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.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


I found this on YouTube. It's a short film described as "a surreal interpretation of a woman's walk down a city street." It was filmed in Brooklyn in 1995.

Times sadly haven't changed. In four and a half minutes, one can feel what this girl's going through. This is what a recipient of street harassment feels like on a regular basis---attacked, angry, scared, fed up.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I want to choke Comcast...

No, it has nothing to do with their cable has to do with their technicians not knowing how to think with their brains and not their dicks and to do their damn jobs. It's probably the reason why cable service is never on time---they're too busy hitting on women walking down the street.

I was walking home not too long ago, happy that the weekend was finally here. Less than ten minutes from my house I hear "whoo-hoo" and kissing noises. I look up to see a crusty, fat fool in the passenger seat of a van with this shit-eating grin on his face. When I noticed the "Comcast" logo on the van, I became furious.

"Leave me alone, fool!" I said, the shit-eating grin still in place.
A clown driving in the opposite direction yelled "why you act so mean?" He got dismissed too.

When I head home, I have the right to do so without being holla'd at and harassed by these punk-ass losers. Why do they feel they can yell at me, make kissing noises at me, and treat me like an object? Do these clowns have mothers and sisters? How would they feel if their female relatives were treaten as less than human? Apparently they don't care!

I couldn't get close enough to get the license plate---I even tried running to catch up to the van while it was at a light but couldn't make it. I was mad at myself---yes myself---for letting that van get away.

I thought "what can I do? I can't report them without a license plate!" but thought I'd call Comcast anyway, since I had the time of the incident, location and description of the perpetrator. Unfortunately I got bounced around, had to press this number or that number, and when I finally got a human voice she transfered me to another number that was the same thing.

I also tried to report this via e-mail, but their system only works for existing customers/potential customers. I don't want Comcast service...I just want to file a report!

Unfortunately, Comcast won the fight, but they have not won the battle.

And to the idiots that visit this site thinking we "hate men" and "want them to lose their jobs," no we don't. I speak for myself when I say I don't want anyone to lose their job, but I want them to know that treating women like that---on the clock or off---is not cool at all.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hateful Loser of the Month

I don't mind comments that disagree with my views or anyone else's views on this blog, as long as you do so with tact and class. This, however, I don't like:

In response to a post from a few months ago called "Fed Ex Delivers Hollas," a blogger named Royalemonte left this message (not edited for spelling or grammar):

sounds like you had it coming. you sound like a real bitch. if thedriver had known he probably would have killed himself as opposed totalk to you. way to probably get him fired, whilest you were probablydressed like a whore anyway if he 'holla'ed at you

And Royalemonte, you sound like a real asshole. Take your hateful and illegible comments somewhere else. You my dear, like Michael before, are this month's "Loser Response of the Month."

Royalemonte came here with a Google search of "where the fuck is the fed ex guy?" (don't ask, people) and I have his IP address logged. If he comes back here for more trouble, he'll be reported to his Net provider.

Why do these people even bother? All they're asking for is to be ridiculed here.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Smoothly Putting A Loser In His Place

Blogger Smart Tart did a write-up on how she calmly put a harasser in his place.

It is not easy for me to say "stop harassing women" in a cool way. The men I encounter are loud, foul and obnoxious, and I find I have to get loud back. A lot of people say because I'm smaller the men won't take me seriously, and the only way they'll hear me is by getting loud.

There's no easy way or right or wrong answer in terms of handling harassment. The calm approach sometimes works, the loud approach sometimes works. Sometimes neither do. If I knew the panacea to this harassment problem, then I could close this blog. But until the time comes when this behavior is no longer acceptable or okay in our society, then it'll stay open and I'll keep searching for answers.

Punished For Defending Themselves

Click here for article.

Seven women are being punished because they dared to defend themselves against a misogynistic creep. Just because they said they were lesbians and rejecting his advances does not give him the right to call them names and choke one of them. It does not give him the right to get off scot-free while they serve jail time. All this because they were defending their selves and defending their rights.

I hope justice comes for the Lesbian 7, and I hope Dwayne Buckle and that horrid judge who sentenced them get the punishment they deserve.

Nubian Nuisance

No, it's not horribly harassing, and it's not as bad as being called "bitch" or followed home, but it's annoying as hell.

