Monthly Archives: June 2010

Whatever Happened To “To Protect And Serve”

Photo by thisisbossi via Flickr

I was walking home from the Glenmont metro station the other day. I just submitted another post about something else that happened when I walked home from the metro, so clearly this is something I need to avoid. How messed up is it when you can’t even walk home anymore?

This was during the afternoon, broad daylight. I was wearing a T-shirt dress. It was very hot outside. A police car was driving down the street at the same time I was about to cross. He yielded to me (which I guess drivers are technically supposed to do, but I despise it because it gives drivers a long chance to check you out). Then he drove forward a little, pulled over, and rolled his window down.

He was a police officer, so I felt like I had to talk to him. He’d been driving slowly and I thought maybe something had happened in the neighborhood he wanted to either ask or warn me about. So I approached his car. Continue reading

“I Was Excited That I Spoke Up”

Photo by smlp.co.uk via Flickr

I was walking along L St. today between 19th and 20th. I passed a man who had a cane, a leg brace, and a mug and was asking passers by for change.
I politely gave him my normal answer that “I don’t give out cash.”
As I turned my back to continue walking, I her him say under his breath “stinky ass.”
I turned around, lifted up my sunglasses and looked him in the eyes, and replied “Excuse me? Did you say something?” To which he turned his gaze out toward the street as though he didn’t say anything. I walked back, closer to him and asked again “did you say something?”
His response: “have a nice day.” But in a childish way as if to dismiss whatever I had said.
As I walked away, I hear the same thing, “stinky ass.” So I turn around again and tell him that he does not have the right to speak to me that way. His response was the same petulant child reaction. Continue reading

Unbelievable Behavior

I was taking a walk on my break from work and making a stop at the bank. There was a group of men gathered in the middle of the sidewalk. I thought about crossing the street to avoid them, but my bank was on that side and there was still space on the sidewalk. I was also worried that crossing the street would be racist: I am white and the men were black. I should have followed my instincts, because as I walked past the group, one man made a gesture with his hands as though he was running his hand up my thigh. Another in the group told me, “Man, you’re fuckable.” As I kept my head down and hurried to the bank, a third man spat on me. His saliva landed on the back of my knee and ran down my leg.

I didn’t really realize what he had done until I got in the bank and touched the wetness. I think I had thought he had spilled his soda on me or something. But as I wiped it off I realized it was saliva. I felt so dirty, so violated. They had examined me and decided I was simultaneously desirable, fuckable, and yet so repugnant that it was acceptable to spit on me. This was at lunch hour downtown and yet I was still harassed and physically violated by a group of men. I felt there was nothing I could do about it, for fear of violence; but by not saying anything it’s like I condoned it. By ignoring the first few remarks I caused the man to spit on me, but what was I supposed to do besides ignore them? I still feel awful inside.

Submitted by Anonymous on 6/25/2010

Location: 17th & K NW, a block from Farragut Square

Time of Harassment: Day Time (9:30-A-3:30P)

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

“I Won’t Be Walking Home Anymore”

Photo by IntangibleArts via Flickr

I was walking home from the Metro after working late. It had just turned dark, so it was a little after nine or so, but the street I was walking on was very poorly lit so it seemed particularly dark. I was walking on the street, not the sidewalk, through the apartment complex next to mine when I saw a man walking towards me. I moved over several feet to put space between us and kept going. A minute later I heard a shuffling sound behind me: the man had turned around to follow me. I sped up. He kept following me. He kept the space between us consistent, never got closer to me than thirty feet or so, but he kept his eyes trained on me and his walk purposeful. I tried to speed up without running and kept looking behind me so he would know I knew he was there. I didn’t know if that was the right thing to do. He followed me for several minutes. Continue reading

Ruined Run

Photo by thisisbossi via FlickrAs I was leaving work last night, I was walking to the Farragut North metro, and I was waiting to cross the street at a light. A van made a right turn in front of me, and a man inside made a lewd comment out the window at me. I was disgusted, so I said “You’re disgusting.” And as he drove off, he yelled out “I’m just trying to tell you that you’re so fine!”

I thought that would be my incident of the day, but I was wrong. Later, I had to go for a longer run, and I waited until the sun went down completely, hoping for a break from the heat. I was doing a 7 mile out and back, basically down Connecticut Avenue and back up, which I chose because it’s generally well-lit and well-populated, both clearly important for nighttime running. I live in Cleveland Park, and I was running undisturbed until I got to Dupont, right near 18th Street Lounge, etc. I was waiting to cross 18th at that weird little intersection, and I heard someone saying something to me. Continue reading

“Looking GOOD. Looking GREAT”

Photo by Daquella manera via Flickr

I was walking to work, down K street, when I passed a Street Sense vendor. I have never, never – I mean literally never – had a negative experience with a S.S. vendor.

So I walk by, and he starts hollering at me “Girl, your dress is TIGHT. Looking GOOD. Looking GREAT. Mmm, mmm, mmm, that’s right, keep moving it like that .”

I don’t turn around, I don’t stop, I don’t do anything – just keep crossing the street. But ugh! Ugh, ugh ugh! I’m generally very good at comebacks and what-have-you, and actually have had to have friends “pull me off” when I’m about to get into a confrontation with some guy who says or does something inappropriate in public, but I just didn’t know how to react. It was busy, since it was rush hour, and the thought of a million and nine passer-by see me lose my cool was enough to keep me quiet. Continue reading

Scammer Still Out There

I’m a frequent follower of numerous street harassment blogs (including this one) and I’ve been reading and commenting on the one about the “Boys & Girls Club Scammer.” What will it take to get him caught?

Anyway, I just remembered something that happened back in December. I was volunteering for Christmas, and I took the bus to McPherson Square Station, headed home for the evening. I noticed that there was this guy, with a binder, talking to an older woman about some charity. (It was dark outside, so why is he trying to hustle then?) I tried to scurry to the Metro because I got the feeling he’d try to talk to me or “holla,” but I wasn’t quick enough.

“Excuse me miss, can I talk to you for a moment?” he asks. I curtly respond “No, you may not!”

“Damn, girl, you mean,” he says. My response was, “That’s not mean…it’s called having some place to be!”

“A’ight, that’s cool. I like your dreads, though,” he said. I can’t remember how I responded at that point (or if I responded at all) and I went about my way. I hadn’t thought of it since.
Continue reading