Location: Silver Spring, MD
Time: Evening Rush Hour (3:30pm-7:30pm)
I wrote a few months back about a case of exposure I was unfortunate enough to witness back in November on the Red Line. Since then, I’ve followed the CASS Facebook Page and I read as many of the stories I can – they infuriate me. Street harassment had never really occurred to me as something that anyone did anything about, or really cared about. It happened, you lowered your head and walked a little faster, and that was that.
Since I became a reader, I faced continued street harassment (who doesn’t?), but three days ago I finally fought back. I was standing behind a young girl, maybe 16, who was getting off her shift at the grocery store. We were waiting for the walk sign to come on so we could cross the road. Traffic was jammed during rush hour, so a rusty, nasty old pick-up truck was stopped just in front of us, waiting for the light ahead to turn red. And they started in on her. “Smile baby, it won’t kill you to smile.” And she just looked down, tried to pretend she didn’t notice. And I started shouting. “Get the hell out of here! She doesn’t want to talk to you nasty old perverts!” The men shouted back, saying they weren’t talking to me and asking if I were jealous. “Why would I be jealous about a bunch of dirty old men? Get out of here! Drive on before you get rear-ended like you deserve, and leave her alone!” Eventually, the light changed and they moved on. The girl seemed shy but she thanked me, and I told her that I couldn’t stand rude people.
I’m almost excited for my next bout of street harassment, because on the way home that day I thought up a new line that I really want to use on the next guy who tries it: “Do you kiss your mother with that disrespectful mouth, or did she already die of shame for having you for a son?” It’s a mouthful though, I don’t know if I’ll be able to say it when the time comes. But thanks to this site and these stories, I’m ready to try!
Emphases by CASS.
Submitted 4/4/13 by “Meghan”
Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault?
Submit your story to help raise awareness about the pervasiveness and harmful effects of street harassment. All submissions are posted anonymously unless otherwise specified.
Whether the event is happening at the moment or occurred months ago, we strongly encourage you to report to Metro Transit Police (MTP): www.wmata.com/