Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia MO, Columbus, Denver, Des Moines, Durham & Chapel Hill, East Lansing, Fredericksburgh VA, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Lubbock TX, Manhattan KS, Muncie IN, New Orleans, New York City, NYU, Pittsburgh, Plattsburgh, Richmond VA, San Fernando Valley, San Francisco, SUNY Oneonta, Tucson, Twin Cities
In January 2011, I was hired to work as a cashier at SpeeDee Oil in Fair Oaks, California where I was the only woman at the location. I worked there until I was summarily terminated in September 2011 because I spoke out against sexual harassment and discrimination that I had suffered in the workplace. I am coming forward with my story at this time because I am tired of watching my former employer use the court system in an attempt to delay my chance at justice while reading reports of other women who have suffered similar injury over the last two years. I am tired of being made to feel a victim because I would not calmly sit by and let them abuse their position over me. My story goes far beyond coarse jokes in the workplace. My coworkers made sexually aggressive comments to me on a daily basis. When I had female friends that came in for repair work, they would catcall us and ask if we were lesbians. They accused me of being a man hater and dyke because I would not respond to their taunts. I was told that I was a bitch and needed to get laid. My coworkers would corner me to tell me about what they would do to me sexually if they got me alone. One even went so far as to graphically tell me how he sniffed the seats of the cars brought in by female customers so that he could smell their crotch. I was bullied for several weeks, in an attempt to get me to quit, by the mechanics coming in with grease marked all over the invoices & would slam them down on the counter, knowing I would not be able to read them & would have to ask them to explain them to me. I was mimicked, laughed at and teased and was made to feel less of a person.
This same co workers who bullied me began making comments about my 15yr old daughter, eyeballing her when she came in to my work, I asked her to not come in to my work anymore because I felt uncomfortable for her & myself. I was asked in a very sexually explicit manor by the asst mgr how old is she as he raised his eyebrows & moaned. I confronted my mgr & demanded that something be done. Instead, I was terminated as part of a layoff, the men who had been the focus of the harassing & aggressive behavior against me were promoted to manage the location. The owners of the SpeeDee are continuing to conduct business as though nothing had occurred, although they change corporate identities in attempts to escape responsibility. This sort of behavior cannot be allowed to pass unchecked. Therefore I am in hopes to be able to share my experience & make it known that this is being allowed to continue & nothing resolved.
Yesterday while browsing a local thrift store I was followed around the store by a guy in his mid 20s who continued to hit on me after I told him repeatedly to stop. Later that night I went to a house show and the same guy was there but no one would kick him out due to high school relationships between him and other attendees. I left due to the vulnerable environment.no comments
When I was in middle school (when I was like 14-15 years old) I took the bus home every day. I was the last stop in a desolate area and had a 2 minute walk to finally get home. One day I got off the bus and started walking when2 men in a car pull up next to me, and put their car in reverse to drive alongside me while I walk to verbally harass me. The man in the passenger side (closest to me) said “Hey, how old are you?” Like, weird! I respond angrily with “I am too young for you!” Then he said “how do you know that? I’m just trying to be friendly” While he made obscene faces. All I could think was GET HOME. I replied (really loud so the people back at the bus stop could hear me) “not interested.” and finally they put the car in drive, and left, but not before screaming out “whatever, bitch!” It all happened so fast, and although my replies weren’t the best, I am glad I stood up for myself and said something.
I was walking to the 29 bus stop around 8am next to the Safeway in my neighborhood when a man holds his arms out in front of me expecting a hug. A complete stranger, he took up most of the side walk so I walked on the street to avoid him to get to the bus stop. While avoiding him he was yelling at me so loud saying, “Fuck you!” repeatedly. I had never experienced verbal harassment so close to me. I was scared that he was going to hurt me or something because he was about two feet away from me. I also didn’t know whether or not to pepper spray him because I was scared to make him even more angry; I was also angry with myself for not knowing what to do. While he was yelling at me his friend scared me and laughed at me, and when I saw an old man a couple feet away just watching, not even trying to help me, he just laughed at the whole situation. Thank god the 29 came, I hurried on so fast to get on.
Ever since then I don’t go to that bus stop. I was even harassed there before when a weird drunk man decided it was okay to touch my hair and walk behind me so close. I don’t know how to handle these kinds of situations personally. I’m upset because my independence was taken away because of how nervous I am to walk around in my neighborhood. Now I notice how men look at me when I walk or take the bus. Now whenever I go out in public I’m still nervous for what might happen and I get mad at myself for being scared to walk outside alone. Time isn’t even a factor anymore I suppose. I was only supposed to be careful at night because it was dark, but even in daylight harassment still takes place… So disappointing.
Even on the resources on hollaback say that harassment is limiting student’s ability to benefit from education. This is evidently true for me, because from my stories I was headed to school on both days. It’s a hassle to worry about how you’re going to get somewhere that’s supposed to benefit you.
We shouldn’t have to be dealing with these kinds of things. We shouldn’t have to limit our lives because people and men in particular can’t control themselves. I could say that a solution would be to take self-defense classes or be more aware, but that would still be giving into this idea that ‘boys will be boys.’ Well that’s bullshit and I shouldn’t have to work my life around what men will think of me.
The only real solution is to spread the word, just as this website is doing and hopefully people will understand that it has never been okay for men to say or do whatever they want to women. I encourage everyone to spread the word and teach the next generation that there are right and wrong ways to treat women.
As a waitress, I’m paid to be polite. I’ll take your order, pour your beer, bring your food, and bus your dishes, all with a big smile on my face.
But don’t you think for a second that I’ll keep my mouth shut next time. I don’t care if I make a scene anymore.
Offer to “carry those dishes for me” because “my ass is so fine” again, and you’ll watch me go from a kitten to a lioness in .2 seconds.
I refuse to take those comments as part of the job. No more excuses. Next time I speak up.
I’ve always been harassed. I hide my beauty everyday to try and deter men from looking at me or saying things to me. I have suppressed so much of my true beauty because of so many years of mistreating me this way. I want to feel free and like I have a voice and I’m not afraid to use it. I don’t want to be scared of men anymore. God bless you women for being what will help me heal. thank you for doing this for us. im so gratgrateful you are saying why I’ve been trying to say for years. loveyou
Some creeper crossing the street leering at my chest and asking my tits how their day was…And all I had said was hi. Guess I “deserved it”
Today a man took advantage of a crowded MUNI streetcar to grope a young woman. She was able to move away from him, and spent the rest of the trip separated from her friends in the back. I saw what happened and asked if she was ok (she looked shaken, but nodded yeah). I told him that he couldn’t treat women like that but he pretended not to hear me. So I took his picture and am sharing it now so others can look out for this predator.