I will start off by saying, I am pro-choice. I have never had an abortion but I know many people that have. Though I am unsure if I would have one or not, I not only respect their decision, but I appreciate having the option.
That being said, I do understand why people are pro-life. I do not agree with their mentality or their reasoning but I can understand if I were to walk in their shoes.
What I do not understand is this shooting that happened at Planned Parenthood in Colorado. I do not understand harming people to prove your point. I do not understand killing people because you are “pro-life”. That is an oxy-moron if I ever heard one.
I read this article today: Kansas PP incidents . A woman that worked at a Planned Parenthood in Kansas for three years wrote about the incidents that took place during that time.
I do not care if you are pro life or pro choice. If you are against or for something, if you have a strong, passionate belief in something; harming or killing people is not a way to make changes! Go to rally’s, protest peacefully, sign petitions, write to legislators, hang fliers, etc…etc…DO NOT, and I repeat, DO NOT hurt people! Hurting people does not cause positive change. You are making things worse.
Being a female, at almost any age, it is extremely common to be cat called and harassed by men. Though I have been harassed by men on the street more times than I can count, these are the memories that really stick out in my mind. I began writing them down and I will continue to write them down as it happens to me in the future. Many people say that cat calls are a compliment. I began getting cat called when I was thirteen. I was a child. Grown men on the street should not be “complimenting” a child. Even if many people do believe cat calls are compliments, some of the things that have happened to me are terrifying. I have been chased and groped on the street. Here are some of the times I have been “complimented”.
- When I was 13 years old, I was hanging out at a friends house. We decided to go to my house. It was around 8pm and getting dark. My house was a ten block walk. We were walking and a group of about eight older teenagers/young adults were walking towards us. We couldn’t understand what they were saying but we knew they were talking about us. We both became uncomfortable and without vocalizing any sort of plan, we both turned around to walk in the opposite direction. That’s when we heard people running. We turned around and saw the group of boys were running toward us. We both started running. We passed our school so we ran into the court yard and through an opening in the fence. We ran the entire way to my house. They chased us for 3 blocks.
- I used to walk to school everyday, to middle school and high school. When I was approximately 13 years old, a group of construction workers whistled at me and my friend. This happened everyday until we decided to take a different way to school.
- I went to the park to play card games with three of my friends after school. A car pulled up to us and parked. The three men inside were yelling that we were hot and sexy, stuff like that. My friends and I were about 15 years old.
- One day when I was walking home from school, a man yelled from across the street, “Hey! Smile, it will get better!” I was really confused because I wasn’t sad or depressed or anything. I was just walking home. I thought he was being nice and wasn’t particularly offended but this bothered me for days and I didn’t know why. I was 15 yrs old.
- One day after school my friend and I took a nap at her house. We woke up around 6pm. We were starving. We decided to go to Burger King. We were both in sweat pants and oversized t-shirts. On our 5 block walk to Burger King, numerous men whistled at us and blew kisses at us. We were disgusted.
- When I was 17 years old I was taking the bus to my best friend’s apartment. I sat next to the window. This man in his late 50’s sat next to me and started talking to me. He said he was a customer of mine at the Pharmacy where I was a cashier. He kept telling me I was cute and kept asking for my number. I repeatedly said no but he wouldn’t stop pressuring me to give him my number. I was trying to be polite. I didn’t want to be rude to a stranger that recognized me from where I worked. Also, I did not want to cause a commotion on the public city bus. After numerous times of giving my excuse that I don’t give out my number to strangers he said OK then you take my number then. I put his number in my phone just to get him to leave me alone then he kept telling me to text him so he would have my number. I still had over ten minutes on the bus and felt trapped, up against the window with him blocking the isle. I gave in and texted him. He texted me the second I got off the bus but I can’t remember what the text said. I remember being annoyed. I started getting calls and creepy text messages from him in the middle of the night. I would wake up around 3am from my phone buzzing from creepy messages from him saying he was thinking about me and wanted to see me. I told him to stop texting and calling me but he didn’t. I called my phone company to block his number.
- My friend and I were at a bus stop waiting for the bus to come. We kept hearing a kissing sound and whistling. We couldn’t tell where it was coming from. We looked up and saw an older man leaning over the railing of the subway station. He was whistling and blowing kisses at us. We hid out of his sight behind the bus stop.
- When I was 18 years old, I was walking to my boyfriend’s house at 8am. A fat, shirtless man about 50 years old, maybe older asked me for the time. I told him the time, then he grabbed his crotch, started rubbing it and said, “Do you want to come inside and have some fun?”
