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A Coward Made of Cardboard

So BackTalk, let me tell you how I talked back today...

I was walking to meet my ride to work and some man was crossing the street toward me. He said "helloooooo...," but you don't do that here in NYC unless your intent is to harass. If I'd been a dude, he wouldn't have said anything to me.

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I ignored him, like you're "supposed" to ignore street harassers. But then he said "hello..." again, and I lost my shit...

I flipped him off as I kept walking. He then started cursing me out, then I whipped around and yelled "fuck you," and of course I looked like the crazy one...

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He then started walking toward me, cursing all along. I then spat at him and said "fuck you" again and untwisted my travel cup to throw my [cold] coffee at him. At that point I started feeling a bit scared, so I decided to save my delicious coffee and be on my way.

People had started to notice at this point. A woman walking with her kids was watching. The woman in the car that was stopped at the intersection also noticed.

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He kept angrily following me, threatening me and cursing. He ran around the corner, and came back with a deadly weapon...

A fucking empty cardboard box...he ran to get a fucking box to throw at me...

He threw the box at me...

Like, really, dude? A fucking cardboard box? Is that all you're made of?

He left only when he noticed that other people were watching...

This is yet another example of a street harasser proving to me that he's nothing but a fucking coward. I've had other instances when I turned around to confront the harasser and he ran away and hid or called me slurs.

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These men want you to be scared, but confronting them proves that nothing scares them more than women who stand up for themselves...women who remind them that the world is ours, too...that we belong here...that they don't own us...

I'm not encouraging you to confront harassers. It never ends well for me...it always makes me less safe. Sure, it's cathartic to a certain extent, but I always come out of these situations feeling shaky...it's been a couple of hours and I'm still shaking...

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There's no winning at being harassed. You ignore them, they get mad...you confront them, even more mad...

All I have the power to do is share my story here and on Hollaback.

Being silent in front of your harasser may be the best choice, but I highly encourage you to share your stories so we can have any hope of ending street harassment.

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