March 6th, 9:04 AM
I was walking down 23rd with two friends, complaining about the never ending closure of the 23rd street F stop exit. One of the girls started yawning and a man walking in the other direction leaned in and growled into her mouth “so sexual” and quickly walked on. She went “What the fuck?” But the guy was already gone. The other girl shook her head and went “New York - you think you’re having a normal morning, and then somebody whispers ‘sexual’ into your mouth.”
10:13 am • 6 March 2014 • 1 note
replied to your post: “March 3rd, 12:52 AM”:
That is fucking terrifying, it’s just a little bit short of the worst case taxi scenario nightmare, holy crap.
It’s really reassuring to get these messages because sometimes, rape culture creeps in there and I doubt myself. When I was writing this post, I kept thinking “Does this even count? Was I overreacting?” Sometimes you need someone else to reality check that you have every right to be scared.
10:46 pm • 4 March 2014 • 1 note
March 3rd, 12:52 AM
My subway was just NOT coming post-oscars, so I resigned myself to getting a cab. I was trying for a good 15 minutes when a car going in the wrong direction rolled his window down and yelled “STAY THERE I’LL COME BACK FOR YOU.” I kept trying but 10 minutes later, he got back around and was the first cab to actually stop. I was really grateful and really wanted to get to sleep, so when he started talking to me, I talked back. At first, he asked how my weekend was, if I was a student or if I worked, I asked him how long until his shift ended, and similar small talk, but about halfway through the trip he started telling me that I was pretty, complimenting my smile, my eyes etc. I was a little uncomfortable but said thank you and tried to direct the conversation in another direction, which he wasn’t having any of. I asked him to pull over a little early because he was slowing down, trying to keep me in the cab, and I didn’t want to pay more. After he pulled over, he kept saying “I want to see you more. Please don’t leave. You’re so pretty. Stay and talk to me.” I declined and said I had to go to bed and he locked the cab doors. At that point I got a little scared, but I could manually unlock it so I just got out and went home, but he stayed and watched me until I went into my building. I would have walked past and waited, but it was so late, I just wanted to go to sleep.
12:43 pm • 3 March 2014 • 1 note
He waited until the train was in motion to make his move—a true sign of someone who knows how to make the environment work to their advantage. Then he leaned forward. “Hi.” “How you doing?” “What are you reading?” “What’s your name?” “I really like your hair.” “That’s a really nice skirt.” “You must work out.”
It was painful to watch. She clearly wanted nothing to do with him, and he clearly wasn’t going to take the hint. Her rebukes got firmer. “I’d like to read my book.” And he pulled out the social pressure. “Hey, I’m just asking you a question. You don’t have to be so rude.” She started to look around for outs. Her head swivelled from one exit to another.
The thing was, I had already heard this story, many many times. I knew how it would play out. I knew all the tropes. I probably could have quoted the lines before they said them. I wanted a new narrative. Time to mix it up.
So I moved seats until I was sitting behind him. I leaned forward with my head on the back of his seat.
"Hi," I said with a little smile.
He looked at me like I was a little crazy—which isn’t exactly untrue—and turned back to her.
"How are you doing?" I asked.
"I’m fine," he said flatly without ever looking back.
"I really like your hair," I said. “It looks soft."
That’s about when it got…..weird.
He sort of half turned and glared back me, and I could tell I was pissing him off. His eyes told me to back the hell away, and his lips were pressed together tightly enough to drain the color from them completely.
But no good story ever ends with the conflict just defusing. He started to turn back to her.
"Wait, don’t be like that," I said. “Lemmie just ask you one question…"
"What!" he said in that you-have-clearly-gone-too-far voice that is part of the freshmen year finals at the school of machismo.
And I’m not exactly a hundred percent sure why I didn’t call it a day at that point, but…..maybe I just love turning the screw to see what happens. I gave him the bedroomy-est eyes I could muster. “What’s your name?”
Right now I’m sitting here typing out this story, and I’m still not entirely sure why I’m not nursing a fat lip or a black eye. Because that obviously made him so mad that I still am not sure why it didn’t come to blows. There are cliches about eyes flaring and rage behind someones eyes and shit like that that are so overdone. But it really does look like that. When someone gets violent, their eyes just kind of “pop” with intention—pupils dilate, eyelids widen. And his did. Even sitting down he was clearly bigger than me and I was pretty sure he was kind of muscular too, so at that moment I was figuring I was probably going to need an ice pack and sympathy sex from my girlfriend by day’s end.
