“I walked past the man and saw that he was masturbating.”

I was walking to work around 8:30 AM a few weeks ago and saw a guy leaning against a tree opposite a church. He was looking over his shoulders as if he was waiting for someone. My instinct told me to cross the street but I asked myself “what could he possibly do to me on a residential street on a weekday morning?” Clearly, like so many women, I should have listened to my instinct. I walked past the man and saw that he was masturbating.

More than anything else the incident made me angry. Angry because his desire to expose himself in public like that is a reflection of the power that men still have over women in our society. Angry because he was doing this opposite a church that kids pass to go to school every day. Angry because I felt that I could not do anything to make him stop. Despite me considering myself being an “empowered” woman, I kept on walking to work and did not call the police. I found it interesting that almost every single woman I told had experienced this AND in different parts of the world. I also read a blog entry that describes what I think is the same guy and have since reported the incident to the police!

Submitted by anonymous on 2/18/2011

Location: New Hamphire between W & V, NW

Time of Harassment: Morning Rush Hour (5A-9:30A)

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.

Leave a Reply