“I just don’t know what else to do”

May 3, 2011

Well here’s another update of my experiences with street harassment. It’s a shame that I need to post these ‘updates’ so often.

Since my last story, I have been harassed several times. All are pretty minor but again the affect it had on me was more than trivial.

1) This happened the day after I was called ‘fat’ by some silly little boys (see ‘look how fat that girl is‘ post) I was going up to my boyfriend’s house, but instead of walking, I took a taxi. Yes, I took a taxi because most of the harassment I get happens when I’m either walking to or from his house. Today I just wasn’t in the mood. Yet I still coudn’t escape it. When the cab drove up my boyfriend’s street, the work men who had leered at me before were there again. And they noticed me in the taxi. They all looked at me and watched as I got out of the car. Then I saw that they were grinning to each other. I did the same thing as I did the last time, give them the middle finger. I was fuming inside though. I couldn’t even catch a cab without being harassed in some way!

2) It is not just men who harass. Sometimes girls or women can be just as bad. And to prove this, I was snickered at and called a ‘minger’ by some girls as I walked back home later on. My boyfriend told me that some girls had also laughed at him when he walked out of the shop. We believe they could be the same ones.

3) This Saturday, I had just nipped out to grab something to eat (I was staying in a guest house) and whilst walking back, a middle aged man sitting on a bench shouted, “Hi how are you?” I stopped in my tracks and confused, asked him if he was speaking to me. “Yes, I was asking you how you are” he responded. I said that I was fine and he then asked me my name. I gave him a fake name before he asked if I could come and sit with him and have a chat. I politely explained that I was in a rush to get home before speeding off. When I got back to the guest house (I go there often and am friendly with the family) I told the wife what had happened. She then told me that a similar ordeal happened to her daughter earlier on that day! Two men had bluntly asked her for sex.

4) This again happened when I was walking to my boyfriend’s house. Two men were walking on the opposite side of the road to me and were both staring and grinning at me. I scowled at them and I think they noticed I was intimidated because they kept looking back and chuckling.

So those are my recent experiences. All in the period of two weeks.

I have tried everything. Ignoring them, responding to them non verbally e.g. middle finger, a ‘look’, verbally e.g. “grow up and have some respect”, avoiding places where I’m more likely to be harassed, using transport to get to places instead of walking to avoid being harassed, changing what I wear. But nothing works. I now use a different route to get to my boyfriends house which avoids the main road and near the shops. I am losing weight because of street harassment. I just don’t know what else to do.

THIS HAS GOT TO END.

– Clarice

Location: North Cornelly. Wales

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.

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Yuck

May 2, 2011

I’m 14 and in private school in NYC. Yesterday I was getting off at 14 Street and this old guy is like, “Nice ass baby.”

I freakin wear a uniform!?? Yuck.

– Nat

Location: New York City

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.


Street harassment snapshot: May 1, 2011

May 1, 2011

Read stories, news articles, blog posts, and tweets about street harassment from the past week and find relevant announcements and upcoming street harassment events.

Street Harassment Stories:

I accept street harassment submissions from anywhere in the world. Share your story!

You can read new street harassment stories on the Web from the past week at:

Street Harassment in the News, on the Blogs:

Announcements:

New:

  • The Stop Street Harassment website + blog will relaunch this week with a new design and new logo!

On-going:

10 Tweets from the Week:

  • zenithfish First run-in with street sexual harassment today; not impressed Philly, not impressed.
  • natalieraymond What a shit afternoon. Witness disgusting street harassment on 6th ave then had my skirt blown up be a random wind. Stupid.
  • HollaBackBmore Thanks @CCASBaltimore for hosting us last night. Any #streetharassment convo is a good one, esp. w/such great male involvement. Loved it!
  • Hkearl Many women ages 50-80 told me their #streetharassment stories 2 day after my talk. This is not a new issue, but our collective activism is
  • iHollaback Important Announcement: Juan Terranova, who threatened to rape our site leader, has been FIRED! A huge win for all of us!
  • BLANK_NOISE how did u respond to web + phone harassment? #actionheroes http://bit.ly/juGhxF
  • rajiftw There is some epic street harassment going down today on U street! Epic, I tell you
  • danielnasaw Street harassment season has begun RT @lolaadesioye 2nd time in 1wk on same street that a man/men in a car have followed me + offered a ride
  • incurablehippie Thank you, bloke in the street, for pointing out that ‘Woah they are whoppers’. Now fuck off and die. #streetharassment
  • kariparks No, you can’t get a fucking smile. #Streetharassment

Inappropriate remark and grab on a bus

April 30, 2011

I was on the bus with my boys and we were discussing weight lifting techniques and toning muscles. I was showing off my progress letting them check the tome in my arms by punching them. Some lady gets out of her seat and tells me that it sounds hard then helps herself to a feel. She tells me that it feels hard as she exits the bus. I was too shocked to react. Not sure what I would have done anyway. We kind of ignored it and changed topics.

– Anonymous

Location: The bus

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.