"DUDE," he shouted. “I’M NOT GAY."
That’s when I dropped the bedroom eyes and switched to a normal voice. “Oh well I could see not being interested didn’t matter to you when you were hitting on her, so I just thought that’s how you rolled.”
Writing About Writing (And Occasionally Some Writing): Changing The Creepy Guy Narrative (via veruca-assault)
I cant believe I almost scrolled past this.
this post is gold
1:07 pm • 25 February 2014 • 93,341 notes
Don’t touch women and don’t talk to them.
Last night after the No Regrets event I took the F home and there were two incredibly drunk guys in my car, middle-aged white guys in button-down shirts, not young fratty bros. They were hugging a pole in the middle of the crowded car, talking to each other loudly, moving unsteadily, slurring their words. I was worried, like I am 50% of the time on the subway at night, that vomit might happen on or near me. But they were only bothering each other, til they started talking to a woman who was sitting in the outer seat of a two-seat facing them, effectively underneath them, such that to talk to her one of them had to put his hand on the metal pole right behind her head so that he was sort of crouching over her. She had big, obvious neon green headphones on and I couldn’t see her face because of the direction her seat was facing. And she had a book open, but they were talking to her anyway. I couldn’t hear anything she said. She laughed at one point but to me it sounded like an uncomfortable laugh. Everyone else in the car was looking at these guys, looking at her, looking at each other, saying nothing. And then the louder of the two guys I guess wanted to get her attention because maybe she went back to her book and stopped nervously appeasing him so he reached over and touched her shoulder, not hard, just like “hey,”
DON’T TOUCH HER, I screamed.
"Whuh? Hey, I’m just … mind your business, we’re just talking," or whatever nonsense, he slurred.
DON’T TOUCH WOMEN AND DON’T TALK TO THEM. YOU’RE DRUNK. SHE DOESN’T WANT TO TALK TO YOU. DON’T TOUCH WOMEN AND DON’T TALK TO THEM, I screamed.
He protested, he called me “McSweeney’s” (!!) and he called me some other names, including, of course, “crazy,” But other women in the car chimed in, telling him to lay off, back off, calm down. And I got off at the next stop, so I don’t know what else happened.
1:07 pm • 25 February 2014 • 1,098 notes
When I was seventeen and preparing to leave for university, my mother’s only brother saw fit to give me some advice.
“Just don’t be an idiot, kid,” he told me, “and don’t ever forget that boys and girls can never just be friends.”
I laughed and answered, “I’m not too worried. And I don’t really think all guys are like that.”
When I was eighteen and the third annual advent of the common cold was rolling through residence like a pestilent fog, a friend texted me asking if there was anything he could do to help.
I told him that if he could bring me up some vitamin water that would be great, if it wasn’t too much trouble.
That semester I learned that human skin cells replace themselves every three to five weeks. I hoped that in a month, maybe I’d stop feeling the echoes of his touch; maybe my new skin would feel cleaner.
It didn’t. But I stood by what I said. Not all guys are like that.
When I was nineteen and my roommate decided the only way to celebrate the end of midterms was to get wasted at a club, I humoured her.
Four drinks, countless leers and five hands up my skirt later, I informed her I was ready to leave.
“I get why you’re upset,” she told me on the walk home, “but you have to tolerate that sort of thing if you want to have any fun. And really, not all guys are like that.”
(Age nineteen also saw me propositioned for casual sex by no fewer than three different male friends, and while I still believe that guys and girls can indeed be just friends, I was beginning to see my uncle’s point.)
When I was twenty and a stranger that started chatting to me in my usual cafe asked if he could walk with me (since we were going the same way and all), I accepted.
Before we’d even made it three blocks he was pulling me into an alleyway and trying to put his hands up my shirt. “You were staring,” he laughed when I asked what the fuck he was doing (I wasn’t), “I’m just taking pity.”
But not all guys are like that.
I am twenty one and a few days ago a friend and I were walking down the street. A car drove by with the windows down, and a young man stuck his head out and whistled as they passed. I ignored it, carrying on with the conversation.
My friend did not. “Did you know those people?” He asked.
“Not at all,” I answered.
Later when we sat down to eat he got this thoughtful look on his face. When I asked what was wrong he said, “You know not all guys do that kind of thing, right? We’re not all like that.”
