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
Was leaving the Bronx Zoo with my then boyfriend. Broad daylight, about 5pm, four young kids all under 18 walk past us. As we pass, one turns around and smacks my ass so hard I fell to the ground. Boyfriend confronts them; they spit in his face and call me a “yummy piece of ass” and “we’re gonna gang bang your bitch while you watch and then we’r gonna cut her up.” We run to the subway stop and tell the booth clerk to call the police. Luckily there is a FEMALE police officer on duty, on her break. She immediately called a squad car. We drove around in the squad car for a while trying to find the guys, but never did. I got lucky that there was a female police officer. I have never been back to the Bronx. I’m honestly afraid to go.
Hi. Since I started reading the stories and advice on this website I have become much bolder about confronting unwanted stares in my gym. This used to be a BIG problem for me. A few weeks ago I began making nasty faces to men who would not stop staring. I am happy to report that in the last week or so I have not had ANY inappropriate stares!!! I am so relieved as this was extremely annoying, and interfered with my concentration. If anyone reads this who loves working out and has this problem, I highly encourage you to try this! I feel SO much more comfortable now. I’m so glad I found this website and I hope my post encourages others to do what I did.
I live in East Harlem and am harassed every single day. Today, after walking a few blocks with a few of the “usual” cat calls, while waiting to cross the street, a man in a truck stops and honks. Out of instinct, I looked. The man winked at me and stuck out his tongue. I flipped him off and he continued to honk at me and blow me kisses. I turned to the other direction to avoid looking at him and he CONTINUED to honk while yelling out of the window as he drove away.
Three words: get a life.
So lately my response to catcallers has been to hiss at them.
A couple of weeks ago, walking with three girlfriends to go have dinner at one of their apartments. We’re actually in the middle of having a conversation about how much we loathe street harassment when we turn the corner to go into my friend’s apartment and there’s a group of 5-7 men standing on the corner. Immediately, they all turn to give the three of us the once-over. Right as we pass them, right in my ear, one of them goes, “Hey beautiful ladies…”
I looked right in his stupid face and hissed as loudly as I could. I hope some of my spit got on his face.
“Whoah, why you gotta be like that?”
Without missing a beat, I proclaim loudly to my friends “And THAT is what I do when I get catcalls!”
When our husbands came around the corner five minutes later, they were completely ignored.
Fast forward to a couple of days ago. Walking to the grocery store, shoulders back, head held high, I’m feeling awesome today. A construction worker comes down the sidewalk towards me. And just like they all do, he waits until he’s right in my ear to say, “Pretty, pretty girl…”
For a second, I consider doing nothing. But as I turn my head slightly, I can see that he’s turned around and staring at my butt. So I hissed at him.
“That’s mean. Why you gotta do that? I was just telling you you’re beautiful. That’s so mean,” he says, sulking like a baby. I almost felt sorry for him. That is, until I remembered that what’s actually mean is feeling that you’re entitled to make comments about my body without my permission and with complete disregard for my own feelings.
I hope his day was ruined. Thinking that it was fills me with glee.
I’m riding the 2 train from Manhattan to Brooklyn during the usual post-work commute. The subway is crowded-ish as it generally is at this lovely time in underground NYC. I feel someone shift behind me, press into my back. I inch forward a bit, trying to give them more space as more people get on the train. One stop later, I feel slight press on my lower back again, a graze on my thigh. Again, I move forward, slightly annoyed at this person’s seeming obliviousness. This “press – inch forward, brush – step to the side” continues as we get into Brooklyn.
And now I’m wondering, “Do I say something to this guy?” “I don’t want to make a scene out of this.” “Ugh, I just want to get home.” Finally as the train stops at Nevins, a woman near me catches my eye and mouths “Move away from him!” I instantly dart forward and the guy behind me proceeds to book it off the train.
I feel my entire body flush, a panic flare in my stomach, and I just start endlessly thanking this woman for saying something to me. “I saw you trying to inch away from him, but he just kept moving against you. And then I saw him leering down at you from behind and I had to say something.” she told me. “I thought it was just in my own head or that I was crazy,” I said. “No, it’s never just in your own head. And no subway is ever that crowded.”
While I am disgusted and horrified to encounter people in the world who actively seek to grope, harass and claim some sort of power over women, I also am so relieved, appreciative and thankful that there are people in the world who will stand up and say something against it. I will never forget that woman or the power of what she did in that moment for me.
The power of bystander intervention is that it tells victims that they are not crazy, that they’re not making it up or overreacting, that they’re not alone.
I was walking into my boxing gym in a tank with our logo on it and yoga pants. I was carrying my gym bag and gloves and while walking in a pick up truck with two guys drives by and slows down and one of the men yelled “you’d look even sexier with those gloves on” when I didn’t respond the other yelled “I’d let you rough me up in bed”. I was so taken back I didn’t even respond I just kept walking:/
I was walking through busy Main street. This kid ( I can only describe him as a kid he was probably in his late teens or early twenties) was coming in the opposite direction. We were trying to move out of eachother’s way..all of a sudden he throws his fist up near my face as if to try to scare me. Like a fake out punch. A complete douchebag. I wish I said something more than “seriously?” He didn’t even notice how I responded.
I can’t believe some people feel so entitled in this world that they feel they can act however they want and treat people however they want without any regards to peoples feelings. I hope this kid gets a lesson learning…really soon.
Bullied by strange man into holding his hand. When tried to retreat, man yelled that it was because he was black and told me to f myself. Threatening behavior throughout encounter.
Talking on my phone on the street, man whispers something in my hair. I turned around and yelled at him; he called me a “dumbass” because he “was just on the phone.” Right.
Walking on the upper east side at 11:30 am a man sitting on his step says “yum, yum…I want me some.”