On my walk to the train station, a man politely smiled and said "Good morning." Very simple, no frills attached, a friendly salutation. I replied in kind.

When descending the steps to the train station, a guy clad in Afrocentric gear walking up the steps said, "Good morning, my beautiful Nubian sistah." I'm not one of those Black people who's a fan of the oversaturated "Nubian Sistah Queen Girlfriend" crap. I think it's pretentious, phony, showy, and not genuine at all. Cloying and annoying is what I find it.

"Good morning, guy I don't want to deal with," I responded. Too early in the morning.
"What---?!" he said, offended. "All I said was 'good morning.'"
"No you didn't just say 'good morning,'" I said.

The guy starts ranting like a lunatic how I need to "cut that shit off yo' head!" That was his way of implying that I wasn't "Black enough" for him and not worthy of having dreads.

I started arguing with him, but realized how ridiculous he sounded and said, "Man, you sound like a lunatic...have a nice day!" He was still screaming even when I was in the station.

I know I'm going to get a lot of negative responses to this, but I don't care. Yes, I love compliments and appreciate them. But I appreciate compliments that come from a true and genuine place, not some hackneyed crap that I'm sure would be spewed at the next girl to walk by.

Also, a person's reaction to rejection tells you if that's a person who was worth dealing with anyway. I've had experiences where I'd try to get to know a person and start a conversation and they'd blow me off. No skin off my hide. These men instead of taking rejection in stride start ranting and raving like idiots...that's someone you don't want to be bothered with.

So get to me at the comments...let me know how so "wrong" you all think I am. Not all women think alike and react alike. To some, being called "Nubian Sistah Queen" is flattering, but to me it's eyeroll-inducing.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Another Late Night Holla

In the same line of my recent post on late night harassment, Sara sent this story:

Hey! I love your blog (and all of the HollaBack sites for different cities). As a woman living in DC, they help me learn ways to deal with creepy men on the street. Anyway, this just happened to me and I needed to vent:

I work until late at night, and I was walking home. Fortunately, no one says anything to me most of the time, especially on a weekend night when more people are around. Tonight, though, I walked by this guy and hear him say, "nice," as if he's staring at my ass or something. I turn around and glare at him, and he said, "I said you look nice. You don't like a compliment?" I said, icily, "No." He said, as he was crossing the street and walking away from me, "You need to learn to accept a compliment."

At least he was walking away and not bothering me. But then, he walked up the steps to my apartment building! I really hoped this jerk wasn't also my neighbor. He called someone from the downstairs buzzer, so he didn't live there. Turned out he had the wrong building and instead went to the building next door. But he took his sweet time figuring that out, so I hid behind a tree next to a hotel and waited for him to leave my stoop so I could go home.

It's pretty pathetic that I have to run and hide from these guys in my own neighborhood, in front of my HOME, but what was I supposed to do, cross the street and saunter into my building right in front of him? That man needs to learn that complimenting women on the street late at night isn't flattering, it's scary.

Thanks for giving people a space to get these stories off of our chests!

It's not right when you have to hide from some clown when all you want to do is go home and relax. Thank god he ended up not trying to follow you for real---but part of me wonders if he ran to that other apartment as a bluff when you caught him at your place. Either way, I'm glad you're safe.

Men, we can take compliments---when the time and place is right. Late at night on the streets is not the right time or place! The last thing we want is some man trying to hit on us then when all we're concerned about is getting home safely.

As a follow up to my last post on late night harassment and the mention of RightRides, Oraia Reid, RightRides' co-founder, sent me this information on how to get a chapter in DC. It is a project I am definitely interested in working on.

I think the smartest idea is to smart small and work from there. Right now I'm the only person working on this site, and to do something as large as a rally is a huge task for one person. As mentioned previously, I'd love to schedule a meeting in the next couple of months. I want it to be informal (maybe at a coffeehouse?) and we can discuss working to make the streets in DC safer for people. We can also start a committee as well and go from there. One can be the catalyst, but it takes the strength and ingenuity of many to make things happen. Who's with me?

