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In creepy Reddit megathread, thousands of women recount the first time they were perved on by a grown man


So there’s a giant, growing, and extremely creepy megathread up on Reddit at the moment, and for once, the creepiness isn’t coming from inside the Reddit. Well, less of the creepiness is coming from Reddit than you might expect.

Yesterday, you see, a Redditor known as BA_Baracus posted a couple of simple questions to AskReddit: Women of Reddit, when did you first notice that men were looking at you in a sexual way? How old were you and how did it make you feel?

This wasn’t the first time he’d posted a question to his fellow Redditors; he’s posted a bunch, including “People of reddit with eyes that point in different directions, which one of them is usually looking at me?” and, er, “Recent rape victims of Reddit, how did it happen, and what the hell were you doing in India?” None of these questions got much of a response.

But this time, well, thousands of “women of Reddit” stepped forward to tell the horrifying yet in most cases completely unsurprising stories of the first time men started perving on them, in many cases before they were even teenagers.

Here’s a sampling of some of their stories. TRIGGER WARNING for extreme fucking creepiness.

Age 8, followed to a department store changing room

intoon 130 points 1 day ago  Holy shit, this thread is depressing, but (sadly,) makes me feel like I'm not alone. I was 8, had wandered away from my mom at Kmart. A creepy 40 something white guy in construction attire stared at my chest and butt, and followed me all around the store. I even went into the changing room to get away from him (stupid idea I know, but c'mon, I was 8!) he FOLLOWED ME INTO THE CHANGING ROOM. Tried to pull and shake the locked stall door open that I was hiding behind. I sat, curled into a ball on the changing seat, staring at his dirty work boots just on the other side of that door, terrified. Thank god a woman walked in to try on some clothes, saw him, and screamed at him to get out. After he had left, I ran out and found my Mom. I will never forget how frightened I was. I had no idea what he wanted with me, but the way he stared and his aggression trying to pull that changing room door open made me feel so sick and ashamed of my body and I wondered what I had done to make him come after me. I'm so crazy over protective with my kids and I'm sure some of it stems from that incident. I have to fight my anxiety anytime I take them to a park, or museum or even family gathering. They are always within my sight.

Age 8, molested by a landlord

DevilNTheDeepBlueSea 86 points 1 day ago  I was 8 when a landlord in Germany put his hands down my pants while I was feeding a rabbit he gave me. I ran away, he butchered the bunny that afternoon. I was 11 when a relative of my mother's husband (in his mid-thirties) tried to French kiss me. I told my mother & she found that "hard to believe". I was 16 and almost raped by 2 older guys (mid 20s) in a parking lot in Hawaii (daylight), until a construction worker walked up to stop it. At 17 I worked for a mobile equine vet who once called me in to his office where he was masturbating. I quite that job & caught hell from parents for being fickle. At 18 I was fired from a job for not giving head to a manager, embarrassed (AGAIN), I lied to friends/family about something stupid that I did to cause the job loss. I was 20 when a friend of my aunt offered me a ride home, he tried to rape me, that turned into a fist fight with him leaving mad & calling me crazy. At 26 a small animal veterinarian (50s) tried to corner/fondle me & 2 other assistants regularly. My husband thought women exaggerate these types of things, that it's rare. We're divorced. Should I continue? No, I did not dress provocative or act "flirty". And I don't think it matters if you're beautiful or just a girl. Or how old or experienced. It's insulting, shameful, & almost always very hurtful.

Age 12, at a bus stop

Cuddlebunz 208 points 1 day ago  I remember the first time pretty clearly. I was a mix of scared/angry/confused and I was only twelve years old. I was waiting at a bus stop alone, when a guy who was probably in his late twenties/early thirties came riding past on his bike. He slowed right down and whistled at me. When I ignored him, he turned on his bike and slowly rode right past me. I remember being pretty freaked out at how he leered at me. Twelve year old me had no idea what to do. He turned around and rode by again. Luckily a woman showed up to the same stop so I moved to stand near her. He finally rode off when he saw I wasn't by myself anymore (or maybe was bored I wasn't responding?) It was fucked up. Some men can be so disgusting.

