Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Berkeley, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Columbia MO, Des Moines, Fredericksburgh VA, Jacksonville NC, Los Angeles, New York City, NYU, Philadelphia, Palo Alto, Portland ME, Richmond VA, Rutgers University, San Francisco
I was extremely proud of myself. This story marks the first time I ever stood up to street harassers! I was walking alone from Johns Hopkins to Hampden. As a city girl I rarely fear going through sketchy neighborhoods. However, I began to feel nervous because there were not many people around anymore. Suddenly this group of men ahead of me start looking at me and as I pass them yell, “Hey girl come on over I don’t bite!” I yell back: “I don’t want to be sexually harassed today!” To my “astonishment”, the disgusting fucks didn’t have anything to respond with. Must be strange for the big men to face a woman who isn’t afraid to stand up for herself. After feeling elated leaving this group, I encountered a male who said “Hey pretty can I get your number?” I yelled: “I’m not a piece of meat!” After the second attack, this diva decided it better to get herself into a cab. I don’t need these men on the street to know my actions were fine
While jogging with my girlfriend, a man lifted his shorts, exposing his genitals to us as we ran by. It was disgusting.
I was jogging up Falls Road, and as I passed [a well known pub] restaurant, a man standing outside (an employee, I think) started jogging alongside me. He didn’t say anything; he just looked at me and smirked. I tried to ignore him, and he stopped after half a block or so. I really wish I had gone inside the restaurant to report him to the management.
My friend and I were in Hampden last Saturday. We were walking down 36th street when a man with a dog walked toward us. This guy was kind of scruffy looking, medium build, had graying brown hair, looked to be in his late thirties, and was wearing a baseball cap with sunglasses. The dog was a large breed (probably to compensate for other shortcomings).
The dog was not leashed and was walking ahead of the the guy, my friend and I stopped to pet the dog and began to walk away when the guy stopped in front off us and made kissing noises at us. I felt completely shocked and disgusted. My friend and I just walked away as quickly as possible.
I’ve seen this guy around Hampden before, if I come across him again I’ll be sure to post pictures.
The weather is nice, your tires are pumped, and you’re ready to enjoy the city that is suddenly so green and inviting. Then,
the inevitable the horrible the unthinkable the most annoying thing it happens. You hear “Hey faggot!” or “Pump those legs, girl” or “You’re not fast enough for me.” Or they honk a horn and startle you (newsflash: that is dangerous!) or reach an arm out and try to cop a feel.
WE ALL DESERVE TO RIDE A BIKE IN PEACE. So let Baltimore street harassers know they need to leave bikers alone by sharing your story. Let them know you will holla back, and teach bystanders to take it more seriously. Tell your story.
And before we hate on Bmore too much, here’s an excerpt from a biking story from our sister site in Brussels, Belgium, because people love bikes and hate street harassment EVERYWHERE. Read Angelika’s story:
One day, I was on my way back from university. I was riding my bike, it was perhaps 6:30 pm. I rode on the cycleway when I noticed a group of men on the sidewalk nearby, roughly 200 metres away. Suddenly, one of them stepped on the cycleway and spread his arms. He clearly wanted to stop me from continuing my ride. I accelerated. The same thing (but with a single, drunk man) had happened to me the day before, and finally the man had stepped out of my way. But this one wouldn’t – he stood there, laughing, his friends applauding him. I had thought he might move in the last second – he didn’t. And so I bumped into him. I didn’t fall down, but I suddenly felt the anger welling up in me. This was the second time this happened to me in two days. Just because some “men” thought it was funny to stop me from cycling, just for the sake of doing it, just in order to make me feel weak, for getting the approval of their mates and showing me who was the boss on the street. I was furious. And I didn’t even think much about it – I just started yelling, loudly – and in German. I had had the experience before that I felt even weaker when I tried to argue with harassers in French, because this is not my mother tongue. So I just fell back upon my native German, which, in the first place already sounds a bit aggressive – and secondly I could say whatever I wanted to, because anyway no one would understand. So I stood there, shouting, screaming, not even thinking about what I was saying. I felt nothing but anger. First they tried to mock at me, but I concentrated on the one who had stood in my way. He yelled back, but I didn’t even listen. I just kept going. And after some time (I wouldn’t be able to say how long it took) – he stopped. He looked at me. I must have had the must furious expression one can imagine. What I saw in his eyes was – fear.
I got on my bike and rode home. Some men mumbled at me something I didn’t understand when I drove past them on my way – clearly they had heard me shouting and perhaps wanted to “punish” me for doing so. I just responded with something in German – I was too weak to engage in another confrontation. When I was in my flat I realized my hands were trembling. I sat down and called a friend to tell her what had happened. I couldn’t get myself to think about anything else for some hours, it kept coming back again and again.
I live in an apartment complex in Middle River and every time I go to put the trash and the recycling out there is this guy who watches me outside his window. Sometimes he says, “Hey pretty lady” and tries to start a conversation with me. I try to cut it short with one word answers. A few times he has said “I saw you when you came home from school.” Every time I come in contact with him, he gets creepier and creepier. I feel like he looks out his window just for me. Thank God we live in separate apartment buildings!
