“He grabbed my head and tried to whisper ‘You’re beautiful’ in my ear”

I was taking public transportation and an obviously drunk guy came on with two swollen eyes and dried blood stains by one eye. Not trying to make this a race thing but i’m a black female and with some black men I know I cant even make eye contact or it will start. Not that all men harass and not that black men don’t harass others because they do but I have noticed they are worse with us because they think no one is going to intervene and they can get away with it.

Anyways so, I tried not to make any eye contact cause I just knew he was gonna say something to me. He came right to my seat, grabbed my head and tried to whisper “You’re beautiful” in my ear. Then he sat behind me. I told him there was no need to ever touch me and I don’t like people touching me and he said he did that cause he thought I had head phones on.

I go back to ignoring him and then he tells me he got beat up in the war just now and that’s why his eyes are swollen (lmao!). He keeps talking more nonsense and I tell him I have a boyfriend i’m gonna marry just to keep him off my back but of course he said he didn’t care and he starts pulling out his credit card saying he’ll take me wherever I want to go. He keeps trying to touch my shoulder and i’m like STOP TOUCHING ME but he wont and then he starts saying i’m not even his type and i’m a mess really loud and i’m like “oh I’M the mess”.

Meanwhile the driver is doing NOTHING to stop it. There was a girl that looked shocked and I could tell she wanted to say something but didn’t want to get involved so she wouldn’t get harassed as well. Finally he got off at the stop but I was totally humiliated and violated.

I’m 29 years old and have been dealing with it since I was about 15. Some men just see women as second class citizens and they have a right to say and do anything to us and get away with it. I have tried everything to get them to stop and nothing works.

– Anonymous

Location: Southern Illinois, near St. Louis, MO

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.

6 Responses to “He grabbed my head and tried to whisper ‘You’re beautiful’ in my ear”

  1. Clare B says:

    This sounds an awful incident. One common theme of harassment is how the men will turn aggressive and nasty if their ‘compliments’ and approaches are rejected. It’s the unspoken reinforcement of men’s ‘last resort’ of violence. It’s a way of ensuring that women find it easier and less threatening to smile and nod sweetly and prettily and put up with their endless demeaning crap.😦

  2. Golden Silence says:

    The bus driver should be held accountable for not doing a damn thing to help. Bystander syndrome drives me insane!

    I can’t believe this fool lied and said he was attacked in the war. He probably got beaten up trying to do the same thing he did to you to someone else! He’s a grade-A loser.

    This story upsets me greatly. Had this been me and I’d been repeatedly touched by this jerk, I would’ve broken one of his fingers.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Golden Silence, I wanted to smack him upside the head but I was just in fear. Ive told a few people of the incident and they didnt see what was so scary about it but they just had to be there. I just thought if I hadve done even more than I did to fight him off, he probably wouldve gotten off at my stop and harmed me in some way. There was alot of details I left out but the “nonsense” he kept saying when he was sitting behind me freaked me out. He was so unstable.

    I have already made a complaint though against that bus driver.

  4. Golden Silence says:

    Golden Silence, I wanted to smack him upside the head but I was just in fear.

    I don’t blame you for not doing that. You do have to gauge your safety in situations like this and this guy sounded like he was batshit crazy. And trust me, I can sadly relate to dealing with constant black-on-black harassment. Men like that think black women are their property by virtue of being the same race.

    And please keep the board posted if you get any word back regarding your complaint. Bus drivers need to stop just driving the bus and take action when one of their passengers is being harassed.

    Stay strong. You’ve got the support of many people on here.

  5. LS says:

    First, I’m really sorry that happened to you. As a woman who has been there, my heart goes out to you. And as a black woman, I can also relate to the pain of black-on-black harassment and the blatant disrespect many black men show black women, all the while insisting on our loyalty to them. I’m not loyal to any man who hasn’t earned it.

    I’m going to speak from my heart. I have had it with men like this disrupting women’s lives and causing us to feel afraid for our safety just going about our daily business. How many of us come home every day feeling angry, shaken up and helpless after these encounters-helpless because we were too afraid to say something, to stand up for ourselves and express our outrage in the moment? I have been there. Sometimes it is too scary to speak up. But then, we are left carrying the residue of varying degrees of trauma. What are we supposed to do to heal? What are your strategies for healing? I’d like to hear from you and anyone else who wants to answer.

    Sometimes, riding public transportation, I’ve chosen to get off at a stop, that wasn’t the one I needed, to get away from harassers. My husband says that is a good move and the most important thing is my safety. I say that is true, but now I’ve been inconvenienced again because of some predator. Then I end up walking longer than I need to in the cold because I felt trapped in a light rail train and I didn’t know what else to do.

    Sometimes, all you can do is leave. They can’t abuse you if you are not there. I’m sick of having to fight these battles with men on my own, sometimes being outnumbered 2:1 or 3:1. The ones who harass in a group are the ultimate slime to me.

    How many of us are pissed off because it seems these bastards just repeatedly get away with terrorizing women without any significant consequences?

    That bus driver reflects the prevailing cultural attitude that you are on your own. I’m glad you filed a report. It is a rare occurrence that we can trust our fellow human beings to help us in public in a time of crisis or need and that is pathetic.

    Sorry if this comment is too long. Sometimes I need to get things off my chest. I value this site so much and the women who post here. You are not alone here. We get it and have your back!

  6. Clare B says:

    LS, your comments touched me – thank you for posting your reply to Anonymous from Illinois.
    I just wanted to echo ‘I value this site so much and the women who post here. You are not alone here. We get it and have your back!’ – You are so right, and I feel exactly the same. We have a great strength and resilliance both individually and in sisterhood, even though sometimes it is hard to feel that.
    I wish I could answer your questions about how to deal with the residue of harrassment… For me, I find talking about my experiences with my other friends who ‘get it’ brings me strength and serenity, and sites/blogs like these make me feel better.

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