Groups of Men

On Columbia Rd NW, just west of the intersection with Georgia Ave, I have been harassed multiple times by a group of men on the sidewalk or on the lawn and porch of a house on the north side of the road. 10-20 of them seem to be there at all hours of the day and night, and those on the street always have something to say when I’m walking by myself. Usually, it’s something like “Hey beautiful,” “hey sexy,” or “hey, you’re looking sexy,” and once I even heard “hey yeah why don’t you come and get with me.” I always feel their eyes on me when I walk past, and I try to keep my head down or walk to the other side of the street to avoid them. It intimidates me because there are so many of them, even in the daylight. I’m a smoker, and if they see me smoking, that is the surest way of attracting unwanted attention.

Submitted by S on 4/30/2010

Location: Columbia Rd NW

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13 responses to “Groups of Men

  1. I have a term for men who do nothing but hang out on the street all day: “Loitering Losers.” Do they have jobs? Do they have lives that don’t involve hanging out on the street? I can’t stand them!

    The next time they start with their “Hey, baby” crap tell them “I’m not your baby.” If they say “I wanna get wit’ that” or whatever nonsense, tell them “I don’t appreciate you talking to me as if I’m an object. I live in this neighborhood just like you do, and I want you to treat me and every woman who walks by with respect. You wouldn’t like it if someone spoke to your mother or daughter like that.”

    I know it won’t come overnight and dealing with groups of men is scary (been there, done that), but please don’t take this silently anymore, especially when the same group of men continuously do this. Call them out and demand them to show you the respect they deserve.

  2. “…the respect you deserve,” I meant.

  3. Being a gay Asian man, I have the dubious honor of bearing the double-coupon for identities and the brunt of this same group’s harassment. Sometimes they’ll scream out ‘Chink!’ to me, sometimes ‘Faggot!’ and sometimes both! I wish someone would tell me I’m beautiful just once. :-/

    • I know it sounds like being called “beautiful” is a compliment but more often than not it just feels like an softened version of the more overt sexual harassment. At the end of the day it’s still a complete stranger publically calling out/embarrassing another stranger based on their appearance. It’s less cumbersome but it’s still unwanted.

      • Golden Silence

        I cannot stand the “Hey, beautiful” comments either. Like I care what these men think of me.

  4. “Loitering losers” – I like the term.

    It might take some nerve, but I think I WILL try speaking up next time. Will keep you posted on how that goes.

    • Golden Silence

      Keep us posted please! And do it because you feel comfortable, not because I said to. It’s just a suggestion.

      I saw a comment in my inbox on this (I guess it didn’t make it to this blog) where the commentator said he gets racist and homophobic slurs thrown at him by this same group. If this group is doing this repeatedly to different people, I wonder if the police should get involved.

  5. I’ve been referring to that spot as “the gauntlet” for almost a year now. Fun times, even when flying by on a bike!

  6. This is exactly why we really want to do our mural project in ColHeights.

  7. Golden Silence

    I see it now, I don’t know why it wasn’t showing up before. But yes, I think the police should get involved if this crew is a group of repeat offenders!

  8. Totally decided to holla back at these guys today! One came out onto the street with a shirt or jacket or towel or something in his hand and attempted to “spank” a female housemate I was biking with as we rode past. I paused, while on my bike, looked at him directly, and calmly said, “That is inappropriate. You can’t treat women like that,” and proceeded to bike off. Pretty sure he tried to yell something back at us, but I didn’t catch it.

    Thanks for your encouragement to speak up, Golden Silence!

    • Golden Silence

      S, I’m so glad you spoke up to those losers! Awesome.

      But I’m mad that these clowns keep doing this mess! Spanking someone with a towel?! Something needs to be done about them. They’re a nuisance and an eyesore to the community.

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