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Maybe a month or two ago, I was out walking my dog in my neighborhood. I live in a pretty good area, so I figured it would be alright to just walk with her for an hour. Boy, was I wrong.
I got to the edge of the neighborhood when some guy says hello to me. I had already mentally prepared myself for anything that was going to happen. I turned the volume of my music in my headphones down for a bit to say “hi” back for a bit, then kept walking. Dude decides to follow me. “Why won’t you talk to me?” and so on and so forth. I figured it would be bad to let this creep know where I live, so for a whole hour I had to try to escape him. He kept telling me very vulgar things about what he wanted to do to me, which I replied with “I have a boyfriend.” (I actually don’t, I had to make that part up.) That wasn’t enough to stop him. He had begun to read some of the patches on my vest, and my lowest patch is near my butt. He grabbed at my vest in an attempt to read my patch, so I swatted him away and began to text my crush and best guy friend for some advice on what to do. About an hour later, when this creep is still following me he called me, and we started talking on the phone.
He finally left me alone. A whole hour of following me when I’m clearly giving “back off” signals and it isn’t enough to get him to leave me alone, but when I finally get a guy to call me, it is? When he finally left me alone and I was clear to go home, I kept asking myself things like “why wouldn’t he leave me alone until I had one of my guy friends intervene?” and “why doesn’t it mean anything when I say “please leave me alone?” It wasn’t the first time I was followed and sadly it won’t be the last. I just hope that guys learn that this isn’t complimentary and it’s actually very scary. I don’t even want to think how it would have ended up if I never had my dog.
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This happened this past weekend while celebrating Halloween downtown. I went out with some friends but then decided later on I wanted to go home and arranged for a friend to pick me up. As soon as I was alone walking down the street, some guy came up to me and, having noticed my costume, he said, “Oh, so you’re a hippie? I like hippies. Why don’t you come with me?” It was very creepy so I broke away and said, “Actually, I’m going home.” Well, apparently he wasn’t alone. He followed me and along with like 4 other guys just harassed me as I was standing waiting to cross the street. He crouched down and started blowing air at my skirt, as if he was trying to get it to lift up. It was not only humiliating because there were so many people around, but it was downright sexist and beyond rude. It upset me so much that when my friend came to pick me up, I actually broke down crying. I’ve been the victim of much worse in the past, but this time I actually stood up for myself. It’s like you can never feel safe anymore.
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Yesterday, while I was waiting for some friends on the street, a homeless man came to me asking for money. I apologised and said I didn’t have any coins in my wallet. Then, he procceeded to tell me how beautiful I was and making disgusting comments about my lips. All I could say was “fuck you”, but he was already leaving and I don’t think he heard it.
I hate these men. Why the hell do they think they can do this? This guy was mad because I didn’t give him any money and so he thought he should try to intimidate me and humiliate me, turning me into a sex object that happened to be there for him to look at, analyse and comment.
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This isn’t technically “street” harassment as it happened indoors, though still in a public space. I was traveling on my own. My plane had just landed in the Toronto airport, and as I was walking off and through the terminal with the crowd of passengers there was this man walking along beside me, who kept stealing glances at me. We approached a narrow entry way, and he stepped back, offering me to “go ahead.” As I did, I heard him mutter, “the view from here is better anyway.” I was wearing shorts at the time, and as I realized this I quickened my steps, fighting the temptation to turn around and do something about it.
I am grateful it did not go beyond that, but I none the less felt abused and absolutely helpless, especially in knowing I would be facing a losing battle if I tried to confront it - I am a small woman traveling on her own, who minded her own business, in a place that was not home. It was frustrating, and I was terrified that I was going to see him again somewhere in the airport. Even though they were “just words”, they were powerful - powerful enough to force me into to the bathroom and change into sweats. I felt safer, but I hated that it had to be that way, that I had to be the one to ‘fix myself’; that all it takes is a meaningless outfit choice on your part to render you ‘vulnerable.’ The terror of words never felt so real.
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I went to a pride parade and while waiting for the bus to get back to campus, a man walked past me and slid his finger along my butt. He turned his head and smiled like it was all in good fun, but it really upset me and kinda ruined the day. I’ve never experienced someone physically touching me like that until today.
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I was walking home from school a few weeks ago when I passed a guy masturbating outside. To make it clear, this was not in private property, it was outside. By a park with a playground designed for kids to use. I saw him leering at me but quickly went on my way, ignoring him but wasn’t quick enough to avoid him reaching out and piching my ass with the hand that wasn’t on his dick. I felt violated and sick but was too shocked to do anything but sprint away.
