I grew up in Queens, NY, and I have a lot of street harassment stories. The most recent one happened one or two summers ago and was so frightening that it still scares me when I think about what could have happened.
I was walking on Avenue B from 14th Street. At one point I passed this big dude who made a comment; I thought nothing of it and passed on. But after a block or two I noticed that, even though I was wearing my ipod headphones, I could hear someone murmuring something. It was the dude and he kept saying “So sexy….so sexy.”
I turned off my ipod but kept the headphones in and kept walking. It was about 3 pm and a nice day with lots of people out. I didn’t want to duck into a store and let him know he’d won (stupid, I know, looking back) so I kept walking, but noticed that I could see his reflection in shop windows that I passed.
Finally, after about 14 blocks of his following me I picked up my phone, turned the corner at E. Houston and called someone. I probably should have called the cops, but I wasn’t thinking straight at that point. I watched him pass me and keep walking. I stood on that corner until all I could see of him was a blue dot representing his full ensemble of blue shirt and pants.
Looking back I would have called the cops once I reached that corner. Looking back, I wouldn’t have even waited until E. Houston and would have ducked into a hair salon or something. Thank goodness it ended the way it did.
Location: New York City