- When I was 18, I worked as a waitress over summer vacation. One night I was waiting at the bus stop at midnight for a bus to get home from work. A man asked me for the time. I told him. He stayed standing next to me. I moved over a few feet to get some personal space but he moved next to me again. I pretended to walk over to read the schedule on the pole a few feet away. When I saw him walking toward me I decided to walk an avenue ahead to wait at the next bus stop. I heard him following me. When I turned around I saw him walking toward me. I walked faster, then he walked faster. I became very afraid and instinctively started running. The man ran after me. Without even thinking about it, I ran into the street into oncoming traffic. I crossed and turned the corner and hid in bushes. The man ran after me but he didn’t see me. From the bushes I could see him looking around. He walked out of my view. I waited a while to come out. I ended up walking home because I was too scared to go to the bus stop.
- I was on phone one day walking to a bus stop. I was going home from my friend’s house. An older man, around 60 years old kept trying to talk to me. He was saying I was beautiful and asked me to sit next to him. I told him to leave me alone and that I was on the phone. He told me I was being rude and told me to hang up the phone. He wouldn’t stop harassing me. I had to walk away and wait at a different bus stop. I was about 19 years old.
- I was sitting on the subway, waiting for my stop when I felt someone watching me. I looked around and saw a man staring at me. He was staring at me very intently. He didn’t take his eyes off of me. It was making me very uncomfortable and I felt intimidated.
- When I was 21, I was at a bar with my friends. A guy came up behind me, grabbed me and pulled me toward him. I turned around, told him to let me go and shoved him off of me. He said, “I didn’t want to dance with you anyway, bitch.”
- At the same bar, my friends and I were dancing. My friend that was facing two of us grabbed us by the arms and pulled us forward. We didn’t know, but their was a guy humping the air right behind us. It was directed at the two of us.
- After class, I was standing at the bus stop talking on the phone, waiting to get back to my dorm. A bunch of teenagers walked past me, about six of them. One slapped my butt as he walked by. The rest of them were laughing hysterically. I cursed them out. They started throwing things at me like water bottles and food. I was 21 years old. I went to the campus police and they told me to wait at a different bus stop next time.
- When I was 21, I was walking less than a block home from a party with my friend that was a male. My friend, Steve walked into my building first. I was a few feet behind him. I walked into my building and three guys followed me in. They did not live in my building. When they saw Steve they turned around and ran out.
- I was dancing at a club with my guy friend. While we were dancing, a guy grabbed my arm and told me to dance with him. My guy friend yelled at him and said we were dancing together, to leave us alone. The guy said, “I don’t care.”
- I was at a bar with my friends. My girlfriend was in the bathroom. I was sitting at the bar waiting for her. A guy grabbed my arm and pulled me toward him. I tried to pull my arm away but he held it tightly and twisted it a little. I began punching and shoving him with my other arm. The guy was laughing. He didn’t let go until my guy friend saw this from afar and got in between us.
- My friend and I were dancing together one night at a club. A guy came over and began dancing in between us. We backed up from him and tried to walk off together. The guy stayed in between us and wouldn’t let us near each other. We were pushing him and yelling at him but he just laughed. He tried to keep us apart and kept trying to dance on us. My friend ducked under his arm and we ran to the other end of the club.
- One night when I was 26 my friends and I were leaving a bar. We were talking about our friend that left earlier because she was so drunk. As we were passing two men that were standing up against a building, I said, “She was so drunk she left her favorite water bottle there.” One of the men followed me and proceeded to mock me. In a whiny exaggerated voice he yelled, “Oh my goddddd, not her water bottle! She forgot her water bottle?”
- When I was 27 years old, my girlfriends and I went out to a club to dance. We were dancing in a circle. A guy walked up to my friend and stuck his face up against my friend’s butt. My other friend pushed him away. We got him kicked out by a bouncer but within 15 minutes he was back in the club.
- That same night, my friends and I were dancing together when a group of guys came over to us. Each of them put their arms around one of us. The guy that had his arm around my shoulder was holding on tight. I tried to wiggle free. He asked me if I wanted to dance. I said no. He kept saying, “come on, just dance with me. Why not?” I said that I didn’t want to and that I had a boyfriend. The guy accused me of lying. He kept asking me questions about my boyfriend like his name and where he lived. He asked why I was out without my boyfriend. I kept trying to push the guy away and telling him that I didn’t want to dance with him but he wouldn’t stop or let go of me. My two friends were having the same issue. I was finally successful in pushing him off of me. After a while of telling them to leave us alone, they finally walked away to another group of girls.
- When I was crossing the street with some friends, a guy held out his arm as if to grab me. He said, “Hey, hey, hey honey. Hold up. Where you going?” Without thinking, I replied, “Away from you.”
- Walking to the bus stop, a guy I was walking towards was looking at me. As I walked past him he said “Excuse me?” and tried to grab my arm. I twisted my body and swung my arm backwards out of his reach and kept walking.