Crossed Lines

The Global Action Project put together this piece I found on YouTube. It shows a street harassment scenario and gives both sides of the story via voiceover thoughts. Check it out.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Defend Yourself

Self-defense instructor Lauren Taylor has established Defend Yourself classes in the DC metro area. She is a strong advocate of women's rights and safety, something we need more of in this community.

For more information, click on the link. I'll post it in the sidebar as well so it'll be available for quick reference.

Fake Harassment

Blogger Arjewtino sent me this story:

I was hanging out at Cue Bar (a basement establishment) last Friday night with friends when I went upstairs to get some fresh air. Two people -- a man and a woman -- were near the bottom of the stairs seemingly in a loving embrace. I mumbled "excuse me" as I slid past them when, about halfway up the stairs, the woman said, "Can I get a little help here?"

I looked back down and from my vantage point, it suddenly looked like he was manhandling her in a physical and unwelcoming way and that she was trying to get out of the situation without being too forceful. In that instant, I walked back down toward them and started to tell the guy to get his hands off of her, even grabbed his arm, when she started to laugh and said, "I was kidding, I'm kidding!"

The man laughed and didn't say anything. All I uttered was "Oh" and walked back upstairs. She said, "Thanks, though, good to know you would have helped."

I didn't feel good about it, though. I felt like a chump. Having seen family and friends really get harassed made me feel like this display of crocodile tears -- for attention, for fun, to see her man beat up a Good Samaritan, I don't know -- was the wrong thing to do.

This is aggravating. I hate it when people cry wolf, get outsiders involved, then laugh it off as "kidding." Harassment is no laughing matter at all. I hope they stop this horrific habit, because one day when she may really need help no one will believe her. Arjewtino, don't let clowns like that stop you from being a Good Samaritan.

This story I'm about to relate wasn't a prank like Arjewtino's story, but it's in the same line. A few years ago I was out at 80s night in Adams Morgan. This clod was drunk and bothering all these women in sight---yours truly as well. I pushed his face away from me. He kept pestering this one girl by manhandling her, trying to drunk kiss her, etc. She looked uncomfortable. If I were in that situation I'd want someone helping me out of it, so I (100-lb. weakling at 5'4'') pushed him (about 6', average build) off, and he barely stumbles.

"Heyyyyyyy," he slurs. "Who are you?" (The same chick you just tried to make drunken passes at a few minutes prior, dumbass.)
"It's okay," the girl said. "I'm fine."
"Are you sure?" I asked.

She nods in the affirmative, but it just didn't sit right with me. I was glad when his friends finally dragged his sorry butt home. Seriously, if you have a problem speak up. Don't allow yourself to be uncomfortable.

Update to "Assault at Union Station"

The contributor from this story has informed me that she contacted MARC so they're keeping a lookout for him, and she will contact Amtrak authorities when she heads home as well. She also said that she has not seen him on her commute today, which is a sigh of relief to me and DBS's readers.

I hope he gets caught so he can never assault someone else again.

Late Night Harassment: leave me alone, losers!

I participated in something last night that went longer than what I had planned, and ended up out later than what I'm used to on a Wednesday. Not too many buses were running so I had to walk to the train station to catch the train home, then walk from the train station to get home. If I could afford a cab last night, I would've taken one. I was alert and my guard was up.

The losers who don't have to worry about getting up for work the next morning were out and about. I heard "Baby boo, can we talk to you?" expecting to see scrubbish Black males, but was "graced" (barf!) with the presence of suburban-looking White guys in dress pants and shirts talking like that. I can't stand it when men my own race talk to me like that---I can't stand it even more when White men talk to me like that. It oozes with racism when they do it. The same clowns who don't have the courage to properly speak to a Black woman in daytime become outlandishly bold at night with liquor in their systems. They have stereotypes of Black women floating around in their heads, and I refuse to kowtow to that.

"Girl, whaddup?" the one kept asking.
"I don't speak to losers," I said and continued on. He said something, but I don't know what it was and didn't care to wait around to find out.

Another man points at me and says "Girl, I'll see you tomorrow!" No you won't!!

Walking home from the train station, I heard "Hey, shawty, whaddup?" The thing that unnerved me the most was that I had no clue where it was coming from. There's a parking lot near a pizza place I walked past, and I think it was coming from there. But this dude is a goddamned fool if he thought I was going to stop to talk to some voice coming from the shadows in the middle of the night!!

