When I picked up a rental car with my boyfriend (who doesn’t drive), the valet assumed I was the passenger, explained all the controls to my partner and tried to give the keys to him.
While crossing the road to meet a friend for lunch I continued down a small path towards the tube station. Headphones in, I jump when a man in his twenties who can’t be much older than me taps on my shoulder. Pulling out my headphones I look around to see if I’ve dropped something and he is being lovely and letting me know. No, this man proceeds to tell me I am ‘the most beautiful THING he has ever seen, that he had let me cross the road at the crossing and had HAD TO park his car, jump out and chase me down this path to tell me this.’ Thoroughly creeped out I grimace/smiled and said thank you, making to walk away. “No, no, do you have a boyfriend I want your number” he asked urgently. I replied, “I actually have a fiance, of 8 years, I’ve just come from our shared house, so yes I am with someone, and I don’t think he or I would be okay with giving you my number.” Never ready to give up our knight in rusted armour proclaimed “but he aint your husband yet is he?” He then proceeded to pull my hand/mobile which was unlocked and put his number in my phone. I did nothing, frozen in shock and confusion. He then rang his number from my phone and put himself as a contact and mine in his. He said he would text me later that day.. When horrified and seeking female support I text my friends following him sauntering back to his car. What did my friends say? “Yep, guys are getting smarter, they prank call your phones now to make sure you aren’t giving them a fake one, we just now have to have a block list as long as our arms.” This event took place, midday in the UK in London.
Me: *Comes out of flat building at 6:45am to go to work* Builders: “All right sexy? Fancy a fuck? Me: *Walking with headphones in proceeds to ignore and walk on* Builders: Okay take it your way you fucking bitch faced cunting whore. Me in my head: ..its 6:45am. OR Me: *Waiting for bus to leave work, traffic is rammed and cars are crawling by me* Strange man in passenger seat: *Makes variety of compliments to me.* Me: *Has headphones in, ignores and continues to wait for bus.* Strange man in passenger seat: *Once car is opposite me, proceeds to lean out of said car and grab my forearm, pulling me towards the car before break in traffic and car speeds off.* Following this incident I was incredibly shaken, he had almost pulled me into his car while I just waited for a bus, that same day a random man decided to try and hug me at 6pm in the evening UK while I walked home. Not sure what was in the water that day but it was horrible.
Out running, streets aren’t so light. Car beeps for the fun of it as they drive past you. Then circles the area and comes back for another beep. When will we leave this behind?
There are two entries into a petrol station near my home, one from the north and the other from the west. I drove into the western access, which has a somewhat faded painted arrow clearly showing it as a valid point of entry. When I stopped at the petrol pump, a man of my age said something to another man at an adjacent pump. When I opened my car door I overheard their comments about “stupid bitch” and “clueless’. So I said: do you have something you want to tell me?, and walked towards the man who I heard use the word bitch. He said: “that is the exit, that is the exit, don’t use it” I replied: “what the fuck are you talking about? it is not!” He then started screaming at me: “you fucking bitch, you bitch, don’t know how to drive, you useless bitch” I thought that he would either hit me or splash petrol over me. But I knew that if I backed down or cried I would be giving in to his bullshit. So I stepped closer and said in my most assertive voice: “wow, what an amazing fucking world you live in where you never make any mistakes. not one little mistake. well, forgive me for being human, but I make mistakes. but then again I am not like you, Mr fucking perfect.” His face was changing colour to purple, and I knew that if there was not a car between us, he would hit me. I was shaking, enraged and afraid but I knew I had to stay in that petrol station and use the pump as if nothing had happened. It took me longer than usual to open the petrol cap on my car, and pump the gas. I turned my back on him, concentrating on my task. I saw him walk by and enter the shop to pay. He stayed there a while, talking to the attendant, but eventually came out, slammed his car door and drove off in a huff. The relief left me weak. When I went inside to pay, the attendant did not meet my eye or say anything like good afternoon or have a nice day. Clearly I had violated the rules of knowing my place. I know I left my anger take over and should not have used the word fuck. I know, too, that I did not behave as he expected. I stood up for myself. And I also still watch other drivers using that same entrance / access every day without incident, and I wonder why those two men felt it necessary to verbally insult a total stranger for a perfectly normal bit of behaviour. The only conclusion I can draw is that their sexism looks for every opportunity to assert itself. And on that afternoon, I just happened to be the woman that they needed to call a stupid bitch in order to make their fragile selves feel better.
Recently, my sister was at a gas station, putting air in her tires. A man went up to her and said, “A little thing like you shouldn’t be pumping air.” My sister is a former Marine.
My Mum and I were, walking down the road outside my house to the shops when suddenly we were hit by (we think) water, turned round to see a car with some guy leaning out of the widow laughing at us. we were both furious and upset all the way to the shop and on our way back, constantly worried that either something else was going to happen or that they were going to come back…
A man in a car asked me where the nearest Tesco is, and I told him the direction, “head straight, turn left at the end of the road, it’s a big Tesco you won’t miss it.” Instead of thanking me he laughed and replied, “so you like everything BIG then?” Also what troubled me is everyone I told this story to thought that the incident was absolutely hilarious and the guy was such a genius for coming up with that comment.
Today I was walking over to visit my fiance, a cyclist, who was t-boned by a car yesterday and as a car drove past me I heard the driver and passenger shouting and whistling at me. I was so pissed off (because those words were the final straw and because idiotic drivers like this one being distracted could have killed my fiance) I turned around to flip them off. But, as usually, I spent the rest of the walk looking over my shoulder and wishing I’d paid more attention to the color of the car so I’d recognize it if they came back looking for me.