Grocery Store Harassment

I usually get my groceries delivered, but I needed supplies for cupcakes right away. I steeled myself to go to the Giant at Brentwood Plaza, which is the most grueling experience dealing with all sorts of leering trolls.

In front of the entrance to Giant, this old man was hanging out catching the breeze with his buddies…and harassing women.

“Hi, my beautiful Nubian sista,” he said. Gross. And he was old enough to be my father. How would he like it if he had a daughter my age and men were leering and ogling at her?! He wouldn’t like it much!

“I am not your sista!” I coldly responded. He didn’t like my response. He automatically assumed that because we’re both Black that I should have an automatic kinship with him. How wrong he was. And because I rejected him, he had words for me as I entered the store.

“Who are you a sista to?” he asked. “The White man?! You White bitch devil worshipper you! Sellout!”

Hard as it was, I ignored his racist junk and kept on going into the store.

Thirty minutes later, I exit, and this guy is still hanging out there. This time I had pulled my phone out and snapped his photo (he’s the one in the black and white shirt).

Submitted by Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous

“Why don’t you want to accept you’re a sista?” he asked.
“Why do you assume that because I’m Black that I’d want anything to do with you?” I asked. He just couldn’t fathom I wanted to be left alone.

“You need help,” he said. “You need to go to St. Elizabeth’s in Southeast for your mental problems,” he said.
“And you need to leave women who don’t want to be bothered alone,” I responded, in a calm tone. Even though he was still throwing venom my way, I somehow managed to remain calm.

“I’ll pray for you, sista!” he said to the back of my head as I continued the long walk home.

Further out of the plaza, I encountered a group of day laborers (who were doing more lounging than laboring). “Hey, baby!” they said in unison.

Submitted by Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous

“Good grief,” I said with a sigh, attempting to snap their photos. I caught the one from behind (he turned when I took the photo), and the others were hiding in the bushes in the second photo.

Submitted by Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous

It’s hard to tell in the second photo, but if you look closely the guy on the left is holding out his cell phone trying to take his photo of me! Scary! I am so afraid of what he’ll do with my photo.

The rest of my walk home was hard, because I was carrying heavy groceries, but it would’ve been a lot easier had I not have had to deal with being harassed by dummies.

Location: Brentwood Plaza, NE

Submitted by Anonymous

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3 Responses

  1. Angie H

    OMG! You go girl! They don’t look to happy to be on camera! Did it shut them up, if only for the moment? I just had a similar experience yesterday at the supermarket and just googled “harassment at the grocery store” to see if any other ladies are having a similar experience . What is the problem with these people? Don’t they know the definition of harassment? How can they call themselves men? I wonder if they are aware how unoriginal they truly are? And that yes, we were already hit on, followed around, stared at, and have received body gestures, 6 times, in the 15 minutes we’ve been here in this supermarket?! ANY SUPERMARKET! I actually have to have someone accompany me to the market in the small narrow-minded town that I live in (by my mother lol) and even yesterday that tactic failed. The male followed me from aisle to aisle and when he came so close to me that I could smell his breath I yelled for my mother and he walked away, but she could see this man pacing at the end of the aisle…waiting, like a dog in heat. I continued shopping thinking that since he knew we were on to his antics, and clearly I WAS NOT INTERESTED he had moved on. WRONG. 5 minutes, and 2 aisles over, when my mother was not close by and had her head turned, he approached. I turned my head away, and he came over to me and began to speak to me in a whisper. I don’t recall what he said, I didn’t let him finish, or begin really. I don’t even know what I said, I just know that he jumped into the air, startled, with his eyes large with surprise as he realized that he had taken an unexpected detour into F-bomb city. He walked quickly away, with his tail between his legs. Thankfully there were no small children around but I did later see a lady scoop her child up as I passed by. No one looked me in the eye the rest of the shopping trip, and employees were all a buzz with chatter. They don’t understand. Unless they have walked in our shoes, they never will.
    We women need to unite for the purpose of education. Not a college education, but a general education about what constitutes harassment and stalking. Our society has given women independence physically but not emotionally, or spiritually, etc. Sure we can vote, work, purchase and own property. But can we shop at a grocery store? Take a stroll alone on a beautiful evening? We can…if we are willing to pay the price.
    Freedom. They have it, the freedom of speech. We do not. Freedom from harassment? Unheard of. Lets change this ladies!!! What happened to women’s rights groups? Google it. It is impossible to find and join. Why is that? Is it no longer needed? Did we agree we had enough rights once we were allowed to vote? Surely someone agrees with me!!! Let me know…

    • E McCurdy

      I’m glad to know that there are other women out there who get harassed. I’m worried about how to deal with it. Some guy followed me around the grocery store today. He said, “You know, you are really pretty.” I responded “My husband thinks so.” (emphasizing the word husband) Then he proceeded to follow me around the grocery store, as I tried to avoid him. When he caught up with me he commented, “Are you following me around the grocery store?” “No, I’m not.” Then I decided to cut my list short and just check out. In the parking lot another man approached me as I was putting my groceries into my car. “Dang girl you are beautiful!” I rolled my eyes. Not again. As I got into the car he turned around and mouthed “I love you.” Ewe! I just want to be left alone! Anyway…I like your advice. I think next time I will take pictures of both guys…To the guy who stalked me around the grocery store. I’m just going to be upfront and say, “Stop harassing me, or I will give your photo to the store manager. Ok?” For the second guy in the parking lot…I’m going to carry mace.

  2. Golden Silence

    And that yes, we were already hit on, followed around, stared at, and have received body gestures, 6 times, in the 15 minutes we’ve been here in this supermarket?! ANY SUPERMARKET!

    That’s the problem with harassment, period, not limiting it to supermarkets. These men think that they’re the only people who have spoken to us and that what they do and so is OH SO original, not realizing that some of us women deal with this on an all too frequent basis and are at the point of being fed up with this crap.