Harassment Hill

Image by El Greg
Image by El Greg

I walk up and down the hill between 14th & U and Columbia Heights several times a week (and sometimes late at night). I have come to call it “Harassment Hill” because there has never been a time that have made this walk and not been harassed.  Once I was harassed six times! Most of the time the harassers yell, “Hey baby!,” followed by a derogatory comment about my body.  When I don’t respond they’ll ask, “Why are you such a bitch?.”

Another common thing to hear on Harassment Hill is, “Hey pretty girl.  Give me a smile.” This comment annoys me to no end.   I don’t always feel like smiling, no one does.  When I walk up and down Harassment Hill alone, I feel like I have to have the “don’t mess with me” look plastered to my face at all times.  I especially don’t want to give you a smile after you’ve harassed me.  Plus, why should women always be expected to walk down the street smiling and happy?  When is the last time you heard a male get asked to smile during his commute?

Submitted by S.L.

If you have a story on street harassment and/or picture of the harasser, please email us at dchollaback@gmail.com (include the cross streets if you can remember).  We will automatically post them anonymously unless you tell us to use your name or initials.

6 Responses

  1. Anna
    | Reply

    I live in this area and have also often been harassed. The worst incident I can recall took place outside of the Yum’s Chinese Restaurant on 14th just south of Florida. There was a group of teenagers sitting outside (there are usually people sitting outside), and when I walked by (on my cell phone), a male teenager called me a “white bitch” and then actually ran at me! I yelped and started running away, and he stopped running at me, laughed, and returned to his group.

  2. Golden Silence
    | Reply

    I may not have too many stories to share about “Harassment Hill” (because I try to avoid 14th & U like the plague), but I have had guys act like they were going to rush up behind me, like in Anna’s story, then they’d turn around and start giggling. It is annoying as hell when they do that.

  3. cathy
    | Reply

    i hate those “smile” comments, like you’re a trained dog who exists to please others, obliged to be “pretty”.

  4. […] 1, 2009 · No Comments I walk up and down 14th Street (the section known as Harassment Hill) often. I enjoy the walk and prefer it over taking the metro just one stop. However, this heat has […]

  5. […] 8, 2009 · No Comments I’m walking up Harassment Hill to meet some friends for dinner and I’m talking on my cell phone. As soon as I get off my […]

  6. […] 13, 2009 · Leave a Comment Another Harassment Hill […]

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