Please note. . .

Don't Be Silent DC has been inactive since March 2008 and has not been accepting entries since. If you are in the DC area and have a harassment story to share, please go to HollaBack DC. If you are outside the DC area and want to submit your story, go to Stop Street Harassment. Thank you.

As of 3/1/08, I will no longer be working on this blog. Please read this post for more details.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Flirtation vs. Harassment

Avocado in Paradise did this great write-up on flirting vs. harassing that she asked to publish on DBS:

Some guys know how to flirt in a good way and others seem to only know how to harass. Flirting can be a pleasant exchange for both parties, reaffirming each others' attractiveness and social skills innocently and then going your separate ways. Or it can turn uncomfortable and make one person not want to walk past the place that it happened again, and presumably make the other person depressed that I never took their invitation to email or call. When it goes badly, it makes me much less likely to be open to these pleasant exchanges in the future. The clueless or willfully jerky guys are ruining it for everyone and making women in the city have to be cold and standoffish to everyone.

Let me contrast two encounters I've had in the last 72 hours. One went well and the other not so well.

Yesterday as I was getting on the metro on the way home I had to squeeze through the doors past a well-dressed rather cute guy who was standing in the doorway. I got on at Smithsonian, the one stop within about 10 where the doors open on the right side. They open on the left at all the other stops around there so people who feel like standing stand on the right side and just move out of the way if anyone gets on at Smithsonian. People rarely get on there at rush hour, and if they do they're a family of tourists, so he seemed surprised that I was getting on there as he moved aside and that made me smile a little.

After a little while I get off at my stop, and he gets off there too. On the escalator he says hello and asks if I'm from France. I say "no" and laugh a little at the absurdity because I get asked that a lot. He then acts kind of embarrassed and asks if I have a sister in the city who's from France, like he's met someone who looks like me who was. I say no, thinking that if he says anything else it'll be something like what I've encountered before (saying he's met someone who looks like me who was, or that I have an accent).

Instead of anything normal, he proceeds to ask my name and where I work, saying he works for the government when I ask where he works (rather than answer straight, annoyed that he's asking me that kind of stuff). I mean, why start grilling me? Weirdo. If you want a little flirtation you talk about the weather, the arts festival happening up the street, something about the metro. You know, pleasant stuff that's innocuous.

I get off the first escalator and walk quickly away trying to leave him in the dust. Suddenly he's next to me again asking if I live around here, asking if I want to get coffee sometime, & saying something about how he has to go to his car. I say no I can't, look straight ahead and walk quicker, get to the escalator to the surface and walk up it, trying to leave him behind.

He apparently follows closely, because at the top of the escalator he's right there saying he lives right around here, and giving me a card with his government email address written on the back. I take it, trying not to do anything to make this weirdo mad, figuring there's a better chance he'll leave me alone if I don't piss him off by not taking his card. He explains that he ran out of cards but wrote his address on the back. The card is for a shoe repair place, Cobbler's Bench at Union Station.

At that point I'm finally able to lose him by walking away quickly and not looking back. I proceed to take a meandering route home in case he's following me, checking behind me every couple blocks. Why are guys so creeeeepyyyyy??? Why do we have to deal with this crap just trying to get home?

Let me contrast this unpleasant behavior with that I encountered the night before. Thinking back, the night before's events might explain why I responded pleasantly at first when he asked if I was from France.

I stopped on the way home to get a slice of pizza to go, and had a nice conversation with the Egyptian order taker guy for 5 minutes till it was ready. There were no other customers so it was normal to chat. He was tall, late 20s, with curly dark hair, looked like he could be a movie star but was instead stuck in a pizza place.

It started similarly, he asked where I was from. I said here and he said I looked like I was from Russia. I said that my family is actually from there. Part of it is, back a few generations. We laughed as he described how he used to have a family living next door who was Russian and they all looked exactly like me. That was neat since I never really knew anyone from that part of the family. They're like a mystery so it was neat to hear about how I looked just like some Russian folks who recently immigrated. Russia is such a huge ethnically diverse country that I probably don't look like most people from Russia. It's probably just a certain ethnic group in a certain region that my family fled. I think they left around 1900 when the czars were overthrown. I like to think that perhaps they were part of the rich, ruling elite and had to flee when the famous, ill fated peasant uprising happened.

