No, you cannot “drop a wad in my ass”: Sexually harassed at Metro stop

Location:  Rhode Island Avenue Metro Station
Time: Evening Rush Hour (3:30pm-7:30pm)

Street harassment of any kind is a daily experience for me, but this incident that happened a few weeks ago was particularly disturbing. I was walking by the Rhode Island Avenue metro station when a man, probably a teenager or in his early 20s, asked if he could borrow my phone. I said “Sorry, my phone is dead” and put my headphones back in as I continued to walk. Then he started to follow me into the station while asking me to lift up my skirt and saying generally disturbing things to me. I told him to leave me alone, and that he was being creepy. He followed up to the turnstiles, continuing to ask me to lift up my skirt and said he wanted to “drop a wad in my ass.”

I’d had enough. I turned to him and decided to teach him a lesson by yelling at him. I said things like “What the hell is wrong with you? How do you think that makes me feel?” And “Seriously, don’t ever do that again to any woman, anywhere, ever.” He said nothing while I yelled at him. I really hope he learned his lesson. Even though I’m glad I stood up for myself, I’m still very angry about it. That was one of three separate incidents of harassment that happened to me on that day.

Submitted on 12/16/12 by “KL”

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:
Please consider reporting to Metro Transit Police: www.wmata.com/harassment; 202-962-2121.

“I asked if he found harassment amusing!”

My girlfriend and I were sitting in the back of the bus. Two other women were across from us and another along the back row of seats. A guy had been talking loudly at the back door and then came and sat down by one of the seats. He started by telling one of the women across from me that she had him physically. When she said “Excuse Me” he replied that God gave her one of his ribs so he was part of her.
Then he started asking the woman along the back row where she was from. She ignored him as he kept digging and saying she was hispanic. When she finally said she was American he started saying that wasn’t true. Then he started with the other woman across from us saying she was Asian. She told him it was none of his business and he started ranting again about how all women are connected to men and how they were all European foreigners.
I finally spoke up and told him to leave us all alone. He then started in on us being dykes, that we were an abomination to the bible. A guy along the back laughed and I asked if he found harassment amusing. He then started yelling at me about how he could laugh at whatever he wanted. He got off at the next stop and then the first guy started in again on us about how did we have sex and that we needed a man. The woman who spoke up before tried to say something but he kept yelling over her.

I finally called the transit police to report the activity at which point he moved to the front of the bus. The transit authorities contacted the bus driver but he was not asked to leave the bus. A fellow female passenger who heard the end thanked me for calling the cops but the only other guy in the back told us we should have just ignored it.

Submitted by Amanda 

Location: G8 Bus #2300 from 3rd & Rhode Island NE to 9th & M NW

Time of harassment:  Morning Rush Hour (5:00A – 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.

The Driver

I’m female born and female identified. Maybe it’s my queerness that makes me so intensely sensitive to harassment, because I absolutely DESPISE the idea that I am on this earth for men, for male consumption, to entertain the male gaze. I deliberately dress in shapeless clothes during the day, and only bust out the super skimpy/see through outfits if I am a) going to a queer and therefore mostly safe space and b) have a way to cover myself until I get there. I also have very long hair with a bright streak of color in it, which I also only wear down if I’m going to be safe. Put simply, I just want everyone to leave me alone.

My experience of harassment is constant. I believe other women when they say that they don’t experience the level that I do, and ohhhh, do I envy them.

I was hassled walking to school starting when I was ten or eleven, and it’s never abated for me. Today, I’m forty years old. It happens when I am in sweats and unwashed or when I am dressed to the nines. It happens when I am walking on the street or when I’m in my car. It happens if I’m at the store, going to work, or on the Metro. It is an utter constant in my life. It’s always intensely satisfying when a butch-identified woman I’m with sees it happen because I feel so validated, like someone finally believes me. My masculine girlfriend still sputters and says “Oh my god, did you hear what he SAID to you? I can’t believe it!” and I’ll say something like “Yes, honey, see what I mean? It doesn’t matter what I do or wear or say, they just always find me.”

Sometimes I react with the rage I always, ALWAYS feel. I stop, ask if they talk to their fucking mother with that mouth. Or I’ll just glare. Usually, though, since I value my safety and I don’t have the energy, I just keep walking. Most of all, I am exhausted by it. All of it.

I was driving in my car last week during the evening on Brentwood Road NE, coming from Rhode Island going towards New York Avenue. As I was stopped at the light behind Giant, a truck came towards me going the opposite direction. I just happened to look up and the driver of the truck stared at me as he went by, right into my face. I’ve been harassed literally hundreds of times, maybe even thousands now, and I have never, EVER seen that look on anyone’s face. It was the scariest expression I’ve ever seen. He looked malevolent, urgent, hungry and utterly, totally scary. Like a damn predator.

Then he flipped a U-turn and tried to pull up next to my car. I shot forward, maneuvered around a truck, and took off. He tried following me and I deliberately ran the next red light, hoping that a cop would pull me over and I would feel safe. Or at least safer.

I cannot begin to express how scared I was. As I said, I’ve dealt with a ton of harassment before, been yelled at, grabbed, followed, you name it. I’ve lived in big cities my whole life and am not a delicate little flower nor am I afraid of confrontation. But this guy? Different. Hard to believe that in a half second of eye contact I could feel this way, but I honestly believe that he was and is a very violent and dangerous man. And he was coming to get me. I was terrified and extremely jumpy for the next 30 minutes in my car until I was sure I lost him.

I wish I could describe his car or his face, even. But I was so frightened and it went so fast that I can’t. Ugh.

Submitted by PSue on 6/1/2010

Time that Harassment Occurred: Night (7:30P-12A)

Location: Brentwood Ave in NE DC, behind the Giant grocery Store

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.

It is NOT a compliment

I will finally be out of this neighborhood I have lived in for one and a half years (too long!), to a place where street harassment is minimal to nonexistent (so far). I am counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds to when I live in an environment where I can walk from my place to the Metro and back without being leered at, catcalled at and talked at (not “to,” at) by virtually every single man I walk by.

These last few weeks here have been grueling. Not a day has gone by where guys haven’t slowed down their cars to match my walking pace, or yell obscenities at me because I didn’t want to stop to give them the time of day, or give unsolicited offers for rides or to “roll with” me and other foolish nonsense. Each day I have to walk to and from Rhode Island Avenue Metro I have to steel myself to the ridiculousness.
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Wolf Whistle

Not even two seconds out of the house this morning, a man in a utility vehicle for Castle Sprinkler and Alarm wolf whistles at me. It sounded exactly like a wolf whistle from a Tom & Jerry cartoon. When I turned around, he smiled and waved at me. I took down his license plates: MD plates, 38T 8S5 and as soon as I got to work I called Castle to report him. I spoke to Russell, the supervisor, and gave him the plate info. Russell didn’t ask for my name or a call back number, nor did he ask me to give a description of the driver, so all I can do is hope he does take action and reprimand the driver.

Location:10th St NE & Franklin St NE

Submitted by Anonymous

Do you have an experience you would like to submit? Just click here and fill out the online submission form. All stories will be posted anonymously unless you specify.
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