11 or 12, walking to and from school

mermaids_singing 856 points 1 day ago  11 or 12. I remember walking to and from school (6th grade in the US) and having guys yell stuff out of cars. A couple times I had to hide out in a local coffee shop on the route home because I was getting harassed. Once because a carful of maybe late teens/early 20's dudes kept circling the block and asking me to ride with them and once because some older dude was walking the same way and kept talking about my tits and ass. I was 12 and had no idea how to deal with this so I started wearing baggy boy lessened but didn't stop. I spent years working htrough my issues over this.

Age 12, waiting for carryout

WinstonScott 1052 points 1 day ago  When I was 12, my mom and I were at a small, carry-out only restaurant waiting for our order to be ready. This older guy, who looked like he was about 20 came in. He just stared at me, open-mouthed. I had to walk past him to fill my drink, and he said, "Hey baby. Give me some of that T & A." I didn't even know what T & A was! He even positioned himself so I would have to walk past him again when we left the restaurant, and he made another comment where he called me "Princess." Anyway, when we got in the car, I just broke down crying. I was so ashamed. My mom had had no idea that any of that had just occurred, and I told her that I didn't know what I had done wrong. I thought for sure I must have looked him at or done something to make him think that it was OK to talk and look at me like that. My mom assured me that it was nothing that I had done, and I that now that I was developing, things like that were going to happen a lot more frequently. If I had been older, the whole incident would have been fairly innocuous. But I was only 12 (and I definitely looked very young even though I had boobs and hips) so it was mildly traumatizing. What I find so disturbing now that I'm an adult, is how frequently, older, grown men would look and make sexual comments at me from the ages of 12-17. Like I said before, I looked very young, and I didn't dress provocatively. There's no way they could have mistaken me for 18+.

Age 11, creepy step-grandfather

vodka_titties 1579 points 1 day ago  I was 11. I had started to grow my boobs, and my step grandfather cornered me in my parents room one day. He stuck his tongue in my mouth and grabbed my boobs. I didn't know what to do so I pushed him away a little, said "abuelito did you want a hug?", and hugged him. Ughhh. I was scared I was going to get in trouble and that my parents would think I was making it up. They believed me, but just told me to avoid him for the rest of his stay.

Age 12, creepy step-uncle

BattleReady 2658 points 1 day ago  I was 12. I remember I was doing yard work for a step-uncle when he would constantly casually make "Huh" sounds and stand directly behind me when I would pull weeds. Suspicions were confirmed when he took me to lunch at the mall and offered to buy me tiny dresses and low cut shirts. I stopped associating with my step family after that as that's all they ever did.

Age 10, wearing a Lion King backpack and light-up shoes


Age 12, creepy cell phone salesman

Serae 3700 points 1 day ago  This...1999 or 2000? I was 12 and my mom was getting me a cell phone. This was before cell phone were as common for kids to have. I came home with my cellphone and got my first call. It was the young guy who set us up with the phone and the plan. He called to tell me that he thought I was hot and that he has my number since he set me up with my phone. I just small talked him, being overly nice as I wasn't really sure what to do. My mom noticed me on the phone and asked who I would even be calling (the phone as basically to call her and only her). I told her that the guy that sold us the phone was trying to get a date with me. She grabbed the phone and yelled into it, "She's 10 years old and you should be ashamed! If you ever call again I'll go to the police." He got off the phone quickly. I looked at my mom and said, "But...I'm 12?" "He needs to feel the additional shame of being a pig." And that was the moment I first noticed that someone was looking at me in a sexual way. My mother ended up going to the store and getting the guy fired. Apparently this wasn't the first time he'd used his job to get numbers of women to call. This time he got fired. That was also the year other things occurred, but this was the first.

Age 11, walking home from the beach

ALighterShadeOfPale 3919 points 1 day ago  Around age 11, myself and my cousin (she was also 11) were walking from the beach to the cottage (in shorts and t shirts). A car with three men began driving slowly next to us, asking for directions and for us to get in to show them where some campground was. We went into a convenience store and used their phone to call our grandmother to come get us. (Pre cellphones). The men were parked in the parking lot and followed our car to the cottage, which was set back from the road, had to go through trees and such to get to it. They parked out on the road by the entrance. My uncle (cousin's father) was told they were parked there and went out with his shot gun to ask if there was any problems. They didn't stick around. From that point on I became more aware of the yelling out car windows, the stares, the requests to get into vehicles (seriously, guys, does this ever work?)