Anyway, I asked where he was from and he said Egypt. I said "Oooh! You have lots of nice tourist attractions there." You know, making pleasant small talk. I was about to go on about how I'd like to see the pyramids but probably won't get to anytime soon due to politics and the way they don't like Americans there right now.

Before I could say that he said something about how Russians are beautiful people. I was feeling down that day (had a big bug bite on my face and no makeup on, sweaty from working out) so I must have looked wistful in response, and he added "you're beautiful too!" That was nice. We all love random compliments when they're not accompanied by creepiness! I laughed and looked at him, thinking how to respond and he added, Egyptian women are beautiful too! I agreed heartily and we started talking about belly dancing, which is from there. A friend of mine used to take belly dancing classes for exercise and he laughed and said he recently saw a workout video about that. Etc etc. It was just a nice conversation. Then my pizza was ready, and we said "have a good night" and I left. I think we both felt nice after that exchange.

Guys -- remember that it's good to talk to women like that. Just have normal conversations when both parties feel like it. It builds up both people's ability to be attractive and engaging, and eventually you'll meet a woman who wants to have coffee with you. She'll send off signals and will either ask for your email address, or pause dramatically before leaving hoping you'll ask for hers. She'll appear reluctant to leave when it's time to go, and I think that's the real signal to ask for her digits or email. I didn't project that in either of these situations. One guy noticed, the other didn't. You definitely don't just immediately ask for our numbers and then follow us around. Yuck yuck yuck.

Great advice! Men, please realize there is a difference between reasonably getting to know a woman better and flat-out harassing them.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Not in front of your daughter!

Sarah (not the same contributor of the previous submission) sent this story:

I wish I'd had a place to submit my stories for the past ten years or so. Or I wish I'd written them all down because my harassment stories could fill a book (and I'm not at ALL unique or alone among women and girls).

Right now I live in Alexandria, VA and work in Georgetown. One morning last week I was walking from my car to my office building, when a man passed me on the sidewalk. He was holding the hand of a small girl; I assume it was his young daughter. When we passed, he said "How you doin'?" in a low voice he obviously intended to be sexy. I ignored him and kept on my way. Well a second later he turned around and yelled "Anti-social!!" at me! Excuse me?! It's 8 in the fucking morning. You're with your CHILD! What kind of message does your behavior send to HER? That as a female she's official public property and she better know her place when in mixed company? Jesus. I was sooo irritated. I KNOW you weren't just being friendly, wishing every single person you passed a delightful day.

I know exactly the kind of voice he used---low, perverse, with overt sexual subtext. And the fact that he did this in front of his daughter shows that he has no shame. He obviously doesn't give a crap about what kind of role model he could be for her.

I hope this little girl grows up to carry herself with strength and confidence, and to stand tall in the face of harassment from men like her father.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Creepy Guy/Suspected Rapist on the Bus

Sarah sent me this story:

I have a wild one. I was riding the bus to my job downtown. This guy gets on and I got the creepiest vibes from the way that he carried himself. I quickly averted my eyes. Out of habit, I glance around the bus to see who’s around me. Creepy guy sat a couple rows ahead of me and was staring at me. I averted my eyes again, but every time I checked, he was staring at me…

Fed up, I glared at him to signal my disapproval. I didn’t gesture. I didn’t say anything. I just narrowed my eyes. He responded with a pissed off grunt, got up and sat in the row behind me. I freaked out and scooted to the edge of my seat. When I got up, the seat of my pants was wet. He was smirking at me. I checked as soon as I got to the nearest bathroom and my pants smelled like urine--just the seat of my pants was wet, not my crotch or front. I’m still trying to figure out what happened…

For more fun, I saw this guy on the news for raping someone. I recognized him from a police sketch—the height, the facial features all matched up…I’ve called the local investigators to report what I saw, but I was freaked out all night that I sat so close to a malicious person…The general response of my family was that he's creepy, but I brought it on myself by retaliating. I know that nothing would have happened if I had simply averted my eyes, but deep down I know it was my right to signal my disapproval of his attention.

