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I was watching a female punk band at a bar which is supposed to be a lesbian bar, but this night there were a lot of dudes.
I was standing toward the back of the crowd with my roommate, when I felt someone touch me on the sides of my stomach. At the exact same time some other random man was trying to light my cigarette. I got swooped by creeps on all sides. I turned to stare down the groper and told him to stay away from me. He looked really amused and shrugged his shoulders. More laser eyes from me. I turn back to watch the music, and he fucking did it again.
I ran up to the stage and asked the guitarist if I could make an announcement. I told the audience that there was a creep in the back touching people and that he needed to stop. Some shouts of support came from the audience. I didn’t leave right away, but I felt shaken by it for the rest of the night. I saw him on the way out and he looked far less amused.
I was standing on a corner around 9:30 after an exercise class fiddling with my bike, when two young-looking guys in a tan car rounded the corner. The guy in the passenger’s seat yelled “Yeah girl shake them titties.” I just can’t understand why people feel the need to shout things from a car. Plus it was dark and my bike was broken so I was feeling vulnerable about saying something back.
I had a class in the Cathedral of Learning that didn’t end until 9:50pm. I was waiting across the street at the corner for my boyfriend to come pick me up, just sitting on a ledge. At this point no one was really in my periphery or walking past me. Out of nowhere a guy sitting in the passenger’s seat of a car racing down Fifth Ave screams at me, “HEYYY SLUTTTT!!!!” I don’t care that I was sitting there in jeans and a sweatshirt with my backpack. Even if I were dressed up and on my way to a party, that’s so unbelievably and atrociously inappropriate. And that last word just kind of stood still in the air, and I was waiting for someone to just shoot it down or for a plane to gobble it up for me. But it just sank and poured itself all over me. And I began to question and doubt myself, my clothes, my posture, because it was the only thing I could think of to do.
I was walking to my place of work from class, both of which are in relatively very safe and even trendy spots of Oakland. I was about 50 feet from the entrance when, as cliche as it seems, I was passing a trio of construction workers. I had been facing straight ahead with my head down the entire time, when one of them calls out, “Why aren’t you smilin’, sweetie?” I ignore him and am ascending the staircase to the front door when I suddenly feel his presence (and that of his 2 buddies) extremely close behind me, asking, “Hey, where you off to? Going to get some coffee?” “NO” I said. “I’m going to fucking work.” I let the entry door shut between me and them and must have ran to the kitchen and down to the basement when I heard them approaching the counter. I hid down there for a solid 5-10 minutes, seriously shaken. Even when you’re SO close to safety, there is no way to explain HOW alone you feel when you’re being explicitly followed by a stranger. I felt absolutely cornered and terrifyingly small.
This morning I took the short walk from my office to Starbucks like I do almost every day. I work on the Southside, so I experience a fair share of cat calling on a daily basis when I walk to get lunch by myself. Today a man stopped in his tracks and watched me walk into Starbucks. He was waiting on the opposite side of the street when I walked out and proceeded to follow me back to my office. He crossed over to my side of the street & I crossed over to the opposite side. He walked just a little ways behind me the entire way back to my office so I couldn’t keep my eyes on him. It was extremely unsettling. Luckily you need to get buzzed in to enter my office building & I let everyone know what had happened. One woman I work with went downstairs to see if he was still there but he disappeared. Can’t even walk to Starbucks on a Monday morning….
I was walking to a Pirates tailgate in the Northshore and got hit on multiple times during my short walk. The cat calls ranged from “damn girl..,” to “you make those pants look gooood.” I was wearing work clothes from my office job.
Knowing there’s a chance men will hit on me, especially when they’re in large groups, I always tensely walk by with my head down hoping no one will say anything. I hate the anxiety this creates every time I’m in public.
Today I was sitting in my car, waiting for my husband. A man I did not know approached my car and attempted to open the passenger door, which really startled me. Thankfully, it was locked and he was unable to get in. I could hear him apologize and say that he thought I was someone else. I didn’t pull down the window, as I didn’t feel safe to and I assumed he would walk away when he realized I wasn’t who he thought I was. Instead, he continued to try to engage me and open my car door. When I motioned for him to leave me alone, he would not. After thirty seconds of this, my husband came outside and told him to leave me alone. Only then did he start to walk away, but he did linger a bit. He also stared at us while we drove away. It was pretty darn creepy and given that I’ve had a past experience with sexual assault, I felt pretty triggered.
Why do some people refuse to respect the space of others?
I was walking from my car to an apartment that I am interested in renting, when a man passed me and said “Hello, beautiful young lady.” I chose not to respond. He repeated himself, raising his voice. I chose to remain silent. I kept walking, but he turned around and yelled, “Damn, you can’t even speak? That’s some Black-on-Black sh*t.” After the apartment viewing, I was nervous to walk back to my car.
I can speak perfectly well. You have no right to insult me. I am not obligated to accept or tolerate your verbal harassment. No woman, same ethnicity or not, should not have to feel intimidated by you just walking to and from her car, or anywhere. You have no power over me just because I am a woman.