Monthly Archives: October 2010

DC could Learn Something from Madrid

Cross posted from Stop Street Harassment Blog:

Some good new to share for a change:

I’ve lived in DC for the past 4 years, and have posted here many times about what horrifying, vulgar and threatening street harassment I’ve encountered in our nation’s capitol. At the end of August I posted about my experience being attacked and sexually violated by a man in Columbia Heights.

The experience, especially after 4 years of extreme harassment, left me feeling exhausted and terribly vulnerable. I had just been accepted into a program where I’d be teaching English in Madrid, Spain for 3 months, and I felt terrified at the idea of going to a foreign country as a female alone after everything I’d experienced in DC.

Well, I’ve been here in Madrid for exactly one month now, and I’m happy to report that I haven’t had ONE SINGLE PROBLEM since arriving in Spain. I walk all over town every single day, and I’ve yet to hear a harassing word or sound uttered at me, nor have I received a single leering look! If the men here are admiring me, they are being utterly respectful and classy about it. I feel remarkably safe, and have even had a few men that I’ve met through meetup groups offer to walk me to the metro if it’s late at the end of the night, just to ensure that I am safe.

I can’t express how relieved I feel. The idea of returning to the exhausting world of DC street harassment upon my completion of this program is off-putting indeed.

I just thought it deserved noting that in Madrid, Spain, then men are actually NOT behaving like depraved animals toward lone women on the streets. DC could learn a little something from this city, and from this culture.

– B.

Location: Madrid, Spain

 

“I Didn’t Disrespect You”

I was walking down M at 11am when I heard a man say to a woman walking in front of me, “looking good, baby.” She, as a good hollaback girl, responded “please stop.” He proceeded to get on his bike and follow her across the intersection of M and Wisconsin (very busy), shouting “Fuck you!”. Across Wisconsin, the sidewalk narrowed and he got in her face and screamed “I didn’t disrespect you, bitch!”

It was so disturbing to watch and his volume level was scary. I wanted to say something to him, but was honestly too scared that he would follow me on his bike (I was on foot). What’s worse is that none of the many men walking at this busy intersection stopped the man or said anything to the woman.

Submitted by J on 10/28/10.

Location: M and Wisconsin, NW

Time Of Harassment: Day Time (9:30A-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.

Tell DC Metro Police That Excessive Force Is Unacceptable

Last week on of our readers alerted us to this triggering video of a police officer using unnecessary force on a young woman at the Gallery Place metro station.  After the incident occured Metro Transit Police launched an investigation but determined there was no wrong doing on the police officer’s end.

Sign this petition at change.org to let the Washington Area Transit Authority know that you don’t support officers using excessive force and urge them to reconsider this case.

“Hey, Baby”

I am walking to meet my girlfriend for lunch. We spot each other approaching and she begins running toward me down the block. Out of nowhere, a voice calls out to me, “Hey, Baby.” I turn to glare at two men sitting in a parked car. The man in the passenger seat yells, “What’s the matter, you don’t like Black people?” I turn and reply, “That’s my girlfriend.” I skip over to my girlfriend (who just so happens to be Black). We embrace, then walk back down the street arm-and-arm. The car drives by and the man shouts, “You really weren’t joking!”

Submitted by Whitney on 10/26/10

Location: G St. NW and North Capitol

Time: Day time (9:30-3:30)

“Slut Is Sexy!”

Took the long way to walk to a friend’s house last Saturday because I really wanted some “me” time. After admiring the view from the gorgeous bridge on Connecticut Avenue, I continued walking up Connecticut when the man I was passing on the street said very loudly —

“Slut.”

It felt like someone had slapped me in the face. I turned around as he walked past me and all I could muster was “Fuck you.”

He turned and smiled defiantly, while giving me the middle finger. I continued, “Do not talk to women that way.”

Then I turned around and began to walk away. The male counterpart of a young-ish couple walking past said, “You’re beautiful, but don’t be mad, slut is sexy”.

Considering he was smoking a joint and laughing at me the whole time, it didn’t make me feel much better. I continued walking to my friend’s house, feeling angry, anxious, and upset.

Submitted by EM on 10/25/10

Location: Calvert St NW & Connecticut St NW

Time of Harassment: Day Time (9:30A-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.

“It was so nasty”

I was in a cab a few doors down from my building, and while waiting in a small line of traffic I saw these two construction workers checking out the legs of a girl in a skirt and boots. It was so nasty and their creepy butts didn’t hide the fact that they were leering. I saw them smile and laugh to each other after they did their dirty deed, and they said something (I couldn’t make out what).

I took a photo of them, and I also wanted to roll down the window to yell at them, but I was too close to my building and didn’t want them to try to follow me after I got out of the cab. When they’re on break from the job they need to find something better to do than check out innocent women trying to go about their day!

Submitted by Anonymous on 10/21/2010

Location: M & 31st Streets

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.

“Check the Drain!”

Photo by twicepix via flickr

Around 11 o’clock this past saturday night I was on the way home from a nice long bike ride, just a couple blocks away from my apartment. I was in the cool-down stage and was coasting along at a leisurely pace when I came across a kinda strange scene.

On the south side of P St a woman was searching the ground pretty intently, while a group of three or four men across the street on the north side were yelling at her that they’d seen her drop something.

“You dropped something you dropped something!”
“No no no, it was over by the gutter!”
“I seen you drop it when you crossed the street!”
“Back towards the curb a little!”
“Check the drain!”

…with the woman trudging back and forth around the street corner listening to their directions, trying to find what she’d dropped. She was wearing heels and didn’t seem to be having much fun walking around on the uneven pavement, so I slowed down with the intention of helping her look. I scanned the area for 10 or 15 seconds before the woman, clearly getting flustered, yelled back at the guys across the street “I don’t see anything! What did you see me drop?!”

“My name and number, don’t forget to call beautiful!”

Followed, of course, by the inane laughter from the lackeys that always follows such exceedingly clever jokes.

I tried to give her my best “I’m sorry you have to deal with this bullshit” look, but she just shook her head and walked off without saying anything.

It must have been pretty exasperating for her, not only to be harassed just for walking down the street, but to have so much of her time wasted just so the Wannabe Ladies Man could have his punchline.

All I could think to do as I hopped back on my bike to ride the last few blocks home was mutter a quick “thanks for wasting my time” as I rode by, but I doubt they heard me.

Submitted by FFF on 10/20

Location: First and P St NW

Time of Harassment: Night (7:30P-12A)

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.