Do not, I repeat DO NOT blame yourself for what happened. This man is a creep and a pervert and you should not be hitting yourself on the head blaming yourself. If you're ever in a situation like that where he continues to get close and do things like that even when you move, signal the bus driver immediately. If the bus driver fails to act, take down the bus number (both the number on the inside and the route number), the time of travel and destination. Make sure to have a full enough report of what happened to report to Metro authorities.

You definitely did the right thing by calling the police and reporting him. I'm no CSI, but I have a feeling you should've taken the pants to the police as potential DNA evidence. No one should have to worry about coming home smelling like someone else's urine from a bus ride.

I hope and pray that this man gets taken off the street and locked up immediately. The streets will be safer with one less cretin running around.

Too early for this...

When I leave to head to work, I cut a diagonal past this religious institution near my house so I can get on the main street and walk to the train station. The place is on a lovely plot of land where I sometimes see nuns, clergymen, retirees, and for the first time ever deal with fools trying to bother me.

I head up my path today as usual and this gold car with two young men pulls up next to me.
"Hey baby...need a ride?" they say.
"No...I don't know you!" I said.
They think this is funny and start to laugh. "She said 'I don't know you!'" they mock.

This happened barely two minutes after I left my house...too early in the morning to deal with this crap!

"I don't need to repeat myself nor do I need an echo effect," I said. "You don't leave me alone I'm going to call the cops!"
They thought I was playing, but I started to show them that I meant business. "[License plate number withheld], Maryland plates, gold car, two young [race withheld] males...[license plate], [license plate]..." I repeated that out loud to let them know the deal.
"Man! We were just coming to visit family here! We didn't do anything wrong!" they yelled. They drove away to park and let me be.

Well the next time you go to visit relatives keep at the task at hand and leave women on the streets alone---especially me.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Defending Her Honor

Mark sent me this story:

First off, thank you so much for taking the time and effort to create a website such as this one. I think it takes a level of dedication and commitment that has become a rarity.

As to my story, I think I may provide a more unique perspective to your blog. I am 26 year old male that experienced street harassment, albeit indirectly, through my girlfriend and I opted to say something about it.

My story: My girlfriend and I were walking down 14th Street between around 11:15pm this evening when we saw an older white man wobbling as he was walking towards us. As he passed us he said something obscenely lewd (which I will withhold for my own sanity, but the comment included acts, himself and specific body parts of my girlfriend). After hearing the comment a million things were running through my mind. My girlfriend had said nothing, but I felt as though I would remiss if I did not address this indecency. My response was only to say "Watch it man" in a loud but casual manner. What surprised me was the response from the man: He actually asked "what I was going to do about it". We both continued to walk in opposite directions (my walking away significantly tied to my desire not to be incarcerated), but the mild altercation did leave an impact on me, which is why I am sending this now.

My thoughts are simply that this type of indecency cannot be tolerated. I believe that allowing acts such as these to continue increasing the level of degradation of society as a whole. I do not know at what point the reverence of women ceased to exist, but I believe my silence would only have exacerbated the situation.

The events of this evening created a rift between my girlfriend and I, her saying that she didn't need defending and me saying that I still believe in defending the honor of the woman with me. Nonetheless, I believe I was right in saying something to this person...maybe I'm old fashioned, traditional, etc. or maybe I just hold women in a higher esteem than others.

Please let me know if you have any questions or clarification that I can help with...also, please let me know when/if you post this story. I would like to follow the comments if possible


Mark, I felt you did the right thing by speaking up against that idiot and then walking away. It's not really an issue of a man "being chivalrous to a woman" but more of human decency. More people need to step in when they see someone being harassed---friend, significant other, stranger, or anyone.

In the same token, many women are capable of handling themselves. I don't know why she said she didn't need you to defend her if she took no action (maybe her tactic was to ignore him altogether), but I'm sorry that some ignorant loser has caused a rift in your relationship. Talk to her, open a discussion, and hopefully things will work out in the end. Best of luck to you---and we need more guys like you in the world who respect women.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Friday, July 6, 2007

Continuation of "Does Race Play A Factor?"