Age 12, in Blockbuster (with bonus Reddit creepiness)

Flowsephine 4673 points 1 day ago*  I remember being in Blockbuster when I was 12 and having a man comment on my ass loud enough that multiple people turned around to glare at him. When my shocked mother informed him of my age he turned bright red and left the store. Edit: I can save a lot of you a lot of time and tell you that I HAVE NOT posted in /r/gonewild. The most you'll find in my post history is a very cute dog. Edit 2: As requested, here's the dog. 75% Australian Shepherd and 25% Heeler. I'm so glad he's been eye bleach for a lot of you, but don't forget what we are actually here to discuss.

14, eating a lollipop

glitterbugged 5006 points 1 day ago  I was 14 in a restaurant with my parents, sucking on a lollipop, when some dude approached to let me know that he wished he was the lollipop. I thought my dad might actually murder him. Age 12, eating a banana

sakana-no-ko 3577 points 1 day ago  This is sort of like what happened to my sister! We were at a fair and eating frozen chocolate covered bananas. I was 17 and she was 12. This white guy walked up to her and goes "Wow, it looks like you're eating a big black dick! Ha! You look good eating dick" and then a black guy behind him goes "Wish it was mine!" What disturbs me the most about that is I was right there, eating one too, and while I looked young, I could have been legal. She at 12 looked more like she was 10, she was so young looking and they chose to prey on her instead of an adult-looking target.

Naturally, some Redditors decided to add to the creepiness:

pretendtrainw00w00 2825 points 1 day ago*  When I was about ten years old, I developed breasts but hadn't really noticed yet. I was wearing a shirt with no bra, when a boy in my class kept passing my desk over and over again. About the fifth time, I looked up at him to see what was going on, and he was staring right down the v-neck of my top. That was the moment my entire damn life changed. Edit: For those wondering what it is like to be a woman, the creepy PMs have officially started. From a post speaking about my breasts when I was 10.

And all this makes pretty clear just why we need age of consent laws:

CheezIt624 3453 points 1 day ago*  I was 12, already gone through puberty and was pretty developed. I learned very quickly that men don't care if you're 12 as long as you LOOK like you're 17-18. This is why I argue so strongly for consent laws. I was fucking 12 with Beanie Babies and Sweet Valley High books and shit, and grown men were trying to fuck me because I was a C cup and looked older. And I liked the attention, because all any girl wants is to feel wanted and mature and adult. It's why we start fantasizing about our first cars and sneak cigarettes from our parents - we want to feel older and cool. I didn't know I could say no to these men, and I felt so much older and mature when they'd pay attention to me, and so that began a rough few years of letting men have sex with me. I phrase it that way because that's what it was - did I say yes? Yes. Did I want to? No. I was scared to say no to these older guys. It took till maybe 18 or so before I realized I didn't have to do anything I didn't want to. Edit: And I've already received my first PM saying 12 year old slutty me wanted it.

Of course, many of these creepy guys are well aware that the targets of their creepiness are a long way away from being “legal.”

I_Dont_Own_A_Cat 1151 points 1 day ago*  I was 12, already gone through puberty and was pretty developed. I learned very quickly that men don't care if you're 12 as long as you LOOK like you're 17-18. The worst part is that plenty of men who catcall well-developed young teens don't really think they look 17 or 18. They know perfectly damn well they are catcalling 11-15 year olds. They know perfectly damn well 11-15 year olds are "easier" and safer to harass, for the reasons you stated in your post. My body developed pretty young, but I remain short and babyfaced. Even in my early 20s, I occasionally would get hit on by adult men who said or did things that indicated they thought I was very young with big breasts. Asking where I went to high school, etc. Those men didn't think that I was older-looking, they specifically targeted that I was very young-looking. Two different times I've had a men flat out say state, with mild disappointment, they thought I was younger when I told them my age, once after randomly asking if I like to party and offering to buy me alcohol while I was walking down the street.

Check out the thread for countless more stories like this.

H/T — u/Iwillpixiecutyou on Reddit

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7 years ago

Thank you to everyone who has shared your experiences here. I thought I knew how hard it was. Talking to my wife and sister showed me some insight. I just never knew it was everywhere and for nearly everyone.

