he’s in the right and I’m the frigid bitch. It’s time we start treating our women like people (GODDESSES!) instead of property, don’t you think?
Walking south-bound on 4th Ave from F/G @ 9th, just as I passed under the Prospect Expwy, the passenger of a delivery truck leaned out of his window leering at me as they drove by. I flipped him the middle-finger in a “your attention is not welcome” way. The truck stopped at a red light & as I approached the side, the passenger began making comments that were indiscernible, except for “you need to learn how to say hello,” to which I finally responded w/ some educational suggestions of my own.
I was crossing the street late at night. Tired after a very stressful weekend dealing with family, midterms, financial worries, and relationship problems. All I wanted was to get on the train and head home. I took a sip from my bottle of soda when I heard a man’s voice “Oh, yeah suck it. Suck on that soda bottle……..”. It went on but I tuned out. Then I looked and saw an SUV full of thin, leering, boys. I HAD ENOUGH. I never do this but enough is enough! Turned right around as a I heard them all saying “Oh, shit that girl’s coming back”. Pulled out my phone and snapped a pic of the license plate. HKD-1226. PA plate. “What are you going to do with that?” I said nothing because it took all the self restraint I had not to smash my glass bottle into their window. And honestly, I wish I had. Because even with this license plate I can do NOTHING. Street harassment is perfectly acceptable and a routine part of every woman’s life but if I had thrown my bottle it would have been assault. It may have been worth it. Who knows?
Anyway, I had a fantasy that the car belonged to some mom and I could find out her info and call her to tell her what her boys were up to on the weekend in the big city. Who knows if she would even care? Could I call those suburban boys and ask them why they think it’s acceptable to talk to women like that? All I know after spending $40 on carfax is that the car is a 2007 SUZUKI XL7 AWD registered at the DMV in Scotrun, PA. What a wast of money. No info on the owner of the car. To protect their privacy. That’s funny. I have no right to be treated like a person on my way home but you can harass me from the safety and comfort of your vehicle.
On my walk home from the subway, I passed a man who proceeded to say sexually inappropriate things to me and follow me the entire walk home. I circled the area a few times until he lost interest and left. Did not want to go home while he was stalking me because I didn’t want him to know where I lived.
A group of guys on the subway were loudly pressuring one of their friends to go talk to a woman who was reading a book alone and clearly wanted to be left alone. When the guy hesitated and refused to do it, his friends came over and surrounded the woman, pestering her about what she was reading and refusing to leave her alone despite her clearly looking uncomfortable and intimidated by them. This same group of young men had been verbally harassing other passengers the entire ride.
I was waiting for the train to come at the High Street/Brooklyn Bridge stop and noticed a guy taking pictures on his cellphone. I could see that it was directed at two girls talking to each other but I wasn’t sure if he knew him or what was going on, so I just kept an eye on him. A few minutes later he asked a woman next to him if he could take her picture and she said no, but he kept asking until she walked away. I made sure to keep an eye out, and sure enough he tried to sneak a few of her when she wasn’t paying attention. After some communication done only with eye movements she came over to me to try and avoid him, but he still was trying to take her photo. She yelled at him, but he said it wasn’t a problem and she assured him it was. I had enough and ran back up to the 24hr booth and told an MTA employee who said he would notify a police officer. I had to leave (turned out trains weren’t running) so I have no idea if he was caught or not.