Monthly Archives: June 2009

Chicken Bone

Photo by IntangibleArts via flickr

I was waiting for my bus, the 96, by 9th and U and this guy thought it would be funny to throw something at my ass.  I felt it, turned and looked at him.

“Excuse me?”

“Huh?”

“Why did you throw something at me?”

“I meant to …(trails off)”

“Next time throw your shit into the trash can”

“I tried to throw that into th… (trails off once again)…”

“Next time you want to throw something away put your hand over the damn trashcan and drop it.  Don’t throw it at a girl’s ass.”

“I…I…o…well…ok…”  (goofy ass grin on his face).

“Just stop being an asshole, no one deserves it.”

“I…ok.”  (and he went to hit on another girl).

I turned around shortly afterwards and saw it was a chicken bone.  Thanks to the guy on the 96 bus who talked to me like a human and discussed country music and karaoke, I may see you again one day.

Submitted by Annoymous

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Starting Young

I was walking with my friend down T street around 10PM on Friday night when I saw a couple of boys (around 12 or 13 years old) riding down the sidewalk on their bikes. I didn’t think much of them as they were riding past us down the sidewalk, and continued to talk with my friend. All of a sudden, one of the boys on his bike slowed down next to me, slapped my butt, and sped away. I was so shocked, that I was frozen for a few seconds. I didn’t know what to do or what to say. By the time I regained composure, the kid was already out of view and long gone. I am really angry that boys this young are already objectifying women and think it’s okay to do something like this and not face any consequences. If boys his age are already inappropriately touching women at this age, I am terrified to think what will happen as he grows older.

Location: On T Street between 16th and 17th Streets

Submitted by Anonymous

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Grocery Store Harassment

I usually get my groceries delivered, but I needed supplies for cupcakes right away. I steeled myself to go to the Giant at Brentwood Plaza, which is the most grueling experience dealing with all sorts of leering trolls.

In front of the entrance to Giant, this old man was hanging out catching the breeze with his buddies…and harassing women.

“Hi, my beautiful Nubian sista,” he said. Gross. And he was old enough to be my father. How would he like it if he had a daughter my age and men were leering and ogling at her?! He wouldn’t like it much!

“I am not your sista!” I coldly responded. He didn’t like my response. He automatically assumed that because we’re both Black that I should have an automatic kinship with him. How wrong he was. And because I rejected him, he had words for me as I entered the store.

“Who are you a sista to?” he asked. “The White man?! You White bitch devil worshipper you! Sellout!”

Hard as it was, I ignored his racist junk and kept on going into the store.

Thirty minutes later, I exit, and this guy is still hanging out there. This time I had pulled my phone out and snapped his photo (he’s the one in the black and white shirt).

Submitted by Anonymous

Submitted by Anonymous

“Why don’t you want to accept you’re a sista?” he asked.
“Why do you assume that because I’m Black that I’d want anything to do with you?” I asked. He just couldn’t fathom I wanted to be left alone.

“You need help,” he said. “You need to go to St. Elizabeth’s in Southeast for your mental problems,” he said.
“And you need to leave women who don’t want to be bothered alone,” I responded, in a calm tone. Even though he was still throwing venom my way, I somehow managed to remain calm.

“I’ll pray for you, sista!” he said to the back of my head as I continued the long walk home.

Further out of the plaza, I encountered a group of day laborers (who were doing more lounging than laboring). “Hey, baby!” they said in unison.

Submitted by Anonymous

Submitted by Anonymous

“Good grief,” I said with a sigh, attempting to snap their photos. I caught the one from behind (he turned when I took the photo), and the others were hiding in the bushes in the second photo.

Submitted by Anonymous

Submitted by Anonymous

It’s hard to tell in the second photo, but if you look closely the guy on the left is holding out his cell phone trying to take his photo of me! Scary! I am so afraid of what he’ll do with my photo.

The rest of my walk home was hard, because I was carrying heavy groceries, but it would’ve been a lot easier had I not have had to deal with being harassed by dummies.

Location: Brentwood Plaza, NE

Submitted by Anonymous

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You Talking to Me?

On Saturday, June 27, around 4:10 PM, I was headed to Rhode Island Avenue Metro. A young woman with a toddler son was slightly ahead of me.

As we got to the fare gates, a group of Metro employees was hanging out in front of the kiosk, and one of them goes “Mmm…baby girl.” I had no clue if this was being said to me or the young mother, but either way, gross. I give a dirty look.

