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I was biking to work when a man in a reflector vest (I assume a city worker) called out to me, “Hi, how are you doing?”
I was actively biking, so I only nodded in his direction.
As I biked away, he called to me, “Damn, can I call you some time?”
Made all the more delightful by the fact that my taxes pay for his salary.
So I just paid to be harassed. Wonderful.
Chased in a car! At 5am.
I had a job interview with an international firm downtown, so I wore a conservative suit.
On the way, I stopped at a court building to run an errand.
As I left the courthouse to walk to my interview a few blocks away, a large male followed me out, demanding to know my name, demanding a date. Demanding, demanding, he hollered at me and followed me down the hill, unrelenting.
I was terrified, thinking how could I escape, because I felt profoundly threatened in broad daylight.
Working in crime prevention, I had been taught that there can be plenty of unstable, often very dangerous criminals around a court building. (“Never turn your back on a criminal defendant. Keep your eye on them and stand away from them.”, I had been taught.)
A man with a briefcase who was “dressed like a lawyer” was walking down the hill ahead of me. He looked at me utterly shocked when I grabbed his arm as if we were old friends, but when I explained why, he became my rescuer.
Perhaps not too wisely, I let him drive me to my interview.
I have no idea who he was, but 35 years later, I’d like to thank him again for whisking me out of there. (And tell him that I got the job!)
It was a Saturday night and my date and I had decided to take a stroll at the outdoor outlets by the stadium before heading off to our movie.
As we walked through a pathway two men decided to whistle and blatantly stare at me, while asking me “Is that your boyfriend?” Of course this angered my date and he began to stare them down while I begged him to just ignore the immature fools.
As we reached the car he was still angry, and proceeded to tell me that maybe if I wasn’t in such a “slutty” dress the men wouldn’t have said anything. He kept going on about how I should watch how I dress, especially since it embarrasses him to walk with a woman who dresses like a “whore”.
The dress that earlier made me feel “confident” and “sexy”, was now a source of shame, anger, and sadness.
Why can’t I wear what I please, and feel confident with out having to be put down? Why do I have to abide by men’s rules of what a woman should dress like?
My outfit is my source of confidence, not an invitation to sexually harass me.
Needless to say I have not worn the dress since, and constantly fear my date being ashamed of what I’m wearing.
Just saw the video of the girl in New York being harassed 100+ times in a day!
I grew up in Pasadena in the seventies and experienced this daily. It was horrible and scary. I learned valuable lessons like dressing down to go to the store-beanie to tuck in hair, huge jeans and sweatshirt, slouch, never buy more than you can run with, plot an escape route home from the store that you can run your pursuers through and hope they don’t know it also, always have someone at home to open the door as you scream while being pursued to maybe buy you time to get through the door… I’ve been harassed, chased, groped, hit in the face with a crowbar…This is what I had to learn as a young girl to survive in Pasadena.
I now live in a small mountain community and chose to raise my daughter here so she would not have to go through this mess.
Thanks for trying to make this stop!
[Site Note: These behavior changes are
I was walking at night to an art show a couple blocks away from where I parked and a man across the street yelled at me “IS THAT A WOMAN? IS THAT A F*CKING WOMAN I SEE OVER THERE?”
I ignored him and kept walking and he continued to aggressively yell sexist comments at me until I finally turned onto a different street.
Leaving work at 9:30 pm on a Friday, walking with coworker to a cafe, wearing branded tshirts/uniforms, harassed by 3 different guys during a 1.5 block walk.
Walking from my friend’s house to my car in Hollywood at 10 AM on a Wednesday, a man sitting on a front stoop kept yelling “Hi beautiful!” Over and over despite my ignoring him.
I finally turned and yelled “Don’t harass women on the street!” He yelled back he was just complimenting me.
I yelled I wasn’t here to be evaluated by him, so don’t harass women on the street.
He kept yelling at me as I walked out of earshot.