I never felt so grateful to be home before in my life. Why there aren't more buses running at night---or shuttles, at least---is a mystery to me. There should be something like RightRides in Brooklyn, which gives free rides to women and transgendered people so they won't have to walk the streets alone late at night. DC needs to get on the ball with that one. Street harassment would decrease greatly if less women had to walk home at night.

I hate having to walk home at night, and try my damnedest to avoid it. But like last night, there are times when I don't have a choice. If you're ever in a situation when you have to walk home please 1) stay on well-lit streets 2) stay on streets that have some population and 3)STAY ALERT!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Another Mt. Pleasant

Kimberly sent me this message involving her friend:

Just read your latest post - god, I'm so angry - and realized that I forgot to tell you about what happened to my best girlfriend recently. She was hanging out at my house and left around 8, walking down Mt. Pleasant Street to an ATM only about a block and a half away. She was wearing a shirt-style dress, and as she was nearing the ATM, was grabbed under that dress. She said the man ran off and all she could do was try to yell at him. There wasn't anything else she could do and there was nobody really around to help (it was late evening, kind of quiet out) - and no cops, which is kind of rare for that street. She said she was in such shock she almost couldn't believe it had really happened.

Goddamn, aren't you sick of this?

You know it. I'm tired of our livelihoods being threatened because idiot-ass fools don't know how to keep their hands to themselves. Between this and the previous post, men are getting away with these horrible acts. I am tired of just blogging about it---I really want to take action. What can we do to stop this? What can we do to let people know we won't tolerate it? I do want to plan a meeting/rally in the next few months. Give me some time to get my head together and organize, people.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Assault at Union Station

An anonymous contributor sent this story to my inbox:

I live in Baltimore. I take the train from Penn Station in Baltimore to Washington only once a week (thank god). I used to take the train every day, but since I freelance now I don't have to be at [workplace omitted] every day. And yes, I've also been groped on the train and bullied in other ways, just like almost every other woman I know. Thank you for your blog and for publicizing this stuff. My god, it seems like I've been fighting this all my life and it just never gets better. But now, at age 50, I finally feel more confident and able to fight back (safely, of course -- I don't want to get killed, though a few friends have already told me I was an idiot for confronting the guy on the platform).

I was -- uh, I believe the legal term is assaulted -- Thursday morning on the platform at Union Station.

It was a military guy in Army fatigues. White guy, light brown, blondish hair, not crewcut, normal cut, kind of stocky build. I've seen him get on before, I believe at your stop, but I'm not sure. Either BWI or Odenton, I think, or maybe Halethorpe; I don't know. I don't remember. Anyway, since there aren't that many of them, as you know, one tends to notice them. I suppose they go to the Pentagon.

I had gotten off my car, way at the back of the pack, and started walking forward. I had passed him, way on the other side of the platform -- in other words, nowhere near each other -- way at the back. You know how most people don't like walking on the yellow tread-strip near the edge, so that tends to be the fast lane, so to speak. As I was weaving my way forward, I ended up on the yellow tread, where I don't mind walking (it's actually easier on my foot).

As I'm walking along, suddenly, just when a pillar is to the left of me and the edge of the platform on the right, I feel a body slam. And I do mean body slam. This wasn't a bump. It was a shove. It rocked my body out toward the edge -- thank god there was a train there and thank god I hadn't been standing still -- since I was moving forward, the force of his slam was less than if I had been stationary, in which case I believe he would've knocked me over.

There was no chance this was 1) an accident or 2) he didn't feel it. When it happened, I looked immediately to my left to see him pounding by and I said, "Excuse me!" He ignored me and kept walking. I said again, "Excuse me!" Again no response. I muttered, "You asshole."

He stopped dead: "What did you say?"

Uh-oh, I thought, now I've done it. I was scared shitless. Trying to defuse the situation, I said, "You just shoved me. When two people bump into each other, it's polite to say 'excuse me.' I said it; you didn't. And it was clearly your fault."

He comes over, puts his hand on my back -- in what I at first, for a millisecond, thought was a conciliatory gesture, as if he couldn't hear me and was trying to lean in to do so. He never apologized, never acknowledged what he had done, and -- get this -- started pushing me. I mean pushing. It wasn't a conciliatory gesture, he was actually pushing me as we walked.

