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Working on North Calvert, I’ve experienced it. Doing court runs for my job, I’m dodgy and withdrawn with headphones on and my eyes glued to the sidewalk. This day, I was INSIDE of the courthouse waiting for the elevator when an older man, maybe 60, stands very close to me and sniffs right by head. He says, “you sure are pretty.”
I was so disgusted I took two steps away from him. He continued to stare and ogle my entire body. My breast, my legs, my ass. I walked away soon after to escape.
It was just this past Tuesday, September the 2nd 2014 I arrived at the Arundel Lodge at approximately 9am for a 9am therapist appointment. By lunch time at around 12pm I collapsed unconscious and face first into my lunch tray. The nurses on staff were unable to wake me & I was abruptly sent to the ER. I didn’t fully awake at the hospital till 730pm that night. Upon waking a doctor, nurse and hospital councilor approached me and informed me that i was drugged with GHB, but otherwise unharmed
I was sitting by university square near the parking garage after a school project in the middle of the day today waiting for my ride and minding my own business. A man rounded the Paca corner on the other side of the street and started yelling at me. He yelled “white meat! Hey white meat, show me what you got! I’m coming for your white meat, bitch!” He kept eye contact and yelled repeated obscenities of a similar nature all the way down the block. I was concerned he would round the corner or cross the street and come at me, I do not know the day security guards very well. Nothing like some objectification and threat of sexual violence to start the weekend right!
I ride the 8 bus to and from work every day. That bus is never on time and it’s never clean, and yet it’s one of the best lines in the city. The intersections of North and Greenmount, 33rd and Greenmount, and Glennwood and York Rd are always busy and a little intimidating for a smaller, young person who presents as a woman.
The other afternoon at the 33rd and Greenmount intersection I was harassed to the point of being terrified. Someone on the curb side of the bus got my attention, saying someone on the sidewalk was trying to talk to me. It was a young man probably my age or younger. He was surrounded by a crowd of his peers and he was making lewd gestures at me, and calling me ‘honey’ and ‘sweetie’ through the glass. I gave him the finger and went back to reading but all of his friends laughed and encouraged him to keep going. So he did. He was no longer smiling but looked angry and started calling me a white bitch for ignoring him. He talked about what he would do to my body for ignoring him. His friends kept laughing.
The person who got my attention in the first place looked sheepish and the other few people in the bus were muttering about how disrespectful it was. But no one said “ef that guy, you’re ok” and I was ignored while I cried.
Earlier that day an old man on the 27 sat down across the aisle from a young woman in front of me. He kept saying “baby girl, baby girl, baby girl, baby girl, baby girl” over and over again at her. She ignored him and I finally said “I don’t think her name is baby girl and it doesn’t look like she wants to talk to you”. He responded by saying he just wanted to know if this bus was going to a specific location. I said it was and that the bus driver was certainly equipped to answer that question for him. He called me a white bitch and got off the bus at the next stop.
I was scared on the 8 and pissed off on the 27. I had just been followed home the night before and was still shaken up. I was terrified that young man would get on the bus and hurt me, and annoyed that old man thought he had any right to talk to that woman like that.
I love Baltimore but the MTA makes this white bitch wants to move to the fucking moon.
I hadn’t thought about this in a while, and that may be because the people I was with the bartender at the time all acted like this wasn’t a big deal. But now I realize it is because no one EVER deserves to feel unsafe in any situation.
I was sitting at a hightop in [a local bar] with 5 friends, all of whom were men in their early 20s (I am a queer person in their early 20s). We were watching a game, when a visibly intoxicated older man approached our table and began talking to me. His voice was too low to hear at first so I ignored him, but gradually the volume of his voice rose above the volume of the TV. He told me he was in love with me and asked if I loved someone. I told him I was in love with the game I was watching without taking my eyes off the TV. But he kept going, continuing to talk at me without moving his blank stare from me. He began commenting my body and making explicit requests for oral sex between the two of us. I asked him to go away and continued watching the game. He talked about my legs, how short my shorts were, and how tantalizing my genitals must be. Eventually I got up and walked around the table to avoid getting closer to him and tried to get a bartenders’ attention. When a bartender, another man, finally come over to me and I explained the situation the man had left. The bartender said “Well, I guess the problem is solved”. I asked if we could give a description to the guys at the door and the bartender said everything was too crazy and the guys at the door didn’t have time, but I could tell them if the harasser came back in. If he came back in, I could report it and it would be handled from there. Since the bartender seemed so matter of fact about it, I allowed myself to be silenced into believing this was an appropriate response to a patron who was visibly scared and upset. But a few minutes after I sat down I realized that his response was a horrible idea and left the option open for the man to find me again or continue harassing other patrons. It felt belittling and tactless.
When I asked my friends why they hadn’t done anything, they shrugged and said “it looked like I had it under control” and they “didn’t want to patronize me by stepping in” because they “knew I could defend myself”.
I was scared out of my mind, afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing and getting attacked. The people around me were essentially waiting to see if it got worse. Then they were going to help.
I hope this helps some people remember they are worth more, and have the right to ask for more from the people around them when they are being victimized.
Thank you to every bar and bartender getting on board with the (Hollaback! Baltimore) Safer Spaces Campaign- those people and places deserve your patronage.
I was getting groceries out of my car and simply walking to my house and this guy opening the back of a truck on the opposite side of the street says HEY BABY and I turn around confused and he waves and leers at me. So I said “HI” as loud and angrily as I could and walk into my house. I’ve also had two men yell, “DAT ASS” and other things as I was walking up to my front door, so I yelled FUCK YOU and shut my door, to which, of course, they replied “BITCH.” I’ve had a meat salesman try to pick me up while I was gardening in my back yard, I’ve had elementary age children hit on me when I take my trash out. Essentially I have been bothered and harassed going from my car to my house and in my back yard countless times, walking while woman is a real fucking struggle. I just want to feel safe. I want to not have to plaster on the hardest scowl I can when I leave my house so that no one will fuck with me.
He walked up to me and my friend. Stopped. Looked at me (stared). Said “you’re pretty,” slurring. And walked away. I said “I don’t appreciate that. I’m having a conversation.”no comments
On a short trip to and from the library on the corner of North and Pennsylvania I was verbally harassed three separate times. The first was a man crossing the street who kept asking me to go for a walk with him and said “I *like* white girls.” On the way back I heard comments and laughing from behind me and a few minutes later whistling as I walked past an auto shop.
I just moved to Baltimore and am really starting to love the city and my neighborhood, but this afternoon was disheartening.