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Creep leered at me said “nice ass,” whistled, and then got angry when I ignored him.
I was walking home from the pharmacy on 2nd Avenue when a group of men (with a child, how shameful) started screaming “Cheee nah” at me. When I didn’t respond they made racist remarks and kept doing so until I was out of earshot. Did not feel safe. Followed for a bit.
Catcalled almost every morning on St. Marks between 1st and A by various construction workers or people just sitting on the stoops.
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.
I was approached by 2 men, mid-late 20s. One said “you look sexy in yellow”.
I avoided eye contact and continued walking. he followed me a few paces asking for my name and I said no.
This happened about 15 minutes ago. I’m at Union Station in DC, & while looking at the departures board, I faintly hear a man standing behind me whispering something about how I look, so I turn around and point out that the Police desk is about 8 feet from us. I told him, if he doesn’t stop talking to me, I will get the police. He got mad that I can’t take a compliment, and he followed me, yelling, so I took his picture. I found the police a few yards away & showed the picture to the police.
I am not a stranger to Street Harassment. It happens to me all the time. I can’t step out of my apartment building one block without having someone say or do something to make my skin crawl.
Once, on my way back to work after taking time off after my Aunt Irene passed away, with big puffy eyes and sunglasses on, I took 10 steps outside my apartment, and a man in a work van at the corner stop sign says out his window, “Well aren’t you a sight for sore eyes.” Needless to say that I knew if my Aunt were there she would have flipped him off and shoved her stiletto red high heels in the mans eye. That was her. That’s not me. I don’t like confrontation, and although I never shy away from the truth, I never saw a reason to lash back out at these strange men when they’d say things like, “Smile. You’re too pretty to be angry,” or “Nice tattoo” while staring directly at my cleavage. However this morning I pretty much lost it. I got dressed up nice for work this morning: Skirt, blouse, wedge shoes, and bun. In a rush walking down the sidewalk I spot two nasty, old men staring and hooting at me from their sh*tty white “rape” van (as I’d like to call it. It’s just a work van with no windows.) and I couldn’t help it. I flipped them the bird and yelled “JERKOFFS!” as loud as I could muster while out of breath sprint walking in heels to the subway. And they laughed! That’s funny to them!!
I was so enraged! I called my dad to tell him what I just experienced and he said “Well I’m sure you look very beautiful and that’s their way of telling you…Just be careful,” as he would always tell me. As if my knees are an invitation for cat calls down the street. As if I need their validation to feel pretty. I felt disgusting is what I felt. I KNOW I look pretty! I would not have left the apartment otherwise. I do not need some disgusting, foul, old man’s “compliment” to validate that I look pretty. I know I am, all on my own. (lol.)
Then I proceed to walk down the street, already tense and I avoid eye contact with the large group of Sanitary Workers on their break, sitting by the subway entrance. Everyday I see them, and they never say anything but who can blame me for being over aware of their eyes on me. They are nice enough. Sometimes on their route they greet me with a “Good Morning” or two, which is nice. I’d prefer “Good Morning” to “HEY HONEY, YOU’RE BOYFRIEND’S A LUCKY MAN!” any day. (What if I were a widow or a lesbian?)
When I finally get to the subway I immediately start a rant on my Facebook. I get the usually responses: “Pervs!”, “Stupidity is viral I suppose.” – quoted by my friend Mike), and other long responses about how we should do the same to then, when finally one of my older cousins posted something. She went on to say that in some cities, like Portland, they have laws to stop Street Harassment, and she went on to say that when she lived there she sort of missed street cat calls, and that when you get older you won’t mind the soon to be rare hooting from on lookers. One of my aunts actually told me to get over it because men are all cave men and they will never change. seriously???
An old high school classmate and I eventually got into a conversation about how we should no longer accept “Men Will Be Men” as an excuse for any improper behavior?? They leave their socks on the floor: he’s a guy just pick it up. They get a lap dance while their girlfriend is at home waiting up for them: boys will be boys. They get to hoot and holler at us but it’s OUR fault because we wear skirts and have boobs. If anything, allowing these excuses is an injustice, not just to us, but the men AS WELL. Why belittle men by allowing such behavior? I know plenty of genuine gentlemen that would never do to a woman what has been done to myself or other women, in the past. When will men grow up? I will not wait any more. There has to be an end to the icky, skin crawly feeling that occurs when a man whispers in your ear what he’d do to you in passing. When will the verbal abuse on our gender end?
Hollaback!’s 8th Birthday Party is coming up and we want to celebrate with you!
Join us and Girls Pint Out at the Brooklyn Brewery on October 21st at 7:30 for an unforgettable birthday celebration!
Girls Pint Out is a beer appreciation group for women in an industry that underindexes women [some estimates say women represent ~37% of craft drinkers and ~29% of craft volume]. They strive to hold monthly educational and social events for and by women interested in craft beer, often with a non profit beneficiary.
Girls Pint Out has got your back, and together with Hollaback!, they are throwing an amazing birthday party and inaugural beer tasting event. The party will feature women (and their beers) in craft around The City, including ladies from Sixpoint Brewery, KelSo Beer, 508 GastroBrewery, and Long Island newcomer Moutstache Brewing Co. Brooklyn’s own Mary Wiles, QC director and 30-year industry veteran, will be pouring for the brewery.
There will be beer tasting, celebration, and birthday cake – what more could you ask for?
Tickets are $35 and proceeds will go to Hollaback!. We hope you’ll join us for an excellent 8th birthday party! Pick you your tickets here!
On October 19th, 2013, hundreds are taking to Brooklyn stoops for Suzanne Lacy’s first public art event in New York, “Between the Door and the Street“. Lacy’s participatory artwork will bring together New York based feminists and activists to participate in live, unscripted dialogues on Brooklyn’s most iconic architectural feature – the stoop.
The public art project will feature folks from a cross-section of ages, backgrounds, and perspectives engaging in conversations around gender politics and feminism. Suzanne Lacy invites you to wander among the groups, talk with the organizations, and form your own opinions.
Hollaback! will be one of the groups represented and we’ll be talking about street harassment, bystander awareness, and movement building. Come on by and chat with us.
Suzanne Lacy will be giving a talk about “Between the Door and the Street” at 2pm on October 12th at the Brooklyn Museum. The event will take place on October 19th in Park Place, Brooklyn (Between Underhill and Vanderbilt Avenues).
If you want to join in, check out our Facebook Event Page for more information!
You can find out more about the event and Suzanne Lacy’s work on the Creative Time website.
Walking home in a hoodie and loose cargo pants, and I still got whistled at. There may have been more to it, but my Spanish isn’t that great.