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I was walking to work this morning and a man on a bike made eye contact with me and then hurled a wad of spit at my face. It was right in front of a busy bus stop and no one showed any signs shock or sympathy, which added to my feelings of helplessness. I felt very violated.
This is probably the same man in one of the reports below. What a scummy man. I didn’t get a good look at him, but what I remember is a male wearing a hood with shabby, medium length, sandy brown hair.
Location: Queen and Dufferin
Submitted by: Erin
It’s a beautiful day, so I’m walking home while talking to my mom on the phone (otherwise I would have taken a photo of these … gentlemen). Somehow this kind of thing always happens when I’m talking to my mom and then I have to explain that not every dude is an asshole in Toronto … I’m pretty sure of it .
A brown van drives up beside me and slows down in front of a bunch of cars to match my pace. The man in the passenger seat pops his head out the window to stare at me and grin, and the driver gives me the classic A-OK sign and yells, “That’s very nice!” before speeding up again.
Uh, thanks for the hard-won approval of my ass, stranger. What am I supposed to do with that?
Location: St. Clair Avenue and Avenue Road
Submitted by: Anonymous
I work in a place that closes at 11. My co-worker and I had just finished and were locking the door when this group of guys (16-20 years old maybe?) came up on their bikes–there were about 7 of them. One asked for a light–neither of us had one and said so. One guy said “come on, there’s like, 7 of us, we shouldn’t bother these ladies, it will freak them out”. I should add both my co-worker and I are very small women–but that never stops me from standing up for myself! One guy asks my co-worker for a hug–she declines. He keeps bugging her and bugging her, until finally I snap and tell him “Why don’t you FUCK OFF AND LEAVE US ALONE”. My co-worker laughed it off and gave him a down-low five. I was FURIOUS. It’s definitely not appropriate to approach to women alone at 11:15 at night and ask for a hug…it’s beyond the pale when you don’t take “no” for an answer. I’m sure I got called a bitch…and I still have doubts as to whether I did the right thing or if I overreacted. But overall I’m glad I stood up for us!
(also I was reading about some awesome guys from K. I just want to shout out to my own co-worker, who waits with me for the streetcar when we work nights together. One day he says “see that guy peeing on the sidewalk over there? THAT is why I wait with you”)
Location: Bathurst St.
Submitted By: Kate
A man on a bicycle spit in my face after looking at my shirt that read “pro-choice”. I had just walked out of a therapy session where I was trying to work through the aftermath of two sexual assaults.
Location: Queen St. West
Submitted By: Anonymous
Me and my friend were on the College streetcar when a middle-aged man came up behind us. He grabbed me first and pressed his erection up against my behind. I was shocked and before I could react, he did it to my friend too and then bolted off the streetcar. We were the only two people standing in the aisle and there was more than enough room for him to get off. It was obvious he did this on purpose especially the way he wrapped his arms around me so I couldn’t move. It still disturbs me to think of.
Location: College/Carlton Streetcar
Submitted By: Anonymous phone app
I was standing at the northwest corner of Oakwood and St. Clair, waiting for the tediously long light to change. A man was crossing against the light, and in my peripheral vision I noticed him coming into my personal space. As he walked past me, he said something along the lines of, “Hey there, beautiful.”
I turned to him and said, “Do not do that!” I caught myself off guard, but I had said it and got his attention, so I continued, “You can’t do that! You just can’t catcall women!”
His reply: “Cackle? I’m not cackling! What? I’m not a witch! You’re a witch! You’re evil and ugly on the inside!”
The light changed, and I marched away. I was shaking. What struck me most was the fact that I immediately told myself, “You shouldn’t have done that! He could have attacked you!”
You don’t think society’s conditioned you until you realize it has.
Location: St. Clair and Oakwood Ave.
Submitted By: L.
Thinking about my last post has made me think about someone who deserves some praise:
I used to work in a bar, often at night, almost always alone. This gentleman who I will call “John” was a very large, very intimidating, biker-type. Many people would look at John and assume that he was a bad guy, but if John was in the bar he always had my back.
If a customer was getting to fresh with me, John would calmly pick up his beer, and sit down on a stool next to the customer even if John was there with friends (most time his sheer size and leather vest was enough to send the message). John would sit there until the customer left or I closed the bar, whichever came first.
He had a friend, who I will call Chris. Chris always offered to drive me home, since he knew that I only lived a few blocks away but he has once read a book about Ted Bundy and it stuck with him how quickly bad things can happen to girls who walked alone. I usually declined the ride and he never pushed, but always asked that I sent him a quick text message to let him know that I had made it safe.
I always thanked John and Chris for their concern, but I don’t think I ever THANKED them for looking out for women the way they do. If you know someone like this, please let them know how much they are appreciated. There’s not enough of them around.
Location: Durham Region
Submitted by: K.
Today, around noon, I was walking across the intersection at Bayview and Eglinton. While walking, I noticed a man, maybe 35 or so, walking towards me, from the other side of the street. I noticed him obviously staring at me, looking me up and down. I felt sort of uncomfortable, so I moved to the edge of the pedestrian crossing “lane.” Noticing this, he changed his path, so that he was almost standing right in front of me. In the middle of the intersection, the creep decided it would be a good time to begin with his disgusting comments, “Wow babe, very sexy, you look hot,” etc. Keep in mind I’m 16 and he was easily twice my age. The catcalling itself was very brief, since we were walking in opposite directions. However, it scared me a little, and I didn’t say anything. As I continued to walk, I was angry at myself for not saying anything, but a lot angrier at him for being such a pig.
Location: Bayview and Eglinton Ave.
Submitted By: B.