Love how you got that message across. My kids are young (five and three). I definitely think I should not wait until 6th grade to begin these discussions. I already started a version of your discussion with the five year old. I am going to add to it a few of your points. Especially about the bodies belonging to others. Thanks!

7 years ago

You are all so brave to speak about this, maybe I finally can as well. I was in 8th grade, so 13 ( I think). My father owed his drug dealer money, and the dealer was no longer going to wait. He came to my house, and took my little sister and I. I don’t know where we were, but we were with him and these other men for a month. After the first few nights, the dealer and 2 guys came in to the room they kept us in. And I was told to be a good dirl and not fight back, or they’d do it to my sister too.
A month of this before my dad found us, every night, often more than once a night. I still have flash backs and nightmares. It’s over 10 years later.

I have a 4 and a half year old daughter. We were in the mall at the coin operated rides. I walked to the other side to get more quarters while she rode the train. Come back, and this 50 year old or so guy is talking to her, and touching her hair, keeps getting closer. I didn’t hesitate, I kicked him in the balls as hard as I could, grabbed my daughter, and called the cops.

7 years ago

“Because I love her so much. Why can’t you guys accept that an older man can really/truly love a young girl? If a man can love another man and if a woman can love another woman, then why, darn it, can’t I love a 13-year-old? What’s so creepy about that? Why are you guys always so critical? What is your problem?”

I just love how these guys try to project THEIR problem onto those who (rightly) call them out and criticize their shit. And here’s what needs to be said right back to that:

The problem (YOUR problem, creeper dudes, NOT ours) is that men who love men and women who love women are all ADULTS. CONSENTING ADULTS. The just-barely-pubescent girl you “love” isn’t an adult, and it doesn’t matter if the legal age of consent is lowered to her age or even younger — she’s STILL not an adult. Her brain still has many years of growing left to do. She’s a kid. She only stopped playing with kiddie toys last year. You fucking KNOW that. And that’s why you’re whining about not being allowed to creep on her. Not “love”. CREEP. You want one who’s so young and small and powerless and scared that she won’t refuse you, laugh at you or compare you adversely to a previous boyfriend. And yet, one who looks plausibly deniable, just “grown up” enough, to pass as legit without legit adult mental development and life experience. Maybe. Or maybe not. In any case, you’re not an adult loving an equal. You’re a creep, and the reason you’re creepy is because you picked on a kid who you KNOW isn’t ready for sexual relations yet. You’re exploiting your power and seniority with someone very much below you on the age and experience scale, and that’s not fucking cool. It will NEVER be fucking cool, no matter how much she smiles and coos and thinks she “loves” you, too. Because you are abusing her trust. She should be able to rely on adults to protect her, not exploit her. And because of you, she never can. If she’s “broken”, it’s because you fucking “broke” her, you fucking creepy bastard. You used her for a sex toy and then, when you got tired of her, you chucked her out. Because of you, she’s gonna be blamed and shamed and kicked around by other abusive guys. That is, if she wants anything more to do with men at all — because after a girl has been sexually abused, the very thought of anything sexual at all, even consensual and with someone she loves, becomes nauseous to her. She will have a hard time knowing whom to trust, and without therapy, she may not ever fully trust another man again.

And that’s what “my” problem is.

7 years ago

I was bullied badly by girls and boys (although i always had more boy-friends than girls). And any time I spoke up about it I got this:
The boys do it because you’re pretty and they like you.
The girls do it because you’re pretty and they’re jealous.
So my young brain was very confused about consent and things that *feel* wrong. I also learned that girls are catty bitches and competition for boys. Boys that will humiliate, tease, inappropriately touch, etc. me because they have some kind of crush on me. Wut?
Nowadays there’s much more awareness about bullying in school, but it’s usually the same-sex kind of bullying that people think of as “being picked on”, not this sexual stuff. And it’s ALL bullying and ALL wrong!

Oh yeah, I got that shit too. Not being tackled and ground face-first into the dirt or anything so blatant, but plenty of picking-on. By bullies of both sexes. Boys pushing their luck; girls getting bitchy. And yes, you’re absolutely right: It IS all bullying. And all wrong.

And I never bought the “but he likes you/she’s just jealous” bit, either. If someone likes me, they can show it a better way. Like, by not doing things that will very specifically make me DISlike them, and want to avoid them from that moment on. And if someone’s envious — well, that’s too bad. But it’s not a licence to bully, either.

