Standing Up to Street Harassment in Takoma Park: “You can compliment me by respecting me!”

Street harassment is not a compliment!
Street harassment is not a compliment! Image via

Location: Takoma Park, MD
Time: Night (7:30pm-12am)

I love walking around on summer nights. I really enjoy this in Takoma Park, where my girlfriend lives, because I feel safer there than in my neighborhood of Columbia Heights. This week, I was walking to her house when a man leaned out his car window and shouted “Damn girl you look good” at me.

I was pulled out of the happy thoughts I was having and flooded with disappointment and anger. I walked a few more steps, then realized as he was sitting at the red light I could respond if I wanted. So I walked back. “I do respond to ‘good evening,'” I yelled across the street to him. “Oh, well, good evening,” he responded. I began to feel a little better but then he added “you still look damn good though.”

The point wasn’t to talk to me or have a nice human interaction. The point of him yelling at me was to degrade me, as he proved by getting “the last word.”

Emphases by CASS.
Submitted 7/26/13 by “EM.”

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): 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).