Once a week, I work at a basement boutique on U street. We don’t have an official store sign, so my bosses created a banner that we put up and take down as we need to. Last week after we had closed the store, I was standing over our stairs trying to figure out how to unclasp the banner. I was in a skirt and tights, as I am someone who generally likes to dress up.* All of a sudden, I hear a voice behind me say, “Damn mama! Look at that! You better be careful when you’re doing stuff like that, I can see everything!” He proceeds to keep talking, something about how great the view is or whatever. I honestly don’t remember the details because I was fuming. I managed to pitifully yell, “Leave me alone!” but he had already passed and was no longer paying attention.
I am harassed on a regular basis, and it is never welcome or received positively. But this time, just I felt so embarrassed and ashamed. If my underwear was showing, or he could see something, who cares? Why did he have to shout it out to the entire block (and he WAS shouting)? Seriously, did he think he was doing me a favor? That I deserved to be humiliated? I’ll never know.
*I put down what I wore to give a better context, but it’s interesting how so many of us on this website always mention what we were wearing, even though it doesn’t matter! Yoga pants, t-shirt, jeans, dresses etc. we all seem to be attacked regardless of how we dress ourselves.
Submitted by Anonymous
Location: 14th & U St. NW
Time of harassment: Night (7:30P-12A)
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