I’ve had…

I’ve been harassed more times than I can remember, starting when I was fourteen. I’ve been followed for blocks. I’ve had men walk up to me and say “I want to fuck you.”

I’ve had my ass grabbed. I’ve had lewd comments made about my body. I’ve had men ask me to get in their cars. I’ve had men stop their cars and get out to harass me as I walked down a quiet street. I’ve had men take my photograph. I’ve had a taxi driver pull off the street and ask me if I was a virgin. I’ve had men ask me for dates in the grocery store and get angry when I ignored them.

I’ve been grabbed roughly by the arm by several different men on several different occasions because I dared to ignore their greetings. I’ve been called a bitch. I get stared at all the time by men I don’t know. I have men approach me with personal questions. Even while with my husband or my dad, I’ve had men say things or blatantly stare at me. If I’m wearing sunglasses, men start asking what co lor eyes I have. I’ve had men intimidate me into giving them my (made-up) name and (made-up) phone number. I’ve been called a whore. I’ve had men say they’d like to grab my tits. I’ve had taxi drivers shout at me that their taxi is free.

Men stare at my breasts all the time. I’ve been fondled by multiple men while stuck in a crowd. I’ve had a man stick his hand up my skirt. I’ve had another man stick his hand down the front of my dress. I’ve had men persist in trying to get a date with me for near an hour, when I’m merely trying to browse the bookstore. I’ve had men offer unsolicited critiques of my clothing.

I’m in my early thirties now and I avoid going places where I think harassment is likeliest. I avoid eye contact with all unknown men. I frown while out in public. I walk fast. I *never* relax in public and always feel like I am on display. I’m frequently bitchy to men who try to strike up a conversation with me. I’m scared every single time I walk past a man on the street.

– anonymous

Share your street harassment story today and help raise awareness about the problem. Include your location and it will be added to the Street Harassment Map.

One Response to I’ve had…

  1. I am so sorry. That is horrible. I hate it that so many of us cannot relax in public. I am glad you could share your story, and I hope as we continue to share our stories, that the public place will become a safer place for women. I just don’t think most males get it even if they don’t participate in harassment, about how much stress we have just doing normal things like walking down a street or shopping. Until they do, I guess we will have to continue to be vigilant, but what a nice life it would be if we didn’t have to exert all this energy on worrying about our safety and could use this energy for other more positive things.

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