I made this post a couple of months ago, and Devonna sent me this comment that correlates with it:

I wanted to thank you for your blog regarding street harassment. I deal with it so much. I am also a black female and am an attorney. I work at Judiciary Square but live on 16th Street so have to walk numerous blocks to get to the U Street/Cardozo Metro. It sucks that when I see black men on the street, I immediately try to move to the other side of the street to avoid them. I try not to make eye contact and sometimes will go as far as to put my phone to my ear and pretend I'm talking so that they will not say anything to me. In one embarassing incident, my phone actually rang when I was having one of my imaginary conversations with someone.

They don't realize how ignorant it makes them look and it really turns black women off towards their own. I do notice however, that it is mainly black American men though - not Africans or Carribeans. Have you also noticed a difference?

The HollaBack sites say not to bring up race unless something (for instance, racist comments) happens when being harassed. I feel it's impossible to ignore the intersection of race, class and harassment. Issues within the Black community are important to me, and for me to ignore that there is a problem with the way these specific Black men treat Black women would be a disservice.

Most of my harassers have been Black males, as to why, I honestly cannot say. I strongly feel that a lot of the Black males that partake in harassing women on the streets never had positive male role models in their lives, and they look up to the rappers to fill that void. They see their friends doing it, and it has a chain effect on them. In order to stop this cycle, I feel that intelligent Black men who are active in bettering their community need to step up and be the guiding light that these misguided men need.

These harassing males that happen to be Black need to realize that we Black women are NOT chickenheads, pigeons, loudmouth, sassy neckrollin' stereotypes. We are not ones to be treated so lowly. And I cannot respect these men as Black men until they respect me and others as Black women.

I open this forum for constructive discussion on this matter.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Short...But Never Sweet (7/5/07)

"Short...But Never Sweet" will be the new title to shorter blurblike posts.

I'd like to thank CHIC NOIR for sending me the link to this New York Post article. It has the most ridiculous and outrageous catcalls that happened in NYC.

Also, here's my deal with harassment today:

I was catching the bus to my tae kwon do class, and there was some fool sitting at the back of the bus. He sneaked sips of his 40 which was in a black plastic bag, and he kept snapping and bopping his head to a song that only he was hearing (and dude had no headphones on). His skin was ashy and he was in dire need of an Afro pick or corn rows.

I pulled the chain to signal my stop, and he's like, "Scush me, can I talk to you fo' a second?" Usually these men want to "talk to me" as in try to ask me out, and I don't want to be bothered. And besides, didn't he see me pull the chain?

"I'm not in the mood to talk," I say. "I'm getting off right now" (I proceed to stand near the back doors) "and am not interested in talking to some random fool on the bus." Especially not one who sips 40s on the back of the bus...ew.

"So you don't wanna talk," the guy says.
"No I don't," I say, and get off the bus.

Why do these men even try? Do I look like the type that talks to roughneck types?! Hell no!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Fourth of July Fools

Unfortunately for me my wish to not be bothered by assholes on the streets did not come true. Today brought out the foolishness in these loser men!

Mixed Messages

I left my house to do some Fourth of July thrift shopping. My first stop was at the Georgia Avenue Thrift Store. I found a few things there and continued on. I caught the 70 towards Silver Spring, and sat behind this man who was trying to talk to some husky, boyish-looking woman.

"What yo' type?" he asks her.
"My type?" she asks, in disbelief. I think she said "I got a female back home" or something like that.
They said some things I couldn't hear, then the guy put his hand on her. She smacks it off.
"Don't touch me," she says.
He touches her again. She hook punches him in the arm.
"Why did you hit me?" he says. "I didn't hit you!"
"I told you not to fuckin' touch me," she says. "Touch me again and I'mma beat the shit outta you, n***a."

Now this is what got me. All of a sudden they're laughing with each other as if they're old friends. But seconds later, it's back to the "don't touch me" mess. Then more laughing.

The girl gets "tired" of it and tells the man to leave her alone. The man looks for someone else to mess with. Of course, he tried to make me the next target.

"Do you know where City Place is?" he asks me.
"No...I do not," I said, coldly. I immediately turned me head towards the window before he wanted to continue talking to me. Not in the mood.

