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Street Harassment, how do you deal?


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Every single time I go for a run I get creepers harassing me. Usually it's just horn-honking or the mostly just irritating "hey baby!" yelled from a passing car. Every now and then they get creative. 


things I've had to deal with:


-"Hey baby, I've just got to eat that pu$$y!"

-"Damn girl, are you married?"

-"Let me see that a$$!"

-"Work that thang!"

-"yo, why don't you get in the car and let me give you a ride?"

-"you looking for a man?"

-"you looking for a good time?"


and probably the worst was this guy that didn't say anything, just pulled up alongside and coasted, following me in his car for about a block, staring at me.


things I've done/said in response (when they don't go away with ignoring and pretending I can't hear them over my headphones):


-"yeah, I'm married"

-"yeah, my husband's about a block behind but he should catch up any minute now"

-"ich spreche keinen anglais"

- "  Ù„ا أتكلم الإنجليزية "

- < I can't hear you> ... in sign language

- "sorry, I'm busy"


what do you do about it?

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Urrrgh I hate it, I get this too. I've had guys approach me with cans of beer, trying to get me to take some, but the worst is when they just whistle and drive off.


One time, I was scooping my dog's poop when this guy tried to make a pass at me, so I wiped the poop on his white car... It was an all-natural and easily washable solution. I don't recommend that you try this, though.


I usually ignore them or pretend I didn't hear. If they're particularly annoying, though, I call them on it, as in "You are harassing me. You say one more word and I'm calling the police," and I hold up my cell phone to prove it. That usually shuts them up, then they're all awkward about it.


I hate guys like that. I'm sorry you deal with them so often.

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Don't respond at all.


Also, don't wear a pony-tail. Mirrored sunglasses are helpful as well.


If it persists, a threat to call the cops is useful. Take pictures, too.


Age will cure this, thankfully.

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I'm female, 47, 5'3", 135lbs.sbhikes, level 1 Gnome adventurerSTR 1|DEX 1|STA 5|CON 3|WIS 3|CHA 2(according to this, not that I truly understand what that means)

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Don't respond at all.


Also, don't wear a pony-tail. Mirrored sunglasses are helpful as well.


If it persists, a threat to call the cops is useful. Take pictures, too.


Age will cure this, thankfully.

With the age thing, I still get this. Maybe if didn't dye my hair. I think if it were really rude creepy I would be direct and say go away. Mostly its just been drive by comments, which I ignore. And think it must be because they are desperate if some 20something is noticing a 40+ women

Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind' Luke 10; 27

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Headphones, sunglasses, and ignoring it.

They're not worth your time.

(If this post seems brief or anything like that it's because I'm using my phone and don't want to type a lot :))

Your disclaimer may be longer than the post that you think warranted the disclaimer. :D

STR: 2 / DEX: 2 / STA: 3 / CON: 2 / WIS: 3 / CHA: 3


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I'm going to disagree with a lot of the points suggested above, well regarding headphones anyway.  While it is helpful if you want to ignore things, it does decrease your general awareness of your surroundings.  You shouldn't be paranoid about going out for a run the vast vast majority of cat callers are harmless.  But if you are in a situation where you are being followed at slow pace by a car, you don't want any distractions in the case shit hits the fan.  So while I do wear headphones myself, in this sort of situation I would rip them out and when they are in, never have them that loud that they drown out all other noise.


If they are asking you a specific question e.g. are you married?  Then don't answer it, this is what they want and expect.  Either ignore or if you do respond, don't answer the question.  Put them out of their comfort zone.  Give your best giant fake smile and wave is one option.

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"I lift heavy things. Sometimes these things are people."

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I like to ignore anyone who makes off-the-cuff suggestive comments. They're only bothering you if you let them! I try to treat suggestive or inappropriate questions as rhetorical. 