“Love, drop your jeans”

April 30, 2011

I was walking home on a Sunday evening, it wasn’t that late maybe half past ten at the latest. I was dressed quite casually, I had jeans on, a top and a cardigan buttoned up all the way. This skinhead guy who was a passenger in a taxi I think shouted the most disgusting thing at me, he said something along the lines of “Love, drop your jeans so I can see your pussy.”

I was so taken aback by what that lowlife said that I didn’t respond. It was the most vile comment I’ve ever had directed at me. A couple walked by just after this and I think the girl made it clear what she thought of this, the lowlife responded by shouting at her.

– Anonymous

Location: Kingsway, Cardiff

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.


“When women are harassed … they’re denied an equal place in that society.”

April 29, 2011

“When women are harassed … they’re denied an equal place in that society. Public spaces don’t belong to them. Men control it. It reaffirms the oppressive role of men in the society.”

This powerful quote is by CBS News correspondent Lara Logan from her interview for The New York Times yesterday.

On Feb. 11, Logan, who was in Cairo covering the fall of Hosni Mubarak’s government, was sexually assaulted by a mob of at least 200 men across a 25 minute period.

Logan’s attack was not made public for several days and even then, we learned very little about what happened to her. Still, her story immediately focused international attention on the rampant problem of sexual harassment and assault in Egypt and to the dangers many female journalists face while on the job.

Logan will talk at length about what happened to her on Feb. 11, during a “60 Minutes” segment on Sunday. I plan to watch it. Already from reading the New York Times interview I have a better understanding of what she faced. Please note the rest of this post may be triggering.

Via The New York Times:

“There was a moment that everything went wrong,” she recalled.

As the cameraman, Richard Butler, was swapping out a battery, Egyptian colleagues who were accompanying the camera crew heard men nearby talking about wanting to take Ms. Logan’s pants off. She said: “Our local people with us said, ‘We’ve gotta get out of here.’ That was literally the moment the mob set on me.”

Mr. Butler, Ms. Logan’s producer, Max McClellan, and two locally hired drivers were “helpless,” Mr. Jeff Fager [the chairperson of CBS News] said, “because the mob was just so powerful.”…They estimated that they were separated from her for about 25 minutes.

“My clothes were torn to pieces,” Ms. Logan said.

She declined to go into more detail about the assault but said: “What really struck me was how merciless they were. They really enjoyed my pain and suffering. It incited them to more violence.”

After being rescued by a group of civilians and Egyptian soldiers, she was swiftly flown back to the United States. “She was quite traumatized, as you can imagine, for a period of time,” Mr. Fager said. Ms. Logan said she decided almost immediately that she would speak out about sexual violence both on behalf of other journalists and on behalf of “millions of voiceless women who are subjected to attacks like this and worse.”

What an utterly horrific experience and what bravery she has shown in the aftermath as she struggles to heal and recover.

Understandably, Logan said she will not give any more interviews on the topic after the “60 Minutes” segment because she doesn’t want the traumatic crime to define her.

Something Logan said near the end of the New York Times interview struck me. She noted she did not know about the levels of harassment and abuse that women in Egypt and other countries regularly experience. That surprises me given how much media attention street harassment in Egypt has received for at least three years since the release of the Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights report stating 83% of Egyptian women and 98% of foreign women experience street harassment.

How was that stark information not part of the background research or briefing she received or conducted before going on this assignment? How can all reporters accurately report on issues without that kind of culture context and how else can female reporters prepare themselves for how they may be treated by the men they encounter?

I’m regularly reminded by something someone will say or something I read – such as this article – just how much education and awareness about street harassment is necessary.

Really, for so many people, we have to get basic with this issue and focus on awareness and education before we will be successful at prevention methods. If no one knows or believes there is a problem, no one will be willing to do anything about it and nothing will change.

So let’s keep speaking out and informing our circle of friends and family members and our communities that public places are not safe and welcoming for women, but that they should be.


“I exist beyond being an object to be gazed upon”

April 29, 2011

On Saturday I suffered street harassment for the third time in two months.

The first time I was walking in the street one afternoon, minding my own business. A stranger cycled past me, leaned over and shouted, “Ugly!” I shouted back, “W@nker!” but I felt humiliated, and intruded upon. I was enraged – it is not my duty to decorate the street for the benefit of passing men, I exist beyond being an object to be gazed upon. That man knew nothing of me, but still felt perfectly entitled to pass loud judgement upon my attractiveness, and worth.

The latest incident happened again as I was walking home, this time after dark. I passed a couple, male and female, they heckled me, pointed and laughed and started singing, “Who let the dogs out?”

This is the second time this month that song has been sung at me in public. I feel totally humiliated. I cancelled plans to go out with friends this weekend because I don’t want to put myself in public situations where I will be looked at and judged. I feel my confidence is totally ravaged.

After thirty years of being called ugly, or “plain,” even by my own father, this doesn’t get any easier.

– CE

Location: North East England

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.