When I was in grade 4 maybe.. I went to a friend’s house. She had a brother who was a year or two older. We were going to go outside in the sprinkler because it was a hot day. I went to change into my bathing suit in her room and she went downstairs to talk to her mom. While she was gone, while I was in my underwear and completely topless, her brother came into the room. He immediately walked right up to me intimidatingly and confidently and I started walking backwards away from him. He kept walking closer and backed me into the corner of the wall. I’ll never forget his words…’What? What’s wrong? Why are you backing away?’. I crossed my arms over my chest, cowering. He reached up as if to pull my arm away, then his sister started walking back upstairs so he bolted. I changed as quickly as I could and pretended like nothing ever happened. I didn’t tell anyone.
About 2.5 years ago I was a server at the Cactus Club and he was seated in my section. I hadn’t seen him in person since. I had to serve him and his friend with a smile. I had a panic attack in the back room after he left. Before he left, though, he left me a massive tip… way more than most people leave. I wondered if he remembered and felt guilty, or if he didn’t remember me at all and he was just tipping me that much because he thought I was pretty.
-Riley Holm, Fraser Valley
Last year, we were selling our house. One of the inspectors or adjusters came without any notice one day. I was in the shower (again, this guy was not supposed to be coming at all). I could hear our dog freaking out but figured it was just the mailman. She kept barking and barking and suddenly I heard a man’s voice. I figured it was my husband and maybe someone came with him so maybe that’s why the dog was still barking.
All of a sudden, I heard the bathroom door open and this man was standing in my bathroom while I was showering!!! I poked my head out and was like “ummmm hi?” And he carried on and talked my ear off and then left the bathroom. I was in so much shock that I didn’t even know what to do so I quickly finished, got dressed in the shower because I was so worried about him coming back in and went out to figure out what he was doing.
My husband let the realtor know and she said she’d dealt with it. A few months later he was assessing the house next to us and came outside and stared me down!!
– Anonymous, West Kootenays
We don’t want to talk to you
I can’t even begin to count the number of instances I’ve heard about where girls got their asses (or worse) grabbed in clubs. It became a social norm, something to be expected if you go out. I’ve had mine grabbed, I’ve had friends grabbed with enough force to feel pain.
My best friend has had her vulva fully grabbed at the club. The guy just smirked and walked away and disappeared into a sea of other white t-shirts. The entitlement of men at nightclubs is incomparable. They think they are entitled to grab you, come up from behind you like a literal predator, a literal great white shark and start dancing on you. They think they are entitled to your time and attention, especially after they beg to buy you a drink.
Every time I walk down the street by myself, I get stares and looks. I can’t stand it. It’s so unnerving and uncomfortable; i wish I could spit on them. The stares and looks are lesser when I’m with my boyfriend, because men respect other men more than you. The stares are always disgusting and menacing, filled with an entitlement to look at me. And most of it is perpetrated by middle aged or older men. I’ve been catcalled twice within 15 seconds before I finished walking one block. I choose my outfits based on how much negative attention I can handle receiving that day. I still don’t fully wear what I want (I’d love to go braless 100% of the time) because I simply don’t want to deal with the creepy looks.
I’ve had men choose a different method and come up to me and randomly begin conversations with me, again with an inflated sense of entitlement to my time. Unless you want to be considered by society as “rude”, you’re trapped there talking to them. I’ve been approached at work, on vacation, at University, everywhere. I don’t want to talk to you.
I’ve had a fully grown man strike up a conversation with me while I was relaxing on vacation, helping himself to the lawnchair next to me and then beginning to interrogate me, first with innocent questions which then grew more inappropriate. When he told me I was developing a nice tan, I walked away and left him sitting there by himself.
My girlfriends will be walking down the street, head down, earbuds in, and be approached. We don’t want to talk to you. They’ll be at the gym, earbuds in, mid workout, and be approached. We don’t want to talk to you.
We don’t want to talk to you
You dropped something
Last week I was on a run and when I got back to my car, a group of 20-something year old men were sitting on the back of a truck together beside my car. I felt the eyes on me immediately. All 4 of them stopped their conversation to stare ( I was in short running shorts and a sports bra because it was 37 degrees Celsius outside. I grabbed a drink of water from my water bottle in the car, then closed the door to go do another lap. As I began to walk away to start running again, one of the guys loudly declared in a teasing voice, ‘hey, you dropped something’. I knew for a fact I hadn’t dropped something. They just wanted me to bend over. Instead of bending over to grab what wasn’t there, I turned around and gave my best ‘bitch face’ for a few seconds. Then I turned around and left to continue my run. They laughed as I ran away.
The same day, as I was running, a man in his 30s started RUNNING AT ME at full speed, seemingly as a ‘joke’ to see what I’d do. I turned around to go another direction. They kept running at me. I started sprinting (I’d been abducted and assaulted before so I don’t mess around with this shit) they started sprinting harder. Eventually he gave up and stopped and jogged away laughing.
Anonymous, West Kootneyas BC
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These can be as “mild” or as intense as you’d like – what’s important is that these occurrences make us feel UNSAFE and disrespect us. All occurrences are valid and how they make you feel is VALID.
If you have submitted in the last couple days but don’t see your story here, that is because we are only posting about 4 each week. Your story will be in the next Short Stories post – Pt 2 ❤