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I’m sorry that this is so long but I like to tell a story right
I was on my way to work one day and I jumped on a bus. I sat down and was nearly frightened to death by the man behind me. He poked his head between the seats and asked me to meet him when we got off the bus. I firmly said ‘no’ while looking straight ahead. Shocked at my reply he very angrily asked me why not, and was it because I had a boyfriend? I said ‘not that it matters, but yes I do. But even if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be interested’. He didn’t like that at all, and for the rest of the journey he watched what I was doing over my shoulder, standing up every now and again to pop his head in and give me a fright. I tried not to react whenever he did it. He was getting frustrated so he decided it would be a good idea to try to grab my breast from behind. I immediately stood up and said ‘fuck off’ and ‘what gives you the right to do that?!’. I moved to an empty seat but he didn’t stop staring at me until he got off at his stop. Luckily I heard him tell another passenger his name so in a moment of rage I reported him to the police. They followed up the incident and gave him a caution. I’m sure a caution won’t stop a creep like him doing the same thing again.
I was walking home one night in winter wearing a heavy coat, jeans and a long jumper when a drunk guy started to talk to me. I was using a walking stick because I’m disabled.
He walked with me up the street as far as my gate and tried to follow me in. I told him no plenty of times and tried to push him away from me. He threw me on my back on the lawn and tried to rape me but I was able to use the walking stick to defend myself and I was kicking him at the same time.
Thankfully I got away with only a few bruises
So I was about to walk into church and it’s located in a shady street. I was wearing a dress up to my knees, knee socks, a jacket and boots. I was minding my own business until some 50/60 year old man mutters; “you’re sexy darling” while walking past me. I felt so violated and I still do; even if that’s all he did I felt so powerless.
I was walking on the path with my friends yesterday we are ages between 17 and 18 and two much older men in a taxi rolled down the window and screamed at us about out ‘tits’ telling us to ‘get them out’ it was intimidating and it was degrading and it made me feel so worthless and i want to BE the change, i want to teach young girls that they should never sit back and let some man think it is ok to speak to speak to them like that.. street harassment happens so often that it is just brushed off with comments like ‘that’s life’ but WHY is ‘that life’ ? why cant we change it? why is it accepted? women are powerful, women are human. Tell your little sister, tell your cousins, tell your classmates, tell your peers, tell EVERYONE that they can stand tall and be the change. FIGHT for your rights.
It’s a short story. As I was walking along this street on my own, in my own thoughts, a hooded male adult cyclist, (probably late 20s), sped past me yelling “cunt sucking bitch”. This shocked me and startled me a little and I looked around, assuming he must have intended this to be heard by someone he’d had an argument with. There was no-one else nearby; he had definitely yelled it at me. We must stand together as a community to show that this type of obscene behaviour will not be tolerated. We should be able to walk peacefully without living in fear of harassment of any type.
I was waiting for a bus home outside of BusÁras. The station had closed at 11pm and our bus wasn’t until 12midnight, so my friend and I sat in the better lit square in front of the police station. We were coming back from a music festival, so I was wearing a dress. As we were sitting, a man tried to get our attention from the other side of the street. When I noticed,I gave him a stern glare. He crossed the street with two of his friends and standing less than a 2 feet from me, stretched out his arm towards my legs and commented on how he had noticed them from the other side of the street. He tried to introduce himself, though I repeatedly said I was “not interested” and tried to dissuade him from any conversation. He eventually left, but he made me so self-conscious that I put on the pair of pants I had in my backpack under my dress. All I could think is that if I ever have a daughter, I hope she will never have to experience street harassment.
This is not a typical anecdote of harassment in the workplace, just plain good ole racism and sexism. I worked as an attendant in a car park in Cork City (a location that does not yet have its own Hollaback! page), two years ago. I’m still livid about the attitude towards me that day.
Two middle-aged women who were customers of the car park approached my office and asked me if, and I quote, “any of the Polish lads are working today”. I said no, just one person per shift, can I help you? They explained that their car battery had gone dead because being women, “were too distracted by our chattering and left the headlights on”, and that they “really just need a man to have a look”. My stomach fell at the stereotype they had just created. For all they knew, I could have ran my own recovery service when I wasn’t minding the car park; but no, instead a nice strapping Polish man would do the trick.
All I could do is muster a look of sheer surprised disgust, and sarcastically apologise for not being Polish or male. I shut the glass window, leaving them with stupid expressions, mouths agape at my reaction. Who knows, they may still be helplessly wandering, waiting for an Eastern European knight in shining armour to rescue them from their motor dilemma.