I have a big butt and I cannot lie. But goodness knows, for most of my life, I tried to deny it.

While some women dream of having kicking curves, for me there was a special horror having a big, round butt. Kids, thanks to other children, often loathe standing out, and my large posterior made me different. I was a stick skinny little kid and before starting school I simply thought my round booty was funny. I can remember looking at myself in the mirror around age 6, thinking I was shaped like a backward lower case “p.” But that bemusement gave way to embarrassment by the time I was in the fourth grade. I suddenly took to pulling all my sweatshirts, T-shirts, and sweaters down as much as I could to cover my rear.

But I think I might have gotten over it – maybe – if having a big butt hadn’t gone from goofy playground taunts to men three times my age licking their lips and shouting vulgarities at me when I was only 12 years old.

At 12, sex (or being sexy) was the furthest thing from my mind. I still played with stuffed animals. I didn’t like boys. And even though my mother sat me down and explained sex and puberty to me three years prior, none of it really clicked. Learning about human sexuality wasn’t all that different from learning frog anatomy as far as I was concerned. It was just information. I hadn’t processed it in any real way other than I understood that I now had to wear a training bra and suddenly deodorant was necessary.

So the first time someone started screaming about what they wanted to do with me sexually while I was in the food court of the old Northwest Plaza Mall in St. Louis County, I was frightened and confused. I looked to my mother – who was standing next to me – perplexed as to why this man and his friends were lewdly gesturing toward me and knowing it was terrifying, but she quickly told me to turn around and ignore it.

“They’re ignorant,” she said.

But she offered little explanation for what seemed dangerous and threatening. And it was around that age I started having nightmares about being physically assaulted by strangers or raped.

In junior high, boys and the grown men they idolized (and who should have known better) were prone to shout just about anything at me. I think for them it was amusing, as I can only imagine what the success rate is for shouting at women and girls on the street, but when you’re 12 or a teenager (or even now, to be honest) it’s scary to have someone just announce that “you’re so fine, if you were my daughter I’d have to rape you.” The first boy to ever say this to me (we were both about 14) thought this was a “compliment.” Even though I did my best to make it clear how messed up that sounded, he insisted it was a funny joke he’d heard his uncle say to a girl and that I was way too uptight.

But it never seemed to stop. The vulgarities. The “friendly” stalking that ended with them cursing me out when I didn’t want to give someone my number. This is pretty much why approaching a woman on the street if you’re a halfway normal guy is almost pointless. By the time a woman is an adult, she’s endured this kind of garbage for more than a decade and she just assumes you’re a creep/potential rapist until you don’t rape her. You honestly can’t be mad at the woman for being traumatized. Be mad at the 40-year-old pervert who hit on her when she was 13.

As a woman you’re told to just ignore or “deal” with street harassment (and all sexual harassment, honestly), so it is pretty easy to internalize it and think it’s all your fault. For years I rued the day I hit puberty, seeing it as some horrible thing that made people suddenly go crazy on me. I wanted to stop whatever was causing this unwanted attention, meaning I often wore clothes two sizes too big for me.

This meant for years I didn’t wear or even own a pair of shorts out of fear of showing my “big legs,” which were obviously too provocative, even in Bermuda shorts or pedal pushers. My dream for the longest was to be thin, really, really thin, size 0, smaller than small, thin. If I was just skinny enough that I had the body of a 10-year-old boy, I’d look more child-like and I wouldn’t get so much unwanted sexual attention from men. The only problem was even if I got down to a size 4 or smaller in a shirt, I still wore pants that were a size 9/10 or larger.

So wearing my coat all day in the winter and blue jeans in the summer with long, loose fitting shirts was pretty much my look as I hated the body I was stuck with for a very long time.


Photo Source: Global Action Project

  • Keiko

    The street harassment I receive seems to have always been about men/boys thinking they are entitled to my time and attention simply because they think I am attractive or them thinking I care for their approval of me. Street harassment hasn’t definitely affected the way I view and interact with certain men.

  • http://beautyinbaltimore.blogspot.com BeautyinBaltimore

    Danielle, thanks for writing this. I got a lot of street harassment in the early 90′s as was common here in Baltimore. It would start with ” hey girl hey girl, can I get your phone number”. When(not if) you refused, you would be called a bitch or ugly or whatever they decided to call you that day. At the worst, you would get a bottle thrown at you. Never had a bottle thrown at me thank God.

    This sort of thing is the reason why many women don’t smile when walking down the street. If the fools see you smiling, they think it is an opening to disrespect you.

  • http://eviehuxtable.wordpress.com Evie Huxtable

    Amen, girl! This is practically my life story in a nutshell, and I’m finally coming to terms with it as my 28th birthday looms near.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amber.williams.9216 Amber Williams

    “This is pretty much why approaching a woman on the street if you’re a halfway normal guy is almost pointless. By the time a woman is an adult, she’s endured this kind of garbage for more than a decade and she just assumes you’re a creep/potential rapist until you don’t rape her. You honestly can’t be mad at the woman for being traumatized. Be mad at the 40-year-old pervert who hit on her when she was 13.”

