Post with 10 notes
I work as a barista, so I am harassed virtually every day by people who think they own some measure of my life, body, and time just because they order a latte. Today, I was walking to the library from my job. I knew better, logically. I was wearing red, which always seems to catch the attention of creepers, and a skirt— ditto on the creeper front. The library is right next to the bus stop, and therefore is something less than family-friendly, but my book was overdue and I was hoping for a couple minutes safe haven with the books before my break was over. And, of course, I ended up with a large group of guys shouting at me that they ”liked my style,” staring at me the whole way up and back. Headphones kept me from having to interact, and I didn’t hear the rest of their comments, but I was miserable the rest of the day.
I get so TIRED of people thinking they have the right to comment on what I wear. And even if I know them and tell them to stop, they give me a range of responses from: ”Well, you must want the attention if you dress like that.” (In clothes, with an edge, not that it should matter given that I’m telling you you’re making me uncomfortable. Way to use the time-honored excuse of rapists. Also, thanks. Now I feel like it’s my fault.) To ”You need to learn to take a compliment.” (No. No, I don’t need to learn to take anything. Next, you’ll be telling me to lie back and think of England.) To an interesting set of comments that boiled down to ”I should be able to comment on your appearance because getting critically reviewed is important to our growth as people.” (Interestingly, no comment on my part. Still rather astounded by that one.)
More than the actual comments is the feeling of being hunted, like there’s no safe place left. Why am I suddenly public property? Even wearing jeans and a T-shirt doesn’t seem to help.
I get tired, so tired, of the ”sweethearts” and the ”honeys”. I get tired of the stares. I get tired of my manager yelling at me for not meeting the eyes of someone who intimidated me, because even passive-aggressive fighting back is rude. And most of all, I’m tired, so tired, of not being able to fight back. And honestly, I’m starting to get scared. And I hate it.
Post with 7 notes
When I was 11 or 12, mini-sticks were a pretty big fad in my town. Mini sticks are basically mini hockey sticks and you can play with them indoors. My town is big on hockey, so all of the boys I knew had them. Boys carried them everywhere and they always had the pucks too. At some point, they realized that they could use the stick to pull off a prank, the prank being that you stuck it in between another boys legs from behind and pulled up, effectively sacking them.
They then realized that WOAH, THEY COULD DO THIS TO GIRLS TOO! One day I was walking home from school for lunch, and two boys I knew came up behind me and did this. I immediately started yelling at them and crying. Not only had it hurt, but I was embarrassed and I felt violated. I cried all through the lunch hour and told my mom what happened. She called the school to report this, and in the afternoon we had to all see the counselor and talk about the incident.
Everyone thought I was over reacting, and I was convinced that I had over reacted until very recently when I realized that I was right to feel the way I did. What they did was inappropriate and wrong. I’ll always remember the negative outlash against me for telling on those boys.
Post with 27 notes
I’m twenty-one years old and I work in a public space in my city. I see tons of people each and every day. Some strange, some polite, some your run of the mill characters of the city. Yet it is not until I leave my place of work to go to the bus station that I experience harassment. For the past month and a half, I have been harassed by the same person every Thursday. You see, on Thursdays I get off at 2:30 and that’s when the nearby high school lets out. This guy is seventeen. So not only is he barking up the wrong tree (I’m a lesbian), he’s underage. I have waited around work for fifteen minutes to a half hour. I’ve left early a few times. Yet every Thursday this kid is WAITING for me.
When it first began, I was wearing the universal sign of “don’t talk to me” aka headphones. He tapped my shoulder and I thought at first he was just going to ask what time the bus was coming. A lot of people who rarely ride the bus or who have never taken a bus are usually fidgety about it. I asked him if I could help him and he just said hello and asked for my name. I immediately gave him my go-to fake name because even such an “innocent” question, I’m sure as so many women know, can be followed by more intrusive questions from men. As soon as I gave him my alias, he starts chatting me up. Mind you, he is clearly a high schooler. He asks me where I work, if I go to school, etc. I gave him fake information and I made sure to include that I was definitely older. “That’s cool, I like girls who are a little older than me. Mature and sexier that way.” Normally I would have no problem dishing this kid a world of verbal hurt, but as he was saying this stuff to me, a dozen people were watching us and some were laughing. They thought it was cute that he was so ‘precocious’ or whatever the fuck you want to call it. I instantly shut down conversation. I answered in monosyllabic responses and I even put my headphones back on as soon as the bus rolled up. I made the mistake of sitting alone though because he followed me on and forced me into the window seat. I was effectively trapped on this full bus of people. He “playfully” pulled off my headphones and continued to talk to me. “Do you have a boyfriend? Does he treat you well? You look nice today.” At this point I was feeling a bit bolder because I was tired of his shit. I finally just said “Yes, but I have a GIRLFRIEND.” He got quiet for two seconds. He then began to ask about our sex life, how he would like to join in, etc. People around me were still silent or laughing. Finally after two stops on the bus I pulled the cord and told him to move. He had the fucking nerve to ask me, “Could I get a hug before you go?” That was the first time I ever yelled in a public place. I told him to get the fuck out of my way and to never touch me again. People laughed. He laughed. I got off the bus and walked ten blocks to my actual stop.
