So last night at around 1 am I decided to walk the eight blocks from my house to the Chevron station to get a diet coke.
On my way I passed a restaurant, and this big group of guys outside started catcalling me. This happens constantly. Sometimes I get angry, but I wasn’t feeling very combative last night, so I ignored them and kept walking.
Most of the time that would be it. But last night one of one of the guys in the group got in his car, drove ahead of me, parked, and walked back in my direction.
He walked up to me and grabbed my arm. As I jerked it away he said “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I was just trying to get your attention.” I started speedwalking away from him and he called after me “Beautiful girl! Beautiful girl! Come on, let me take you out tonight! Come on beautiful!”
Finally I got to the Chevron station, and as I was standing at the counter ringing up my drink, that same fucking guy walked in and stood in the doorway, blocking my path.I shoved past him and tried to leave, and he followed me across the parking lot, offering me a ride in his car.
Finally he gave up, got in his car, and drove past me yelling “Ok, goodnight beautiful! I’ll see you next time!” and I thought I’d finally lost him.
5 blocks later I was walking past a bar, and he rounded a corner and was right in my path. He had parked his car and walked up to me again. He started talking to me and trying to convince me to go in the bar with him. He touched my hand and I jerked away.
I wish I could say I was brave and angry, but I wasn’t. I’m a very small person. I’m 5’2”. I weigh 125 lbs. This guy was literally a foot taller than me and clearly much stronger. I physically shrank from him. My voice shook. “Please,” I said, “Just leave me alone”
But he didn’t, so I started running.
When I looked back, he was standing in the doorway of the bar, still staring at me and yelling “Oh come on, don’t be like that!”
I was so fucking scared. I was scared to go home because I didn’t trust him not to follow me. Ultimately I called my roommate and circled the block a few times to make sure he’d given up. I wanted to make sure I lost him, I figured he wouldn’t try anything if I was on the phone, and if he did, I was close enough to my home that my roommates could come help me/get help if need be. I didn’t know what else to do.
I get harassed every single time I leave my house. Every day some dude thinks that my standing in his proximity is an invitation for him to hit on me. This was merely the worst example of a thing that happens to me constantly. This man was “friendly” and smiling during this whole exchange, he was not outwardly malicious to me at all. He was a person who didn’t accept my “No” as a “No”
This is fucking rape culture. And it’s one of the scariest things that’s ever happened to me.
I am SO SORRY this happened to you! It’s absolutely a product of rape culture and it’s completely disgusting!
For those of you who don’t know- the terrifying thing is that the VAST majority of women (some studies even say 99-100%) have experienced some form of street harassment. Every woman you know has a story, it’s time to listen.