    You nailed it. Thank you for writing this. My experience was very similar growing up, wearing the baggy clothes to hide my body with the hope of being left alone by men on the street. The harassment from older men started at about 6th grade.

  • Marisa

    I live in NYC and notice especially in big cities this ish is out of control I dress like the self respecting lady that I am and thats with having big boobs. I dont tolerate disrespect AT ALL, if your a man and you approach me like you have no home training and raised by wolves you will get the side eye you deserve. It also doesnt help that too many chicks respond to those comments as if thats the greatest thing they ever heard in life. I was raised that my value to this world is a functioning brain and those looks get you but so far, and my mom is one of the original bad chicks, class all the way so I learn from her. My worth is not wrapped up in cat calls, its sad when I see young girls/women go out of their way falling for that hello all attention aint good attention. You giving your number out to a dude who yells out how you got a fat ass to all his boys, yep thats the guy who will treat you just how he approached you. Even when the compliment is respectful like Ms you look very nice,alot of these cats act the same way they do with buying drinks as if thank you is not good enough. Look you bought a drink or paid a compliment not give me a kidney. Respect is a huge thing for me and if you cant show it from the start thats how a man will treat you through out. Also women shouldnt get all self conscience and doubt themselves either they got the problem not you

  • Ms. Information

    Thank you for addressing this..I also have a big behind and have been harassed for it since I was 14 years old….yelled at, called names when I didn’t respond, touched inappropriately by strange men…I talked about this on another blog…I don’t think that any other race of women has to go through the public harassment that black women go through, not to the same level anyway. I just noticed that I still pull my shirts over to hide it…

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

    I learned from the time I was a teen to always walk quickly so as to avoid giving the men who harass any real time to bother me. Beyond that I have never altered the way I dress or where I go. I will not let these men have that kind of power over me. Which is what they want in the first place. They say that rape is not a crime of sex but violence and street harassment is not about men meeting women it’s about men trying to make us do what they want.

  • Rose Red

    So sorry for your horrible experiences.
    Ladies time to flee Blackistan!
    Notice the common thread? BM!
    Move to mixed neighborhoods and relax!

    I don’t feel guilty about leaving Blackistan, so long ago. I owe BM nothing.
    I feel no guilt.

  • http://gravatar.com/bossladi bossladi

    PREACH!

  • http://itsoftenbeensaid.wordpress.com Sasha

    “you’re so fine, if you were my daughter I’d have to rape you.”
    -REALLY?! Like seriously? What business does a 14 year old have saying that? What business does anyone have saying that to another human being? I’ve never experienced street harassment because of my body, it more so comes from my face but no matter where its directed its still disrespectful. Its so shocking to me how men do this, without any shame or thought.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    in my experience cats who holler on the street are losers.
    they are shouting to the world that they do not have a women of their own.
    an alpha male generally has his hands full and is not looking for any stray stuff.

  • Fit_MissC

    Danielle you summed up the experiences of so many black women. It was only until about 5 years ago, in my early twenties did I start to embrace my body and not let leers and jeers get the best of me. As a tween/teen I too couldn’t understand why grown men would look at me with lust or be so bold as to say something lewd. It was confusing and I too did what I could to hide my “thick thighs” and not be noticed. This article is a learning opportunity for men and those who have sons — street harassment stops when the present generation affects the mind of the next.

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    say warrr now, girl! Yesterday, I was busy admiring mine in the window! Girl you better, stop hiding all that junk with shirts. Let it shine girrrrl!!

  • http://gravatar.com/motrenaissance motrenaissance

    Note to women: Get over yourself

    If women in general are willing to approach the men they like to take out the guess work for men… I would be the first sensitive guy to stand up against “street harrassment”… Which is basically defined as the guy approaching said woman is unattractive in her eyes…

    If Usher or Chris Brown (or any man that is attractive to said woman) catcalled or made s*xual come-ons, it would not be an issue…

    Again ladies, get over yourself… Or wo-man up and approach us

    FIN

  • http://gravatar.com/motrenaissance motrenaissance

    Also, while Ms. Belton was going through 20 years of struggling to accept her big behind, where was her father in all of this…? He was supposed to protect her & kick knowledge to his daughter to offset some of her internal issues…

    If we find out daddy wasn’t there, or worse, weak, it goes to show where her mom’s head was at

  • http://twitter.com/Clnmike Tonton Michel

    “you’re so fine, if you were my daughter I’d have to rape you.”

    Jesus Christ………

  • http://gravatar.com/jameane Jame Ervin

    It doesn’t matter if the man is the hottest guy ever, approaching a woman with a sexual come-on is a clear sign that he has no class. Guess what, if Idris Elba came up to me with an inappropriate comment, I would keep it moving.

