#MeToo: My 3 Stories of Sexual Harassment

Thursday, 30 November 2017

trigger warning. sexual harassment.

As you can assume from the title. 

Since October, brave women have been telling their sexual harassment stories with the hashtag #MeToo. I thought I would finally share my own. This post is only limited to three stories, but there are more. More than I can care to have.

These are just three of the countless. 

ONE
JULY 2016

I was scrolling through my phone late at night. 

A notification popped up. "Instagram: [someone] wants to send you a message." Almost instinctively, I tapped it as one does. On my screen was a grammatically incorrect wall of text and a picture of a Malay man's genitals. Short, stiff and gross.

"It's urs if u want it :P"

He said he masturbates to my Instagram. He wanted me to send pictures. He thought I wanted to. I told him he was repulsive. I blocked him and I went to bed.

I woke up the morning with a new notification. Different account, same person. He apologised, it was never his intention to degrade me. He asked me out for coffee, I declined.

He called me a 'stuck-up slut.' 

I told him it was an oxymoron, and blocked him again.

TWO
DECEMBER 2016

I was walking down Oxford Circus. 

Alone, wrapped in a plain brown hijab with headphones on, clutching heavy shopping bags. A Middle Eastern man, mid-to-late twenties, walked towards me. He held his arms out, gestured to my body. He licked his lips and asked if I was looking for a husband.

"Mashallah Habibi, you are too beautiful to be lonely."

"Talk to me, baby."

"I can make you so happy."

He followed me until I ran into a Marks & Spencers. I waited by the racks until he disappeared into the crowd. I didn't leave until thirty minutes later, when my heartbeat slowed down and my eyes weren't so red.

I took a cab back home that evening.

THREE
MAY 2017

I was talking to a male friend outside a busy pub. 

I wore leggings and a red dress past my knees, he wore a blue t-shirt and jeans. We chatted about the end of first year when a man came over to us, looking for a lighter for his cigarette. We told him we didn't smoke. He offered to buy us champagne. We told him we didn't drink. He asked for our names. I lied, and said 'Harry.'

"Why do you have a man's name?" He asked in a thick Eastern European accent.

I joked, "Because I have balls."

The stranger leaned down and lifted my skirt. His eyes looking up. I swatted his hand, and pushed my skirt down. He then whispered in my ear, "You're too pretty to have balls."

I wanted to say something. "And you're too much of dick to get laid."

I wanted to slap him. Painful enough to leave a red welt. 

I wanted to scream. Instead, my friend and I stood in awkward silence. The stranger walked away, still looking for a light. 

"What the hell was that?" My friend finally spoke up. I sighed, crossing my legs. I pressed my arms against my chest, and wished I wore trousers.

"It happens."


Sexual harassment happens. Regardless of what is worn, regardless of time and place, regardless of company or lack of. 

They weren't factors as to why I was harassed. 

I was harassed because there are men in this world who think women are lesser than them. As if we crave their attention or demand their validation. There is a power struggle in them, that could be satisfied by demeaning women. In their eyes, we wanted it. We wanted them. 

Whether we knew it or not. 

Do you have any stories of sexual harassment?

with love,
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