“I’m pretty positive he did it on purpose.”

May 10, 2011

This morning I stopped by the post office to mail a number of post cards to California state legislators for a nonprofit I volunteer with. As I was putting the stamps on the post cards (there were a lot of them, so I was standing at the counter for a while), a man brushed up against me and his hand rubbed against my ass.

At first I shrugged it off because I figured he was just trying to squeeze by me, but when I turned around I realized there was a good 4 feet of space between the counter where I was standing and the wall behind it that he could have easily walked through… so now I’m pretty positive he did it on purpose.

I was angry, but also frustrated that the way he did it was sneaky enough to make me doubt myself and hesitate, so he was gone before I was able to confront him.

– Sara

Location: Santa Cruz, CA

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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

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“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

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“I loudly informed him that I do not go to the supermarket to be harassed”

April 28, 2011

Hello. I’ve experienced street harrassment alot. I’ve been grabbed in a bar, grabbed in the street and followed to my door step. I get stared at and approached by men almost on a daily basis, and it’s no exaggeration. You would think that somewhere as lovely as Oxford that you would escape it. It’s not true. It’s happened to me more in three years living here than my whole life in South East London.

The worst time was in November. I just fractured my wrist a few days before and I had just sung in a concert and was feeling really proud of myself for doing the solo with a cast on! I decided to walk home at about 11 pm, just down the road.

A man walked towards me, so fast. He was short, and wearing a hat. He walked into me and grabbed me invbetween my legs. I automatically pushed him away but that was all I could remember. He carried on walking as if nothing had happened. I stood and watched him walk away. I was frozen, violated, my pride knocked out of me.

I ran home and called my boyfriend. My mother asked me why I didn’t hit him. I was afraid he might have been carrying a knife. I didn’t report it to the police. I don’t know why. I was just frozen and I didn’t want to be touched by anyone.

I tried to get in touch with my local MP after experiencing daily harrassment, shouting, being approached, and worst of all being followed. He never got in touch with me. The police said that all I can do is call them when I feel threatened. I feel like they wont take it seriously.

I was in Tesco the other day and this disgusting slimey man came up to me and winked and me and tried to talk to me – i had been running. I embarrased the hell out of him- I loudly informed him that I do not go to the supermarket to be harassed by disgusting men. A women behind me whispered ‘what a douche’, but no one did anything to see if I was okay. They never do.

I fear that if I carry pepper spray I will be the one arrested. I spoke to my local community police who said they would call me about this and send me information about protecting myself, but nothing has arrived.

I’m furious for every person that this happens to. I’m furious with the disgusting scum of the earth who think it’s okay. I’m furious that I’m scared of going out and it’s normal for me to be harassed. and I’m scared because part of me has accepted that something much worse will happen eventually.

I’m also sick of being accused of being a feminist or a sexist for being passionate about this ending. The reality is that mens attitudes towards women needs to change. When I spoke to the police officer the first thing he actually said ‘theres a big problem round here with different ethnic groups disrespecting women’. I don’t know what to think about a police officer saying this. I am certainly against any discrimination and I think racism is absolutely disgusting. I’m not really sure how relevant it is.

– Anonymous

Location: Cowley Road, Oxford, United Kingdom

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Comments about breast size in Berlin

April 25, 2011

Ich verließ das Haus in dem ich wohne. Eine Gruppe männlicher Jugendlicher lief an mir vorbei und einer von ihnen rief mir “Du hast nicht besonders große Brüste.” hinterher.

Ich habe ihm gesagt, dass er das lassen soll. Dass er Frauen mit Respekt behandeln soll. Die Gruppe Jungen sagte mir, dass das nicht stimmt und dass sie die Meinungsfreiheit haben mir zu sagen, dass meine Brüste wie auch immer seien. Dann sagten sie mir, ich sei hässlich. Ich wiedersprach ihnen und rief ihnen “Fickt euch” hinterher.

– Anonymous

Location: Berlin, Germany

Using Google Translate:

I left the house in which I live. A group of male youths ran past me and one of them called me, “You do not have particularly large breasts.” Afterwards, I told him that he should let it be. That he should treat women with respect. The group of boys told me that this is not true and that they have the freedom to tell me about my breasts. Then they told me I was ugly. I again spoke to them and said to them “Fuck you” afterwards.

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: April 24, 2011

April 24, 2011

After a short hiatus during a hectic travel/speaking month for me, I’m back with this weekly series. 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:

On-going:

10 Tweets from the Week:


Harasser uses loudspeaker in a grocery store parking lot

April 24, 2011

When I got out of my car I heard someone on a loud speaker say, “Have a nice day,” which has never happened before. Some new gimmick? At 10pm? No.

Walking from my car to the store, the voice starts to address me…”Looking good ma’am, with those silver shoes. I see you rockin’ them silver shoes.”

I realized the voice was coming from a cluster of three automobiles, one of which was an old van with tinted windows. Nice. I sped up and ignored whatever else he said. As I entered the store, I heard him calling out some other hapless patron. ‘What a wack-job,’ I thought. I told the cashier, who said she was leaving soon, so she’d tell the on duty cop. I was relieved.

As I left, I was more curious than anything, so as soon as I heard the voice, I looked for the speaker’s silhouette. This must have encouraged him, because he really locked onto me. Now he was talking about the “Girl with the striped shirt, with the brown pants, in them striped silver shoes, I see you looking good. Damn. Can I have your number?”

I felt completely exposed. It was so creepy. I wanted to do something to shut him up but I also felt like getting away as quick as I could, so I calmly drove away. I didn’t want to give him any more reason to take interest in me. What if he followed me home? Doesn’t he just sound like a Junior Serial Killer, playing a little cat and mouse game of voyeur?

So, now I don’t feel safe while making a run to the local grocery store on a Thursday night. That’s pretty ridiculous.

– Snackrun

Location: The Kroger grocery store down the hill from our town.

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.