  • MMA

    I still get street harassment. It started for me when I was 15 as my shape started developing and my butt started growing. The men who did this to me as a teen were old, OLD! They had their own grandchildren, most of them. And my body image and self concept was, indeed, affected by it. Just the other month I was working a temporary assignment in a downtown area. I no longer wear tight fitted clothing, as a woman in my 30s, but I can not conceal my shape no matter what I wear. Men were cat calling me (heavy construction going on down town). I got so annoyed by the end of my assignment that when those same men would speak (cause they spoke every day), I would roll my eyes. ‘Oh, you can’t speak, now?’ I try to keep it nice, but I don’t owe those perverts not even a damn hello. Other would come up to me and say stupid things. I get the same thing at the gym. I mean, I wear the same type clothes everyone else wears, but for some reason they see a ‘harass me’ sign written on my forehead. One guy, dressed in suit and tie, took out his camera phone and took a picture of my ass as I walked by him. I was wearing business slacks!!!!

    They held a protest at a local University, around which I also have done business, where this was a growing problem. I had also experienced it heavily in that area myself. However, the last time I visited that area those construction workers didn’t say peep to me. We have to organize, protest and report these bastards.

  • Keiko

    Even if women approached men, what does that have to do with street harassment?

    Street harassment IS NOT defined “as the guy approaching said woman is unattractive in her eyes…”

  • Gat Turner

    Ladies, don’t worry one day you wil all be too old and wrinkly for the attention of young men. Then you can talk about how all the men used to want you back in the day…like the old hags at my job! LOL

  • Fit_MissC

    As a “man” you cannot understand the effect that street harassment has on a woman especially when experienced in her formative years. Street harassment is not met with positive reaction from any woman–as you can infer from commentary. Just because I look cute in my shorts today does not give any man the permission to cat call or touch me. As I said, this article and the author’s experience is learning opportunity for men and clearly you haven’t learned.

  • Dalili

    Rubbish @ motrenaissance, you and other like minded men need to get over yourselves! Women and young girls have the right to walk down the street without having to put up with infantile behavior. It is not our burden in life to “take the guess work out” for cowardly men who lack the gumption to approach a woman in a civilized manner! Would you be ok with this madness if your mother, sister, aunts, female cousins were on the receiving end? It’s creepy, eerie and a violation of women’s personal space. What utter nonsense!

  • Marisa

    with an attitude like yours what self respecting women would approach you secondly The cat calls have sometimes come from the finest dudes but I’m about RESPECT and if you approach me like as I said you have no home training and raised by wolves you dont deserve a response other than a sideeye. Also the fact you used Usher and Chris Brown as examples hilarious. Usher is out because I’m only one year older than him and thats usually not old enough for him and Chris Brown aka Mr rearrange my girlfriend’s face would be disqualified just for that

  • CurlySue

    I want to know when it became acceptable for men to approach women in this country in such a disgusting manner. Like, when exactly did some lightbulb go off in men’s heads saying “Hey, you know what I think I’ll do? I’ll accost and maybe inappropriately touch a complete stranger. Yeah, that seems reasonable”? I just don’t understand how we went from “Let me help you with those bags” to “Lemme hollatcha a minute, shawty. Well, f*ck you then, b*tch!” It makes me despair for future generations.

  • EssDot323

    Quit projecting, you animal.

  • Jess

    First of all, MONTRE-NONSENSE, street harassment is a far cry from simply approaching a woman you’re interested in and complimenting her politely. Making lewd and obscene comments and gestures is threatening, disgusting and absolutely harassment. Someone yelling that “you so fine I should rape you” – huh?? @@ – is coming very close to being criminal. No woman should EVER tolerate such treatment.

    BY that I mean, as soon as you hear such behavior, cross the street or move away from the guy or group practicing harassment. Don’t necessarily confront him because that could be dangerous, and do not answer back – jerks that harass and caterwaul consider you responding as an invitation, even if you’re only answering in hopes that it will be enough for him to leave you alone. Plain and simply, don’t answer back. Remove yourself from the situation as quickly and safely as you can.

    Yes, streets are public and we should walk wherever we want to, but if dangerous or disrespectful guys are blocking your path, find a better path. And then report them to your neighborhood watch – if you don’t have one, form one.

    If some men have no qualms about harassing and even shooting their own gender on a regular basis, why would they give a damn about you, just a woman to them? Do what you can to protect yOURSELF and circumnavigate the jerks as best you can.

  • Jess

    First of all, MONTRE-NONSENSE, street harrassment is a far cry from simply approaching a woman you’re interested in and complimenting her politely.

    Making lewd and obscene comments and gestures is threatening, disgusting and absolutely harassment. Someone yelling that “you so fine I should rape you” – huh?? @@ – is coming very close to being criminal. No woman should EVER tolerate such treatment.

    BY that I mean, as soon as you hear such behavior, cross the street or move away from the guy or group practicing harrassment. Don’t necessarily confront him because that could be dangerous, and do not answer back – jerks that harass and caterwaul consider you responding as an invitation, even if you’re only answering in hopes that it will be enough for him to leave you alone. Plain and simply, don’t answer back.

