“As if that would turn me on”

I was walking out of Union Square and this guy walking towards me puts two fingers in front of his mouth and sticks his tongue through them. As if that would turn me on…Yes I want you to lick me.

I stopped as soon as he went by, turned around and screamed at him, “Can’t you just be a normal human being? What is wrong with you?”

He didn’t even turn around and NO ONE even batted an eye that I was yelling at this guy that just offended me. I know he heard me screaming and hopefully he will think again when he tries to offend someone minding their own business.

– Anonymous

Location: Union Square, NYC, NY

Share your street harassment story today and help raise awareness about the problem. Find suggestions for what YOU can do about this human rights issue.


7 Responses to “As if that would turn me on”

  1. Erik K. says:

    I am sorry to hear about your experience.

    This type of Crude Oaf is not trying to “turn you on”. His goal is to get a reaction out of you. There are two types of reactions he is looking for: either for you to be intimidated or for you to get angry.

    This type of person can not be reasoned with as you would a normal human being. Normal human beings don’t behave as described.

    Therefore, my suggestion is that you treat future harassers of this nature as if they are “bad little boys”. That means a ice cold look that shows you are not intimidated or shocked (even if you are) followed by a stern shaking of the head as if he were a pathetic naughty boy.

    I am not suggesting that this is easy to do. But, it does keep your emotions under your control.

    Alternatively, you could use the verbal “Not interested!” a/k/a Talk to the Hand response that I have written about previously.

    Unfortunately, in this type of situation, bystanders are unlikely to be able to comprehend what has occurred. Therefore, they are unlikely to get involved.

  2. b says:

    I appreciate why someone would leave a prescriptive comment here, but it tends to undermine why anyone would share this sort of experience. It’s really hard to think of how to react in the moment, and there’s no one right way to handle these types of encounters.

    Thanks for sharing your story, anon. Best of luck out there.

  3. friday jones says:

    And then there’s pepper spray….

  4. Golden Silence says:

    It’s really hard to think of how to react in the moment, and there’s no one right way to handle these types of encounters.

    You’re right. Suggestions can be good and helpful, but it’s really about doing what’s right for YOU at that moment. I thought she handled herself well here, calling him out to embarrass him. Even if it didn’t seem to work, at least attention was drawn to his funky behavior.

  5. ninyabruja says:

    Erik K, women have been doing “the freeze” for ages, to no effect…although some years ago (before hollaback existed) my response to a smegma who yowled, “hey you wanna have sex?” at me was: “How old are you, little boy?” He was in his mid 30’s, didn’t like my response and old enough to know better than to pull this crap.

    I applaud anon’s calling out of the incident.

  6. Golden Silence says:

    Erik, I read your comments here and at iHollaback.org, and see that you are trying to be helpful, but I sometimes get the sense that you’re lecturing as opposed to truly listening and understanding these stories. Sometimes the textbook approach doesn’t work. Things like this need more of a human touch.

  7. Jen says:

    I understand that Erik’s comments may seem ‘preachy’ in a sense, but he IS trying to be helpful. I find his discussions about ‘types’ of harassers incredibly insightful, though I’m not sure I would be able to remember the ideal reponses he suggests in the heat of the moment! Let’s remember also that Erik doesn’t experience this kind of harassment as we do, and in that sense his reponses may seem ‘unrealistic’, but I think he’s to be commended for attempting to offer something constructive and engage people about street harassment.

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