With the slow drive bys it's a little harder. I'm not sure how it works in the states, but if it is bad enough that you're feeling threatened or humiliated then I would suggest taking video or at the very least a photo with their license plate in shot, then contact the police right there and then. 
I wish I had taken those measures. I've been followed by a group of men in their early 20s who were driving slowly, drinking out of goon bags and screaming extremely explicit senarios at me. I was disgusted and really mad, especially as I had my two year old in the pram!
Plenty of people witnessed it, and I absolutely wish I had grabbed my phone and recorded the incident, however I decided to ignore them. I figured they'd stop if I didn't acknowledge them, but they kept at it for the entire length of the street. I felt so humiliated. Inside I was crying. The further I walked, the more aggressive they became; calling me a whore and saying they were going to rape me in various ways until I 'learnt my lesson'. If I could have that time back I would of whipped my phone out and recorded the incident from the start, then contacted the police.  

I guess at the end of the day you can't control other people's actions, only your own reaction. That said, no one has the right to make you feel inferior or threatened while going about your daily business.  =)


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My fitness routine is comprised of pole and exotic dancing. I just take it as a compliment when a guy asks, "Can I come watch?" (as if his question is oh-so-original!) I just politely smile and say, "How about you walk into a police station naked? Then we can talk!"

Psionic Amazon



"And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, they danced by the light of the moon." -Edward Lear, The Owl and the Pussycat


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i dont get harrasment. this is for several reasons:


1. im fat and ugly. lol.


2. i never run.


3. i rarely go outside.


4. i live in a rural area.


i think if i lived somewhere where i was going to get people noticing me running, i would try and exercise indoors. i really have a hard time with people noticing me.


atm people dont really notice me because im so fat and getting a bit old. 


these arent solutions however. you should be able to run without this kind of hassle.

here is my blog, which i have made to avoid spamming the forum with all my little updates: http://toblackmarsh.blogspot.co.uk/

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I haven't had this - I think I have a very effective f-off aura that acts as a forcefield! (or I'm just not hot enough to attract attention...)


I think the same is true of me...either an F-off force field, or I'm just not hot enough...I've only had a guy hit on me once and that was at the video store in highschool : / That's kind of depressing...

"When I can no more stir my soul to move, and life is but the ashes of a fire; When I can but remember that my heart once used to live and love, long and aspire - O be thou then the first, the one thou art; Be thou the calling before all answering love, and in me wake hope, fear, boundless desire." - George MacDonald


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Ugh.  I live in Latin America which is the capital of men making comments at women.  It is a national pass time. Don't engage them, it just encourages them.  As one poster said above, if you're wearing headphones, they shouldn't be loud enough that you can't hear what is going on around you.  If you feel threatened and have a phone, call the cops.  If you don't have a phone, go to a store or something.  Carrying a whistle isn't a bad idea, particularly if you are going into semi-isolated areas alone.


Every woman should know how to protect herself so if you haven't done it yet, take a self-defense course.  You will learn a lot you will hopefully never need to use.  But, if you do, you will be glad to have the knowledge.


I had a guy grab me once on the street.  I don't know if he was trying to rob me, cop a feel or do something more dastardly, but having the skills to leave him a broken-nosed, bloody, sobbing, heap on the ground made me feel damn good. :)

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My hackles raised up at hearing this. I strongly suggest you look into self defense and also take off the headphones and take pictures and start calling the police with every comment. That sort of behavior is what escalates into a really bad situation. Personally I'd also consider having some sort of weapon on me, whatever you are comfortable with and will train with whether it's pepper spray, a baton or bat, a set of metal knuckles, a gun or just your well trained hands and feet and do not neglect to train your brain as well as your weapon but get something to protect yourself and make sure you know how to use it. 

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Oogie McGuire

Black Sheep Shepherdess

STR 4.25 | DEX 4.5 | STA 3.75 | CON 3 | WIS 4.75 | CHA 1

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I know this isn't helpful, but I have never understood cat-calling. I understand teasing someone and trying to get a rise out of them. My partner and I have discussed it, what do these guys think is going to happen?




"Hey baby, I've just got to eat that pu$$y!"

"By all means, come and get it!" - said no woman ever.


Or even more harmless cat-calling,


"Hey yo baby, hey yo baby, what's your number?"

"Please call me so that I can tell my friends how I met this wonderful man who treated me with respect while hanging out in front of a gas station drinking out of a paper bag".