The bus stops at the stop before the train station and both of them get off together. That was weird as hell. That mixed message crap is the reason why many of these loser men think it's okay to bother women the way they do. You either like that attention (lord knows why) or you don't. And if you don't like that attention, you better back that feeling up.

I then hop on the train to head to the Salvation Army in Wheaton, then proceed back home on the train.

"HUH?!?!?" Holla

Leaving the train station, some creepy man was hanging not too far from it.
"SUGA' WOMAN!" I hear. Crap, this creepy man is trying to talk to me.
"Suga' woman," he said, hovering too close. "Do you have any spare change?"
"'Suga' woman'?!" I said, in disbelief. "My name is not---"
"I said 'suga wooga,'" he corrects me. Even worse.
"My name is not 'suga' woman,' 'wooga,' or whatever other name you have for me," I said. "It's 'miss' or 'ma'am'!"
He walks away...creepy!

Kooky Cookout

I was craving Fourth of July food, like hot dogs and hamburgers. There is a restaurant near me that has that stuff, but unfortunately it was closed for the holiday. I opted to grab some stuff from the market instead---hot dogs, chips, ice cream, and Izze clementine soda.

I went from having a bag of thrift store stuff to having a couple more bags that weighed me down. Regardless, I'm not the type to play "damsel in distress" and ask for a man to help me carry my stuff home. And speaking of such, I heard some clown go "shawty...SHAW-TAY! Can I carry yo' groceries, shaw-tay?" A large group of people were hanging out having a cookout, complete with firecrackers being set off and loud music being blasted. The call was coming from there.

I was going to ignore it and go on. I just didn't have the energy in me to talk back. Whatever energy I had was needed to get those things home! And it was raining too---I had all these bags and the umbrella to hold!

As I waited for the light to change, I heard "can I chill wit' you under yo' umbrella?" and look to see some fool, the same one who was just trying to "holla" at me, stuck his ugly-ass head under my umbrella. This guy had a doo-rag on that barely covered his unkempt, linty hair (dude---use an Afro pick or get some corn rows done please!!!), gold teeth in his mouth, and baggy pants sagging off his behind. Ugh. I never felt so much rage in my life. I took my umbrella and struck him hard with it.

"Stay the hell away from me!" I yelled.
"Man!" he said. "What's wrong with you---you got problems or somethin'?"
You try fighting off the constant harassment of men who catcall, get too damn close, say ignorant shit and don't know when to leave enough alone---then ask me again if I've got "problems"!!!
"I am tired of this shit!" I yelled. "I'm not trying to deal with creepy men trying to talk to me. Leave me the hell alone!"
The dude tried to step too close again. I put my umbrella up as if it were a sword in en garde position.
"Back the fuck up off me!" I yelled again. The dude gives up and goes away. The light changes and I cross.

I'm a mess. One of my locs keeps getting stuck on an umbrella spoke. In my haste to get home, I dropped the bag with the Izze sodas and it shatters. The rain washes it down a sidewalk drain.

"Whatever!" I moaned. Because I'm not one to litter, I was going to come back to clean it up when I dropped the rest of my stuff off, hoping I could get my stuff home.

At home, my neighbors, some punk-style people, were out popping firecrackers and mess, with them perilously landing too close to my side. (These are the same people who woke me up on a Sunday morning because they were doing basement work, breaking bricks and yelling "whoo-hoo!" the whole time.)

I put my groceries up, grabbed some latex gloves and a bag, and headed out in the pouring rain to clean up the mess the dropped sodas made, as well as replace those sodas. The rain was falling down harder. I found the mess and luckily it only took two pick ups to get most of it in the trash. Most of the damage was still in its bag which made it easy to get rid of.

I did not want to have to walk past the cookout clown and his crew again, but that market is two blocks away from them and on the same side of the street. I was never one to change my route because of fools on the street, but I just didn't want to deal. I crossed the street and walked on the opposite side, then crossed back when I was across from the market. They were about to close, and I got my replacement sodas just in time.

Head About to Pop Off

I opted to take a side street instead so I could avoid that fool and his crew going home. That was no help either since some middle-aged man in a silver car honked his horn at me, then stopped. This fool thought I was going to take a ride from him!

