I went to the Georgetown Barnes & Noble, on M Street, with my boyfriend. We split up when we got upstairs – he went to look at fiction novels, I stayed to flip through design books. I noticed a man sitting in a chair, facing the aisle that I was looking through, but didn’t think anything of it, even though I saw him looking at me in my peripheral – he had a book in his lap, but wasn’t really reading it, just eying me.
I was standing in the aisle, browsing slowly through the pages of a book, and kept thinking that this guy was saying something. I decided that a creepy guy wasn’t going to stop me from standing my ground and reading through an interesting book, so I just turned around so that I wasn’t facing him in any way and tuned out whatever he was doing. Well, I was just about to finish the book – it wasn’t very long, just full-page photos of art studios – when suddenly I realized, this guy actually is saying things. And I listened. And I realized he was describing my body outloud, whispering horrible lecherous disgusting things about the way I was standing and what he wanted to do. I closed the book and walked quickly in the other direction, and didn’t stop til I found my boyfriend again.
I told him what happened and said that I just wanted to leave and go home. I felt humiliated and molested, even though the guy didn’t touch me.
This is like the 500th time I’ve been harassed in DC, but it felt like one of the worst incidents, because I realized too late that for like ten minutes I was just standing there, letting my body be invisibly inspected and molested by this creep. I felt sick to my stomach.
Submitted by Marissa on 1/9/2010
Location: Georgetown Barnes & Noble
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