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Simone’s Story: ”Hey sweetheart, don’t trip over your bag!”

After missing the bus I was walking from Vendome, down De Maisonneuve, dragging a heavy, wheeled grocery bag behind me. There was a group of men gathered outside an auto shop (Automotion Collision Centre) that I was passing, as I walked by one of them yelled “Hey sweetheart don’t trip over your bag!”. I told him that I wasn’t named sweetheart, he waited for me to pass him before yelling “ok darling!”. Coward.

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L’Histoire d’Éliane: ”T’es chaude! J’vais te prendre par derrière, si t’embarques! Salope.”

Un soir de semaine, j’avais une date avec un gars. Vers la fin de la soirée, bien que je ne lui ai donné aucun signe d’encouragement, il était collant physiquement malgré les distances que j’essayais de garder avec lui. Je me sentais mal à l’aise, j’ai décidé de partir. Il insistait absolument pour me raccompagner. Il m’a suivi dans le métro, habitant dans le même quartier que moi. Au lieu de descendre à ma station, j’ai décidé de sortir plus tôt à Frontenac. Ça l’a pris par surprise, il ne m’a pas suivi.

Et bien, grave erreur. En me dirigeant vers la sortie, deux gars en vélo sont passés près de moi. L’un d’eux m’a demandé si je voulais un lift. Je l’ai simplement ignoré. Il a continué en me disant “T’es chaude! J’vais te prendre par derrière, si t’embarques! Salope.” Encore une fois, je l’ai ignoré. Il était deux, j’étais seule et fatiguée, je n’ai pas osé les envoyer promener, ce que je fais habituellement. En montant les escaliers roulants, j’ai pris de la distance, ils étaient devant moi. Le gars me dévisageait de la tête au pied avec un regard pervers, comme si j’étais un morceau de viande. J’arrivais près de la porte de sortie quand j’ai aperçu qu’ils attendaient à l’extérieur, fixant dans ma direction. C’est à ce moment que je me suis dit “C’est pas vrai que j’vais me faire agresser ce soir!”. J’ai pilé sur mon orgueil et je suis retournée de bord. J’ai attendu le prochain métro en jasant avec la madame au guichet. Tout le long en rentrant chez moi, j’ai eu cette peur d’être agressée, je tremblais des jambes, je lançais un regard sans arrêt derrière moi. Et j’étais enragée de n’avoir pas répondu.

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Sophie’s Story: ”Some teenagers started to ‘oink’ and ‘moo’… I was in tears and had to take the afternoon off”

At my job, in lieu of vending machines, we have a shelf with candy bars and chips bought 2/1$ at Dollarama that are re-sold from 1$ to 1,50$. The profits are use to finance activities such as the Christmas party. The guy who is usually in charge of the purchases was on vacation, and I heard many people were disappointed to see the shelf empty, so a couple days ago I offer to go to Dollarama on my lunch hour. The social comitee gives me 60$, and they tell me to buy half chips and half chocolates. The candy bar aisle at this specific store happens to also be the one where people wait in line. That means I had an “audience” watching me fill my cart with 60$ worth of chips and chocolate. Some women started to giggle, whisper and point at me. I heard things like “tsssk” and “gross” and “I can’t believe it”. For the record, I am only slightly overweight, I’m built a lot like Lena Dunham (from ‘Girls’), just to give you an idea. I said, loud enough for the whole line to hear: “This is for selling at work!” and one woman replied: “Yeah right!” Then, probably because I had reacted instead being a good doormat and remained silent, some young teenagers started to “oink” and “moo”. Paying for all that stuff was holding up the line, and I had to do it in front of all those people who food-shamed and fat-shamed me. I was in tears and had to take the afternoon off as sick leave, in addition to the humiliation of crying on work premises. Of course, my tall, lanky male co-workers who usually do those very same purchases never had such thing happen to them.

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Eva’s Story: ”Toi j’te baiserais… J’vais t’avoir que tu veuilles ou non”

I was on my way home from work around 5:30 pm, beginning of July, warm and sunny. I was about 6 meters away from my front door, keys already in my hands when a total stranger grabs my arm and tells me “Toi j’te baiserais.’ (I would fuck you). I manage to get free and walked quickly to my door, he kept on screaming things along the line of “J’vais t’avoir que tu veuilles ou non” (I’ll get you whether you like it or not).