- I had to run to the mall to pick something up and my boyfriend had to go to the grocery store. After my errand I was waiting for him at our meeting spot. While I was standing there, two guys kept looking at me. One of them said, “Hey, waiting for your ride?” I replied “Yes.” The two guys kept looking at me. I was trying not to look their way but I could feel them watching me. A few minutes later the same guy asked, “Are you waiting for your boyfriend?” I didn’t answer. I pretended not to hear him. They walked a little closer which made me nervous. They kept staring at me and finally walked away after a few minutes.
- When I was crossing the street a guy yelled, “Heyyyy baby!” at me from his car.
- One day when I was walking to work, I was walking toward three men sitting on a stoop. One of them was staring me up and down. His eyes were completely locked on me. He did not look away. I felt uncomfortable passing them. One of the guys said, “Dude stop staring so hard.” The one that was staring at me looked me in the eye and said, “But I just cant help myself.”
- When I was 28 years old, I walked out of my apartment to meet my friend at her car. Her car was parked on the corner of my block. On the opposite corner of my friend’s parked car, three construction workers yelled, “Wooooooooooooooo” at me from across the street.
- When I was 27 I was at a club with my friends. My friends and I were walking to a different section. A man I was walking past grabbed my arm and said, “Hey, where are you going? I began screaming at him. I cursed him out and shoved him and told him not to touch me. His friends started yelling at me to calm down. I kept yelling that he grabbed me. They told me to relax. I yelled, “I will not fucking relax. Tell your friend not to fucking grab people.” My friends and I walked to a different section of the club. The group of guys followed us. We walked to a different section of the club. They group of guys followed us again. They wouldn’t leave us alone so we left the club.
- I was walking down an aisle at CVS. An older man leaned into me, pushing his body up against me and whispered in my ear as I walked by him, “Gorgeousss.” It was very creepy and gave me the chills.
- October, 2015: I was on my way to a job interview. I was outside of the agency when I got whistled at by three different men and a man in a car honked at me. These four incidents were all within ten minutes.
- When I was walking home from work, three tweens were yelling to me from across the street. I had my head phones in. I ignored them but they just yelled louder. I took my head phones out, turned to them and yelled, “What?” That’s when the boys pulled their pants down to moon me. I crossed the street and began yelling at them and told them to get their parents. They told me their parents weren’t home and they apologized numerous times.
- May, 2015: I was at a music festival with my boyfriend. We parted ways for a little while to get dinner. We wanted different things. I was walking to our meeting spot when a guy yelled, “Excuse me!” I ignored him. He continued, “Hello!…Hello!” I continued to ignore him. He yelled, “OK, well fuck you then!”
- It wasn’t even five minutes later. I was sitting alone, waiting for my boyfriend. I was looking around, taking in all of the music and fun outfits. A guy walking past me says, “Don’t tell me you aren’t having fun.” I responded, “I am.” He insists, “Come on! Have fun!” I said again, “I am.”
- June 1, 2015: I was walking home from work. I was less than one block from my apt. When an older man looks me up and down and says, “mmmm, hellooo!”
- July 26th, 2015: When I was walking home from work, two men driving by were hanging out of the car window. They were yelling something but I couldn’t hear because I had my headphones in. The one in the back seat continued to laugh and hang out the window looking back at me as the car passed me.
Thirteen women have come forward accusing Bill Cosby of rape over the past thirty years. What is even more disturbing about this is that very few people believed these women until recently when a comedian, Hannibal Buress acknowledged Bill Cosby as a rapist in one of his stand up comedy sketches. It is fantastic that a man chose to believe these thirteen women instead of believing them to be liars like so many others; but what is disturbing is that now that a man has called out Bill Cosby as a rapist, the world is outraged. Why did it take one single man to call out Bill Cosby as a rapist for the world to believe it? Why wasn’t it enough that thirteen women have been doing so over the past thirty years?
Men’s ally-ship is extremely important when it comes to women’s rights progressing but it shouldn’t be all that progresses women’s rights. It is so important for people to believe women (and men!) when they say they are raped. It is so important to be an ally, to be supportive. It is very discouraging when I read a story about rape or gang rape and all of the comments call the victim a liar or saying they regret the sex so they are claiming to have been raped. It is sad to say that I see victim blaming very often. What does it take to believe someone has been raped? Obviously seeing a video is not even enough to believe someone has been raped. Numerous cases of rape have come out due to being recorded and I STILL see victim blaming and people calling the victims liars and sluts and people defending the rapist. I will never ever understand this.
What is powerful with the Bill Cosby allegations is that people do believe Bill Cosby is a rapist…because a man said so. Over the past thirty years, these thirteen women were called liars until magically one day when Hannibal Buress called Bill Cosby a rapist and now everyone believes these thirteen women.
This needs to change. We need to believe women when they say they are raped instead of automatically assuming they must be lying. Why is it easier to believe a woman is lying about rape as opposed to believing a man raped a woman?
Read Barbara Bowman’s story about her assault by Bill Cosby here: