I’ve been harassed nearly everywhere I’ve gone, and no matter how I was dressed. I’ve had my boobs grabbed, my ass grabbed, my crotch grabbed, and some of the most filthy and disgusting things I never wanted to hear whispered into my ears. And it doesn’t just happen in the streets. Concerts, bars (even while I was clearly talking to a boyfriend), groceries stores, malls, in the workplace, there is no where to go to escape it. No one has ever done anything to stop it. When I ignore it or give the harasser an annoyed look, they start calling me an ungrateful bitch, or a whore. When others see me being harassed, they never do anything to stop it, as if it’s only worth the trouble if things turn to violence.
It started when I was thirteen, and I enjoyed the attention of whistles and honks from the car. It didn’t take long for me to get sick of hearing it, and for more serious trespasses to start. I was never even a sexy dresser. Jeans, t-shirt, no makeup. That didn’t effect things, either. I often wore old, dirty sweatpants and a torn up flannel shirt to a job I had loading trailers in college. For some reason, that just made them like me more, especially at gas stations. For years, I quit going to bars and concerts because I was so sick of dealing with the crowd. As I’ve gotten older, I don’t get it quite so much. Oddly, the business suit seems to work better as a deterrent than the sweat pants ever did.
All that time, I just figured it was something I had to live with and work around. This website and it’s message are great, and I hope it will help change the way we deal with this issue.