I got in my apartment, locked the door and that’s when I notice that he was trying to look in for my front window, I closed the curtain but I could still see that he was still standing right in front. I was alone at home and terrified that that man would try to break in, I hid in my bathroom.

I finally got in touch with some friends who live in the same area and they came over to make sure he wasn’t still there.

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Annick’s story: ”As I started to lock up my bike, my neighbor whistled at me AGAIN, this time from the upstairs balcony”

I experience street harassment on most days, whether I am on bike or on foot. Most of the time, I don’t get to reply since the perpetrators are already gone by the time I react. All of these experiences accumulate.

My upstairs neighbour and some of his friends often “Hey girl” me. This morning, as I crouched to unlock my bike, my neighbour wolf-whistled me as he pedaled off on his bike. It’s fucking 35°C outside and I have to bike to work and I can’t wear shorts and a crop top without getting unnecessary feedback as to my appearance! Needless to say, I started my day super pissed off, in adrenaline-angry mode.

I got home around 10 pm. As I started to lock up my bike, my neighbor whistled at me AGAIN, this time from the upstairs balcony. “NO!” I yelled, stony-faced with anger. He actually walked down the staircase and started making excuses and I held up my hand, exclaiming “You don’t talk to me like that. I’m not your dog”, also maintaining the bitch-stone-face as I kept walking towards my appartment. He tried to follow me to explain that he whistles because he doesn’t know my name (wtf) and I again did the palm-up “shut up I don’t give a shit” move.

I’m glad that, for once, I got to answer.

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Catherine’s Sotry: On Bike Harassment

I was coming home from a lovely evening with a friend last night, riding my bike west-ward on Ontario towards the deMaisonneuve bike-path and I was waiting at the red light right in front of Katacombes. So i’m sitting on my bike, and this entitled DICK-BRAIN LOSER casually walks by me and gropes my ass, completely unceremoniously without saying anything, so I shove him off, and start swearing at him profusely… So this complete and utter piece of shit of a human being backs off a bit, then grins at me, then comes back forward and FLICKS MY BOOB and stumbles backwards again, still smiling, while i’m literally imploding with wrath. I really wanted to get off my bike and do something, punch him, kick him, spit at him, scare him and get that fucking smile off his face but decided that I didn’t want to leave my bike unattended / put myself at risk / bother with such a pathetic dipshit no-life stinky butt slug… ARGGGHHH TIMES INFINITY!!!!!

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L’histoire de Camille: ”Il se met alors à m’insulter et à me dire que je n’ai aucun respect, que je lui dois mon respect”

Je revenais chez moi après l’école, il était 16h30 un jeudi, donc il y avait beaucoup de monde dans le métro. Comme d’habitude j’emprunte les escaliers pour sortir sur la rue Berri. Cependant, au bas des marches, un homme m’intercepte et se met complètement en travers de mon chemin en me disant en anglais que je suis belle et qu’il voudrait mon numéro de téléphone. Je lui fais un signe de la main afin qu’il me laisse tranquille, je le contourne et continue mon chemin. Il se met alors à m’insulter et à me dire que je n’ai aucun respect, que je lui dois mon respect. Comme je ne l’écoute toujours pas et que je continue mon chemin, il continue à m’engueuler et finalement il me donne un violent coup de pied aux fesses qui me fait bondir. Je me retourne vers lui en lui criant « c’est quoi ton problème? Laisse moi tranquille » (avec quelques insultes de plus), mais il continue de me sermonner en me disant que je dois être gentille avec les gens, que je n’ai pas de bon sens, que je dois changer mon comportement et sourire lorsqu’on m’aborde. Je dois avouer avoir été trop figée de colère et de peur puisqu’il était très grand et qu’il se rapprochait de moi avec son poing fermé brandit en l’air comme pour me frapper. J’ai couru dans les marches en lui criant de me laisser tranquille et que je ne lui devais rien. Il est partit en me traitant de putain. Je rappelle que c’était à l’heure de pointe dans un métro bondé où personne n’a sourcillé ni ne m’a demandé si j’étais correct lorsqu’en haut des escaliers j’étais en état de choc.

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L’histoire de Myriam ”Hey minou! Tu me ferais tu une pipe pour 3 piastres”

Dans l’entrée du métro Radisson, paisiblement en attendant l’autobus, un homme avec une allure étrange entre, sachant très bien qu’il avait consommé des substances illicites, me regarde en plein visage et me dit : ”Hey minou! Tu me ferais tu une pipe pour 3 piastres”!!

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