“Excuse me,” the mother said, irate. “What you [sic] say to me?”

The Metro employees mumbled something I couldn’t hear or understand. Either way, these men were embarrassed they were caught.

I was caught off-guard during this, and proceeded to go up the escalator to the train platform, but immediately ran back downstairs to snap their photo.

photo by Anonymous

photo by Anonymous

They either didn’t see me or care.

Metro, please do something about your sexually-harassing employees!

Location: Rhode Island Avenue Metro Station

Submitted by Anonymous

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I Did Nothing Wrong.

I was at 14th and Columbia today waiting for my bus home one of the only people at the stop, minding my own business when a taller, built man walks by and made some passing “Hey baby” comment. Because he was so close to me, I hoped that if I ignored him he would just go away and leave me alone. He didn’t. He proceeded to start in with, “So you’re not talking to me because I’m a black man?” to which I replied, “That has nothing to do with that, just that I and most other women liked being spoken to politely.” I wanted to continue to ignore him, but I was afraid that if I did it might escalate into something more dangerous. I’ve heard stories like that before. I thought that would be the end of it. He continued with, “Well thank you for teaching me that lesson” and I really thought he was going to go away. Then he said, “Do you have any other lessons to teach me?”

It became apparent at that point, he was crazy and maybe a little drunk as sometimes he got so close I could just barely smell the alcohol on his breath. I just wanted to get on my bus and go home and hoped it would be there any minute. He continued on and sometimes escalated in his agitation or calmed a bit and my bus still didn’t come. I realized there was no reasoning with him and he was determined to continue to harass me, so I just tried to limit my responses and be polite in hopes it would end soon. I did say to him that he was making me very uncomfortable and that I didn’t want to continue to talk to him, but it didn’t help.

Continue reading

About Sexual Objectification on the Streets

A few weeks ago, Heartless Doll sent us a post via Twitter by Andrea Grimes.  After reading the New York Times article on the prevalence of sexual objectification in Italy, Andrea writes about how women are sexually objectified everyday on city streets.  We love what she has to say and we want to hear your thoughts as well.

Today’s New York Times article on the sexual objectification of Italian women got me to thinking, not only about sexual objectification in media, but about sexual objectification on the street, in everyday life.

Growing up in the suburbs in Texas, I’d only seen cat-calls on television; I figured that, like sex that doesn’t result in STDs or babies, cat-calling only happened on TV. As soon as I started school at NYU, however, I learned that cat-calls are part of a female city-dweller’s way of life. I traveled as well, and it was wonderful. But whether I was in New York, Paris, London or Berlin, the calls came all the same.

I think I brushed it off at the time, saying something along the lines of, “Well, what do I expect, an American girl trotting around like I own the place? I’m asking for it!” Which is saddening to think back on, of course, because nobody is “asking” for sexual harassment, regardless of how young and taut and blonde they might be.

Continue reading here.

The Good Samaritan

I was walking to Panera Bread in Silver Spring, MD last Friday morning around 8:30 when I started to hear a couple fighting. As I approached the couple I could see it was a guy about 6/6’1 and a woman about 5’3 screaming at each other. The woman was saying things such “I don’t want to be your girl anymore – get it through your head!” and the guy looked like he was intoxicated and very angry. He was slurring his speech and I couldn’t really understand him. They were near a bus stop where people were sitting and it was starting to disturb the public. The guy being so aggressive scared me and so I called 911 because I was afraid he was going to hurt her. As I was on the phone  (a decent distance away from them) the guy grabbed the woman’s arm and bit her.

The woman struggled to get her arm free, started crying and he kept trying to grab her. She ran into the middle of Georgia Ave rush hour traffic (fortunately the cars stopped) into the median and guy ran after her. I communicated all of this to the person on the phone. They were back at the bus stop screaming at each other when I rounded the corner to thankfully see a police officer. I went over to him and said “Please go over to the bus stop there is a couple fighting, the guy assaulted the woman and they are running out into the street and just generally being disruptive, please go over.” Since there wasn’t much else I could do, I grabbed some food and on my way back saw the couple talking to the police officer. The woman still looked upset and was probably telling her side of the story. A bus came and the officers let her go and kept the guy at the bus stop.

It was very upsetting and I have no idea what the long term outcome will be, but I was glad that at least in that instance I could have someone assist a woman who is being assaulted. There is no need to standby and let these things happen, you don’t have to get directly involved, but there is no harm in trying to help.

Submitted by AK

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