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Jessica’s Story: “I felt someone grab my ass”

It was a Saturday night and I was on my way to meet up with my boyfriend after the hockey game. I had just gotten out of the metro when an older man, maybe mid-forties, stopped me and asked where Ste-Catherine street was. I pointed him in the right direction, even though it was fairly obvious and put my ear phones back in and started walking. A couple of seconds later I felt someone grab my ass. I turn around and it was the same guy! He said that he had one more question to ask me, to which I replied no way. As I was walking away he yelled to me that he had lots of cash.. I told him I didn’t give a shit and rushed to get away from him. I felt so disgusted and upset that it put a damper on the rest of the night. I couldn’t believe someone would do that!

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5+

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Kari’s Stories: “I get stared at, followed or yelled at”

I have so many stories to share about being harassed in Montréal. It’s truly sad for me that I have to feel like I have to walk down the street with a miserable look on my face, always on the defense, hoping that it will ward off any unwanted advances. In St-Henri, in the middle of the day, I’ve been yelled at by a man waving a 20$ bill, “Veux-tu me faire une pipe bébé?” in broad daylight just outside of the grocery store. Which he then followed me to and eventually pulled away as I went to hide inside. I’ve had drunk men grab my butt while waiting in line at the Belle Province on St-Laurent. Now, I live near Metro Parc and even though it’s the closest metro to me, I try to avoid it whenever possible. Two out of every three times I’ve been in or near that metro, I get stared at, followed, or yelled at. Today, I was trying to make a phone call from the upper part of the metro when a man yelled, “Hey, vous êtes une très jolie femme madame!” Without even looking his direction, I wanted to get away from him so I started walking down the escalator to get and to my dismay, he started following me down. “Hey, je vous ai dit que vous êtes une très jolie femme. Hey! Répondez-moi!” When I got off the escalator and realized that he was still coming down behind me, I actually started to panic when I thought he might come up to me. I turned to give him an angry look, as if to say “Stop following me” and he ends with, “Okay alors, je voulais seulement que vous le sachiez. C’est vrai que vous êtes jolie!” (I was wearing a winter coat practically down to my ankles and a hat!)

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4+

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Michelle’s Story: “It’s disgusting to me that someone thinks it’s okay to harass someone at their damn workplace”

I work at a gym, at the front desk. There is an older man (he’s in his late 70s) who comes in every single morning. He’s one of these old men who apparently thinks he’s “suave”, but he is not. He comes off as creepy. He’ll make references about how, when he’s finished at the gym, he’ll be going home to finish up his workout with his wife.

I was out one day for a walk, and as I was crossing the parking lot of the mall, I heard a voice yell, “Hey!” I turned and saw him sitting in his car. He waved, I waved back, and I thought that was the end of it.

The next day, at work, he came in and started peppering me with questions. What had I been doing out on my own? Where had I been going? Wow, I walk fast (apparently he had sat in his car and *watched* me walk until I was out of sight.)

When he asked me where I had been going, I said I had probably been headed home at that point. Then he says, “Oh, where do you live?”

I told him that it was really none of his business where I lived, and I didn’t really like the fact that he had been watching me. He got offended and said that none of the other girls who work the front desk get offended by him, and I told him that I’m not the other girls, and that I don’t appreciate being made to deal with his comments.

It’s disgusting to me that someone thinks it’s okay to harass someone at their damn workplace. I may have to be civil to him at work, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to put up with him outside of work.

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4+

This post is also available in: French

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Mich’s Story: “Someone grabbed my rear end”

I was visiting with my friend who was at McGill. As we got on the metro, someone grabbed my rear end. I moved out of the way, and someone grabbed it again.
As we continued in, I turned and looked around, and saw an older man of around 60 years old smiling gleefully.

My friend and I moved further through the crowd. As we got off the metro, she mentioned that he had grabbed her rear too…

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1+

This post is also available in: French

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Eva’s Story: “He says ‘damn you look good’. Then my grandma told him to f**k off”

I was smoking with my grandma on the sidewalk, near a bar. A bunch of guys passed us by. The last one stops, turns to look at me, checks me out from top to bottom like I’m a piece of meat, and says “damn you look good”.
Then my grandma told him to f**k off before I could say anything.

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3+

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Caroline’s Story: “Are you eighteen?”

While I was waiting outside for a lift, someone came, and decided to talk to me.

His first words to me were: “Are you eighteen?” It didn’t improve from there.

Once he had discovered that having sex with me was technically legal, he asked me several other questions of the same, none-of-your-business, sort, that heavily implied he just wanted sex. Did I live there? Could we go inside? Could we meet again? Could he have my phone number? This was despite my visible lack of interest.

Eventually, he went away, but I was scared afterwards that he’d come back, as he knew were I lived.

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42+

This post is also available in: French

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Caroline’s Story: “I’m still afraid when I walk past that building”

I was leaving my place to get some groceries. I heard a group of noisy men. As I crossed the corner, I saw them in the entrance of a nearby building, on the same side of the street as me.

As I approach them, one of them walks towards the street and stops on the sidewalk, looking at me and sort of in my way. He addressed me, with a creepy voice that I couldn’t describe. I answered weakly, as I was sort of scared — at this point, I was thinking I was on the way to get my first (of many, now) experiences of street harassment as a girl.

Then, out of the blue, came this:
“Fuck, it’s a transvestite!” (French : “Fuck, c’est une travestie!”)

I walked away. I was afraid they’d do something dangerous, or run after me, but they didn’t (I’m so glad…). I texted my friend immediately to help me get home afterwards, taking a long and circuitous road to go home. I cried a lot that evening.

It’s been many months since this event, and now I’ve gotten used to street harassment I get fairly often (just standard, sexist harassment, not the transphobic version). But I’m still afraid when I walk past that building, which is straight on my way to the metro.

I've got your back!
1+

This post is also available in: French

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Caroline’s Story: ” He addressed me, with a creepy voice that I couldn’t describe”

I went out of my place to get some groceries. I heard a group of noisy men. As I crossed the corner, I saw them in the entrance of a nearby building, on the same side of the street as me.

As I approach them, one of them walks towards the street and stops on the sidewalk, looking at me and sort of in my way. He addressed me, with a creepy voice that I couldn’t describe. I answered weakly, as I was sort of scared — at this point, I was thinking I was on the way to get my first (of many, now) event of street harassment as a girl.

Then, out of the blue, came this:
“Fuck, it’s a transvestite!” (French : “Fuck, c’est une travestie!”)

I walked away. I was afraid they’d do something dangerous, or run after me, but they didn’t (I’m so glad…). I texted my friend immediately to help me get home afterwards, taking a long and circuitous road to go home. I cried a lot that evening.

It’s been many months since this event, and now I’ve gotten used to street harassment I get fairly often (just standard, sexist harassment, not the transphobic version). But I’m still afraid when I walk past that building, which is straight on my way to the metro.

I've got your back!
27+

This post is also available in: French

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