    Remove yourself from the situation as quickly and safely as you can. Yes, streets are public and we should walk wherever we want to, but if dangerous or disrespectful guys are blocking your path, find a better path. And then report them to your neighborhood wacth – if you don’t have one, form one.

    If men have no qualms about harrassing and even shooting their own gender on a regular basis, why would they give a damn about you, just a woman to them? Do what you can to protect yOURSELF and circumnavigate the jerks as best you can.

  • EssDot323

    I really appreciate this article. Since I was 11 years old, I’ve always felt the need to “cover up” because of losers.

    I do all the things at age 31, to “stay of trouble” like frowning, making no eye contact and keeping my eyes to the ground, keeping my ass covered, wearing scarves to hide my breasts, wearing oversized and frumpy clothes to the gym, burying my face in my Kindle or smartphone, wearing shades, or keeping my ears plugged with music….

  • EssDot323

    …You know, just trying to look as unapproachable as possible. Of course it fails more than half of the time. Especially when you live in a city like NY and rely on public transportation. The only person I’m hurting is myself apparently.

    There’s nothing I can do except have pepper spray or a boxcutter handy.

  • iQgraphics

    I’m gonna have to agree with motrenaissance

    Firstly, dads do make a serious contribution to the growth, development, self love and to how love and adoration is received from others. This is 100% true.
    Second, “I have a big butt”, really… get over it. you are far from the only one.

    If it wasn’t your butt it would be something else that attracted cut hounds, but you’d understand this if your dad taught you.

    Third, get a thicker skin, pronto. Carry yourself with pride. Even a dog knows who the alpha is if you give them the appropriate glare.

  • iQgraphics

    Men throw every bit of chit they have at the wall and roll with whatever sticks.
    don’t take it personal.

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    This is the second blog post I’ve come across about street harassment in as many days. I think the Universe is trying to tell me something.

    Thank you to the author for sharing your story. I wish you much success as you continue on the journey of self love and acceptance (:

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    This is the second blog post I’ve come across about street harassment in as many days. I think the Universe is trying to tell me something.

    Thank you to the author for sharing your story. Much success to you as you continue on your journey of self love and acceptance (:

  • EssDot323

    Also report them to the police. Don’t concern yourself with being viewed as “stuck-up” or “uptight” to a stranger.

  • Marisa

    What I find funny is the same disrespectful chumps will be ready to kill a dude it they get slick with their daughter,sister,momma,or aunty. Now all of a sudden you want to pull the “yo son watch your mouth around my daughter yo”,irony all over the place lol

  • Keiko

    Looking unapproacble hasn’t helped me any. Men don’t care because they think they are entitled to a woman’s attention and time. For people to suggest that women change how they feel about the harassment goes back to women being asked to accept poor behavior from men.

  • msme

    To the OP and others who agree, notice the author said she was A CHILD when the street harrasment started. It has nothing to do with whether or not her “daddy” was there. It would be pretty bold for a guy to try to step to you while you are walking down the street with your father. Women and GIRLS have the right to be respected, period. A group of men on a street corner, stoop or in front of a corner store is an extremely meanacing sight for a young girl, especially those who started puberty early like myself. MEN need to take responsibility and talk to these young guys (and old ones) who continually think that it is okay to yell whatever vulgar thought comes into their head and then berate you for not not responsing positively for their come-ons. BULL. I agree with a sign I saw recently, our culture teaches women “don’t get raped” rather than teaching men “don’t rape.” We need a paradigm shift.

  • http://www.facebook.com/deedee.mac2 Deedee Mac

    Oh MY!!!! I could have written this. This is exactly what I went through growing up in ,of all places, St. Louis, MO. It was Horrible!! I did not/do not have the big butt, but I do have the big legs.

  • AL

    This was definitely part of my experience growing up in NYC. I don’t experience it nearly as much since I rarely am in the city anymore, and no longer take public transportation. But I fear for the young girls in the future. It appears to only have gotten worse. Thanks for writing this article.

  • http://gravatar.com/motrenaissance motrenaissance

    @Jame Ervin Lies, but I’ll let you cook tho

    @Keiko A guy can say something along the lines of s*xual assault & women will excuse it because she wants to sleep with him… And a guy can be polite as ever, if he is unattractive, he can be subject to being arrested

    @Fit_MissC Women tend to be very inconsistent with “street harassment”, because the next article will be about how men are not checking for said women, and wish said men would “harass”… eff your noise

    @Dalili it is not about being “civilized”, It is about being attractive…

  • Jane

    awesome article. happy that you’ve found happiness within yourself

  • http://gravatar.com/motrenaissance motrenaissance

    @Gat Turner Thank you, I take the same take on it

  • Jane

    I take it on a case by case. In some cases a frown and a stern look directly at the perpetrators or straight ahead will stop them dead in their tracks. In other cases I’ll be proactive and before they even have a chance to make a lewd comment I tell them “How are you doing brother” (no smile, only a nod in a stern voice) just to let them know off the bat I’m not some ignorant girl to be played with. 9 times out of 10 all they do is nod or say hello instead of going into their little spiel. But like I said, it’s a case by case. If it really bothers you try to find a different route and if that isn’t possible, put your earphones in (while watching all around you with your eyes!!) so you don’t even have to hear it. All the best

  • http://www.TheLarryWilson.com TheLarryWilson

    What’s messed up is I remember, being teased growing up because I chose to be respectful and keep my hands to myself… By my male and female peers. Whether you believe it or not, there are females who like that kind of attention. smh

  • Keiko

    What females? Female mountain lions? Female ostriches? Female flamingos?

