“No black woman can walk down the street without getting harassed here”

I have lots of experiences that constitute street harassment. I have to use public transportation, and all the bus stops available for me to use are good walks away from where I live, so I have to deal with being honked at as I walked down the street. This is a daily expectation. I will occasionally have some asshole yell at me from their cars.

There’s this one guy, I don’t know if he lives in the driveway I always find him in or not, but he’s taken to saying hello to me and I say hello back and then he tries to hit on me (asks me “Where your boyfriend at?”). The first time this happened and he asked me that question, I just immediately shut down communication and kept walking. The only reason it happened a second time is because as soon as I said hello, I realized that it was the same guy who bothered me the last time. I don’t know what he said to me after I said hello the second time, but I imagined it was similar to what happened the first time. This has only happened twice, but I’m scared this will happen every time I see this guy.

One of the most prolific harassment experiences I’ve ever had is a bit surprising because of the location it happened in. I currently live in Southeast Atlanta where it seems that harassing women on the street is a part of the culture down here, you know, no black woman can walk down the street without getting harassed here. We’re suppose to expect it down here. But this particular incident happened while I lived in the more affluent northern part of the city, where Buckhead and Sandy Springs are, and happened in an area where I didn’t have to expect harassment daily.

I was coming back home from a morning walk when this car actually pulled up beside me on the side walk, slowed down and rolled down the window and everything, and the guy in the car (I didn’t see him because I didn’t actually stop while this was happening) started trying to proposition me to do whatever with him or to talk to him or something. I was so scared and embarrassed that I just kept walking and never actually heard what he was asking. This was a car that had actually slowed down while I was walking back home before, but the person inside had never actually stopped and tried talking to me before.

I consider myself a sex positive person and sexually enlightened and all of that jazz, but when stuff like this happens it never ceases to be annoying and embarrassing. It’s one thing to be on the receiving end of sexualized attention that you actually want. But a completely different experience to be on the end of sexualized attention that you aren’t asking for or wanting. They’re not nearly the same thing or the same experience — sex is being used in one, abused in the other.

– Jaleesa

Location: Atlanta, GA

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 “No black woman can walk down the street without getting harassed here”

  1. Golden Silence says:

    He said “Where your boyfriend at?” like it’s going to make you want him. Ugh!

    I currently live in Southeast Atlanta where it seems that harassing women on the street is a part of the culture down here, you know, no black woman can walk down the street without getting harassed here. We’re suppose to expect it down here.

    Yeah, like we’re supposed to expect attention from any old Black man on the street because we’re the same race. I can sadly relate to what you’re going through.

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