Like I said, I see this kid every Thursday. He’s tried to talk to me a few more times, but now he’s going after these other girls and women who ride the same route as me. There hasn’t been one positive response to him yet. I’ve finally gotten the courage to start inviting these women to sit next to me. We say hi and thank you to one another as he’s forced to sit farther back on the bus. We sit in silence but I feel this wordless connection to these other harassed women. Why are we the ones who look “crazy” or “ungrateful” whenever this seventeen year old kid harasses us? I’ve told transit security about him but they just laugh. “Boys will be boys.” Why is this the excuse?
Post with 19 notes
I have been sexually harassed many times, but there are two instances that have left a permanent mark on me.
The first time I was in my freshman year of college and walking down the sidewalk by the dorms and the road to get to the cafeteria. It was hot, as summer had not yet ended, and I was wearing a t-shirt and capri pants (I’m not a big fan of shorts because of previous harassment I’ve received and so that I can’t be called out on “deserving what I got” because of my choice of attire). As I was walking with my friend, who was wearing shorts and a tank top, a car full of guys slowed down next to us and began whistling and making inappropriate noises. We simply ignored them and walked on, sharing uneasy glances with each other. It was humiliating, as several other people from the campus—both guys and girls—and some individuals that lived in the community could no doubt hear them, the older individuals looking at me and my friend with disgusted looks on their faces like they thought we were egging the guys on. No, we just wanted to go pig out on pizza and ice cream.
The second time it happened I was alone and driving down to college by myself. It was the middle of the summer—I had to go down early for work—and I was wearing my Perry the Platypus t-shirt and a pair of shorts. I had recently had my hair dyed blonde as well (though I’m not sure if that adds to the harassment I received though I suspect it could have, as when I was in my natural auburn hair color I did get harassed just not to such an extreme amount). The AC in my truck is out so that was why I was wearing shorts, I didn’t want to barbecue alive. Just before reaching the state line a guy in some company’s car tried to pass by me. At least, I thought he was trying until, after ten minutes had gone by, I realized he was keeping pace with me. Looking over, I saw him roll down his passenger side window and then make a gesture for me to roll down mine. I looked at him and shrugged my shoulders. I didn’t know what he wanted and if he wanted to ask for directions, well, I get lost a lot so I couldn’t help him there.
This kept up for several miles, the cars behind both of us starting to ride our bumpers. Not wanting to cause an accident or anything—and because I wanted to pass the slow semi in front of me—I looked back over to see the guy holding up a sign that said, “You’re HOT!” I smiled politely and indicated that he should pass the semi so I could. Relieved, I saw him speed up and get over in front of the semi. I quickly got over so I could get by the semi—I still had two and a half hours on the road to go and I was getting tired—and tried to pass the guy but found that again he was keeping pace with me. I looked over at him again and saw that this time he was holding up a piece of paper asking me for my number. I widened my eyes and shook my head no.
The guy rolled down his window and began gesturing for me to do the same. I was getting really annoyed because he wasn’t paying attention to the road and was distracting me; the idiot was not thinking about the safety of me, himself, and the other drivers on the road. Not wanting to cause an accident because of his stupidity, I rolled down my window and screamed, “WHAT?”. He then asked me to pull over at the next exit but I shook my head and said I had to get to school.
This went on for the next several exits; he would not leave. Even when we crossed the state line he kept pace with me. Having had enough, I rolled down my window and said I would get off at the next exit to put an end to the accident waiting to happen. So, when the next exit came, he got off and I kept on going.
To this day nobody in my family knows about what has happened.
Post with 9 notes
There was an older man - in his 30s or 40s, I’ve have guessed - who got onto my bus and, seeing that the seat next to me was alone, asked me whether he could sit there. I thought it was strange that he’d want to sit next to me when other seats were available, but I wanted to be polite, so I said yes. He sat down. For the whole 20 minutes I sat on that bus next to him, I could feel his eyes going up and down my body, blatantly staring at my school skirt, my legs, my breasts. When the bus went over a speed bump, he leaned over and hugged me tightly, asking me repeatedly if I was okay. I said no. I pushed his arms off, stood up, squeezed past him - his hands groped at the back of my thighs - and got off the very next stop. I ran the rest of the way home while constantly looking over my shoulder to see if he’d be behind. I was 16 and polite and terrified and humiliated.
