Today I’ve been writing my street harassment book chapter on ways women can respond to harassers in the moment – if they feel safe enough to and wish to – and success stories illustrating those ways. The stories come from my informal survey and from stories submitted to this blog and other anti-street harassment blogs. The Street Harassment Project has a whole depository of great stories and I got a nice laugh from the stories from one contributor in particular. (I don’t condone violence or insulting harassers and I’m not including either of these stories in my book, but it’s hard not to feel some vindication at the outcomes of the stories when too often men get away with this kind of crap)
“Construction sites are full of men who hoot & holler, make rude gestures, etc. They feel safe in doing so, because they’re behind fences, on scaffolds, and with thier buddies. Cowards!
I had to walk past one such site at least twice a day. I’d heard comments, but none of these men had ever actually addressed me. Until a specific afternoon, when one of these guys hollered, “Hey lady, come up here and suck my dick!”
I’d had enough. I have a smart mouth anyway, and before I even thought about it I yelled back “Well maybe I would if I could FIND it under that fat gut of yours!” Jeez. Even I was embarrassed, but his buddies on the scaffolding nearly fell off laughing, and the women near me cheered.
From then on, when I walked past that site, all these guys would dare holler at me was “Hi lady! How ya doin’? Nice day huh?” with big grins on thier faces. And I never heard another lewd commect from ANY of them to ANYONE the whole rest of that remodel. I felt like Wonder Woman!
A friend of mine worked nights at 7-Eleven and a creepy little guy browsed around the store until he was the only customer, then brought a can of creamed corn to the counter. She turned aside a bit to ring it up, and when she turned back, he’d taken his willie out and laid it on the counter. She panicked, and did the first thing that came to mind…she smashed it as hard as she could with that can of creamed corn. Split it down the middle. She called 911, totally freaked, and one of the policemen said to her, as they hauled this pervert away in the ambulance, ‘You did a good thing here. Don’t feel badly, he had it coming. I’ll bet next time, he buys marshmallows!'”