September 6, 2008
When I was living in Cincinnati, OH, I frequently walked or biked everywhere. On several occasions I was harassed, hollored at, whistled at, and at times grabbed. On one particular occasion, a young man yelled at me as I was walking by. I ignored him. The he yelled, ” Damn baby- You thick. Mmm” I guess this was his eloquent way of expressing he was impressed by my curves. I turned, looked at him, shook my head with disgust, and started to walk away again. He followed me and continued his harassment. “Keep walking baby, I wana watch it bounce.” I was so embarrassed, and so angry that I told him, “If you ever speak to me like that again, I will BOUNCE YOU into that telephone pole!” His response, “Oh, baby, be cool, I just wana get to know you.” My response, ” Well, I don’t want to know you.” And I kept walking. As I walked away he yelled, “You’se just a dumb white ho, any damn way.” I felt so angry, and hurt. In hind sight, I probably shouldnt have threatened him, but I felt scared when he kept following me. I just felt dirty and violated.
September 5, 2008
Not long ago, an article came out talking about the high rate of sexual harassment in public in Egypt. As a follow up piece, the BBC interviewed several Egyptian women about their experiences.
For example, here is what Posy Abdou said:
“I get harassed 100 times a day. I tried everything to stop it but it doesn’t stop. I wear loose clothes, I don’t wear make up, I spend more than an hour in front of the mirror everyday thinking of ways to hide my body.
I walk home everyday. It only takes me 15 minutes, I cross the bridge. It is usually very loud and busy, but that does not stop men from approaching girls, any girl, good looking or bad looking, covered or not.
I remember so many scary harassments. There was this guy who followed me and suddenly grabbed my bottom in front of everyone. I screamed but he ran away and no one interfered.
Once I was shopping with my father and aunt, and this guy kept staring at me and blowing me kisses. My dad shouted at him and started hitting him. I think men are doing this because they are jobless and have no manners.”
I am glad that the BBC is showing how horrible street harassment is for women!! I think the best way to get people to pay attention to the problem is by hearing women’s stories.
So share yours!