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 watching the Super Bowl at my older brother’s house, a few of his friends were over. After the game, most of his friends left and he was putting his daughter to bed, I was on the couch next to his roommate, he started telling me “show me your tits, c’mon, show me your tits, just real quick”, he started trying to pull my shirt down. He stopped once I shoved his hands away and moved away, but he kept trying to convince me to do it myself. When my brother came back in the room, he stopped and I got up and went home. I never said anything because I didn’t want to cause trouble.
Back in middle school I used to walk home with my friend and some of hers that I didn’t know as well. This newly transferred boy would walk home as well, and we used to make fun of each other(dumb middle school things like he called me a vampire and I called him a nerd) well eventually things started to turn harsh. He began to call me cold and emotionless and heartless and the insults got worse. I tried to insult him back but they were meaningless words that had no effect on him while his were starting to get to me. The worst was when he insinuated that my dad raped me. And that I liked it. At this point I threw my water bottle at him and ran away so he couldn’t see me cry. My friend wasn’t there but her friends treated me like I overreacted. I still see him in the halls at school almost everyday.
Spring break, 3 other girls and I, decided to go to the beach and stay at a condo that was owned by family, on a nice safe beach. We are all 19 year old girls, capable of being alone and taking care of ourselves. So we get there late afternoon and decide to go walking on the beach, we walk out and feel how cold it is and decide to go get a sweater on. When we come back out we notice that there is a camouflage Bronco sitting at the end of our private boardwalk, but because its a public beach where cars can drive up, we just ignore it and turn to walk down the beach. So, we’re all walking having fun looking around, and I look behind us and notice the bronco is slowly following us down the beach. I say, guys, that car is following us, don’t turn to look just start making your way to the Ritz Hotel so we can get some help, But they all turn to look. Of course, the man in the car notices and starts to accelerate in order to keep us from escaping. We run towards the boardwalk to the hotel but he is cutting us off from getting off the beach. At the same time, we split up and go different directions back to our boardwalk. I get really close to the car, probably the closest out of all of us, and at that moment I was dialing 911 on my phone and proceeding to run the opposite way. We run and safely get back in the condo, and he seems to turn the car like he’s going to come back for us, but he doesn’t. I think he saw me on my phone and knew he was in trouble. We lock up the condo, turn off the lights, even though we know he saw which condo we came out of earlier. We grab umbrellas, bats, wooden pelican decorations, anything we can defend ourselves, and I’m on the phone with the police. The police arrive, and a man comes who is the sheriff or whatever. He says there’s nothing to worry about, that description is of a local who likes to harass women who come for vacation. I was baffled, HOW IS THAT OKAY? The sheriff said he’d go talk to him, and we all felt safe. But I still to this day cannot get it out of my head that some men are so dangerous, and its just a “normal” thing.
Some dude made some inappropriate gestures from his car while I was walking to Starbucks. Without even thinking, my middle finger came up. I wanted to tell him that I don’t walk out in public for the sole purpose of his amusement/pleasure, and I would like to be able to walk two blocks without feeling objectified. As badly as i wanted to tell him this, I didn’t really want to talk to a man who would do something like that. Me thinks my very own retaliatory obscene gesture was effective enough…
While standing at redbox looking for movies with my small children, a 30ish man walked out of the grocery store and said “Hey, mommy, can I get some of that?” while eyeing me like a perv. RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY DAUGHTERS. I typically ignore, but at that moment, the mother lion came out. I chose to respond. “What in the world makes you think it is okay to, one, talk to me like that, and two, in front of my daughters. Do you have children? How would you feel if someone harassed them in the street the way you just did to me? Does this even work for you? Has any woman ever responded by saying, oh, sure, you can have some of this. Keep walking jerk.” When I looked around, the entire parking lot was staring and the troop leader of the girl scouts selling cookies outside started applauding.
9AM-ish. I decided not to bike because, well, it was cold.
There was only me and this young man on the platform. I was employing my usual tactics: podcasts, phone game, and of course the don’t-talk-to-me face.
The man walked up to me, stroked my arm, pulled one of my earbuds out and told me I was “beautiful” and “did anyone ever tell you that before?” asking me where I was going, if he could come too.
The train was still 6 minutes away, and I said nothing, just put my earbud back in, and focused on This American Life.
The train got there. He followed me, and sat in front of me, just staring. The next stop I hopped out and got onto another car.
He didn’t follow me onto the other car.
I’ve gotten it from all sides in the last two days. F*n street harassment. Because I have kids (and also, my mom would cut up in public, even if she was dead ass wrong, and embarrass me when I was a kid) I TRY not to have the gloves come off with other adults when there are children around. I’m not trying to traumatize anybody. Anyway, my voice was neutral and I asked two direct questions “Are you in line?” to the man’s wife, and “Is anyone working the register?” to the shopkeeper down the aisle in a store yesterday and this 6’3″ white dude made the “cat fight” sound. I assessed: a wife and kids. Then, I asked myself, should these people pay for the fact that their father is an idiot? TRUST ME, I had to PONDER it with intent…cuz, he stepped outside of the shop ahead of his family and was alone for like 2 minutes. I had three grocery bags and was truly strategizing how to get out of line and go outside. Then, I pictured jail because I was fired up. I also know that nobody would understand why I kicked a man in the balls after a cat noise. After all, it seems like a simple, harmless thing, doesn’t it? Rage develops in layers, ya’ll. AND I am always, ALWAYS amazed at how people never consider the possibility that I might be crazyasamfknbedbug.
I just got called a faggot by my next door neighborno comments