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I caught the C train yesterday on 168th street. There were several people in the car with me at 3 pm, then I wound up being the only one person. A man came in on 125th street. He stares at me as soon as he gets on, whole train is empty, sits across from me and says “your pretty,” “whats your name?” I try not to pay attention and he proceeds to put his hand into his crotch, this has happened to me before and I did not look, I got up and moved to the other side of the car and got off the train at the next stop..
It was a scary experience and I felt this man was going to attack me if I did not get off the train at the next stop..
It was about 5am. I am walking to work while I see a car driving down the street starting to slow down. As I walked by, the car comes to a full stop and the driver rolls down his window. He says something to me but I’m not about to stop and listen. I continue to walk thinking it’s fine. Then I realize he turned around his car and started chasing me. I go through a small parking lot thinking there is no way he would drive through. He did. I make my way to an alley way where he could not fit his car through. Bad idea. He gets off his car and chases me by foot. There was a combination of terror, anguish and anger. Lots of anger. I turned around to see him walking down behind me with no shoes and no shirt on. There was no one around to see me, no one to help. Something overcomes me, the anger. I did not plan it but it just came out. I yelled at him “what the fuck is wrong with you?” I hear the anger in my voice. I was shocked to see I had it in me. I thought I was so scared that I wouldn’t be able to scream. His reaction was priceless. He looked so shocked, his jaw dropped. He turned around and walked away.
… only then did I think of running…
Harassment is not OK. Not doing anything to stop it is to play into it.
After getting off the train, I make my way home. It happened to be raining outside so not many were around. I turn to another block and walk alone. Aware of my surroundings, I hear a car near and it stops next to me. I keep walking and then it follows me and opens the windows. I hear a voice saying “hey beautiful, want a ride?” I keep walking but he keeps calling and won’t leave so I ended up cutting corners and running home in a way that he can’t follow me.
Guy on street, gets up real close and loud: BEAUTIFUL
Me, initially frozen: RUDE
Three minutes later
Guy on bike: *whistles at me*
Me, still too pissed about the first guy: …
Voice in my head: FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU I AM NOT HERE FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT I AM NOT SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN CALL ATTENTION TO FOR YOUR STATUS OR EGO I AM NOT AN ENTRY IN YOUR SPANK BANK BUT SINCE YOU’RE SUCH A TOOL YOU CAN KEEP IT TO YOURSELF AND STOP MAKING ME FEEL THREATENED *FUCK* *YOU* AND KEEP WALKING.
This morning, in BROAD DAYLIGHT, at 7:15am, I walk down into the subway station like I do every morning. I have my headphones in per usual and don’t really pay mind to a man standing near the Metro Card machine. As I swipe my card and am about to pass through the turnstile, that man comes up right behind me, puts his hand right up under my skirt, and very explicitly, very aggressively, open-palm gropes my vagina. I immediately start running my mouth, yelling at the top of my lungs and, to my surprise, he starts yelling right back at me. Ohh, he was just trying to holla at me, get my name, get my number. THAT GIVES YOU NO FUCKING RIGHT — THIS IS MY BODY, YOU ARE NOT FREE TO TOUCH IT. I felt small, I felt disgusted, but with the turnstile separating us, I felt safe enough to do this. I was incapable of doing every damn thing I imagined I would do in a situation like this because I was paralyzed with terror. A group of men witnessed the whole thing, were ready to jump in and help, and called the police to report the incident as he ran off into the street. Shaking and completely terrified, a woman on the platform came up to me and gave me a hug. Forever grateful for that moment of community. Our stories matter — don’t be silenced.
It around 9pm on a Friday night and I went into a restaurant to get a quick dinner. I was sitting at a counter in front of the window facing 6th avenue, when I noticed an obviously drunk man staring at me from the other side. This went on for a while, and he tried to get me to react by tapping on the glass and catcalling. I ignored him, and continued eating. I noticed somebody had just sat next to me, and when I looked over I was shocked to find the same man right next to me, staring at me. I tried to ignore him. He kept getting closer, and then said, “Hey, my car is right down the block. Come with me baby? You want to.” He said it in the most sexually aggressive way and leaned in, as if to try to kiss me!! I was appalled and I just said STOP really loud, enough for people to turn and face us. Then I stormed out, mid meal, feeling like I had been prayed upon. A second after leaving, I wish I had stood up more fiercely, threatened to call the police (or actually called them), or alerted the management, but it happened so quickly and I just wanted to escape. I get catcalled often in the city, and a few times its been really aggressive (once, this guy unzipped his fly and said “want to ride on my big dick baby girl”). Somehow, this just felt worse, especially when I realized that he could have been following me as I walked down 6th avenue, even once I was inside the restaurant.
I was walking home from the train station one cold afternoon, and I was struggling to zip up my jacket and put my scarf on. One guy was standing right outside the train station and said “Oh are you feeling cold sweetheart? Let me help you, I know exactly how to warm you up.” He looked like he was going to follow me so I ran back down to the station and got out on the other side of the street. I now have to check that area each time I go to the subway because I’m scared he’s still there.
My two friends and I were walking down Amsterdam Avenue. All of a sudden, a guy jumps out and starts commenting on all our “asses.” He startles all of us. We weren’t sure whom he was complimenting and whom he was insulting, but one of us has a flat ass. I started to say something, but then we bumped into a group of people, and the harasser faded into the background We walked away quickly. Fast forward, three hours later, we left the bar. We ran into him again! He recognizes us starts up again, and this time a different friend who left with us starts answering back and I join her. Then he says “Of course the ugly one who no one wants is talking.” I laugh out loud, and he starts yelling at me and/or my friend: “I was talking to the girl in he blue shirt. You need to get a dick in you. You have a smelly pussy.” Over and over again. Even with three other girls, I feel afraid. I want to scream and insult him, emasculate him, but what if he comes up from behind us, follows us, etc?? I am so frustrated! This should not be something women just have to accept.
Throughout my life I have had men negatively attack me due to the fact that although I have a kind face and a gentle way about me I am also very strong and intelligent. I will stand up against bullying and harassment I have found myself attacked violently because of this. I had one guy pick me up and throw me into the ground because I told him that I was not interested. I had a man walk back and forth at a bar calling me a b*tch because I said I did not need another drink but thank you for the offer. He eventually kicked me in the back of the leg at the bar while I was standing because I did not respond to being called a b*tch. I had men scream at me, physically attack me, spread rumors and threaten me because I said NO. Why men think I should sleep with them just because they said I was beautiful or they took me on a date, I have no idea. The newest rumor is that I am a tease. But lets say I slept with every guy who winked at me – I would be called a slut. How about I sleep with WHO I want and if I want to. This is my body. I am not to be objectified nor treated like a piece of meat. I am to be respected. And if that means being labeled a tease or a b*tch – so be it. Because in the end I have respect for myself and weeded out an a$$hole who would have been a waste of my time.
Carrying groceries to the bus stop two men stared me up and down and said, “hey mamee.”