Standing Up to Street Harassers

Standing up to street harassment is a good deed, and <stopstreetharassment.org> has published (and linked to) a number of stories about women doing just that. Here are a few stories:

1) In 2011, Brittney, a 15-year-old schoolgirl, wrote about dealing with harassment on Church Street in New City. As she was walking to get on a train, a man who looked 43 years old told her, “You got great legs, baby.” She replied, “Excuse me. You probably have a daughter older than me.” He said, “Sorry, you just look so sexy in that schoolgirl outfit I couldn’t help it and you do have great legs.” She replied, “Sexual harassment is a crime. Leave me alone or I will report you.” He left — quickly. Brittney wrote, “I count that as a win for me because I hear things like that all the time, and I finally stood up for my self and said something. I shouldn’t have to feel dirty because of some [*]ssh[*]le!”

2) In 2010, JT of Turin, Italy, wrote that she gets “street harassed A LOT.” When she was on a crowded bus, a man asked if he could ask her a question. Thinking that the man wanted directions, she replied that he could. He then asked, “Can I have a pair of your panties?” JT’s response was excellent: “I raised my voice and replied so the whole bus could hear me, ‘EXCUSE ME, DID YOU JUST ASK ME FOR A PAIR OF MY PANTIES? HOW DARE YOU!’ and everyone stared at him and he leaped out the door of the bus and ran away. That felt more good than embarrassing.”

3) In June 2011, Kate Spencer, a New York City comedian and writer, was on the R train when a troll stroked her thigh as she walked past him. She wrote in her Tumblr blog, “Without thinking I turned around and hit him as hard as I possibly could. I didn’t even stop walking, nor did I say anything. I did turn around to look at him as I hit him, and his face was one of shock but not of surprise. He knew why I had hit him; he just couldn’t believe he hadn’t gotten away with it.” She also wrote that she has been harassed so many times since adolescence that she has lost count.

For More Information: Brittney, “VICTORY: ‘SEXUAL HARRASSMENT IS A CRIME. LEAVE ME ALONE OR I WILL REPORT YOU.’” Stopstreetharrassment.org. 12 March 2011

http://tinyurl.com/luy228a

For More Information: JT, “CAN I HAVE A PAIR OF YOUR PANTIES?” Stopstreetharrassment.org. 23 November 2010

http://tinyurl.com/n4evwld

For More Information: Kate Spencer, “Today A Man Touched Me On The Subway And So I Hit Him.” Tumblr. 8 June 2011

http://tinyurl.com/5t8z4yt

For More Information: “ASSERTIVE RESPONSES — STORIES.” Stopstreetharrassment.org. Accessed 22 July 2014.

http://tinyurl.com/k48ummw

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