Alan Robertshaw
7 years ago

@ Bina

I used to see people on the internet just write “QFT”; I didn’t get it. Then someone explained to me it meant “quoted for truth”. Even though I knew the words I still didn’t get it. So, someone has said something, why just refer back to it? I couldn’t see the point.

I do now.


7 years ago


Sympathy to everyone here and at reddit for all of this. 🙁

I don’t recall the first time.

I do recall getting creeped on by guys a few years older at my daycare (I was 9), which was explicitly noted as “my fault” by the teachers. I never told my parents.

My senior year of high school, I had 0-4 period, so I was out at lunch time. I would sometimes go to the mall across the street when I was done. One day, I was walking through the parking lot and went near a department store that had an outside section with lawnmowers and such. At least three 20-30s workers started yelling sexually suggestive things at me (and calling me “Maria” to add some racism to their sexism, though I am not Hispanic. I have dark eyes/hair and can turn very brown in the summer…although then my hair usually goes blond). I was 17 and have always looked young. After that, I would walk the long way around if I went to the mall, just to avoid that area.

Lea, it’s so good to see what you wrote about consent and your kids. My husband and I have a 3 year old and a 6 month old now. We are trying to teach the oldest one that his body is his own and he doesn’t have to do anything with it, even hug a relative, if he doesn’t want to. Some of our relatives have tried arguing with us about that, which really pissed me off. Why do people think it’s ok to force a child to hug them? (Not even asking why people think it’s ok to abuse assault kids or adults). Ugh.

7 years ago

She will have a hard time knowing whom to trust, and without therapy, she may not ever fully trust another man again.

I honestly think that’s a feature not a bug. It’s why they want the young girls, I think, that they get (BARF ALERT) “fresh” so that when they don’t want to deal with the damage they’ve done, they can throw her back knowing that there will be a part of that young woman that will always be damaged by them. It’s a way that they can maintain the power fantasy, thinking that they can destroy her life – a version of “if I can’t have her, nobody can”, but more like “I had her, and no one else will”. Now I’ve just really grossed myself out.

When I was very young, 10 or 11, some 16 year-old asshole at the swimming pool kept sexually harassing me, groping my breasts and crotch. My younger cousin would help in trying to defend me (and I would defend her from her bullies as well, same shitty swimming pool). We eventually and finally (after a few years!) got our parents to let us go to the bigger, more public (and more fun!) swimming pool. What a joy that was, only being stared at instead of molested! I could at least ignore the stares and groove on like the water rat I was.

I would have told my parents the real reason why we wanted to go to the other swimming pool, but I was afraid that they wouldn’t listen to me. After all, I was being severely bullied in grade school by my entire class and they didn’t believe me, so why would they believe this? I mean, “they’re just jealous of you” when the little shits tell you in all seriousness that you should commit suicide because “no one likes you” and “that’s why everyone teases you, so that you die”. Yeah, I wasn’t buying that – you don’t tell people you like to commit suicide or that they’re worthless. Also at school, the bra snapping, pulling up skirts…every girl wore pants or shorts under their uniform because of this. Dropping pencils on the ground to look up girls’ skirts….and this was grade/middle school! NOBODY DID SHIT.

I mean, I’ve gotten the creepy 50 year old men in cars saying creepy ass shit, groped by peers, and other sexual harassment. Some incidents stand out, but mostly it’s just one big amorphous blob of “shit assholes do”. It did taper off a bit these last few years as people are pegging me at about 25-27 (I’m actually 37), but it still happens from time to time, mostly because I’m very short and I look nonthreatening. It’s why I can’t wait to get to 80 – if at 40 it’s dulled to a minor roar, will it finally stop by 80? Or will my wildly dyed red-orange or possibly purple hair (or both!) and the dildo cozies I crochet keep the assholes talking to me?

7 years ago

I remember having my butt pinched for the first time by a stranger, HARD, at a waterpark on a youth group trip. It left a mark and happened more than once during the trip. Really unsettling, as it would seem to come out of nowhere: I’d be minding my own business standing in line and all of a sudden, OW! Just humiliating and invasive and painful, too.

