Nonstop Harassment

Photo by shandopics via flickr

I encounter street harassment far too often, but for some reason, the incidents that occurred to me on the past two Sundays are sticking in my mind.

Two Sundays ago, I was on the X2 bus around 10:45 am and a middle-aged man started talking to me and would not leave me alone. He asked me my name several times. At first I simply ignored him, but he wouldn’t let up, so I responded with a fake name. He then asked if I had a boyfriend and if he could call me some time. I told him that I did have a boyfriend. He continued to talk to me even though I didn’t respond. I suppose I could have been more confrontational, but I just wanted him to leave me alone.

Then, when I was waiting for the metro in the Chinatown station, a group of teenage boys tried to talk to me and one of them did almost the same thing. I ignored him at first, but he was persistent in asking me my name. I eventually responded with the same (fake) name and when he asked if he could take me out I told him I was visiting from out of town. I think both of these situations bothered me so much because I felt like I couldn’t get away. On the bus, there was really nowhere I could go and at the station I was sitting down and I felt like the boy and his friends surrounded me, so I couldn’t just get up and walk away. The feeling of being trapped was extremely frustrating, no to mention the fact that these men succeeded in making me start my day off poorly.

Then, this past Sunday, I was harassed in two separate incidents again. I was waiting for the bus at the corner of 8th and F NE around 9:30 in the morning and a man drove by and made kissing sounds and asked if I wanted to come home with him. Then, on the way home, around 7:30 that evening, I was on the 92 bus and a man tried to get me to come over and talk to him. I tried to ignore him at first, but he kept telling me to come over to him. I finally told him that I was getting ready to get off the bus and he asked if he could get off with me. I told him no and he continued to try to talk to me as I exited the bus. I think these two incidents bothered me so much because they both happened a few houses down from where I lived.

When the man harassed me that evening, I was afraid he was going to follow me off the bus or try to see where I walked when I got off. Also, once again, my day started by being harassed and, unfortunately ended with me being harassed, as well. It ‘s just so frustrating!

Submitted by Anonymous on 11/3/09

Location: X2 bus stop, Chinatown metro, 92 bus

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment you would like to submit? Just click here and fill out the online submission form. All submissions are posted anonymously unless you specify.

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