“All The Stories Submitted to CASS Inspired Me To Confront Street Harassment!”

posted in: Mt. Pleasant | 0

Location: Mt. Pleasant Street and Park Road NW
Time: Evening Rush Hour (3:30pm-7:30pm)

Street harassment is not a compliment!
Street harassment is not a compliment! Image via http://wechalkwalk.tumblr.com/

Seeing CASS’s posts in my Facebook feed recently has made me more aware of street harassment and more emboldened to respond. Several days ago, two young men were walking behind me, talking generally about the rear ends of women of a certain race (my race).

After listening for a bit, I had a sense that their conversation was directed at me and that they intended for me to hear. So I stopped, turned to them, and waited until they caught up to me. “That’s completely unacceptable. You can’t talk about women’s bodies that way,” I told them firmly. Although they protested that they weren’t talking about me, I repeated “that’s not okay” a few times (and couldn’t think of anything better to say).

After ten seconds or so, one apologized. I told him I appreciated the apology and would appreciate his not talking about women that way again. We parted ways.

After this exchange, I felt great. Although I hadn’t said anything brilliant, I protested, and that seemed to be enough. (And bonus points: I hadn’t angrily cursed or insulted them, which is often my instinct.)

Emphases by CASS.
Submitted 5/10/13 by “AM”

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.

If you experience or have experienced sexual harassment on the DC Metro system:
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/harassment or 202-962-2121. Reporting helps identify suspects as well as commons trends in harassment. Recommended tip: Program MTP’s number into your phone so you can easily reach them when needed.

If you need assistance in coping with public sexual harassment or assault, please contact the DC Rape Crisis Center (DCRCC) 24/7 crisis hotline at 202-333-RAPE (202-333-7279).