I went to the grocery store earlier today. I was alone. I was in the bread aisle looking for some rye, when a man said “You’re a really pretty girl.” I said “thank you” and continued my search for bread. He stepped closer and said, again, “I mean a really, really beautiful little girl….young woman, I mean.” He then asked me if I was married, what my name was, how old I was and where I lived. I said I wasn’t married, lied about my name and where I lived as to be safe, and told him my age. He told me he had two daughters and a couple granddaughters, and told me that he spoils them. He then proceeded to say (in an uncomfortably sexual way), that if I was living with him he’d be sure to “keep me spoiled”, too. He said he was a 69 year old man and that he “never does this”, but he saw me and just “had to” tell me how “beautiful of a girl” I am, “a truly cute little girl”. It was honestly so disgusting and he even became touchy, patting me on the back and half-hugging me. The rest of the time I spent at the grocery was filled with anxiety and I was constantly on watch to make sure he wasn’t following me/wouldn’t follow me home.
Yesterday evening I was at work, bagging groceries. A man entered the checkout line and looked at me creepily in the way a lot of harassers and predators do, but it only lasted a moment before he stopped and focused on the transaction, so I didn’t walk away as I’ve been doing with suspicious customers. However, at the end of the transaction when he came to get his bags, he started teasing me out of the blue. I’m so sick of this sort of thing happening (I’ve submitted several similar stories on this site) and I wasn’t going to take it anymore so I told him to go to hell, then walked away. He got mad and complained at customer service, then went home, got his wife, and came back with her so they could both complain, even though the wife had nothing to do with it. Later I was pulled into the manager’s office, lectured about how the company’s money is more important than my dignity and self-respect, and sent home early. I don’t regret what I said. I found out today that I’m not going to get fired, but even if I did I would have no regrets. I stood up for myself – and it felt great to make the harasser mad for once, instead of letting him walk away laughing. I hope he and his wife are mad forever. This is getting to the point where I might just try to avoid all men. Not because I think they’re all harassers, but because there’s no way to know which ones are harassers until it’s too late. Oh yes, and I may add that I asked the male cashier I’d been bagging for if the customer had said anything of the sort to him, and he said no.
When I was about 11 or 12, I was walking back to the car with my mom from the grocery store. I was walking a little behind her, and was wearing a sweatshirt with jeans. A guy walking past us in the opposite direction slapped my ass as he walked by. I was so shocked I didn’t do anything. My mom saw out of the corner of her eye. She turned around and started screaming at him and he ran off. A man at a sports bar next to the store saw everything and chased the guy, tackling him to the ground. Someone else called the cops. The cops interviewed me. I was still in shock, and just wanted it all to go away. I acted like it was no big deal. I have always repressed that memory and tried to pretend like it doesn’t bother me. To my knowledge there were never any charges pressed and the man was not punished at all for doing what he did to a minor, however small of an action it was, it scarred me. Adult men in my life now still make comments about my butt and it makes me so uncomfortable. I am trying to learn how to speak up for myself and tell them to stop, but I am scared because I know they will just belittle me and not listen to me. As a woman, I feel helpless against men. I want to change this. I don’t want women to constantly live in fear.
I work in a grocery store. Last Sunday evening I was using a cart to return items customers hadn’t wanted to the shelves. When the cart was empty I put it back outside, then got catcalled as I walked back into the store. The next morning I had an early shift, during which a middle-aged guy teased me for no reason. This happens all the time and I’m trying to work on recognizing it and not responding.