Stories of Street Harassment
We'd like to extend a thank you to everyone who submitted anonymously their stories of street harassment. And we'd like to extend a special thank you to Steven Kuecker for curating these stories for us.
Stories from Anonymous Contributors
I was visiting some friends in a city I hadn’t been to before. As we walked down the sidewalk a car full of dudes rolled up to ask for directions. Since I’ve experienced street harassment before, and since I didn’t know the area, I let my male friend guide them as I walked ahead. After receiving directions the dudes in the car rolled up slowly to where I was and the guy in the backseat shouted out the window at me, trying to holla bout my size and where I was walking to. I told him “I’m good! You can keep on rolling though.” Apparently he didn’t like that response and in return yelled “Fine! Fuck you then, bitch!!” Although seriously affected by this, I didn’t want to show it, so my girlfriend and I started singing “No Scrubs” by TLC after the car revved away.
“When I was in 4th grade, I held my birthday party at a skating rink. A teenage boy approached me with a group of his friends and asked if it was my birthday. When I said yes, he grabbed his crotch and told me this was my birthday present. I was too embarrassed to tell my parents, but a friend that was standing next to me told her mom – who then told my parents. My dad got the security guard at the rink to throw the teenager out.”
While standing in the corner of a bar, and having a serious political conversation with my friend, I felt a smack on my ass. I turned around to see an enclosed circle of six dudes looking at me. It took but a half a second to identify which one did it as he smiled and waved. I said “No that’s not okay. You cannot touch me like that.” His response was “oh, oh, oh, oh (body crunching like he didn’t know), sorry.” Well at least he knows now, and so do his friends I thought. I turned back to my friends like “I have no idea what we were just talking about.” My guy friends said, “Don’t worry about him, guys like that usually get positive feedback. Most girls like the attention.” I said, “No, most women do not; they just are not sure how to respond or if they should. And regardless, he has no right to be touching my body.”
While undressing in the locker room after high school football practice one of my teammates looked at me, got all excited and started saying, “Look at Kuecker’s man-boobs.” Then, as he felt me up he continued, “If we were in a dark room together I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between them and real boobs.” After this he held my hands behind my back and asked the other guys to grab a feel and share their opinions.
I am a transgender man. A few years ago I lived in a men’s dorm at my work with people who viewed me as a butch woman with a male name. One night, as I was getting ready to sleep, three men came in and corned me. Then they started groping me and trying to kiss me. When I told them to stop two of them did—laughing—but the other persisted until I kneed him. My workplace’s response was to move me to the women’s dorm without reprimanding the men.
These things don’t happen now that I am on hormones and look male.
I’m standing on the outskirts of the dance floor wearing jeans and a sweater and talking with my girlfriend. She lowers her head and points out, “Um Jess, behind you.” I turn around to see three or four dudes bent over dancing with their hands and heads inches from my butt. I play it cool, like good joke but let’s be adults, and say “quit that, you can dance somewhere else.” The dude must not have liked my response because he smacks my drink to the ground and shuns me. I say “Oh, excuse me. I’ma need you to buy me a new drink since you just did that.” He responds with, “Nope, I don’t think so. Not going to happen.” And then he begins jumping with his ego to the beat of the music.
I’m sitting at the bar talking to this guy I never met before. Just after this guy buys me a drink a person, who appears to be a large man dressed as a woman, walks in the bar. Immediately this guy next to me starts insulting this person who just walked in and asking me why I’m not laughing at his jokes or making my own. I tell him, “Cuz I’m not a hater, and I believe people should be allowed to do their own thing as long as they don’t harm anyone.” Then he asks me “Why, is that your father right there?” I say, “Could be, I never met him. Thanks for bringing it up.” He then follows up with, “Is that your mother?” I say, “Not possible, she passed away when I was 16, but thanks for bringing it up.” After a couple minutes pass he grabs my shirt sleeve and says “you better think twice before you back-talk someone who’s ex-military again.”