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" I yelled. He didn't seem to get the hint, so I mouthed "no!" while shaking my head. He drove off.

Of course, instead of neighbors being concerned, I heard "Homegirl is crazy. That chick is fucking crazy."

Yeah, that's right...dealing with that shit on a regular basis will make you crazy. Happy Fourth, all---hopefully yours has been better than mine.

More street harassment write-ups

Solomon Sydelle did a write-up on street harassment on her blog. Jess at Unquiet Heart also wrote one about feminism. Both are worth looking into.

I'm going to go out and attempt to enjoy this holiday---and hope that there are no stupid fools to prevent me from doing so. I'll get to any submissions and moderated comments when I get back.

Stay safe and enjoy this (too short) holiday!

Too Close For Anyone's Comfort

J. from LeDroit Park sent me this story:

This is my first submission, but I'm not sure why. Since it got warm, I've had to alter my travel routes, severely limiting walking in my neighborhood at all costs. Four to five incidents of harassment minimum in my less than a mile walk from the Metro is enough to have me willingly add 30 minutes to my commute so I can take a bus.

Anyway, today's incident really showed me that I've really gotten to a boiling point with this stupid-ass harassment. I put off going to grab some lunch as long as I could (didn't have the mental energy to deal with harassers on 14th Street today), but eventually ran out of the office to walk the 2 blocks to McDonald's on U Street for a quick bite. I get there with no problems and think maybe this won't be so bad today. Of course, that jinxed it or something, because some fool in a bright tie-dyed shirt who was trying to move past me thought that instead of taking the obvious and open route I gave him to walk in front of me, he decided to squeeze between me and the table to my right, getting WAY up in my personal space and saying "how YOU doin' today" right in my ear. I told him to fuck off. He moved behind me and continued to stare at me in disbelief for a few moments. The guy in front of me in line noticed what was going on and turned around to talk to me. Even though this guy was obviously just trying to be nice and make me feel safe, I was so pissed off and freaked out that I was completely rude to him because it seems like any interaction I have with men I don't know seems to be negative lately. The first guy continued to move around the restaurant looking for women to harass and apparently didn't find anyone. I told the cashier what he was doing and she said she'd be on the lookout for him.

Of course, some guy decided to try to block my path while looking me up and down and licking his lips on the way back. I yelled at him that he needs to get the fuck over himself.

It makes me extremely angry that I now walk down the street suspicious and cautious of every single man I pass (yes, women do it to, but I don't often feel physically threatened by them). I don't want to go through life this hostile. I just spent the past two weekends in Brooklyn and was catcalled a total of 2 times, and both of the men apologized when I informed them that I didn't appreciate it. I don't know what the hell is the problem here. I'd love to call DC home for a long time, but this harassment really has me wanting to leave town in a hurry.

I wish the switch could be flipped: how would they feel if some random woman got too close, got too sexual, and tried this mess with them? These clowns need a taste of their own medicine. The problem is that most men are bigger than us women, so if a woman harassed them on the street, on average they wouldn't feel a physical intimdation. I'm sorry that J. has to alter her commute because idiots don't know when to keep their distance and leave well enough alone.

And I believe she was talking about the McDonald's on U & 14th. I've heard things about that one---that it should be avoided as much as possible, even in the daytime. When I lived in NW, I took a bus that passed by there and would see the creepiest people hanging out around there. U Street may be gentrified, and Columbia Heights on its way, but creepy fools will still be hanging out so be careful, alert, and stay safe!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Fed Ex Delivers...Hollas

Previous contributor CC has another harassment story to tell:

Twice in one week! Guess that's the hazard of being a female in the DC area...

Today I was walking from the metro in Alexandria and getting ready to cross Washington Street at Oronoco. I was the only pedestrian. As I was waiting for the light to change, I hear an annoying male voice call out, "Hey beautiful!"

I turn around and, to my shock and anger, it is a man driving a Fedex Ground truck in uniform! This asshole thinks it's 1. okay to harass women, and 2. okay to harass women WHILE HE'S WORKING.

I gave him the finger.

"Yeah, fuck you too," he shouted back.