Post with 5 notes
I was on the bus one morning, coming back from a friend’s dorm where I’d slept over, and unfortunately the party’s theme the previous night was beach theme, even though it was January (sigh). Anyways I was in shorts, and I was sitting in one of the seats reserved for strollers etc, and a woman with a stroller came on and I didn’t notice/see, and the male bus driver said “Will the young lady with the nice legs please move to a different seat?”. When I automatically displayed repulsion the driver jokingly said to me, “Well what else was I supposed to say?” Hmm, I don’t know….lady with the shorts? You don’t need to comment on my fucking body parts.
Post with 6 notes
When I was fourteen we moved into a house only a mile away from the library. I would walk there on weekends to get out of the house and pick up new books. It was a pretty safe neighborhood and broad daylight, so I was allowed to walk there by myself.
On three separate occasions older men would drive by and attempt to solicit sex. They’d yell “How much, cutie?” or “I’ll give you something if you get in the car!” as they slowed down to drive next to me. I was embarrassed and frightened.
I was worried that them harassing me was my fault, and that if I told my parent’s they would assume I had been doing something inappropriate. I was always wearing modest clothing, and couldn’t understand why I was being targeted.
Once while walking, a guy slowed his car down to follow me while yelling that I looked “tasty”. I was so creeped out that I ran home. Eventually I stopped walking around the neighborhood by myself.
I’m still angry at myself for letting those creeps scare and embarrass me out of walking to the library.
Post with 51 notes
I went to an all-girls school from elementary through to Jr.High where we wore uniforms. The amount of shit we put up with whenever we went off school grounds in our uniform could get pretty obscene to the point that our Principle recommended we change into regular clothes when leaving. Twice, both before I was 15, strange men have rubbed up against me (on the train and on the sidewalk) and once a man tried to put his hand up my skirt. I hate that school uniforms have such a strong association to porn, that that’s the first thing people think of when they see a young girl in one. Instead of, you know, a child getting an education.
Post with 5 notes
I am 16 and last year I was on a train to visit my friends after their school finished. My school had a day off due to exams and my friends from another school had a half day. It was the middle of the day and I was sitting in the first carriage. My carriage wasn’t very populated, but there were two women facing the other way further up.
At one of the station, a man walked on and although there were plenty of seats, sat right across from me. He stunk of cigarette smoke and alcohol. I was very clearly immersed in my book, but he tried talking to me anyway, repeatedly calling me ‘darl’ and ‘sweetheart’. He would compliment me on my clothing then say “I’ll let you get back to your book,” then place his hand on my knee. I was so uncomfortable and scared, I didn’t know what to do so I froze.
At that moment, a ticket inspector/officer got on the carriage and walked over to us. She asked to see his ticket and he fumbled about his wallet, mumbling excuses. She told him to stand up and told him off for his lack of tickets. She never asked me for my ticket, and I got off safely at the next stop. Although it wasn’t too traumatic like some of the experiences I have read about here, I was still left with a very uncomfortable feeling for hours afterwards. It definitely was NOT flattering and I’m always wary of catching the train in the middle of the day without many people on my carriage.
Post with 22 notes
When I was in secondary school, I used to have to take a 1-2 hr journey each day, as I lived pretty far away from my school and relied on public transport. I was always alone, as none of my friends, or anyone from my school for that matter, lived anywhere near me. I was usually fine with this, because most people would leave me alone because I was obviously an underage school girl in a uniform, rational human beings respect that.
One time that sticks out in my mind when this wasn’t the case, is when I was 12, waiting for my second train home in an underground station. It was about 5.45pm and the station was pretty empty, bar a couple on the opposite platform. This man (he must have been about 40) walks up to me and starts chatting - he was on my last train, and was ‘worried’ about me because some young lads had thrown a gas lighter in my direction, trying to make it explode at my feet. I assured him I was fine, they were just being dickheads - no problem. He then continued to speak to me, saying I reminded him of “a baby seal or kitten who needs protecting”, and at this point I get freaked out and start to edge away, not replying to him. He continued his barrage of ‘compliments’ - “You’re such a pretty girl!”, “You must be a very clever girl to go to a school like yours” all the while edging closer and backing me down the platform. At this point i’m totally freaking out, and my only previous experience of this had been from guys around my age, which wasn’t as malicious as this felt - I had no idea how to react in this situation.
Thankfully, two women enter the platform, notice immediately what is happening and step in, one of the women pretended to know me in an attempt to distract him, and to genuinely make sure I was ok, whilst the other calmly walked him away to the otherside of the platform. I never saw the man again, but was so happy to see the two women getting my train regularly from then on, even though we never spoke after that.
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