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Walking to the corner shop just now, writing a text on phone, a oldish guy with a little boy passes and I smile vaguely at them, as I tend to do with people in my area. He seems a bit drunk/stoned. He then comes back and points at my phone – ‘Who are you texting?’ Such a weird question’Er, my friend’. I move to go on. ‘Hey, hey, can I just say something?’ I shrug. ‘You look [he leans in toward me]… really nice.’ I shrug again and say drily ‘Er, thanks’. He then tries to detain me further, something like ‘Can I talk to you?’. ‘No, I’m going to the shop,’ I say, and carry on.
The most I ever manage in situations like this is cool disdain and baffledness; I guess I think it’s the best policy. But this kind of harassment makes me feel a bit scared and then really fucking angry. Because how dare you just ask me who I’m texting, tell me I look nice, then expect me to talk to you? I would never, never approach a man or woman in this way. And I wish I could say next time ‘Why do you think you have a right to these things? What would you do if someone asked you?’
On the train at noon a party gets on – 3 men round my table.One asks:
“What you reading?”
Me: “Elizabeth Gaskell”
“Where you going?”
“Mind if I do some drugs?…Want a drink?”
“Want to see my air guitar/piano/muscles?”
“Look at my eyes?…Can I come back to yours?”
“Want to come clubbing?”
“Want my number/facebook”
“Mind if I take my top off?”
“What would you do if I kissed you?”
“I’ll look after you”
I don’t need looking after.
He photographed me while singing a sexual song.
When I was 15 I was walking home from the train station at around 6pm. This being winter, it was already dark and I was walking as quickly as could over the ice as I could already hear the group of 6 drunk men behind me. They started throwing snow at me as I was walking along and when I turned round they began shouting at me, telling me they were going to take me back to their house and then described a few things they wanted to do to me. I ran home as fast as I could without slipping.
I was out running on bank holiday Monday. A car full of young lads was jeering in articulately and whistling at me towards the end of my run. It was not scary, in broad daylight near so many people, but it is insulting and ridiculous.
Why on earth does anyone think it is ok to behave that way?
Calling all women across Bradford – Friday 31st May 2013
You may already have heard of the Bradford Speak Out – No To Harassment campaign. It was started by the College and University in response to the number of sexual harassment incidents that students have stated were happening.
They’ve just told us here at Hollaback! West Yorkshire they’ve had a request from David Green (the Leader of Bradford Council) to meet with local women. It’s your chance to really get across how this is affecting women across the City and to make the Council look at way to address the issues.
It’s on Friday 31st May – would you like to be involved?
contact Emma at Bradford college on [email protected] or 07881 553418
The event it – Friday 31st May
From 2pm at Touchstones
Location details for Touchstones are:
32 Merton Road, BD7 1RE
Details also available on the groups facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Speak-Out-No-To-Harassment/603116483032919
It was about 5.30pm and I was walking up Park Row in Leeds towards my bus stop to get home. As I did, I overtook a man who seemed perhaps a bit drunk, he was walking slowly and kind of getting in my way. Ahead of me was a young woman, crossing the road from the other side to ours, chatting loudly on the phone. I noticed she had a pen through the back of her ponytail and wondered if she had forgotten to take it out. I don’t know if this was related, but at this moment, a man to my left (who I believe to be the same man who was behind me before) literally just said in my ear, “She’s gotta nice arse ain’t she?” He must have crept up behind me without me noticing but I surprised myself by not being stunned; I looked him straight in the eye and stared disgustedly at him. He responded by saying “eh?” as if to follow on from his question, like I was going to give him an answer(!) and I just started walking faster, away from him, without looking back. I don’t think the woman in front had any idea what had gone on as she didn’t even turn round and he was that close to me when he said it, I doubt she would have heard. This made it pretty isolating for me but I suddenly felt really protective of the woman, like I should shout at this man to back off and draw attention to it, but I just wanted to get away as fast as I could.
I don’t understand why he picked me to say this to, perhaps he was just drunk, but all of the feelings I get from ‘typical’ street harassment came flooding back and I was glad that my bus was there waiting for me so I didn’t have to hang around. I think it was how close he was to me without me realising that affected me the most. All the way home I was furious, trying to make sense of the whole thing. I’m still not sure how I ‘should’ have reacted to the situation.
Walking near the Corn Exchange early in the evening (people were still out shopping) a group of men I had to walk past began discussing all the women around them and whether they were ‘Fat Pandas’. I was a ‘Fat Leopard’ apparently, as I was wearing leopard print. They went on to talk about my backside until I managed to get away.
Later, on my walk to get the bus home, near Morrisons at the Merrion Centre, I had to walk past a group of about 10 drunk men. One of them shouted “she takes it up the f*cking arse! she loves it!” I turned round and swore back as creatively as I could, and kept walking away. Then the others joined in. One of them shouted that he had a “huge d*ck” and that he would indeed love to use it… You can imagine the rest. I told him that he would not be able to do that, as he was a eunuch. Then I managed to get them to shut up, by adding “and you don’t even know what a eunuch is”. Well, I’m not proud, it’s not really nice to talk about the validity of someone’s private parts, and what constitutes gender…(I’m talking about what I said about eunuchs. I know there are loads of people who have gender identity issues who would not be pleased with my comments). But I was soooooooo cross! Just wanted to put them down.