I’ve been living in San Francisco, CA, for a couple of years. I’ve been harassed a few times and I have heard a lot of stories from female friends who have been harassed on the streets of SF.
The first two times, I was visiting SF. I was harassed twice a few days apart. The creeps must have seen that I was a tourist, and figured that I was easy prey. The first guy was standing next to me at a stop light and said he liked my outfit. I said “thank you” and then I ignored him. Next he said that my outfit was “sexy” and when I got peeved he said that I “must want to be looked or I wouldn’t dress like that” and that “I should go hang out with the rest of the whores”.
Afterwards, I felt both shocked and vulnerable and I never wore the same outfit again, even though it wasn’t revealing at all.
The next time, some creep asked me if I needed directions and when I replied, “No, thanks. I’m fine,” he got really irritated and began mocking me.
The third time, a guy saw me reading a map and he was very adamant about giving me a ride in his car to where he was going. He seemed very friendly, but thankfully, I had the common sense of saying no.
The train can be scary, because you can’t easily get away from a guy who, for e.g., says you look good in your leggings or whatever and then gets peeved when you give him the cold shoulder.
Once, on the train, a guy was standing right next to me, it was very crowded, and I had to pretend the whole time that I couldn’t hear him talking to his friend about what my “p***y” must look like.
Another time the train was extremely crowded, and the guy behind me was “bouncing” more than the train was, and I felt something hard on my thigh.
Countless times, I have been hollared at on the street and stared at very inappropriately.
I wish there was something to do, besides ignore these guys, but I feel like there is a long way to go before women can feel safe and respected on the streets here, regardless of their age, looks, outfit etc.
Location: San Francisco, CA