Harassed Twice Within the Same Minute

Photo by Wesley Fryer via Flickr

I was heading towards the 42 bus stop near the white house. For the first time this summer I was wearing a dress. I had been harassed earlier when two different guys made comments, and I was already wary of men on the street.

At the corner of Vermont ave & K street, there was a man who looked either homeless or mentally disturbed. He grinned at me and said hello. I looked away. I didn’t feel like talking to him, because I knew his ‘courtesy greeting’ was based on the fact that I was female. Plus I’m allowed to decide who I speak to on the street.

We both crossed K street. When I got into the park, I noticed that this man was walking quite close behind me. I walk very fast, and I noticed that his steps were matching mine in frequency. I knew he was ‘marking’ me. I turned to give him a f***-off glance, then veered to the right, off the path and into the grass. I did that so he could either pass me, or reveal his intentions by not going on. When I veered off, he said in a sarcastic victim “Sorry for walking behind you.” I didn’t say anything. But then he swung to the right and FOLLOWED me onto the grass. He charged so close to me he could have touched me. That was when I lost it. I yelled in this loud deep voice I seem to manufacture whenever I’m scared, “LEAVE ME ALONE!!!” I was so loud he jumped and I know people in a block radius heard me. As for the creep, after jumping, he put his hands over his head (like I was attacking him!) and went all ‘sorry. don’t yell at me’ and left.

I was soo mad. Especially because another man on the bench who had probably witnessed the whole thing said as I walked by him “put a smile on that face.” Harrassed twice within the same minute.

As for the stalker-pervert, what really disturbs me about the whole thing is that I believe he expected he would get away with it. There was something very creepy about his behavior that said to me that I should feel bad for HIM. His entire body language and speech was “I’m so harmless. Don’t be mean to me. Oh don’t yell. Why are you running away from me…” etc. Ridiculous.

By the end of the day I was exhausted and depressed. I was harrassed on the street four different times in one day. I began to wonder whether I shouldn’t be wearing dresses at all. I don’t even like to show my body too much, so this dress was not revealing. I know I am harassed however I look or whatever I wear. But the comments and behavior seems to get more intense on the days I make an effort to groom myself. Its like I can’t even try to look nice for ME, or for a potential partner. Because strange violent men on the street prey on me.

Submitted by Anonymous on 6/28/2010

Location: McPherson Square- Vermont Ave

Time of  Harassment: Evening Rush Hour (3:30P-7:30P)

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.

One Response

  1. LCE
    | Reply

    F that. You have every bloody right to look as hot as you want, WHEN- and WHERE-ever you want. Doing this for yourself – or for anybody else you please, is not an invitation for harassment. You are not doing something wrong by looking the way you want. These creeps are in the wrong for taking inappropriate liberties with your space and by verbally attempting to demean you. You keep looking however you want and traveling wherever you want. You’re allowed, and good for you for saying something to him in the moment.

Leave a Reply