I’d have been about 11 at the time. I was wearing a screaming purple one-piece with a ruffle skirt. Was never sure who exactly did it, since at the time I was a kid and thus excited about the rides and not at all alert to what the men around me were doing. Plus I was pretty nearsighted and no one had noticed yet, so a lot of things were an indistinct blur to me at the time.

But there was this noisy little knot of guys maybe between 17-21? running around and kind of looking like they got away with something, so I always thought it was them.

Pretty gross, but yeah, after awhile you sort of learn to alternately keep a sharp eye out, hide, and/or just resign yourself to the fact that, uh, men suck, and have always sucked, and will evermore suck, amen.

(not all men, obvs.)

I’ve employed all the tactics above at various points, with varying levels of success.

It’s depressing but every woman I know has come up with some sort of defense mechanism to cope. (Denial counts in my book, too.)

7 years ago

@lizzy – I’m so sorry that happened to you. Huge enormous virtual hugs if you want them.

@sunnysombrera yeah, school board – it was the 80’s. Catholic school too! If the teachers noticed, and I don’t know how they couldn’t have, they did nothing. But honestly, I didn’t bother complaining about it. I’d already been repeatedly molested at this point (when I was 7-8) by an older boy and though that did sort of get dealt with, in that he was no longer allowed at our house, it wasn’t ever mentioned again and I was left feeling like… well, I guess like this is just how things are, and sometimes guys are going to do things like that and that’s just life.

Eventually that turned into ‘this must be what I’m for’. My teen years were, um, interesting. I don’t think people in general realize how common all this is for so many young girls, and how it affects their choices and behaviour as they become pre-teens, teenagers, women.

I finally got over that thinking in my mid-20’s. Wasn’t easy. My sister and I are arming her 15-yr-old stepdaughter as best we can. Good news is she’s dating an amazing boy who we all really, really like! Bad news… she already has stories of her own to share.

7 years ago

I honestly think that’s a feature not a bug. It’s why they want the young girls, I think, that they get (BARF ALERT) “fresh” so that when they don’t want to deal with the damage they’ve done, they can throw her back knowing that there will be a part of that young woman that will always be damaged by them. It’s a way that they can maintain the power fantasy, thinking that they can destroy her life – a version of “if I can’t have her, nobody can”, but more like “I had her, and no one else will”.

I think you’re onto something. Responsibility? Relating to another adult? What’s THAT? No, let’s pick on a kid and do some damage to her. Because a fucked-up life = POWER. It’s either that, or they want a surefire guarantee of being “her first”. Because first-timers are the Manhood Prize, or something. >eyeroll<

Anyhow. I think it's time for more brain bleach, yes?

7 years ago

In our society, a male without power of some sort is seen as unmasculine–the worst insult.

I think it’s often low self-esteem–a perception of a lack of power–that leads men to make comments like this to such young girls.

They choose someone unthreatening and demonstrate power over her– by making her feel uncomfortable, defining her (as sexual, and as an object in relation to his interest), and taking away her identity and subjecthood (to simply be herself).

7 years ago

Why on earth was that man who was calling up underage girls only fired when he should have been charged by the police?

My first experiences of getting sexual interest were:

A group of slightly older boys shouting about wanting to have sex with me & see me naked when I was walking with my dad. I can’t remember what age I was exactly, but I was under 10.

Boys my own age spying on me in my underwear & coming into the girls changing room to see me naked (they were only kids but still unpleasant & embarrassing for me)

A builder wolf whistling & shouting at me when I was walking home in my school uniform

An older man starting a conversation with me in the street & asking for a date while I was walking home in my school uniform

7 years ago

My godfather admitted to sexually abusing me from the age of 9 months. I remember the abuse from about age 4-5.

The first time a stranger creeped on me was when I was about 10. It was a man, probably late 40s, wearing shorts sitting across from me and my friend (also about 10) on a city bus. He kept peeking his penis out under the hem and smiling when he saw me and my friend looking at it.

7 years ago

Reblogged this on Mis chocoaventuras and commented:
(En inglés) Mujeres narran las primeras veces que se sintieron acosadas por un hombre, y es realmente asqueroso y espeluznante. #NoMásAcosoCallejero

7 years ago

I’ve been reading the stories you’ve shared and most of them sound waaaay too familiar. Several episodes come to mind but I won’t share them as I dont feel like remembering all the disgusting details. None of them have gone out of hands though, but the fear and the shame I felt keep bothering me even today.
The first episode I remember dates back to when I was about 12 and, even now, I still don’t know how to handle street harassment. I’ve tried ignoring them and yelling back, only to be called a crazy slut and to be stared at by bystanders as if I were truly crazy.

