“I did not want to be followed or harassed about ethnic backgrounds”

May 4, 2011

I had just departed ways with my friend around 11:30PM. We had just finished watching the Bruins-Flyers game and celebrating her birthday. After missing the bus I decided to walk home than wait 15 minutes for the next one. I was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt (hood covering my head), jeans and flip flops. A very casual outfit for the night.

As I was passing along Massachusetts Ave near Symphony Hall in Boston, a male in his mid-20s sped by on his bike and turned around to look at me. He slowed down almost to a stop to turn back to ask if me I spoke Spanish. I responded,” No, I don’t speak Spanish,” proceeded to keep walking.

Side note: I am not of any Spanish heritage and most people assume I am of this group and speak Spanish. Which makes me annoyed. I am Native American and I do not speak Spanish.

So this individual stops at the crosswalk, waiting for me to catch up. I was just merely walking to cross the street. It was a red light so the man on the bike keeps probing questions, asking if I was Mexican or if I like Mexicans.

I told him no and to leave me alone. He followed me on his bike across one crosswalk and said that I had a nice ass and it would be better if I was a dirty mexican.

I was infuriated at this point because I was not looking for attention, did not want to be followed or harassed about ethnic backgrounds.

I yelled at him (in front of other people at the crosswalk) to stop following me and to fuck off. Probably not the best reaction. I sped walked to a nearest bar entrance and darted across the street. People looked at him and he rode his bike in a different direction.

I kept walking down a street, in the opposite direction of my apartment, cut down an alley to take the longer walk home to avoid running into him. I stopped walking and started to run down the street to my building occasionally glancing back to see if anyone was behind me.

I felt violated, grossed out and pissed off. I do not understand why some men feel they need to make remarks like that to a women. I am not sure if he thought I would respond the way I did. But I was flabbergasted and upset. I informed my friends of the incident and let them know i was home safely.

This is not the first time someone has tried to hit on my due to my dark complexion. I have now stopped dressing cute because I don’t want people to approach on the street. If I do dress up, I make sure I am with a group or people or a man. I wish I were not like this but I feel much better when people don’t hit on me.

– JL

Location: 301 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA

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“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.


Lara Logan on “60 Minutes”

May 3, 2011

As I wrote last Friday, CBS reporter Lara Logan went on “60 Minutes” this past Sunday to tell what happened to her on February 11, 2011, in Cairo. I’ve written about the mass sexual assault she expeirenced at the hands of hundreds of men a few times.

I was traveling on Sunday and only this morning have I had a chance to watch it (thanks, DVR) while I ran on the treadmill. I was running in tears for a few minutes and noted when I passed the 25 minute mark during my run – the length of them she experienced the assualt.

It’s an emotional experience and not easy to hear her story, but it’s so important to listen. She is very brave to open up like that, especially considering how after she did, all of her female colleagues thanked her for breaking the silence on something they all have faced but had kept quiet about for fear of people using that as proof that women shouldn’t be reporters.

If you missed the “60 Minutes” episode, it’s online and the segment on Logan is less than 20 minutes. May her story be a reminder to us all to keep telling our stories and speaking out. That is something our harassers and attackers cannot take away from us and it’s what ultimately will turn the tide and make the harassment of women unacceptable.


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

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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.