  • http://www.TheLarryWilson.com TheLarryWilson

    @Keiko Human females… lol I kid you not. For years I thought something was wrong w/ me till I realized any girl who don’t demand respect and perceive respect as being “weak” or “too nice” is someone I don’t want to mess with anyway

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Smh at the ““You’re so fine, if you were my daughter I’d have to rape you.” Sweet baby Jesus, yikes! I would have tipped the authorities off on this guy because how is this ever okay to say….wow. Just like most women on the board I had scary and uncomfortable encounters with street harassment too mostly by other men who knew damn well I should have been off limits. I use to HATE catching the bus (public transportation) to get to school it felt like me and my school friends were thrust upon the auction block. Especially this one old guy with “hey, are you still a virgin? Can I break that for you?” I fear for the younger generation because the lines are getting even more blurred especially since our society is becoming more sexually aggressive especially towards children. Sucks things like this has to be a part of a childhood when it shouldn’t…smh. But as my grandma told me…mace, cell phone and switch blade.

  • Yulez

    @Keiko, I hate when people say “females” too. Female of what species? lol. No one refers to guys as “males.”

  • Love

    We have an identical story, although my cup size was the culprit. Men staring and harassing me at 12 years old warped my awkwardness. I was ashamed by my curves. I felt overdeveloped. I was taunted and bullied by my peers. And I was completely out of control, both of my body and people’s perception of my character. I ended up a mess, underweight, 95lbs and 5’5″ to be exact. Long story short, these days, my weight is up 30-40 since then (10 years ago) & my chest is back to a full D. Honestly I still am shameful, especially on vigorous runs, the absolute worst sort of public bouncing. But I’ve come to realize that as much as I can’t control the sexual objectification, I can control my happiness. And after all this time, the only thing that matters is that I’m a healthy girl whose confidence completely overpowers some scumbag’s pathetic advances.

  • Ms. Information

    Do whatever you may but don’t frown girl!!! Frown lines!!! Don’t let anyone take your smile away!!

  • OSHH

    Maybe when you get older you will learn how to comprehend what you you read.
    The bulk of the article was about men, not boys but OLDER men, old enough to be someone’s granpa, leering, lusting and gawking at young girls which is digusting. Appreciating beauty of an of age woman is one thing, being disrespectful and lewd to lil girls and women alike is another entirely.

  • lul

    @Gat Turner both you and this motrenaissance creature are absolute losers, real mean don’t harass women, they also don’t defend the indefensible that being grown men verbally assaulting small child. You are disgusting.

  • http://www.TheLarryWilson.com TheLarryWilson

    Geez, well girls since they don’t know no better… lol

  • http://mikereyesblog.blogspot.com/ Mike

    Girls worry too much about sexual harassment in my opinion. Unlike what movies portray, most men find 95% of all women unattractive. Having guys look at you sexually is supposed to be a good thing, as it indicates that you are good looking.

  • Dalili

    @motrenaissance: I think you missed the point of the article all together. We aren’t weighing the pros and cons of cat calling among attractive versus unattractive men. This piece addressed how the writer felt violated as a little girl because of something she had absolutely no control over: her young maturing body. It’s a conversation about men who indiscriminately dish out highly inappropriate cat calls to women overlooking the fact that some of these ‘women’ my very well be young girls with women’s bodies. So yes, it is about civilized behavior.

    I couldn’t/wouldn’t care if Wentworth Miller or Lance Gross were the ones doing the cat calling, I wouldn’t as much as breath in their direction. So if there are any men out there who felt slighted after they approached a woman in this way let me be presumptuous enough on behalf of all women kind to reassure them that it had very little to do with how attractive they were and everything to do with the approach. “you’re so fine, if you were my daughter I’d have to rape you.”…really???!!!!!

    Side note: It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the receiving end of such behavior but this article drudged up some old,awful memories. I’m glad Ms. Belton was able to find a way out of those dark clouds.

  • mrskrissytramel

    Hopefully my son doesn’t grow up thinking that this is okay behavior and some guys don’t get the hint. I told this guy I was married 3 times, wearing my ring, dressed respectfully and my son was standing next to me and still couldn’t take no for a answer…. This is why I either keep my headphones on or just keep walking without even looking or talking to those dummies.

  • Keiko

    Leaving ‘Blackistan’ partially alleviates the problem, because Black men have a penchant for harassing Black women/girls.

