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SSH will not publish any comment that is offensive or hateful and does not add to a thoughtful discussion of street harassment. Racism, homophobia, transphobia, disabalism, classism, and sexism will not be tolerated. Disclaimer: SSH may use any stories submitted to the blog in future scholarly publications on street harassment.

Harassed four times in 10 minutes

In Stories, street harassment | on 11.30.11 | by | Comments ( 7 )

I experienced four incidents on a Saturday evening in the space of ten minutes while walking down a relatively isolated street (for pedestrians) but it was fairly busy with lots of cars on the streets.

I was wearing my work outfit (I work in a retirement home) which consists of an overlarge dark navy shirt with sleeves to my elbows, a collar and most of it covering my bum, with a long baggy black workpants and ankle high black boots. My hair was pulled back in a tight and tidy ponytail.

I was making my way down the street when a car honked at me from behind. I resisted the urge to look back, but I could see a car drive past with at least two guys leaning out of it checking me out.

I was a little upset, but chose not to show it. What got me truly angry was that barely ten second later, a car drove from behind me and a random man yelled out to me, “You fucking slut!”

Considering that I was dressed as I described, in overlarge clothes and baggy pants, I was very upset. My response was to give him the finger, but the car was speeding and they probably hardly saw it, but they definitely saw my hand move up.

Five minutes later, another car drove by and one man yelled out ‘Merry Christmas’. while barely 20 seconds later, another in a taxi with its windows down said ‘Hey Babe’ as the taxi drove past.

The other later incidents would not be very upsetting, but being called a ‘slut’ had already riled me so much that I reacted badly to the other minor ‘call outs’.

I wish there was something I could do to against these ‘drive by’ harassers. I’ve walked down that stretch of road a many a time, and the harassment is worst on weekends, Thursday and Friday nights. However, to have been harassed four times in the space of less than 10 minutes by drive by cowards….

- Ann

Location: Castle Hill, Sydney, Australia

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7 Responses

11.30.11

The solution here is for men to stop being rapists and stop letting each other slide on this.

This may not be everyone’s solution, but I swear the next time I see harassment (and I live in Kent, Ohio–frat boy central) I’m going to directly confront them. Ask them, “Is that how you treat your mom when she walks by? Your daughter? What would you do if I saw your sister walking by and I did what you just did? You would lose it, that’s right. That’s a human being.”

It’s time to start speaking up, guys. The onus is on us.

11.30.11

Ben Fenton, you’re right that men need to stop harassing and stop allowing others to harass. But there is one thing I would do differently regarding the questions you recommended to ask. Telling a man to treat women the way he’d want another man to treat his sister/mother/daughter is great advice, but telling him to treat women the way he’d treat his own sister/mother/daughter rules out consensual flirting along with harassment.

11.30.11

You reported it. That’s a start. I have the same sort of thing happen on my new way to the gym. Its harder to talk back to cars that honk and whistle. I was wondering what to do also, but at least sharing it is a start!

11.30.11

Thank you Ben, and Concealed Weapon – for choosing to speak up if they see harassment. It would be more difficult for drive-by harassment however – the cars just whiz by before one can even react, and I was so stunned by being called that, that I could barely anything about the car except that it was dark blue and the guy leaning out was blonde.

These drive-by harassers get away scot free. Unless a decent guy is among them who tells them off, they get to joke about what they did and choose their next victim without impunity.

Dear Beckie – Yes, one way is to report it. It helps one feel better about it and perhaps may generate some ideas on what to do in the future if someone harasses you while in a car. I hope you will share your story too. *hugs* We’re all in this together.

11.30.11

[...] there was something I could do to against these ‘drive by’ harassers.” – Sydney, Australia “The only time I go out is when I am with my partner and sometimes I still get kisses blown [...]

11.30.11

[...] I wish there was something I could do to against these ‘drive by’ harassers.” -Sydney, Australia “The only time I go out is when I am with my partner and sometimes I still get kisses blown [...]

11.30.11

[...]   “I experienced four incidents on a Saturday evening in the space of ten minutes while walking down a relatively isolated street (for pedestrians) but it was fairly busy with lots of cars on the streets … being called a ‘slut’ had already riled me so much that I reacted badly to the other minor ‘call outs.’ I wish there was something I could do to against these ‘drive by’ harassers.” – Sydney, Australia [...]

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