Harassment starts at home, it seems. I left my apartment early this afternoon, and walked only a few steps before a large man with a cell and a cigar started leering. He gave me the elevator eyes and said, "Niiiiiiiice legs. Why don't you walk that pretty pussy over here?"
I walked on, but he continued, "Oh, come on and don't be RUDE baby, you know I just think you sexy!"
Now, I've been putting up with street harassment for about 6 years. It runs the gamut from the mundane catcalls and the counterman's hand lingering just a bit too long and stroking just a bit too knowingly when returning my change, to the truly terrifying instances of being grabbed (five times in all, once by the hair), and the nauseating displays of public masturbation (I've caught SIX men masturbating to me on the train, so much for working nights). When I tell people about these instances they usually assume I am being too sensitive, that I'm exaggerating, or, worst of all, that I must be wearing or doing something to solicit this sort of behavior. I'd read about hollaback before but was always just a bit to embarrassed or scared to say or do anything myself.
But today, when I turned around and saw that big fat man with his big fat grin staring back at me, something just clicked (notable, my camera). I whipped it out and snapped his picture. He yelled, "What you takin' my picture for? Do you know me?" To which I responded, "What you talkin' 'bout my pussy for? Do you know me?"
As he turned tail in shame I hollered to him, "Check out hollabacknyc.blogspot.com, see your picture online!"
As I walked the 7 minutes from the train station to my front door last night, I counted seven men who said something inappropriate to me, me in my modest kindergarten teacher's attire (I didn't count the ones who just leered or gestured) -- that's one a minute. They're both perverse and pervasive, and must be stopped. I am not exaggerating and I'm not being too sensitive, and NOW I'm on a mission to collect the proof. Here he is, my number one, only a few thousand to go.
Submitted by Hannah