As if he were imparting some great profound truth I’d never realized before. My entire life has been turned around, because now I’ve been enlightened: not all guys are like that.
No. Not all guys are. But enough are. Enough that I am uncomfortable when a man sits next to me on the bus. Enough that I will cross to the other side of the street if I see a pack of guys coming my way. Enough that even fleeting eye contact with a male stranger makes my insides crawl with unease. Enough that I cannot feel safe alone in a room with some of my male friends, even ones I’ve known for years. Enough that when I go out past dark for chips or milk or toilet paper, I carry a knife, I wear a coat that obscures my figure, I mimic a man’s gait. Enough that three years later I keep the story of that day to myself, when the only thing that saved me from being raped was a right hook to the jaw and a threat to scream in a crowded dorm, because I know what the response will be.
I live my life with the everburning anxiety that someone is going to put their hands on me regardless of my feelings on the matter, and I’m not going to be able to stop them. I live with the knowledge that statistically one in three women have experienced a sexual assault, but even a number like that can’t be trusted when we are harassed into silence. I live with the learned instinct, the ingrained compulsion to keep my mouth shut to jeers and catcalls, to swallow my anger at lewd suggestions and crude gestures, to put up my walls against insults and threats. I live in an environment that necessitates armouring myself against it just to get through a day peacefully, and I now view that as normal. I have adapted to extreme circumstances and am told to treat it as baseline. I carry this fear close to my heart, rooted into my bones, and I do so to keep myself unharmed.
So you can tell me that not all guys are like that, and you’d even be right, but that isn’t the issue anymore. My problem is not that I’m unaware of the fact that some guys are perfectly civil, decent, kind—my problem is simply this:
In a world where this cynical overcaution is the only thing that ensures my safety, I’m no longer willing to take the risk.
— r.d. (via vonmoire)
(Source: elferinge, via jomarch)
12:48 pm • 24 February 2014 • 95,868 notes
February 21st, 8:55 PM
I got on the Brooklyn bound B train at Broadway-Lafayette, got a seat, and glanced around the car, as you commonly do. I locked eyes with a guy almost across the train from me. I figured it was an awkward coincidence and settled back to listen to my music, but after a minute, I realized he was still staring at me. It wasn’t unbroken, but he stared at me consistently up until the bridge, at which point he started laughing softly to himself. I got worried that he was going to approach me, so I took my book out and started “reading”, in case the headphones weren’t enough of a deterrent.
The woman sitting kitty corner to me got off at DeKalb, and this guy took her place so he was quite close to me. He took off his headphones and said something, which I ignored. When he didn’t get the response he wanted, he grabbed my leg. I took my headphones off, and he said “How are you doing?” I responded “I have given you every indication that I do not want to be talked to. Why did you think this was a good idea?” He got really angry and said “I wanted to know how you are. I just wanted to talk to you.” I shot back “And that doesn’t matter nearly as much as my clear desire not to want to talk to you.”
When he tried to argue with me again I got up, walked to the other end of the car, and switched to the next car over at the next stop. I could see him watching me through the windows in the car doors until I got off, but he didn’t try to follow me.
11:47 am • 24 February 2014 • 1 note
Oh thank you!
I’m always up to support artists doing good work.
Followers, if you’re interested, I’m attaching Jessica’s links for easy use:
10:21 pm • 20 February 2014 • 1 note
February 18th, 5:37 PM
I was walking down Broadway, actually thinking “Huh, I haven’t been catcalled today” when a delivery man leaned in and went “Hello Beautiful.”
Come on man! I was so excited!
5:46 pm • 18 February 2014
February 17th, 8:37 AM
I escaped from New York to the middle of nowhere for a bit (where there are no people to harass you, only deer and horses) but I got back yesterday, and was welcomed with the open arms of a leery asshole.
Right after I left my apartment this morning, I was adjusting my winter gear, finding my gloves etc., when I looked up and saw an extremely buff guy blatantly looking me up and down. My first thought was “Oh no it’s coming. Ignore him. Ignore him.” He started smiling and when he was even with me he went “I love your body. I love it. What a lovely body. Fantastic!” I really wanted to say “It’s not yours to love” but I couldn’t be bothered. Concentrating on not dying on the uncleared, unsalted sidewalk was way more important.
