Racialized Street Harassment: “I’m Not Your ‘China Doll!'”

Location: Eastern Market, 8th and SE Pennyslvania
Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)

So street harassment is not a new thing in urban culture and urban dwellings. I, along with my coworkers get harassed on a daily basis just walking from the office to grab lunch 2 blocks away – and the easy thing is to just ignore it since it will not stop, and the police have done nothing to curtail the issue. The Eastern Market is a bustling area full of working professionals in office clothes, and then the rift raft that stand outside store fronts all day, every day either pan-handling or verbally assaulting women. I have been followed by a man yelling “hey baby hey baby hey!” just going to the market.

On my 2-block walk to grab lunch, yesterday, I was harassed 4 times in a 3 minute span, one after the other. These events always happen in BROAD DAYLIGHT with plenty of people around in the restaurant district of Eastern Market, indicating the absolute misogyny and disrespect urban culture promotes. However, the 4th man to harass me that day took the cake and that was when I freaked out and started yelling. Sexist misogynistic comments is one thing, but the last man decided to add an element of RACISM to it, and thought it would be ok to call me “shrimp fried rice.” I have also been called “china doll.”

Submitted 9/13/14 by “Anonymous.”

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Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault? Share 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. You can 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).

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