Street harassment snapshot: January 30, 2011

January 30, 2011

Street Harassment Stories:

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Harassed during a December run

December 30, 2010

Yesterday I worked from home and in addition to getting 2.5 hours of my life back since I had no commute, I was able to take my dogs running while it was still daylight.

I moved to a lovely area for runners a few months ago. There are so many paved trails through woods and around two lakes that I rarely have to cross roads and I have not yet encountered harassers on my runs. Until yesterday.

Near the end of our run, my dogs and I crossed the only road on our route. After we crossed and as we were turning a corner, some guys wolf whistled at me from their car.

Since I had my back to them and I was almost out of sight around the corner from the road, they clearly had no interest in actually interacting with me. They just saw a woman running and whistled. I was an object.

Whistling is on the harmless end of the spectrum of harassment but it IS still harassment. It’s disrespectful and it was unwanted.

– Holly

Location: 2235 Soapstone Drive, Reston, VA

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.


“Unleash your Inner Death Metal Singer! Holla Back!”

May 28, 2010

One day, several years ago, I thought my boyfriend was whistling at me outside of our apartment, I turned around and made eye contact with the actual man who whistled at me, a stranger. I noticed he seemed shocked and uncomfortable that I acknowledged him. I realized no one really says anything back to these men and I really wanted to start letting them know that not all women will pretend it didn’t happen. I wanted to humiliate them by acknowledging his ridiculous behavior.

A few years later I was walking in Eugene, OR on 5th and Blair with a female friend of mine when a man stopped at a light whistled at us. Fed up with men treating my friends and me like shit, I turned around, and in my best death metal voice yelled “FUCK OFF!!” The light turned green and the man followed us slowly down the street. I kept my phone in my hand in case we needed to call for help. We approached a one way street and walked the wrong way so he couldn’t follow us anymore.

I felt scared that this man might retaliate against me for standing up for myself. But mostly I felt proud of myself and hoped that I could make a dent in the frequency in which men treat women like this. I am so fucking sick of feeling confined to my home in hopes of avoiding this kind of intimidation! Unleash your inner “death metal singer” and Holla Back!

– anonymous

Location: Eugene, OR

Share your street harassment story today and help raise awareness about the problem. Include your location and it will be added to the Street Harassment Map.


“Give us a look”

April 16, 2010

I’m just 13 and from the UK and I’m sick of harassment too! I have large boobs which aren’t my fault, what do men expect me to do chop them off?! I should not be persistently harassed because of them.

Just yesterday me and my friend were walking up her street, there were two boys/men of between 20-25 in front of us. Suddenly one of them turned round, looked me directly in the eyes and wolf whistled. I, being used to this sort of thing ignored it but I could tell my friend was a little shocked. We walked passed them and then I heard the boy singing “Get your tits out, get your tits out. You’ve got big boobs you’ve got big boobs, give us a look” again and again. By this point me and my friend were a little scared and holding hands and to top it off there was another group of about 5 boys of about 15 ahead who kept looking. Suddenly the first boy ran ahead of us and screamed “I want you, how old are you? I want you” and my friend told him to please leave us alone. He wouldn’t so we began to practically run down the street, thankfully the boys ahead turned around and asked if we were ok and told us to walk ahead of them they “had our backs” but really we found the whole experience terrifying. If those boys hadn’t been there I dread to think what would have happened!

I don’t want to put up with this for the rest of my life. When will men learn it’s not cool, or funny? It’s demeaning and scary and HAS TO END!!!!

– Isadora

Location: UK

Share your street harassment story today and help raise awareness about the problem. Include your location and it will be added to the Street Harassment Map.


Penske Guy

April 3, 2010

Image from Penske Truck Rental's website

This morning, it was beautiful outside when I went for a run: 65 degrees, 60% humidity, sunny, and there were trees blooming along the sidewalk. I was enjoying my run, deep in thought, when a guy in a Penske truck honked at me and, while driving, leaned out of the truck window, leering, and waving obnoxiously at me.

I’m not opposed to interactions with others while running. When I pass by other runners or walkers, unless I’m sprinting, I like saying hi, exchanging a “good job” or “nice day, huh?” But I don’t like being startled/distracted/disrespected by men honking and hollaring from passing vehicles. Oh and he was acting dangerously since he was distracted while driving.

– holly

Location: Reston Parkway, near Route 7, Reston, VA

Share your street harassment story today and help raise awareness about the problem. Include your location and it will be added to the Street Harassment Map.