I have no car right now. I walk from point A to point B, within reason. I had some errands to run around town this afternoon so I threw on something comfy (gorgeous weather here, how about you?) and went about my business. Sure I could have taken the bus, but I could use the exercise and the fresh air. Imagine my shock when I hear a male voice coming from a passing car.
“Hey slut, give me your digits.” To my dismay, I believe he smirked at my look of shock. For the record, I was wearing a tank top and an ankle length skirt, with mary janes. Not “typical slut” attire. My hair was a mess from the gentle breeze and I was a little sweaty from walking around.
Here’s the key thing that will stick out to me and make me question my judgment, although I know it’s silly. I went commando this afternoon. That’s right, no underwear for me. Could this uninformed man have *known*? Is that why he thought I was a slut?
This was in broad daylight. I am astounded at the assessment skills that this asshat must have had to draw conclusions that I was a slut while driving behind me on a busy road in traffic.
I’m a rape survivor, so the emotional strength it took for me to walk the remaining mile or so home and not get hysterical and walk into traffic was something that I didn’t realize I had in me.
I was raped by a stranger in the parking lot of my old apartment complex. Street lights lit up the lot at 12M when I came home from the grocery store. My SO was getting ready for bed in the apartment, so I figured that I could empty the car by myself. Imagine my surprise when I rise from picking a couple of bags up from the passenger seat, when a tall man appears out of nowhere. Maybe he made the assessment that I was a slut then too. For the record, I was wearing a scrub top with matching scrub pants, as I’d just gotten off shift at a local hospital.
I won’t go into the details that followed. I can’t and it’s not worth it right now. I’ve healed pretty well from those wounds, or so I though.
I will likely call Turnaround on Monday. I know that they’re awesome people there and will be able to help me process some of this. I also know about their crisis line and suicide hotlines if I end up feeling worse later on.
What a damper to the news that I received before I left the house again today. I just got a new job. Within walking distance from my apartment. Which means I’ll be walking. Sometimes in the daytime, sometimes in the evening, and possibly even at night. I feel like I’m just setting myself up.
by Rebecca Evans, Hollaback! Baltimore Blogger
I recently attended Sarah Erdreich’s talk on her first book Generation Roe at Pratt Library. She made an interesting comparison between the gay rights movement and the pro-choice movement: We have made substantial progress normalizing gay marriage, but very little progress normalizing abortion. Too many people viewed Roe v. Wade as a decisive win, putting down the signs and returning to their living rooms. A large percentage of Generation Y deems gay marriage no big deal, but abortion is just as stigmatized with my generation as it was in 1973. We are not moving in the right direction; the ban of abortion after six weeks in North Dakota confirms this fact.
While Roe v. Wade calmed the pro-choice movement, it activated an angry grassroots anti-choice movement eager to reverse this critical judicial decision. But realizing the “don’t kill babies” angle wasn’t working, they began promoting state regulations under the guise of “protecting women’s health.” From hallway width to room size, these “trap bills” are intended to limit the accessibility of abortion. Laws requiring two visits, each 24 hours apart, are not realistic for women without reliable transportation or the ability to take two days off from work.
Meanwhile, women with the resources to fight for our rights are the very ones Roe v. Wade is protecting, the ones over 18 with money, the ones not from Mississippi, where there is only one abortion clinic that legislators are currently trying to shut down. Anti-choice activists are eliminating the option of abortion for the women who need it the most.
Pro-choice activists are calling the upcoming summer Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Summer. Governor Phil Bryant recently signed a bill requiring abortion practitioners secure admitting privileges. In an area as anti-choice as Jackson, Mississippi, this is highly unlikely, especially since most practitioners come from out of state to avoid harassment. Activists are planning extensive protesting for the summer to prevent Mississippi from becoming the first clinic-free state.
Although we need to reactivate the movement, we need to stay logical. We are fighting a fight that can’t be won with radicalism or angry words. One of the smartest things the anti-choice movement has done was restructure their argument in favor of women’s health, gearing away from the fanatical approach.
The fight for reproductive rights has to go hand in hand with the normalization of abortion, and this means acknowledging the good and the bad. Abortion can change multiple lives for the better, but women who have abortions are sometimes left with conflicting feelings. The point isn’t that abortion is a good thing, it’s that choice is.
The political scene will eventually be controlled by the younger generation. Gay marriage will be legal simply by waiting it out, but this isn’t true for abortion. We have to actively (and politely) change minds, especially when it comes to Generation Y, whose views on abortion aren’t much different from those of previous generations.
I’ll preface this by saying I work for an animal rescue which isn’t a glamorous job and often involves getting down and dirty to retrieve strays. So today, on my day off, I was coming home from the store with my husband when I spotted a stray dog. We pulled over to see if we could round him up. I was crouching on the sidewalk and calling to him which, as might be expected, caused my thong to show above my pants. Well Mr. Suave across the street just couldn’t let it go and commenced to comment on how I should direct my attentions away from the dog (lots of terribly unfunny “bone” jokes ) and onto him. He didn’t stop until my husband came around the corner, at which point he began commenting on my husband’s race and making insinuations about his sexuality. I could have let it go except that, as his parting blow, he ran at the dog which made him run off. Thanks a lot asshole, you just made a lot more work for me! But don’t be too proud, I’ll be back and I’ll get the dog and there is nothing you can say to stop me!