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Women Stand Against 'Catcalling' On Anti-Harassment Sites

Though it happens every day and many women have learned to ignore it, some are now voicing their opinions about "catcalling" on the streets via websites where they share their most intimidating experiences.

It seems to be in response to a post on online magazine The Riot where several men said that "a lot of women" find catcalling or street harassment enjoyable.

On site How Many Women, one woman shared her story about encountering a shirtless man in Penn Station who was particularly persistent.

When he looked her up and down, he said, "Wow," and she tried to get away from him.

"As I quickened my steps to try to get away from him, he was shouting, 'You can't get away from me!'" she recalled. "I zig-zagged my way around the block, with him tailing my every step."

Fortunately, a group of young men intervened, with the shirtless man shouting "but she's so beautiful."

"They distracted him with a cigarette and I booked it down the sidewalk, shaking," she said.

The women's stories collectively tell that what some might perceive as a harmless compliment can turn into a frightening situation.

Another woman named Steph talked about the time she was waiting for a subway in Manhattan and a man asked her where she was going.

"Surrounded by people I thought I would be okay, and I chose a spot on the wall close to the crowd," she said.

"I felt a man staring from a distance. I felt his shift in his attention and I felt his intentions. He came up to me, put his hand against the wall behind me and pinned me in."

With her head to the ground, she ignored him, but he then became aggressive. 

"No, baby, where are you going? He baby. Hey b**ch. You f***ing b**ch," he said as she left.

"No one turned or looked around me," she said. "I could not look back to see if he followed. I rode the subway shaking, utterly alone, hoping my composure looked genuine."

Stop Street Harassment founder Holly Kearl believes it is important to share the stories so that it can expose what truly happens and how often it happens. 

"We can read other people's stories and see that we are not alone, we can find ideas for standing up to harassers. What makes me sad is how many women begin their 'catcalling' stories by saying what they were wearing, as though if you're dressed nicely, you're really asking for it," she said. 

"We shouldn't face a battle when we go out in public, hiding our bodies and averting our eyes. I wish I could understand why these men feel we would respond to their attention."

Sources: Daily Mail, How Many Women


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