You don’t have my back?

Anyone else have stories of friends or partners not having your back when you’ve told them your story of street harassment? I find this particularly interesting (and alarming) and would love to hear other people’s stories regarding this issue.

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Hello from Hollaback Chicago! We are where all women and LGBTQ folks have the power to end street harassment in Chicago.

3 Responses

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  1. Kara says:

    I don’t live in Chicago…yet. I am moving there this August to attend DePaul University. So when I do, I definitely will be getting involved with Hollaback Chicago.

    Even if I don’t live there yet, I have experienced harassment and then someone not having my back.

    My ex boyfriend used to get jealous, even angry at me when I tried to tell him how being harassed made me feel. He would say that it made him feel bad because I was “getting all the attention” and he wished that girls would yell stuff at him on the street. When I told him how annoying it was when some guys asked for my number without asking me if I was even single, he said that he wanted to go to a bar and see how many numbers he could get. He would get irritated at me for “shoving it in his face.” On one occasion, a girl actually did shout something at him from her car, and he came home, proudly telling me how cool it was that someone else finally found him attractive.

    It hurt that he accused me of trying to put it in his face. It hurt that he didn’t take my discomfort seriously, it hurt to know that he wanted to lie about being in a relationship so he could get phone numbers, and it really hurt that I never seemed to be enough. He didn’t even try to understand that when I told him about being harassed, it wasn’t because I enjoyed it, I just wanted someone to listen.

    Exes are exes for a reason.

  2. Veronica says:

    I was on the phone with my boyfriend waiting for a bus and another bus pulled up which I did not need. This bus driver opens his doors and asked me “What do you want for Christmas”? and at first I didn’t hear him so I said WHAT strongly because I already knew it was probably going to be inappropriate. So he repeated himself and I said “Nothing” and turned away to continue my conversation with my boyfriend.

    I then tried to explain to him that I had just been street harassed and I was tired of it. His response was “what if he was just being nice”. And I just got so angry that I couldn’t even continue the conversation anymore. This idea that I’m over-exaggerating for feeling uncomfortable about a man asking me what I wanted for Christmas (which obviously implies that he’s Santa Claus and people sit on Santa’s lap right?”). I was then able to call him later and try to explain what harassment is and give him resources to read from other women who have these experiences. But I honestly don’t think he got it.

    Even worse right after the incident occurred I regretted wearing what I was wearing and that SHOULD NEVER be the case because I can have the same kind of treatment wearing sweatpants and my hair tied up.

    I don’t know how to engage male significant others in understanding how problematic and frightening street harassment is.. It’s like you have to experience it but I know they never will.

  3. Tiffany says:

    Yes, I had a guy yell at me in front of my apartment building “Hey_ (insult vulgar word here)!” I ignored him and kept walking. I told my mom and she told me that whenever a thug says something to you reply back just to ease them away from retaliating. I said no because that’s giving in and they won’t learn that they can’t always get there way if I do. It really hurt and upset me that my own mother thinks that I should give in to sexual street harassment that it makes me seriously dislike her.

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