The light changed and I got home. The second I did I called the Fedex customer service line and reported the incident. The woman I spoke to was very apologetic and took down all the details and sent a complaint to his manager.

Fucking assholes. They piss me off to no end.


Kudos to CC for taking action. When you are on the clock the only thing you're supposed to worry about is doing your job, not hitting on women. I cannot count the number of times men in uniform (USPS, UPS, Fed Ex, etc.) have tried to holla at me while on the job.

I think Fed Ex needs to get it together. I was walking down Connecticut towards Farragut North Station one time, and this greasy-looking Fed Ex guy said, "Hey, sexy." I responded back with, "'Hey, sexy?' You need to leave me alone and do your daggone job! If you ever want to speak to me or another woman again, you will say 'hello, miss' or 'ma'am'. Got it?!" I didn't see his nametag (do they use them?) nor did I see his truck.

On another day, I was walking where New Hampshire sort of becomes a fork in the road somewhere (I believe I was heading towards Dupont Circle Station), and a Fed Ex employee is in his truck sitting at the light.

"Hey, girl, let me take you out sometime," he said.
Ugggggggh! This fool was old enough to be my dad!
"Fool," I said. "You need to go about your business and leave me alone!"
"You know you want know you want it!"
I tried to get closer so I could see the license plate, but the light changed and he drove off.

I was very angry that I couldn't take action, and heading towards the Metro I had seen at least two more Fed Ex trucks, wondering all the while if one of them was that punk.

Fed Ex, listen here. You need to really, really do a thorough interview to make sure you're not hiring harassers to represent you. The only thing we want from you is our packages to be delivered on time...not to have unwanted catcalls delivered our way!

Humorous "Holla"

I found this on the previous site I linked. It's a MAD TV sketch where a guy does not leave a chick alone at the movies. As horrendous as dealing with street harassment is in real life, laughing at how ridiculous these men come off is a stress reliever. Though it's comic form, I'm glad that even the entertainment world is realizing how much of a problem this is.

The only thing I didn't like is the black harasser/white victim set-up (because of the stereotypes of the aggressive black male and the damsel-in-distress white female), but in real life whatever race the harasser and harassee are shouldn't matter. It's a pain in the ass to the receivers of it!

And much to my surprise, the actor playing the harasser is a woman. (I honestly didn't know until reading the posted comments.)

Embedding is disabled for this video, so here is the link.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Catcalling is a Cross-Cultural Annoyance

Posted here. Interesting write-up about why street harassment is a pain in the ass.

Metro Stalker and Potential Rapist

This submission is from Courtney:

I was going to the Van Ness metro at 3:30 in the afternoon and I was going to take the elevator because I was carrying a lot of things. I only go in the elevator when the women out number the men (I know women can be harassers too, but not as much as men).

There were two women in the elevator, so I got in. Right as the doors were closing, these two guys ran in. I did not look at them until we were almost underground. When I did glance at one of them, he gave was just staring in this evil way and it scared me. When I was on the platform, I knew that he was following me so I kept walking to the end of the platform, just in case it was a coincidence. When I could go no further, I stopped. He stopped too, and picked up the phone that was about five feet from me. He talks on the phone, and he’s glaring at me the whole time as he talks on the phone and says: “Alright, I found some pussy.” Then he started
describing me to whoever was on the phone. I was so scared, I couldn’t move. He kept staring at me and said “Oh thank God I found some, ‘cause I just need to
fuck something!!” The train came and I ran down to another car, far away from him. He followed me. His friend was telling him to get in the car with him, but he pointed at me and said “No, I need to get in this one.” His friend got in the other car, but he still got in the same one as me. At the next stop, I got off and ran on the train that was going in the opposite direction. I was so scared, I thought he was going to rape me, but looking back on it, I’m just really mad that men can cause that kind of fear.

Thanks so much again! Its a great website.

When something like this happens, contact the authorities immediately! There are emergency phones lining the platform, as well as emergency buttons on the trains themselves. Draw attention to this man's behavior so he'd know he was in the wrong---and so others can see what's happening and step in to help as well. Don't ever let these idiots intimidate you in your public space!

Stay safe and be strong.