“He tried to kiss me, and drag me off [my bike]”

I was riding my bike to the chip shop early last Saturday night. I rode by a pub on the way (one that I would ordinarily avoid but that it would add a mile to the journey to avoid) when a group of skinny (very drunk) white boys started walking fast beside me. I went to speed up, but one stepped in front of my bike, pulling me off and grabbing my arm. He tried to kiss me, and drag me off. I struck back at him, making a fist and connecting with his shoulder, surprising him into letting me go. I would like to think I hurt him. I sped off while his friends attempted to catch me.

My husband called the police, they came and took my statement, promising to lock him up to ‘put the fear of God in him’ if they caught him. I was not dressed provocatively; wearing a t-shirt and long running shorts. I should not be afraid to ride my bike outside. I am harassed several times a week, but this was the most violent occasion. The male police officer who came round to interview me said that more girls should fight back, like I did. I find it interesting however, that when I give a lecture at a university, or deliver a reading, I am called a woman. When people see me, I am referred to a ‘a girl’. This is tansgental and part of me is flattered, but interesting to note.

– Anonymous

Location: Swindon, Wiltshire, United Kingdom

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.

3 Responses to “He tried to kiss me, and drag me off [my bike]”

  1. Clarice says:

    What happened to you was assault, and a crime. Im so glad you informed the police over this matter. I hope they catch the culprit and he is taught a very fine lesson.

  2. Clare B says:

    This sounds awful and very theatening. I am glad you contacted the police as I think many women might have tried to ‘shrug it off’ somehow.

    You make such a pertinent point about being referred to as a woman or as a girl. The patriachy just can’t wait to belittle your stature. And of course those boys who assualted you when you were on your bike probably couldn’t stand the sight of you – an autonomous woman moving through social space on her own terms, only dependent on herself. At least if you were in a taxi, you would be at the mercy of a man. Men hate women to have any freedom or independence in public space.

  3. Sue Henderson says:

    One thing that worries me is that you ‘normally avoid’ this pub. Your very life is being proscribed by the fact that you feel likely to be attacked if you even go past this establishment. That’s horrible.

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