“That it happens so much that women and girls just ‘deal with it’ is the most troubling thing”

About a month ago, i went to visit my friend, who’s a student at Manchester university. We got harassed every single night we went out that week (and once during the day when we were out shopping – a drunk guy staggered over to us and tried to kiss my friend).

The event that sticks in my mind the most is this one: we were returning from a night out – it was about 2 am. We had to catch a bus back to the halls of residence from the town centre. This guy started following us – he looked like he was about 30, and i’m pretty sure he was drunk.

He started yelling really offensive stuff at us (“One of you bitches come over here and give me head”, for example – and no doubt the fact that i can remember it shows how disturbed i was by it), but we just tried to ignore him. Then he got on the same bus that we caught, sitting a couple of seats behind us – fortunately there were quite a few other people on the bus, so he piped down. I’ll admit, i was sort of scared to get off the bus when we reached our stop, in case he started following us again, but fortunately he didn’t.

Like i said, we were getting yelled at every night we went out. But the worse thing about it is, when i spoke to my friend about it, she just said “Yeah, you get a lot of it in Manchester – you just get used to it after a while, and don’t go out by yourself at night.”

The very fact that it happens so much that women and girls just ‘deal with it’ is the most troubling thing.

–  Emily

Location: Manchester city centre, United Kingdom

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4 Responses to “That it happens so much that women and girls just ‘deal with it’ is the most troubling thing”

  1. beckieweinheimer says:

    Exactly. Why should WE have to be the ones who deal with it????

  2. Zoe says:

    I offer an elegant solution with two words: pepper spray. Even if the harassment is mild, walk over, smile, and spray the bastard in the face with some pepper spray. Then leave and let him whine to his mates about how unfair it is that his bastard behavior had actual consequence. If every lass in Manchester adopted this policy, the lads would quickly learn to shut their drunken pie holes.

  3. Amelia says:

    Zoe: spraying the guys with pepper spray does sound satisfying, but not entirely legal… unless for self defense perhaps?

    Pepper spray is illegal to carry in my country, New Zealand (as is anything else designed to be used as a weapon). I’m worried that I’ll get in trouble if I buy it… and anyway, I have no idea where I’d buy it. My only legal option is the “personal safety alarm” that I carry with me at night (it has compressed air in it & will make a loud shriek if I pull the plug on it).

  4. Zoe says:

    Amelia, being that it’s illegal to carry in your area, I wouldn’t advise it. But if men are harassing and threatening women just because they think they can, the personal alarm is worthless against that, and against the side effects of constant degradation.

    I find it so frustrating that men can verbally attack women, and the ONLY response women are allowed is “shut up and take it like a good little girl.” Any other option makes us the “bad guys” for demanding that drunk (that’s one crime, public intoxication) men shouting sexual slurs (crimes two and three, sexual harassment and verbal assault) should have to behave like decent human beings. Given that they are committing three crimes against me, I hardly see how spaying their face with a non-lethal and temporary deterrent is a bad thing.

    But then again, after being sexually assaulted by a guy in my teens, perhaps I just “have a chip on my shoulder.”

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