Street Harassment: My experience

Street Harassment is by far the most common harassment I have experienced thus far in my life. From being hooted at, visually molested, to having to be rubbed and forced to endure erections of all sorts. It sucks. But here are snippets of my stories as I type along vigorously disseminating all my anger onto this one post.

There were two things about me that always provided conflict while I was in my middle school/ early high school years. My naivete and my overt awareness to everything around me.

I remember this one moment in my middle school library, rampant with horny and confused teens. At my usual corner where the bookshelves met along the wall, I was immersed in reading the inside cover of a book trying to figure out whether or not I'd be taking it home for the day. While in my own world, I suddenly froze as I felt someone loom right up behind me. Meticulously placing their erection on my lower back and swaying up and down. I didn't dare move. I was paralyzed. A flood of memories past haunted me as this classmate leaned in and started breathing in my ear. "What are you reading?" I didn't answer for a long while. "Oh you like this?" He moved closer and I couldn't take it. I turned around and faced him. Didn't think twice and kneed him in the groin (or so I think). He fell to the ground and I walked away. Walked so fast, that to this day...I don't even know where I ended up. But I remember never looking back and wanting to escape.

Another moment was a little bit after I first donned the headscarf (junior year of high school). I was pretty firm and confident that I would no longer get cat called or have to hear remarks about my body, but I was wrong. It really doesn't matter what you're wearing. It'll happen, just like it did while I was walking down the street in Annandale. A suburb filled with a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities and walks of life. I was in a densely populated hispanic community and upon crossing the street, I hear a whistle and yelling. "Ay Mami! Que Buenooo! Ay Ay mamacitaaa!" I started to speed walk and crossed the street again. I didn't want to get the stare down as I walked infront of these guys to satiate their thirst for thrill of cat calling.

I'm also not a fan of being molested visually. Especially on a train while being dressed like a complete bum. In Philadelphia, it's almost as if the scarf in a way protects you. There is a very large black Muslim community and an unsaid pact that all Muslim women donning the headscarf is almost untouchable. "As'Salama Laykum Sistah" is a very common greeting I get from all walks of life in Philly, but the molesting stares aren't. On my way to chinatown via the blue line train, I usually refrain from sitting in seats masked with the smell of urine. I stood. Back against the clear window just listening to my music. In the reflection of the mirror; however, I saw a man staring at me. I have never been so repulsed in my life by a simple stare. Scratch that, it was not a simple stare. I was visually molested as the man looked me up and down, licked his lips and started to squint harder. It was almost as if he was unraveling my clothes right infront of his eyes. I quickly looked up to see if my stop was approaching, and decided to get off even though I had a long walk ahead of me. I felt violated and no one even knew.

Here are some of my stories. I want to hear yours! We accept all submissions so don't forget to email us and give us some Cathartist love <3