12:22 pm • 17 February 2014
utopianfeather asked: Living in a pretty dead town, I feel very lucky not to be harasses too badly. I get mostly yells from passing vehicles and creepy stares. One person did say creepily "Young teenage legs...." what the fuck.. it will suck when I am moving in a year to a larger city that is getting overcrowded quickly. I think I will try to reapond with weird sayings or say I just found out that I'm HIV positive, that someone in my life just died, something that will disgust them.. I'm under 5 feet and I'm worried.
Before I moved to New York, I hadn’t had much experience with harassment. It’s a horrible and unfortunately inevitable experience that every woman(/person read as female) living in a large city will likely have to learn to deal with in whatever way is best for them. Some people ignore it. Some wear headphones at all times. Some holler back. I write this blog, and it helps me regain a sense of control. By documenting what these men say, by providing a record, I’m holding them accountable, even if it’s never tied back to them as individuals.
That being said, I wouldn’t recommend trying to “turn them off” (literally or figuratively) with sayings to repel the catcalls. Partially because it can get into some shaky territory - claiming HIV positivity, for example, is ableist - but mostly because it doesn’t really work. Most likely, they won’t believe you. Men who want to catcall will ignore everything to the contrary and go right on believing that it’s a fantastic activity that is a huge compliment. The end of this video is a pretty good example of that. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WH7b4QCPuXc&feature=youtu.be
It’s up to you, but as someone who is smaller, I think that complete ignoring is your best bet.
11:30 pm • 6 February 2014 • 1 note
January 31st, 6:01 PM
At the base of Union Square, a guy set up at a chess board atop a stack of crates called out “I need a chess play-ER!” At the guy walking in front of me. When that guy didn’t answer, he shifted to me and went “I need a chess player with sexy legs and pretty shoes!”
Well if that’s what you really need, why were you yelling at the dude in loafers?
6:10 pm • 31 January 2014
January 30th, 5:50 PM
A sidewalk-cleaner pointed the end of his broom at my crotch and made an exaggerated kissy face. When I looked disgusted, he looked overjoyed.
5:55 pm • 30 January 2014 • 1 note
January 25th, 8:14 PM
I was getting some basics at my local Asian bodega, and I didn’t have enough purchases to meet the credit card minimum, nor did I have enough cash to cover my intended purchases. While I was trying to figure out if I needed anything else, or whether I would have to put something back, the cashier repeated that I couldn’t pay with a card with my current slate of purchases and a guy I didn’t realize was behind me went “Ooh, maybe I should buy your groceries too, sexy.” I grumped and turned around to pick up milk to fill out my total, and as I was turning around, walking the ten feet to the other side of the store, and walking back to actually pay he went, “MMM yeah, girl like you? I would buy your groceries. I would DEFINITELY buy your groceries.” I really wanted to be like “You want to pay for my groceries? Then just fucking do it.” But I said nothing, waited for him to leave, and paid for my own food like everyone else.
5:15 pm • 27 January 2014 • 2 notes
January 20th, 6:04 PM
I was walking on the opposite end of my block, not wearing headphones or having walking bitchface for once, when a guy walking even with me said “You dropped something.” Having just induced a freakout in a teenager and not wanting to lose my things, I turned around to try to find whatever I dropped on an apparently empty sidewalk. After I was clearly actually looking for something, he went “It’s your smile. You dropped your smile.” I clearly looked grumpy, but said nothing and continued walking home. He walked with me and kept talking, going “I just had to say something. I had to stop you.” I was in the middle of a long block, and clearly couldn’t turn into anywhere or turn around, so I settled for saying “Do you know how many guys like you I deal with on a daily basis?” “Is it a lot?” “Yes. It’s a lot.” “Yeah, but I bet most of them aren’t as good looking as me.” I said nothing (he was okay looking, which is completely irrelevant in this situation) “What do you do?” he pushed, and I gave him a vaguely accurate answer because it was clear this guy was not going to fucking go away and he claimed that he worked in a related industry, throwing in an innuendo just to be gross. He did some more gross “flirting,” which I gave no indication of having any interest in and then asked if I lived in the area and we were getting really close to my apartment and I started panicking that this pushy jerk would then know where I live so I went “Nope just picking up my laundry!” and ducked into a laundromat. He kept me from going in and said “Well, don’t you want to go out with me?” “No.” “Come on, you don’t even want my number?” “No.” at which point he let me go in and I walked around the laundromat for about 10 minutes to make sure he was really gone before running back out to my apartment.
10:15 pm • 21 January 2014 • 2 notes