Earlier today, I was walking the same route (I didn’t think that the previous incident was commonplace enough or that it was okay for me to feel so threatened that I had to add an extra 20 minutes onto my journey - normally, it’s a safe area) when I passed another guy, also pleasuring himself. I was looking down at my phone and had paused momentarily to take a sip of my coffee when I noticed him staring at me, using me as a stimulus to jerk off to. I felt creeped out and walked briskly away and heard him shout ‘great bum’ at me.
I felt really shaken up and told one of my best friends about what had happened. He told me that I ‘should be flattered’.
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I was leaving my Calculus class the other day, talking on the phone with my mother, when I noticed a strange man (had to be over 60 or 70) driving really slowly in a blue pickup and obviously leering at me out of the window. I scowled and wrote him off as just another perverted freak, since that sort of thing isn’t really unusual for me, as I have “large tracks of land.”
As I got into my car, however, I noticed rather than parking he had just sort of pulled off to the side, close enough that he could see me but not close enough that I could see whether or not he was actually watching me. Unnerved, I got quickly into my car. I locked the doors, but waited a while to see if he was getting out of his car to go to a class or what. He just sat there. Even more unnerved, I pulled out of the parking spot and began driving out of the college. I immediately noticed that he had started following me. Panicked, I called my mother and asked her what to do. She told me not to drive home, to drive to the police station instead, and get inside as quickly as possible. I began driving towards the police station, absolutely panicking, and the blue truck continued to follow me. To test, I even drove in weird ways, around blocks and basically around in circles, and he kept following me. I pulled in at the police station (totally illegally, too, but I didn’t care at that point) and he pulled in too, but when he saw me running for the entrance he peeled out and took off.
I stayed at the police station for a while, and made sure he was nowhere around the town before I finally drove home. This happened on Tuesday (4 days ago), and I’m still very jittery around campus and when walking around town. When men harass women on the street, we have no way of knowing if you’re just a stupid asshole or if you’re about to try and follow us home and hurt us.
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So I was just waiting for the bus home from school, when some boys who must’ve been about my age (16) or maybe even younger started cat-calling me, wolf whistling etc. And then one of them came up to me and decided to start talking to me and telling me I was beautiful and that he loved me etc. So I told him firmly to please leave me alone, and then a little harsher and then I just said “piss off” and they would not stop bothering me until the bus had come. It was awful, and it’s disgusting how early boys pick up this shit.
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I posted about this on my own tumblr recently.
I was walking home one late afternoon/early evening when I heard someone close behind me calling “Excuse me, miss!”. I turned around and there was this guy who started telling me how beautiful I was and how he had noticed me in the crowd and other such things. I smiled politely, said thanks and continued walking. He started walking next to me, saying he had been following me for a while (for about 2km judging by the spot he mentioned) and that he wanted us to go for a coffee or a drink and get to know each other because he felt he loved me.
The faster I walked, the faster he walked beside me. He kept repeating himself and pushing me to accept a date. I told him politely “no thanks, I’m not interested” many times. I was scared to be more hostile because it was getting dark and we had reached a small park and the area was semi-deserted and I always have in the back of my mind that you don’t know what might trigger a violent reaction so stay polite, stay polite.
I got to the point where I started explaining to him that what he was doing was scary, not nice at all, and that you don’t walk up to a woman alone on the street and start following her and expect her to come with you to a cafe or to your house. He didn’t seem to be getting it. So, when I saw three men standing next to the park entrance, chatting with each other, I raised my voice and shouted “Stop following me! I don’t want you to follow me. I don’t want to go with you anywhere!” and when those men turned to see what was going on, then and only then did he turn around and walk away.
I was two blocks from my flat but I didn’t go there as I had to walk through a very dark, deserted alley and was afraid he’d follow me, so I went to a friend’s place instead for a couple of hours. I admit I was shaking for a while.
It still enrages me to this day that this man had the power to make me feel helpless and afraid while walking in a friendly, safe town, all because he saw me on the street and decided he wanted me, regardless of my own opinion on the matter.
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A couple days ago, I was walking down the street after dropping a friend off and saw a dude who was attempting to give all the female pedestrians hugs. I dodged and told him off when he approached me. I continued down the street and realized he had been following me for about half a block. I turned around and stared him down. He loomed over me and started asking me why I wouldn’t hug him, and tells me I’m hurting him. I told him that I didn’t fucking know him and to leave me alone. I slipped on my knucklepunchers and gave him the stink-eye again as I continued on my way — much faster this time. He still followed me for another couple yards, and only stopped when he was waylaid by another woman.
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