It just so dehumanizing. I sometimes wish I were invisible when I walk down the street.

I’d love to hug all of you ladies and men who have been through similar or even worse stuff. I know we are not alone, though that phrase is not as conforting as it used to be.

To the admin and the ones who comment regularly, keep up the good work. It’s good to know that’s people out there who are worried about these issues too.

Jenni Langlois (@jenl1625)

I would get catcalls from construction workers when I was in 3rd and 4th grade.

I was in 4th or 5th grade when someone (who I later realized must have stalked me from my school to my home at least once before to know my route) parked along the route where I road my bike, called to me to get my attention, asked for directions to somewhere innocuous, then pulled up his penis and asked me what I thought of it.

In high school, I’d routinely have guys stop their cars or pickups to ask me if I wanted to “go to a party”. As I’m walking to school in the morning, or back home at 3 or 4 in the afternoon.

7 years ago

Bina, I love Maru!

Mine was when I was 12 and some Marine MSGT or some such started calling me with nasty messages … If my parents answered, he’d hang up but if I answered, he’d tell me what he wanted to do to me. The odd thing … he thought I was YOUNGER and went to a local Elementary school. We got the police involved and they put a tap on the phone to both record him and get his phone number. From what I understand, he had to stand trial AND go through a court martial.

6 years ago

Hmm, well, the first time I got sexual attention from a man was from a friend of the family when I was six, but I didn’t understand (he used to ask for kisses, and he got an erection once when I was in his lap). I don’t remember if anything else happened, but we moved away. Later I discovered he molested by kindergarten best friend for a year when she was nine, bribing her with rent and food money for her family to keep it quiet.

On a trip to Mexico when I was about 9 and my sister was 7 a bunch of men in the ocean surrounded us and began trying to put their fingers inside us, grabbing our butts and non-existent breasts. I dove and swam away but my sister describes it going on longer for her and feeling terrified. Our parents, a few yards away on the shore, didn’t appear to notice.

When I was 12 I was catcalled; when I was thirteen I was molested by an old man in a movie theater when I fell asleep during Kundun (that was a long movie). He edged his scarf over my lap to feel me up. I never told anyone but later was on an annual trip to CA with my parents and saw in the Needles motel room on the news that he had been arrested for molesting many young girls.

When I was sixteen I worked as assistant director on a bilingual production of the House of the Spirits. Whenever I went backstage to get anything a big tall man in his late thirties who was a stagehand on the production used to call me “fat ass” and sneer at me and say other awful things while backing me into a corner and grabbing my butt and sticking his hands up my skirt.

When I was seventeen I got into a relationship with a twenty-four-year old who raped me on more than one occasion…this pattern continued throughout my twenties–of sexual harassment, following, groping, assault, and rape–because I am young-looking and small but with large breasts (I think this is part of it, some men think large breasts are available for public use) and in part, I think, from low self-esteem from these early childhood instances and other childhood issues. I am still young-looking but more confident now and as long as I stay away from men and have a strict no-trust policy when it comes to male intentions (unless it is with friends I know *very well,* as I am now more capable of making better decisions about whom to trust) I can stay out of harm’s way.

It’s sick how predatory some men are. They prey on young women and girls either for ego (this is when they can get the girls to say “yes” because they are impressionable and starstruck) or malice (young girls and women from vulnerable groups are much easier to prey on).

It’s a huge social problem, and I still don’t know what to do about it. To make matters worse, so many people misunderstand “Lolita.” It’s not about a precocious girl seducing a man, it’s about a man taking advantage of a girl who doesn’t know any better and doesn’t know how else to seek a man’s love and affection. That girls identify sex as the way to a man’s affection, even when very young, says a lot about the state our society is in.

Paige Hamilton
6 years ago

I grew up Quiverfull (’nuff said? probably) so the awareness of the “bad male look” starts very young and responsibility for it is placed squarely on the shoulders of (you guessed it) the little girl.