  • Keiko

    I’ve had Black men go through a list of reasons as to why I wouldn’t talk to them. Not ever has one guessed that I wasn’t interested.

  • CurlGurl

    I grew up mostly majority white areas and while I’ve had to deal with sexual victimization from white men in private, I’ve never experienced street harassment from white men. I’m sure that white men certainly do harass but in my experience in the 37 states I’ve lived in or visited it’s always been black men who have harassed me. Not sure why that is but it’s an unfortunate phenomenon because when I was younger it always made me feel like black men were sketchy and to be avoided and I’d cringe whenever I passed one in the street. The experiences never made me feel uncomfortable about my body but they did give a really skewed perception of black men because the only other black man I came in contact with was my father (who was an actual sexual predator). I’m still working on building up my trust of black men but its really sad that trust wasn’t my default setting to begin with because of my experiences.

  • ALM

    Danielle, I promise that every time you post you both inspire me and show the world how amazingly strong you are. Congrats on the weight loss. I am one of your Facebook friends, so I have previously commented on how gorgeous your hair is.

    Unfortunately, I also received a rape comment while at a science fair in middle school. The guy was white and was my age. Apparently he thought it was a compliment? -__-

    It saddens me that the world is set up in a way in which young girls from birth are charged with protecting their own bodies. There is little to no responsibility put upon men or boys to keep their eyes off of children. It is always up to the children to not be “fast”, etc. Walking to school is not being “fast”. It’s a sad world.

  • ALM

    @Love: I am in your boat with regards to the chest area. There is a great new sports bra that everyone is raving about that I am about to order. I am about to start running again more regularly, and I will be dog gonned if I let lecherous stares deter me from my health. The bra is by Panache and is available at both Nordstrom and Her Room online.

  • Golden Silence

    There’s no point in replying to Mot-Nonsense or whatever his name is. He’s clearly a lost cause. I don’t know why these trolls are causing drama in the comments like that. It shows how sick they are that someone made an ignorant comment about raping the author of this piece, and he and others like him are disgusting and dense by continuing to make such vile comments.

  • Golden Silence

    And when that day comes when I am too “old” for the attention of ignorant men, I will be ever so grateful.

  • http://beautyinbaltimore.blogspot.com BeautyinBaltimore

    Golden Silence, is that really you honey?

    I have not seen you anywhere on the internet in a month of Sundays. How have you been? Have you thought of putting up your street harassment site again? I so miss your personal blog.

  • http://orneno.tumblr.com Ms. Write

    @Alm Thanks for the sports bra tip! I have a large bust and I find that most sports bras don’t offer adequate support.

  • Getting-to-Healthy: One Step at a TimeTiffany

    This is one of the most infuriating comments on this post to me. It plays into the whole “boys will be boys” mentality. It’s not OK for grown men to behave in such a disrespectful manner to young girls or grown women. It’s not that women are “taking it too personal.” These are full grown men making vile and violent comments and gestures to young girls and women, and violent comments often lead to violent behaviors. Not only that, but these “grown men” are showing young boys how to approach and respond to girls and women in the future, which ensures that yet another generation of women will be harassed. you and anyone else who defends this behavior as “boys being boys” or throwing chit at the wall and seeing what sticks is the VERY mentality that leads to rape culture we live in.

  • http://gravatar.com/lovegiraffes onegirl

    @curlgurl, +1.
    Let’s talk about it!

  • EssDot323

    So true :-)

  • EssDot323

    @ Keiko:

    That’s the one issue that really irks me. The idea that men are hopeless animals led by their erections.

    How are women supposed to have healthy relationships with men when we accept denigrating behavior? And how does this teach men to treat women appropriately?

  • EssDot323

    @ Jane:

    Thanks for the tips. My friend recommended I try a social experiment where I greet the googly-eyed security guards at my office building and see how they react. No more googly eyes :-D They actually smile and say “good morning.” We’ve gotta encourage people to be their best selves.

  • patsfaith

    Yes to this article. I have been harassed all my life. I can recall at church, how grown A men would walk up to me and make sly remarks. It’s sad; even until this day; this is why I prefer to work out during the winter months so I can cover up. During the summer, you can guarantee somebody is going to walk up to you starting a pointless conversation.

    When it comes to street harassment, I can keep walking and ignore them. If it’s a youngster, I may have a few words with them. 

  • OSHH

    This why I prefer my gym where it’s is mostly gay men,
    but I did have a couple of older men approach me in that gym. One white man tryning to proposition me on the sly, with “do I like to shop” :-?
    and another older black man like my Dad’s age or older, tryna push up on me.
    No bueno, but mostly there I am comfortable because most people are polite and kind.

  • Dalili

    @motrenaissance: You missed the point of the article completely! The piece wasn’t about weighing the response ratio of cat calling and lewd behavior among attractive & unattractive men. It was about how the writer dealt with a harrowing situation brought on by something she had no control over: her young maturing body. So yes, it absolutely has to with civility.

