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I work in this area, and I have to walk through this intersection at least twice every day. There’s nowhere else to park, so I can’t avoid it. There are so many gross men on this street, and many of them hang out at this intersection. At first when I would walk past, sometimes they would say hello. I would say hello back. It turns out SAYING HELLO IS A TRAP. They pretend to be nice and say hello, and as soon as you say hello back, they follow up with a gross comment. It doesn’t seem to be the same men every day, so I guess this is just the thing to do on this corner.
The other day, I was walking to my car, and a guy said hello. Then he reached out and tried to grab my hand/wrist. Luckily I dodged out of the way and hurried away. The day before that, a different guy followed me half a block, saying he needed me to help him because he locked himself out of his car. (He needed MY help, specifically, not the help of any of the other people standing there or the help of any of the businesses that were open where he could use a phone.) Luckily he gave up before I got to my car, so he didn’t see where I park.
There’s also a guy who works at one of the businesses on E. Ohio. Sometimes he’s out sweeping the sidewalk or just walking around. He does the same thing. He says hello. When you say hello, he immediately says, “You look very nice today.” He seems nonthreatening, and then all of a sudden, you get smacked with the reminder that he thinks your body is public property and his to comment on. It makes me want to burn my clothes.
After a day of studying for my grad classes at a local tea shop, I was waiting for the bus when I was approached by a man. At first, I thought he just wanted money. I wasn’t feeling well that day, so I was wearing just a t-shirt and basketball shorts. The man said to me, “Hey. How old are you?” I stared at him and responded, “What does it matter?” He cocked his head and stared at me some more, then started walking away from me, mumbling under his breath. I watched him, cautiously. The man kept pausing every few feet to stare back at me, but luckily my bus came in a few minutes.
While entering a Rite Aid with my mom to pick up medication a guy stood in the middle of the aisle cross section and stared at me while chomping on chips. I went down an aisle to avoid him and when I glanced over my shoulders low and behold he was behind us trying to get another view of me. My mom and I continued down the aisle and she approached the pharmacy counter. I silently paced and glanced over my shoulder a few times to see if he was around. A few minutes later my mom came back over to me and I held my phone up, within the surface reflection I saw the same guy staring dead at me and still chomping on potato chips. I then hurried out of the store.
A friend and I were walking to dinner when we encountered three high school age boys on the sidewalk. They started catcalling us and became more verbally hostile after we ignored their comments. I was concerned they would start following us but they didn’t.
I was walking back from the coffee shop with a group of coworkers and a man probably three times my size yelled at me, saying while laughing “Somebody looks like they’re well fed.” I said “that’s SO unnecessary.” He kept laughing as he walked away.
MY body is not yours to comment on, to shame, or to laugh at.
Yesterday, a car honked at me. Then I made eye contact with a man walking towards me. “He was checking you out. Hey girl. Hey. Mmmm.'” I ignored him and kept walking.
I was walking down the alley to my house after work (~6pm) two days ago. As I entered the alley, I saw a guy getting into a truck. He had a hard time closing the driver side door. I was walking past as it closed. He drove up alongside me, blocking my path. He called at the window. Not entirely sure what- that detail is always blurry. It went on for about 20 seconds before he put the truck in reverse and watched me walk on. I tried to get a photo as he passed. I wish I wasn’t scared to do more.
While browsing an aisle at the grocery store earlier this morning I saw within the corner of my eye an older man (60s at least) slow down while passing the aisle with his cart. At first I thought he would come into the aisle but he didn’t and leered at me until I turned the opposite direction.
While my mom was checking out the groceries, I, as usual went to sit near the entrance door. After a few minutes I saw the same older man leave the other entrance door across from me. He slowed his pace down and stared at me for atleast 40 seconds. Then he abandoned his cart and approached me, seconds after my mom left the cart near me and went to pick something else up in the grocery store. He asked either “Do you need a ride ?” or “Do you need help ?” (I had earplugs in so I wasn’t quite sure). I just shook my head and he strolled back over to his cart, then continued to stare hard at me until he reached his car which was a few feet away.