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I was at Union Square waiting for some friends when a guy sat by my side and try to call my attention by saying a lot of things like: “you are so beautiful” and “you have nice legs” etc. I was ignoring him, but it irritated me so much that I had to get up from where I was sitting and walk away.
I’m 16 and I was walking (alone) south on 5th avenue (from 49th) and I saw two college aged boys. I saw that they began to follow me. One of them walked beside me and mirrored how I was walking, asked me my name and threw his arm around me. I didn’t say anything and sped up, but so did he. I got his arm off me but he wouldn’t stop following me. When he was in a cross walk trying to get me to go to a bar with him and I told him to leave, he did. I was shaken because that was the 3rd time today.
Yesterday I was walking to work around noon and saw a girl walking towards me past two older men who obviously said something to her. I saw her roll her eyes and the man began to yell at her things like “all you had to do was be nice and be thankful, I was just saying you were pretty” I was so mad and tired of the countless comments I felt like I had to stand up for her. I asked those guys if the sidewalk looked like a runway to them. They looked confused…I told them there is no reason she should be “thankful” they thought she was pretty. I told them she wasn’t a piece of meat walking down the road and their comments can be seen as really disrespectful. They then decided to yell back at me saying I was the one being disrespectful and I should mind my own business. Maybe I went too far, maybe I didn’t. But another uncomfortable girls business has become my own. I walked away and got a smile of triumph from another bystander who was a woman, and another young man smiled and told me “It’s okay, just ignore them” I know he had good intentions and he was trying to be nice, but I told him to try to put himself in our shoes and it happens every day. I think he might have understood where I was coming from a little more once I said that.
A guitar player on the train singled me out, and after singing me a song prominently displaying the lyrics “she’s a black man’s girl,” then proceeded to tell the whole train he would kiss me if someone guessed his next song. He then played a Bob Marley song, and was heading over to try to kiss me when I got off the train.
I grew up in NYC, got to H.S. everyday on the subway. It didn’t matter if it was winter with a coat on or summer feeling cute (for myself) with a summer dress on I’ve been followed, groped, cursed out, insulted, threatened and just plain ole sick of the streets of NYC that I moved to NJ!! I now sit in my car knowing I have a bottle of pepper spray in the pocket of my door because NY gave me such a complex. I feel bad for that guy who may make the mistake of acting like any of the random D***s that give all men a perverted impression to women. I think more women have an “encounters with the male species of NYC complex” worse than a “Daddy complex.” It gives you a complex I tell ya. I hope this movement makes an impact. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!
My 3 friends and I entered the SW subway station at Columbus circle at around 1 am on a Sunday night after a concert. We were immediately confronted by a man looking to enter the subway who said “you look like you’ve been shaking your asses all night, swipe me in.”
We looked down and kept walking. A friend had to fill her subway card, so we waiting by the teller booth for her. The man’s harassment escalated because we had ignored his request to swipe him in.
He started yelling “sluts, you’re all a bunch of sluts” over and over again.
After our friend finished with the teller, we walked as quickly as possible to the turnstiles. He ran up behind each of us, trying to get into the turnstile with us. During this process, he was screaming “you’re dirty cunts” over and over again.
Luckily, we got through the turnstile without his following and walked quickly through, but we could hear him yelling “cunts” all the way to the platform.
I’m 70 years old and I still get harassing comments and looks. But I’m writing to you because I love the idea of Hollaback! I am a second wave feminist (with a listing in Barbara Love’s book “Feminists who Changed America, 1963-1975″) and around 1970-71 I organized the “Offensive Defense Unit” to fight against street harassment in New Haven CT. On one street the particular offenders were a barber shop and a fire station. We went in to confront the barber shop and the response was ridicule–nothing changed (and we think it was a mafia establishment) but we went to talk to the firemen and they were actually responsive in a good way. Ultimately we ended up also demonstrating in front of Mory’s, the Yale Club that was men only at that time–Yale didn’t accept women students until 1969. That was nearly 45 years ago. It’s shocking that nothing has changed in 45 years. Thanks for taking this on–its inspiring.
I was leaving a store and walking to my car when a man yelled, “God bless you.” I didn’t respond as 1- I didn’t realize he was talking to me and 2- Even if I did, I would’t have responded as I get called out nearly every day. He again yelled, “God bless you.” I again did not respond. After getting visibly frustrated, he then yelled at me, “Fuck you, you fucking bitch!” Why am I a bitch for not responding? It’s not okay.
I was walking down Victory Boulevard near Morani Street, heading towards CSI, when I heard a guy yelling at me from his car, “You look very pretty today!” I ignored him, but then he yelled that same sentence at me again, so I whipped around, gave him a death glare, and screamed as loud as I could, “I didn’t fucking ask you!!” He started inaudibly mumbling something after that, probably about how I’m ugly and a bitch or something. I’m so fucking sick of being treated like public property when I step outside.
I am utterly fed up with street harassment in every way. I’m sick of both experiencing it firsthand, and seeing it happen EVERY DAY to other women (and young girls). It’s especially frustrating on my walk to work, to earn money that is heavily taxed for a government that is not doing enough to combat it. Hollaback! is absolutely brilliant- I look forward to the future!