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I was at a medical science camp over the summer, and a group of other girls and I were seated at a table for lunch. A group of men our age came over and pulled up chairs to our table. They started asking us personal questions and making rude, inappropriate comments when we refused to respond. We girls decided to leave. One of them turns to his friend, gestured to my behind, and said “nice” while the other one pretended to slap it. I just felt ashamed and disgusted for the rest of the day.
I was locking up the office but still inside the building just now and heard a college aged guy yelling on the street outside, “Hey, B–ch, come here!” then “Get the f–k out of the road b–ch!” I couldn’t see who he was yelling at, but I don’t appreciate that sort of language being thrown around so loudly in public.
A couple of days ago, I was at the Rocky Boot Outlet in Nelsonville. I was trying on some cowgirl boots and overhearing an unpleasant conversation between what appeared to be a husband and wife. The wife was also trying on cowgirl boots. We smiled at each other and politely moved out of the way of each other’s reach. I complimented the boots she was trying on as her husband looked pissy about having to wait for her. He kept saying things like, “I don’t mind paying $200 for a good pair of boots if you’re actually going to wear them, but not for something that’s just going to sit in the box,” and “if you want them I’ll buy them, because I am for damned sure not going to listen to you b–ch the whole way home about how I should have bought them.” I grew increasingly tense sharing space with him as his comments got more and more aggressive. I think she saw me looking shocked and tense, because she started to seem embarrassed toward me. She kept acting very calm and pleasing toward him though. Eventually she said she didn’t want them, and he said quite loudly, “That’s an hour of my life I’ll never get back, B—h!” I looked her square in the eyes with a look of shock and compassion for her. She looked very embarrassed and hurried away. I know a knowing glance is still considered bystander intervention, but I wish I could have done more. I hope she got the message that I had her back, and I hope she is able get away from him one day.
I woke up on a Saturday morning and realized I was out of eggs, so I drove over to the next holler to buy some from a neighbor. I had just thrown on my muck boots with what I had worn to bed, so I was wearing an odd combination of baggy sweater, leggings, and big muddy boots, but nothing too out of the ordinary for my neck of the woods. I got out of the car and knocked on the door. Around the time that I was noticing that no one was home, a gigantic white truck pulled into the driveway. The driver, a man with gray hair dressed in full camo (deer season had just started), rolled down the window and shouted, “Nobody’s home?” I walked closer, confirmed, and asked if he knew a time when they were likely to be home. He said no. I walked back to the porch to set down the stack of empty egg cartons I had brought to give back and could feel his stare on my ass as he started to drive off. I got back in my car, and he changed course to back up, roll his window back down, and say, “I just want you to know, you’re a real sweetheart.” I know that doesn’t sound too creepy, but I was thoroughly creeped out by his tone and expression. I’m pretty sure what he really meant was, “You got a real nice ass.”
Yesterday I was walking past the Trisolini Gallery in Baker on my way to the Women’s Center. The art caught my eye so I stepped in to have a quick peek. There was a guy in there walk around in circles not looking at the art. I wasn’t immediately concerned about him, but I could tell that the girl sitting at the table staffing the gallery was watching him uncomfortably. I looked at the art for a little while, and when I got about half way through the room, he walked up to me, leaned in close, and said sort of creepily, “So, what brings you here?” I took a step back, which I know you’re not supposed to do, and politely answered his question with some mindless babble about the art catching my eye as I was walking by, and I went back to looking at the art, trying to make it very clear with my body language that I was not interested in talking with him further. He went back to pacing around. I looked at the girl at the table. She was nervously watching him. I considered saying something to her, but was nervous that he would overhear. I left and felt bad about not doing anything, so on my way out, I stopped by the Event Services desk, told the student worker there that the girl working the Trisolini table seemed really uncomfortable with a guy that’s in there pacing around awkwardly. I asked him to go check on her, ask if she needs anything. He said he would and got up to go do it. I hope she felt supported by this.
This occurrence was on the sidewalk outside of the Union. A really mean and drunk(?) metal head started accusing me of being a narc and was very close to slugging me.
The most frightening experience ever. Fortunately my car was close by and I jumped in and l locked the doors.
I refuse to stay home and miss music groups because I am an “old woman” and out of place in some venues.
During the Athens Halloween Block Party last weekend I was walking towards my house around 1am when I passed
two college aged guys and overheard one of them say to the other, “That bitch doesn’t want to come to the party,
I’m gonna have to bag her.” The two guys then got in a car and drove through the alley and pulled into the path
of a woman who was quickly walking up the street. The guys were trying to convince the woman to get into their
car. Having overheard their prior conversation I decided to hang around and make it apparent that there would be a witness to their behavior. At that point the woman noticed me there and called out “Sir, could I walk with you?” I said “Of course” and the two of us headed up the street and the two guys in the car didn’t follow. I walked her to her car and she asked me to pray for her. I asked her if she was ok to drive and she said yes, so I went home.
Some time in the 90s I attended the Halloween Block Party as some sort of tribal warrior of my own invention. I was wearing a grass skirt and a headdress that I made myself. The headdress was made out of grape vines and small animal bones and other natural items I had found in the woods. It covered my whole face. I was walking down Fern Street, away from the block party and toward my friends’ house where a party was going on when two guys ran up behind me, one on each side. They put their hands under my armpits and lifted me off the ground. I was laughing the whole time thinking these were my friends from the party, and they were just playing some sort of joke on me. Then they carried me behind a rental and threw me down on the ground next to some trash cans. One of them leap on top of me and pinned my arms down with his knees. He reached up and pulled the headdress off of my head, revealing my beard and my full on man face. At this point he yelled, “F@#K!” and jumped up and he and his friend ran away. I lay on the ground and was struck by the notion that if I had been a woman I would have just been raped by two men next to some trash cans.