Your Stories

Always trust your gut feelings. Julia’s Story.

I got out of my gym at 7:30 pm last night (still light out) when I noticed this guy was walking behind me. To be safe since I was alone I turned a sharp corner but he was still following me and started calling out “Miss, excuse me, miss!” Knowing better than to respond I crossed the street mid block into ongoing traffic and that seemed to be enough to shake him. I’ve experienced a lot worse in NYC but I was not expecting this in this quaint family neighborhood. It made me extremely uncomfortable and I hate that I have to now cover up every time I get out of the gym because men can’t “control” themselves. What’s even more disturbing is when I posted about it on a neighborhood blog the commentors accused me of racial profiling and recommended I go back to the suburbs. Street harassment can be found even in the smallest towns and saying “That’s just the way it is here” only promotes for this kind of behavior to continue. Furthermore, I do not appreciate being accused of overreacting, I am entitled to feel what I feel like everyone else and I got a bad feeling in my gut when I heard that man calling out to me. Whether he whips out his dick or leers at you from across the street, if you are uncomfortable, it is harassment and this community needs to know that we will not tolerate it anymore #wearenotthings

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Your Stories

Olivia’s Story: “The worst part about these kinds of things is that they really do make me feel shitty.”

I was biking home from work, in the bike lane, minding my own business, when an SUV drove by me and slowed down. The passenger rolled down his window and yelled at me, “Where you goin,’ bitch?” Because I was startled and because I was biking on a busy street, I ignored him.

A couple minutes later, I was biking through an intersection at a green light. A car coming the opposite direction wanted to turn left (across my path). I wasn’t sure what the driver was planning to do, so I held up my hand in a “stop” motion, indicating to him that he should stop and wait for me to cross (I had the right of way after all, since I was going straight and he was turning left). The driver stopped and let me go. But as I passed HE rolled down HIS window and yelled, “Cunt!” Again, because I was biking, I didn’t respond.

What the hell!? Two random bike harassment incidents in a 10 minute window? As if what the second man was really upset about was my genital configuration! Apparently I was too “aggressive” as a biker (because I’m a woman). If I had been a man, the driver probably wouldn’t have said anything. And if he had, it wouldn’t have been gendered or sexualized in the same way. He would have screamed, “Asshole!” or something like that. And the first incident — well, that was totally unsolicited. The drivers were apparently angry that as a woman I am independently mobile, navigating the world with my own set of wheels and my own agenda. What an outrage!

The worst part about these kinds of things is that they really do make me feel shitty. I arrived at my destination still crying, feeling angry and violated. Of course I’m not a bitch or a cunt; I don’t even know what it would mean to be a bitch or a cunt because those words are really kind of meaningless. But knowing that doesn’t mean their comments hurt any less. Although I didn’t directly respond to those perpetrators at the time of their harassment, I feel good knowing that I went about the rest of my day as planned. I had been biking to a presentation and felt so terrible after the harassment that I considered skipping and going home, but I realized that would be letting them win. I went to the presentation, and it was freaking awesome!

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Your Stories

Day, interrupted.

Waking back from Walgreens in broad daylight some ass hole came up right next to me on a bike and mentioned my skirt. Said I have a nice ass. I stopped to let him go ahead of me. Went around me and followed me back to Walgreens shouting “I like your big thighs, you know you have nice thick thighs? I love your pussy”

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Groped in public, repeatedly, by a group of guys at a downtown bar—Kelly’s story.

I was at a bar with friends last week. A group of guys were at the table over, very drunk, but for the most part keeping to themselves. As the night went on they started to creep into our space more and more. I did my best to ignore them. Until one of them GRABBED, not pinched, FULL ON, WHOLE PALM, FINGERS DIGGING INTO MY FLESH, GRABBED my ass.

I spun around, and SCREAMED “WHO TOUCHED ME?!” They all just looked at me, laughed, and then one of them GRABBED my right breast! I covered my right breast with my arms, before I could get a word out, he pinched my left breast! I covered my left breast with my arms, and then he grabbed my RIGHT breast, AGAIN! And of course, all his buddies were laughing like this was the funniest thing they had ever seen.

I was SHOCKED that this was REALLY happening! In PUBLIC! So, arms crossed, protecting both my breasts, I ran out of the bar.

My friends followed me outside and checked that I was OK. I was so shocked and felt so violated. I got into a cab and went straight home.

I should have filed a police report, or even just told the bar manager. But I was just so shaken, angry, and ashamed. I wish I had handled it better. :(

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Your Stories

What the?

As I navigated around piles of vomit this St. Patrick’s day, I found a side street for a bit of peace. Waiting for my friend, a witnessed a young man urinate on the side of a neighboring building. As he was urinating, he turned around showing me his genitals and winking at me. Both disgusting and scary.

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Your Stories

Inappropriate CTA Employee

I was on my way home after a long day of classes and volunteering. For context sake, it was two days before Valentine’s day. As I was walking toward the staircase at the 51st Green Line stop from the train, the male train conductor (a stranger) leaned out his window and asked me, “Are we still on for Valentine’s day?” To which I replied, “Pardon?” as if I had not heard him. He then repeated the question about a date on Valentine’s day. I glared at him and replied “nice try” while finally going down the stairs into the station. The conductor did not start moving the train again until I was out of site, meaning he was watching me walk away. It left me feeling very icky inside.

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10+

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I’m not here to please you.

I was traveling with my roommate to meet up with friends one night and we were waiting on the EL platform waiting for our train to come. While we were standing there waiting, a train traveling on the other side of the tracks came into the stop (Madison/Wabash). Directly across from where I was standing I could see two men in the train car. One looked at me, got his friend’s attention and pointed to me. They both started pointing, smiling, giving me the thumbs up, and saying words that I could not hear. One of the men then started to twirl his finger as if asking me to turn around (I’m assuming so they could look at my butt), while also saying something that (based on lip reading) looked to be the same. I tried to look away and ignore them but it was difficult. They kept asking me to spin for them and I shook my head no repeatedly, with an incredibly pissed off face on. They continued to ask me to spin and once I saw that their train doors were closed and the train was about to leave, I flipped them off. As their train took off, they made sad faces at me because I had not done what they wanted.

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10+

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Your Stories

New submission from phone app

I was waiting for the blue line train at California when a man at least twice my age in a Cubs jacket grabbed my hands and pulled me in for a kiss. I was able to push him away and he made a weird dismissive noise before walking off.

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