    I

  • Keiko

    “It always made me feel like black men were sketchy and to be avoided and I’d cringe whenever I passed one in the street. The experiences never made me feel uncomfortable about my body but they did give a really skewed perception of black men…”
    Right. Exactly.

  • Dalili

    **do**

  • Keiko

    SMH – Oh my goodness, SMH, you’ve totally figured me out. You know, I am totally obsessed with Black men. I mean, how could I not be when they have so much to offer? Black men, they make me swoon with their high rates of incarceration, high rates of little to no education, multiple out-of-wedlock children with multiple women, disrespect/misogynistic attitudes toward Black women, propensity for harassing women, their inability to be accountable for themselves… And oh my goodness, I just love it when Black men call each other Nigga in that affectionate way that they do.

    - You are so right. I am not ‘truly black’. I am actually a Tahitian woman who loves to comment on Black women sites, because I just oh so much am infatuated with Black men.
    - Yep. You are right about this too. Everything I have said has been ‘fairy tales’. Black men don’t pursue me. It’s always been my obsession and infatuation that leaves me searching out for those sexy, chocolate, Mandingo warriors.
    - Man, you are on a roll here. I’ll try to keep the ‘spastic and perpetual interjections’ to a minimum, but I just can’t help myself because I love Black men so much.
    Wow! I never thought a stranger would ever have me figured out the way that you have. You’re right again. I cannot sit here and tell you that you are wrong without lying my face off.

    WHAT I CAN TELL YOU IS THAT YOU FOLLOWING ME AROUND TO DIFFERENT ARTICLES, INTERJECTING WITH YOUR FIXATION OF DISAGREEING/DISBELIEF ON WHAT IS MY REALITY IS RELATIVELY DISTURBING.

  • Hmmm…..

    @SMH -You’re such a black woman hating troll. Do you honestly think a pretty black woman does not get hit on? Do you think there are no pretty black women? Your comments say so much about you. Guys like you try to lower black women’s self esteem, but we all know how the dating game works. Men see a pretty woman and approach. You have to be out of your mind if you think black women don’t get approached just because they’re black women. You write some of the stupidest things. I suppose white women are the most desired women by other men. Who do you think the most desired men are? White men. The majority of Asian and Hispanic women are choosing them when they date out. Does being less desired keep black men from finding women? No. That’s because people are judging you INDIVIDUALLY.

  • Hmmm…..

    @motrennaissance – Your comments seem to be along the lines of I don’t care what happens to women because they only give time to attractive men and not average guys. You think girls getting harassed is okay because when they grow up they won’t give average guys the time of day. I guess that is what is going through all the “good guys” heads when they let it fly.
    You also seem to be one of those “black women only want thugs” guys. So this child didn’t have a father because her mother liked thugs or if she did he must have been weak because he didn’t stop the harassment that she probably didn’t tell him about. Like all things with you guys, all this a black woman’s fault. The mother for choosing a thug or weak man and not a good guy like you LOL or the child for having a big butt and in the future only giving her time to good-looking guys.

  • Hmmm…..

    @motrennaissance – The web is full of men complaining about dimes that wouldn’t give them the time of day. How about you get someone on your level? Unattractive women don’t get to complain about why the Idris Elbas don’t want them. They’re told to lose weight, fix their teeth, change their hair, or date someone on their level. I will never understand why average men think that they are ENTITLED to beautiful women. Maybe gawking at women in magazines has led you to live in a fantasy world where any man can have access to a beautiful woman. It is just not so. Women have to have beauty to get the best looking or richest men. Men have to have good looks or money to get the best women. Go get one or both, or lower your standards, but stop complaining.

  • Dalili

    I am floored that some people are so dismissive about this unacceptable behavior. What next rationalizing rape?!

    Crouch grabbing, yelling obscenities like “if you were my daughter I’d rape you(?!), grabbing body parts uninvited, is unacceptable! It is presumptuous of you to assume that all women relish being viewed as sexual objects; we can’t control what these offenders think but we certainly don’t to be privy to their deviant thoughts!! It isn’t complimentary or flattering in the least bit and it shakes women and girls’ psyche to the core.

  • Terri

    Speaking my life! Growing up with DD cups was truly not the business.Especially when I all I got was street harassment. I felt that the only thing that I was good for was sex and nothing else. I hid under bulky clothes and and ugly (what I call invisiguard) clothes so that I would go unnoticed and harassment free. It worked sometimes but other times <_< LORD. I had to stop taking responsibility for somebody else's actions. So even though I'm more fashionable and comfortable now I still want my chest to be a different size.

  • http://gravatar.com/motrenaissance motrenaissance

    @Hmmm…..

    Again if, S*xual harassment is a big issue for you BW, why don’t you tell all men to stop approaching, take out the guesswork for us men, and let us be the prey & you be the predator… Be responsible…

    Your comments seem to be along the lines of I don’t care what happens to women because they only give time to attractive men and not average guys. You think girls getting harassed is okay because when they grow up they won’t give average guys the time of day. I guess that is what is going through all the “good guys” heads when they let it fly.

