Last Thursday, on my way from work to my workout, I was standing on the street corner waiting for the light to change, when a young man sidled up to me.
Out of the corner of my eye, I watched him inch his way into my personal space. I could feel him staring at me as I resolutely directed my gaze straight ahead.
I sensed him trying to catch my eye and set my face to “don’t talk to me” while I willed the traffic light to change quickly so I could book it out of this guy’s reach.
He grabbed my arm and as I whipped my head around towards him in alarm, leaned in and quietly told me, “I want to fuck you.”
He looked nervously triumphant as he searched my face for a reaction, an asshole grin on his asshole face.
My face was frozen, a mask of shock, while my brain took a moment to absorb the vile words he’d foisted upon it.
As a woman, of course, I’m used to a certain amount of inappropriate commentary on my body and what strangers might like to do to it being hurled at me on the street, but this, coupled with the fact that he actually touched me, was extreme.
And then came the fury. He had the good sense to begin to back away as my face unfroze. He actually began to jog away, all the while looking back at me when I (bizarrely, as I am quite tiny and nonviolent as a rule) took an aggressive step towards him and hollered “That’s fucking sexual harassment, you disgusting creep!!”
As I turned back to cross the street, I apologized to an older woman standing next to me, who looked shocked by my outburst, since of course, the man had made sure that I was the only one who could hear his vulgar little announcement.
“I normally don’t swear,” I said.
I was still shaking with rage and adrenaline when I arrived at the studio, and it took the entirety of the hour-long class to get my breathing back to normal.
I spent a good 15 minutes lurking in the doorway and peering out into the night before I left and seriously considered taking a cab home due to the fear he might be waiting outside to make good on the desire he’d expressed earlier.
Submitted By: Sarah
Location: Queen and Bathurst
Well I was initially going to report this assault to the police but I realized that I would have to actually go down to the station and I ended up just not bothering. So when I found out about this website, I thought it would be a good way to make sure it actually goes reported and becomes a statistic at least in some way, so that people can know how common these kinds of assaults on women are. Also, I want to warn other women who are in crowd-type situations to watch out for this.
In September of 2014 I had just moved to Toronto and TIFF was on, and it being near my apartment, I decided to go hang out near a movie premiere to see if I could see any of the actors entering the premiere. I ended up being in a very squished crowd near the gates of the red carpet-type thing and there were people pushing up against me on all sides. Well, recounting the next thing that happened is definitely not my favourite thing, but I soon realized that a man behind me was pressing up against me and rubbing his boner on my butt. I have wished so many times since this happened that there was something more I could have done, but I basically just ran away.
SO, girls who may find themselves in crowds, be warned that some disgusting men feel the need to go into crowds and grope women and this is unfortunately something that you may have to watch out for.
Submitted By: Alyssa
Location: King and John Street
My incident happened many many years ago – I’m a lot older than most of you – and I only decided on this one event, just to pick one, because over the years, it’s happened so many times, I’ve started thinking of those jerks like the garbage that’s overflowing on the night before pick-up.
It was late; I was walking home, and I got one of those moronic call-outs from the safety of his car. I was pissed off enough to tell him to f-off, and that of course made him whine: “Well, you don’t have to be rude…”, as if he wasn’t. Like I said, moronic.
My advice to the younger generation is to really hollaback! Let them know they are idiots and not worth being bothered about. Dismiss them. And of course, only walk in well-lit and peopled places.
I just posted a video on youtube – a song I will release in July: take a look. It’s under my name, and called “Women!!”
Submitted By: Zoe Chilco
Location: Yonge Street
I was waiting outside Dundas station with my friend, smoking. It was in the middle of the week, an hour after rush hour died down so there were no hoards of people entering and exiting the station, just a few stragglers here and there. I was wearing my baggy painting clothes as I had just finished class. I noticed a middle aged man staring at me. I looked at him, held eye contact, and raised an eyebrow because what the hell, right??? He then proceeded to give me the kissy face as he walked off, probably on his way home to his wife and kids. Did you really think that was okay to do? Stop sexualizing young women standing on the street, smoking with their friends. Stop sexualizing women waiting for the bus. Stop unsolicited sexualization of women 2k15.
Submitted By: Emily
Location: Dundas Station
Some guy just tried to follow me into an unsupervised entrance to High Park station. He wasn’t heading in that direction. He was loitering, tried to hit on me and then when I ignored him, started following me. I turned around and walked back towards people and he finally headed off in the opposite direction.
Submitted By: Merissa
Location: High Park Station
I was walking back to my apartment after dropping my SO off at the Greyhound, and as I approached the Uncle Tetsu at Bay; a Jamaican Canadian man approached me and said in my direction “You Latina?” Being a mixed race Asian woman, I am ambiguous looking and can pass for Latina as well as other ethnicities.
I brush him off with a firm “No”, and keep walking; but he follows up with a “Yo Puta! (Prostitute in Spanish) Gimme your number!”
I stop, turn my head as I am already ahead of him and about to cross the street; and give him a stare that I made sure he would never forget and let out; “Don’t call me that” in the sternest voice I could.
However good it felt to stand up for myself, I still felt violated by the encounter.
Submitted By: GG
Location: Bay and Dundas
Thursday May 14, 2015
Walking home in the sunshine just after 5PM when two guys pass by me in the opposite direction. They immediately start making comments about my butt and body in general. I kept walking and didn’t say anything but gave them the finger to express how I felt about their comments. They started yelling their comments even louder and threw in that I was a bitch. I turned around and screamed “sexual harassment is crime” which made them fall over themselves laughing. Thankfully another guy in front of me turned around, came and stood beside me and told them to be quiet. I just wish I had gotten my phone out faster to take a picture.
Submitted By: Kate
Location: Church and Isabella
Annoying cat calls every time I walk by. My advice is to NEVER buy anything here, even if you save money on tires. I am afraid that one day they will attack me since I live close by. For now, I just detour through the neighbourhood to avoid it or get someone big and manly to escort me while I walk to the bus.
Submitted By: Kasey
Location: Save on Tires Store, 1529 Eglinton Avenue West