Recently, as my friend and I walk to my apartment, I noticed a man standing in the corner of the block. I was extremely uncomfortable because he glanced at us-specifically, me. He whispered something to me, but I was unable to hear it because of the noises around the neighborhood. For a second, I thought that it was probably my imagination, only to realize the man was following us as we walked around.
I began to walk gradually slower and make a random excuse that I needed to enter a pharmacy. However, the man simply slowed his steps and walked ahead, while I explained that we were being followed. As we continued to walk slowly and cautiously, the man began to turn around and walk toward us, whispering obscene, unwanted sexual remarks as he walked past us. Honestly, it was a disturbing situation, seeing that he was middle-aged adult and my friend and I are still teenagers. Unfortunately, because I live directly in front of the site, we hurriedly ran into a nearby supermarket, waited for a while for our other friend, and left through the other exit.
This was one of the few times I have experienced street harassment. This experience, however, left me agitated. I was appalled by how someone could even consider making unwanted advances, especially how someone could follow someone and make them worried to simply go outside.
Also, I think it’s important to remember that street harassment does happen simply because one is wearing a provocative attire, as others had claimed numerous times. That day, I have returned from school, still clothed in my gym uniform that consisted of a simple t-shirt and sweatpants. Honestly, I was a mess that day, exhausted and having my hair fly around from the wind. However, regardless of what someone wears, people should never feel uncomfortable walking around.
Location: Manhattan, New York City (The Lower East Side)
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