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I was carrying groceries home from CVS at about 11:30 at night when a dude started following me asking if I had a dick or a pussy. He got angry when I ignored him and broke away from the other man and woman he was walking with to change direction and follow me. When I finally got the nerve to turn on him and tell him it didn’t matter what I had because he wasn’t my type, he got so pissed off I hid in a nearby restaurant (Sabatino’s).
I’d like to note that the managers of Sabatino’s are not only LGBT friendly but when I told him what happened the owner told me not to worry because if the guy came in here they had a bunch of big guys in the kitchen that would take care of it. He also called me a cab and waited for it with me rather than oversee the closing of the restaurant.
Today, I decided to walk home from work. It’s only a mile from there to my front door, and it would take me longer to get home if I decided to wait for the erratic bus that travels most of the way. My husband was in the ER this morning. I wanted to get home.
Today, it seems, harassers were also out in full force. About halfway up Old Court Road (a fairly busy road), I notice a black 4×4 pickup with tinted windows just sitting in the middle of the road. Cars are moving out of the lane to get around it. I assume it’s a disabled vehicle, but something just doesn’t seem right. Sure enough, as soon as I pass, the window rolls down and the “hey sweetheart” stuff starts.
To preface: my boss keeps the workplace arctic. Therefore, on an 80 degree day, I am wearing jeans, big stompy boots, and a long sleeved cardigan buttoned all the way up when I encounter this douchebag (not that it should matter, of course). Cars are whooshing by, so I can’t clearly make out much of what else follows, thankfully. I just keep walking, eyes ahead. He starts creeping up on me with his truck, still trying to get my attention. This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened. After about a block, he gives up and drives off with an angry shout. I cross the street, in case he’s only turned off on the next side street to holler some more.
I ponder what would have happened had I pulled out my camera to take a picture of his license plate. It’s always a calculated risk, when stuff like this happens. You don’t know who’s just a run of the mill harasser and who will follow you home and hurt you with more than just words. I have had cars follow me home before. I have had guys harass me until the honking of cars bottlenecked up behind them forced them to move on.
Before I can finish pondering this, a bus honks at me. A city bus. Probably the same bus driver who actually pulled over to ask for my number last month.
By the time I get to the convenience store at the corner of my street, I am near shaking with anger. So it’s the perfect time for dude #3 in his silver PT Cruiser to pull up along side me and start, again, with “hey sweetheart, can I talk to you?”
“No,” I grunt at him, and keep walking. I must look really upset, because he rolls his window back up and does a U turn.
One mile. One. simple. mile.
My most recent happening was a couple of weeks ago when I was coming home from my job at a local gym and I stopped to get a gas. I wasn’t in the nicest area, but since it was 10 at night on a Friday I chose a relatively populated station. So I’m filling my car with gas and this guy comes up and starts talking to me, and offers me a job at his “insurance” company saying that his office was in an apartment complex behind us. I was in my staff tshirt so I said no thank you and booked it.
I’d just parked my car when some guy in the building across the street started shouting and trying to get me to turn around. I ignored him so he started describing me. Then he started asking me sexual questions. Then he started the threats. I finally got fed up and yelled “go fuck yourself, asshole”, which is when he threw a rock or something and hit me. I called the police. They couldn’t do much but at least they’re aware that there’s a problem there in case it continues or escalates..no comments
Lately, I’ve noticed that men have increased solicitations in my neighborhood. Tonight I went to the grocery to pick up a few essentials for the week. As I was walking toward the store, a man in a car slowed down and started making suggestive gestures. I ignored him and tried not to make eye contact while he crept around the corner trying to get my attention. Eventually, I was able to cross the street and get to the grocery store.
It wasn’t until I was done shopping and on my way back home that I realized that I could have (if I’d had my phone) taken his photo and snapped a shot of his license plate number. I did have a pen an paper, but the idea of reporting him occurred too late.
A similar situation happened last Saturday night on my way home from a friend’s house. One man walking on the street tried to get me to talk to him “just for a second.” I told him that I needed to go and he left me alone. Two blocks later, another man in a minivan slowed down and motioned for me to come closer to his car. I said “No, thank you!” and continued to walk. This man doubled around the block to try to talk to me again. I responded in a similar way and kept walking. I made it home without him seeing where I live. I still wonder what would have happened and why he circled the block.
Although these were a week apart, they occurred within one block of each other. I use my city smarts when I’m walking and I did nothing to provoke these solicitations. Now that I have the idea, I plan to start sending photos and plate info in to as many places as I can.
My boyfriend and I had just parked the car and were walking across the street to a restaurant in a fairly residential area. Then a car stopped at the stop sign in front of us, but as it was pulling away a man in the open back of this jeep yelled really loud at me “Yeah, baby” – and not in a funny Austin Powers way. A totally creepy, dehumanizing way.
My first instinct? I said “FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE” as loud as I could, and (while the driver kept driving, mind you) this scrub in the back made a point to laugh as loud as he could, over-exaggerated, so I could hear it, “HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA”.
My boyfriend remarked “That was awesome how you yelled at him, you sounded badass!… But it’s surprising he said anything with me next to you.” I agreed, then we spoke about how the only thing that would have upset the harasser (because they pretty much love any response you give them, whether angry/ignoring/polite) is if I had turned it around on him and joked “Don’t call my boyfriend ‘baby’!”
Implying that street harasser’s are gay seems to be the only thing that will actually insult them, but since I don’t think of being LGBTQ as a negative, it goes against my principles to use that “easy insult” against them.
We walked into the restaurant, my body calming down from fight-or-flight mode (no matter how badass my response might have been), met up with our friends and immediately forgot about that idiot.
I heard what sounded like cat meows coming from these 2 dudes. I ignored them so as not to antagonize them, but then I got so physically agitated from “having to” ignore them, that I made a point to take this picture & post my story. I feel better already!
I’d just done a decent amount of shopping and had my hands full, both of them, with bags. Sure, one of them was a bit heavy but I’m perfectly capable of carrying my own bags. Cue in two guys smoking near a bench on the sidewalk. As I pass by, I hear “Hey slow down. You don’t want to hurt yourself.” Seriously?!
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
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.