European Harassment

I studied abroad in Paris for a semester, and I was shocked by the amount of harassment I experienced. I’m from a major U.S city, and i have never been treated like this until I lived in Europe. Riding the metro every day to school meant that men would follow me, try to kiss me, grab my ass, or just verbally harass me. I’ve very very fair and blonde so I don’t look very French, so people always asked me where I came from…I soon learned that pretending to speak neither French nor English really helped. I always said that I was Russian (which they believed) and that I only spoke Russian. That certainly shut them up quickly.

I never had any problems in London or Dublin, but Brussles, Paris, and any Italian city (even the Vatican of all places) were prime sources for lewd comments and whistles. The most shocking form of harassment was in Marrakech where my super white skin and platinum blonde hair stuck out like a sore thumb. Men constantly catcalled and finally one man came up to me and just started fondling my boob. I finally just pushed him off and ran away.

– anonymous

Location: Paris, France

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One Response to European Harassment

  1. K says:

    I had exactly the same experience as you, and I speak French and have dark hair. England – nothing. Paris and the south of France – I felt like a piece of meat and ended up needing Xanax after returning home. I wasn’t even aware I was so on edge until a friend visited me. Of course she thought I was overreacting until we took the metro and got assaulted by a gang of teenage boys then yelled at by Arab men on our way out.

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