Jokes aside, I agree with everyone who has said things like, take self-defense, or take out your headphones and be really aware. In fact, you don't even need to take out the headphones, just turn off the music. It will still look like you can't hear them, but you can be totally aware of your surroundings. Cat-calling is mostly harmless, but you never know when one time it pisses the wrong guy off and then the shit hits the fan. My biggest fear with cat-calling is that I'll defend myself, say something snarky back, or smear poop on their car, and they'll retaliate in a way that I can't control. So my policy has always been heightened alertness and ignoring them.

Amazon Warrior

29, F, 5'11 ft, 159lbs

#1, #2, #3, #4, #5


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I've only ever had one comment, but a lot of stares, even while guys are driving... I say have your headphones on, but low enough to hear the comments and ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings. If someone's following you, physically approaches you etc. then I say definitely take a picture and make like you're calling the cops. Either they'll back off or  you're ready anyway. Good luck! Stay safe!

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Level 1 Wood Elf. Warrior at heart, training with the AdventurersSTR 2|DEX 3|STA 3|CON 3|WIS 2|CHA 2


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If someone's following you, physically approaches you etc. then I say definitely take a picture and make like you're calling the cops. Either they'll back off or  you're ready anyway. Good luck! Stay safe!


Actually, if someone starts approaching you, the best way to handle it is to tell them to back the *expletive* off. I've taken a few self-defense seminars, and all of them say to be the worst victim you can be if you think someone is going to hurt you. In fact, one of my teachers has a tape of a woman getting raped while on the phone with the 911 operator. Acting like you're calling the cops doesn't really dissuade someone who will seriously hurt you, if that's all you're going to do. They know they can hurt you and get away before the cops get there if you don't fight back. Your best bet is to make them think they'll stumble upon an easier target if they leave you alone. So yeah, a comment or two? Ignore them. Seriously escalating? Ask if you can help them (not nicely), then get progressively more belligerent.


Also, to a couple of the other comments, be careful of mace if you live somewhere windy. I live where the wind comes sweeping down the plains (heh), and there's a serious chance that it'll blow back in MY face if I were to use it. 


Mostly, men who do this are scum, and I'm pretty sure there's a special place in whatever purgatory you may believe in for them.

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Lvl. 3 Gnome

STR - 4.25/DEX - 2.5/STA - 6.25/CON - 5.5/WIS - 9/CHA - 7.25


Current Challenge / Challenge 2 / Challenge 1

"She believed in dreams, alright, but she also believed in doing something about them...

When Prince Charming didn't come along, she went over to the palace and got him."

- Walt Disney

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It's an unfortunate part of working out in a public place when their usual company doesn't work out at all. If you are concerned about them getting up close and personal, carry a small canister of deodorant. Not as powerful as mace, nor as dangerous but if you whip that can up and spray at their eyes 1. it will still hurt but you wouldn't be legally required to provide medical aid (depending on where you are), 2. back spray will not hurt you as badly as it would if it was mace, and 3. they will think for about 3 seconds that it IS mace and will give you enough time to run.   

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Fight now, cry later.

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If I get cat calls and I'm walking by them, I ignore them. If they decide to get close to me I begin causing a scene. I yell, curse and tell them I'm not who they are looking for. I've found when you cause a scene, they back off, as most of these guys don't want to actually deal with crazy.

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Q. Well, what kind of strength do you want?

A. You mean I get to choose? Polar bear strength! I want polar bear strength!

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OMG- valid.


that's hysterical.  (writes that down to try later)  I go with a different version of crazy but I might try that kind of crazy.


(leaving the bar the other day- a guy followed me out to keep talking to me and grab a smoke... I spent 15 minutes tell him why he needed to spray for elves in his house... I was dead serious and I think he was cross eyed when I finally left)

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Last time this happened I was out running. On a recovery period a guy asked about my sweat shirt (ROTC from an ex, kept the shirt, not the contents). I told him what it was and he goes


"Sorry, I couldn't read it. Your boobs are huge and bouncy." 


His friend just looks at him like he grew a third head and I reply


"I should dislocate your jaw for that, but I don't want to get blood on my sweat shirt." put my headphones back in to the sound of his friend heckling the hell out of him for being a douche and getting dissed by a girl *eyeroll* and finished my run.

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Human Adventurer

Str: 3 | Dex: 2 | Sta:2 | Con:3 | Wis:3 | Cha:2

I've got no strings to hold me down, to make me smile or make me frown...

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