“We just have learned to ignore it”

I recently visited my friend in NYC, with one other girlfriend and it really made me remember how small a town I really live in. I was only there from Friday night to Sunday morning and my friends I were cat-called and leered at every single day.

Friday night, we went out to a club and I happened to have my wallet/phone stolen. As I was running around the club, in tears, asking if anyone had seen my things, a man stopped me twice, grabbing me, hugging me, kissing me on the cheek, to tell me how cute I was, and that if I came home with him, we would definitely find my wallet. 1. Do I look that drunk, that I can be tricked into going home with you and getting raped, just because you’re telling me that you’ll find my things? 2. I’m literally CRYING in a club with all my money, ID and phone lost. Is this really the time or place?? 3. I don’t even know you. Why are you touching me? Unfortunately, I’m a very shy reserved person and I just tried to sort of play along until I could shrug him off, while politely declining.

Saturday, we went out during the day and were catcalled by workmen and random guys on the street. I don’t even remember what exactly was said because we just have learned to ignore it. But that night, we went out for dinner in Little Italy and were catcalled at by many waiters/hosts of the restaurants, shouting “Bella!” and following up a with a comment about how there were three of them and three of us… While I didn’t find those particular comments all that insulting, it still surprised me that even while at work, these men think they can say something to women they don’t know.

That night, after leaving a Halloween party to walk to a convenience store around 2 or 3 am, a red car pulled up to my friend and I. There were two guys, shouting at us, trying to get us to talk to them. They kept saying “Hey, Boo!…Come on, Boo… We have beer, you want a beeer?? Booo!” They followed us half a block, keeping pace with us at the curb, until we got to an intersection with a cop/security guard standing there, when they decided to speed away while saying something about fucking our pussies. The cop asked if we were okay and I was glad he was there to scare them off, even if it didn’t shut them up.

But of course, on our way back to the party to round up our other friend, the same car is coming back on our side of the street. We tried to ignore them so they wouldn’t notice us, but of course they did and they pulled right back up to the curb and followed us another block, shouting “Boo…Booo…Come on, Booo!” We just tried to ignore them. I want to say something to them, but in so many situations, it gets worse if you engage with them.

How can someone really not understand that following a person down the street while shouting at them in the middle of the night IS FUCKING CREEPY AND WEIRD??? And offering us a single beer just adds insult to injury. Give me a break.

-“It’s Not Flattering, It’s Creepy”

Location: New York City

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