Bill Gothard and his “V-necked or yoked shirt make the poor boys sin by looking at your chest, and V-waist skirts make boys look at your hoo-hah area” garbage was big for a while. But don’t forget to curl your hair and wear JUST the right amount of makeup. Pervy old f*ck*r.

It got so bad and so emphasized that the boys weren’t allowed to handle laundry or help fold the BABIES’ ONSIES because the crotch snaps were seductive.

I am not making this up. The CROTCH SNAPS ON AN INFANT ONESIE.

(Obviously, when the Duggar story broke and the “their diapers were so sexy!!” excuse was made, I just rolled my eyes. I mean, for all of us growing up in that culture, this was run of the mill. Kids were sex objects, and usually sex toys as well. I lost count of the number of cults we were in that were later busted for kid diddling and rape.)

I remember being made to take my 2 year old sister off and find a pair of frilled bloomers to cover her diaper when a visiting family’s patriarch said her dress was too short and his 6 year old might be having bad thoughts.

Again, not making this shit up.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
6 years ago

Hi unabashedcalabash and Paige Hamilton,

Firstly, welcome to the site! Have you received a Gift Basket? Make sure to check out our comment policy too.

Secondly, thank you for sharing your experiences with us. It’s brave, it sets a great example, and it helps other people who’ve been through difficult situations to know that they are not alone.

Thirdly, we generally don’t dig up very old threads to comment on them here – it leads to the conversation getting spread over too many places. This thread is from almost a year ago, so your comments here might have gone entirely unnoticed.

6 years ago

I didn’t really realize it was an old thread–it was at the sidebar, along with other blog posts on this site. Maybe it was dug up by another commenter? I think it might be on people’s minds because of the death of David Bowie and some people bringing up old charges of statutory rape against him (which seems not to have been denied by anyone, yet the girl in question doesn’t feel that way about it and he was never charged). I’m glad it got dug up because otherwise I’d never have seen the reddit threat, which was illuminating. I think it’s important to talk about this stuff too–just *how* common it is, something I myself have realized more and more as I’ve gotten older and which has made me feel better (which makes me feel bad, as I wish it didn’t happen to other girls and young women, but also makes me feel like I’m not alone/there’s not something wrong with me–is there a word for this, like “schadenfraude,” as it’s not quite the same thing? A word for feeling relieved and better about yourself to hear of others suffering the same as you have, because it makes you feel less alone and less like it’s your fault, while simultaneously feeling bad to feel that it’s validating to hear others have suffered as you have? There needs to be). I realize everyone on this site is aware of this issue; I’m not sure about the general public though, since little seems to be done about what is basically an epidemic of the rape of young girls and women. I suppose some see this as a safe space…wish I’d been following the blog recently and had seen the reddit thread before.

I have read the comments policy, thanks. And thank you for the gift basket.

6 years ago

I went back and re-read the comment policy (which I sort of vaguely remember, from a long time ago), just to see if there was any rule about posting on old threads…I did read through others’ replies, I just tend not to pay attention to dates. I’ll keep an eye on them in the future. I don’t follow this blog anymore and just looked it up out of curiosity after a long time not being on here (and saw that post in the sidebar, and clicked on it). But I will save personal comments for open threads in future (if I happen to visit when one is up). I just thought that was kind of the subject of this blog post.

For me rape culture and the way girls and women are turned into objects of male consumption and contempt is one of the most important issues there is, in society. There is absolutely no way we can be free in even the tiniest of ways as long as this kind of predatory behavior continues unchecked and blanketed in denial. Our every interaction with others in the world is subject to a system of checks and balances in which we will always come up short, and nothing makes this clearer than how little women are protected or believed, even in the developed world (and how rarely men are held responsible).

So I guess for me the most ridiculously inflammatory statements made by MRAs are so laughable they are not much worth commenting on. But I appreciate bringing threads like these to our attention and these discussions of rape culture.

However in future I’ll either try to participate or not (I see part of the comments policy is “don’t make it all about me”) and in a less directly personal sense…tbh I try to avoid MRAs and their sites and rhetoric as much as possible so this blog is really an amazing service for anyone who wants to find out what they’re saying and analyze it without actually having to visit the sites. Thanks for the work you do here.

I’ll pay attention to dates and try to participate a bit more in future to get to know some of the other posters on here.

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