So I immediately ended my own solicitous explanation to him and stopped and said, "Get your hands off me! Don't touch me!"

Of course everyone around us witnessed the whole thing and heard everything, but nobody stopped.

Then I just kept walking, not looking at him, figuring it was over and he would leave me alone. But he came back over to me (!!!!!!!), didn't touch me, but started complaining to me again -- honestly, I have absolutely no recollection of what he said, I just know his demeanor was threatening, and never did he acknowledge what he had done. So one last time, without looking at him, without breaking stride, I repeated what I had said before about his behavior. He said something else, and I said again, "Asshole."

He hissed in my ear: "That's the second time."

Without a glance, I said, "Third time, I believe," and just kept walking. I have no idea if he went off towards the Metro or stood there or followed me for a while or what. I was shaking, absolutely shaking. I knew we were surrounded by people, plus there were cops everywhere, so I mean what was he gonna do? Clock me?

He probably beat the shit out of somebody else later in the day. Or got into trouble at work, or took it out on someone.

But he clearly targeted me, since he came up from behind, and I repeat that it wasn't a bump, it was a shove. An absolute shove.

I'm going to tell the conductors when I get on the train on Thursday, and describe him to them. And I absolutely will not get off the train anymore until everyone else has gotten off. I will be the last person in the crowd. I don't want anyone coming up behind me ever again, especially not him, as I'm sure to see him on future trains.

If this guy gets on at your station, maybe you've seen him. The whole thing was totally bizarre and scary.

Contributor, scary as it was you stood your ground and stood up to this clown. I'm also glad that you're reporting this when you get the chance. I hope others and readers of DBS will be on the lookout for this punk.

What boggles my mind is that no one stopped to help the contributor. They took notice and went about their ways. You don't need to physically intervene to help---you can contact the nearest security/authority figure and have them intervene. Yelling "leave her alone!" would've drawn attention as well. This passive attitude and disregard in helping others bothers me.

Lastly, stay safe. I have issues too when it comes to not biting my tongue when dealing with asshole men. Yet if I feel the man's going to start threatening me with physical violence, I walk or run away and try to get help.

I hope this guy is caught. He shouldn't use his military status to brutalize women. Be on the lookout everyone.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day Shorts

Tasha at La Bella Noire's Ramblings did a write-up of her encounters with loser men of the international equation.

Surprisingly, today was not that bad a day for me in terms of being harassed. I went to the Wheaton Westfield Mall and not one ornery-acting and uncouth male tried to talk to me---and there were throngs of rowdy high school boys out and about.

I went to Adams Morgan, which tends to be the haven for street harassment, to get a M'Dawg and an ice cream. A table of horny men outside a restaurant on Columbia Rd. (near the Bank of America ATM) were trying to coerce women into coming their way. The women were pretty headstrong and not havin' it.

"That woman looked at us like 'I ain't comin' over to some broke-ass n****!'," one of the men commented. Glad that women aren't letting some fools on the street make them do what they don't want to.

While leaving Columbia to head to 18th (near the Blockbuster), some creepy man eased up too damn close to me, sucked his teeth and whispered, "Mm! Sexy!"

Feeling grossed out, I mocked him. "Ugly as hell!" I said in the same tone he used on me. "Naaaaaaaaaasty!" He looked just as uncomfortable as he made me feel prior, and there was an audience of passers-by to add to it. I was glad he didn't sass me back. He needed to be humiliated.

Second (and last, thank god) encounter was on 18th heading towards the fork where Florida Avenue and U Street intersect 18th. Some man on a stoop, about to light up a cigarette says "You say 'hi' to me!" He said it in this tone as if I needed to bow to his feet and kiss them. Hell no!

I don't care if English isn't his first language...there is a certain tone of respect you need to have towards women if you want it back!

"I don't want to!" I responded, to which he reacted like a petulant kid not getting his way. Ha! And he did not stoop to calling me "bitch" either like some of these men tend to do.

While I can't stand being harassed, I'm glad the reactions to my speaking up were close to nonexistent. I enjoyed my ice cream and hot dog, and urge you all to enjoy the rest of this holiday as well.