    Why should men care about women getting “s*xually harassed” when they demand for gender equality, shouldn’t women stand up for other women… My point is simple, there is no such thing as s*xual harassment, just men, women don’t want to be approach by… I already offered a solution above, not just stating the problems…
    You also seem to be one of those “black women only want thugs” guys. So this child didn’t have a father because her mother liked thugs or if she did he must have been weak because he didn’t stop the harassment that she probably didn’t tell him about. Like all things with you guys, all this a black woman’s fault. The mother for choosing a thug or weak man and not a good guy like you LOL or the child for having a big butt and in the future only giving her time to good-looking guys.

    Why are you defending/deflecting a woman’s choice when she clearly picked a man who wasn’t there in her daughter’s life the way he should have been…

    At the end of the day, a woman’s choice will be celebrated or reviled based on how the children turn out… A strong father is a big part of how a child turns out… This will not change no matter who I am (not) dating/f8cking…

  • my_reply

    @Mike – Are you crazy? Why should a young girl who knows nothing about sex be flattered that some nasty perverted grown behind man is being inappropriate? I hope you don’t have any daughters. Are you going to let 40 year old men leer at them? Your comment seems to be saying men’s lack of self control and common decency when it comes to approaching women is a good thing. I mean don’t you want to be considered pretty. Some of the men commenting on this site seem to hate women or don’t respect them. The article about dates showed that men don’t respect women enough to take them on a date. Men on this article seem to just hate women. How could you think grown men harassing a CHILD is okay? Also a grown woman does not want to hear sexual comments from strange men. It makes you feel unsafe not flattered.

  • Furious Styles

    @ Mike, you’re missing the point. Looking is one thing. Cat calls, commenting on body areas below the neck, telling her what you want to do to her sexually without even having said so much as “Hi”, and cussing out the woman because she isn’t interested are disrespectful, tacky, and men need to check other men on it.

    “Being objectified” may sound good because that’s what men supposedly wish women would do to us, but it’s all fun and games until the possibility of rape enters the picture. I’m jussayin’.

  • mutemia

    Right so its okay for these men to harass women and young girls to sexually humiliate and degrade them for just for kicks. Is it really so much to ask these men and boys not behave like horrible creatures and stop bothering them?

  • mutemia

    That’s nice, do you want cookies for being a decent human being? I’m sorry people teased you, but that’s what you are supposed to do. I hope you continue to be respectful of women on the street, but its not like its difficult.

  • mutemia

    Yep, I know my self esteem gets boost when some random guy asks me to get into his car or asks me to perform oral sex on him. I’m so glad know he’s just sexually attracted me and I don’t have to worry about him doing me harm…oh wait

  • Hmmm…..

    @motrenaissance-Don’t be silly. I think you, other BM, and BW know the difference between sexual harassment and regular approaching. Men should care about women getting sexually harassed. It’s basic human decency. What the heck is wrong with you? That attitude is what leads to mass rape and prostitution. You’re probably okay with that too though. BW protest for BM all the time. You can’t even be decent enough to say that a 40 year old man chasing after a 13 year old is wrong. Somehow in your sick little world you think it was okay. You must be one of those MRAs that feels women stepped out of their place, need to go back, and don’t deserve basic respect. There are some decent MRAs, but there are too many misogynists. You seem to be one. So gender equality means men shouldn’t care about girls. I hope you never have kids.

  • mutemia

    Thank you Danielle for sharing this poignant and wonderful article with us. This piece clearly illustrates how street harassment wreaks havoc on black women and girls. I’ve been harassed ever since I was 14 and its never made me feel good. I used to be more skittish and afraid, but I’ve learned what to expect and I keep my head held high and keep it moving. I hate the way its colored my interactions, sure I’ll respond to a greeting with another greeting but I won’t stick around for fear it will turn into a vulgarity. It does make you uncomfortable in your own skin. And you wonder what is it about me, that makes this guy think he can talk to me that way and you start hating you body because you think its the source of the lewd commentary. I’ve since learned its not me its the men and their sexism, which they think can talk to a woman any way they feel like just cause they can. Thanks again for writing this awesome post!!

  • mutemia

    Did you even read the damn article? Did you gloss over lines like this “you’re so fine, if you were my daughter I’d have to rape you.”. Can you honestly say a man spewing filth like this is just confused about women and needs women to approach them. So a man has treat woman like crap or women have to do the approaching there is no middle ground here? You either approach a woman respectfully or you don’t and she doesn’t want to talk to you, then get over it and move on the next one. No guesswork involved

  • Hmmm…..

    @motrennaisance – I have no problem with saying that many BW choose bad men to have sex with. I am just not like you “BM=good. BW=bad” guys. I also know that there are lots of black women who get knocked up by “good guys” that they are in relationships who weren’t ready for all of that. Let’s not pretend that all of these guys are thugs. Many of them are guys going to college. Many of them are blue collar men with decent jobs. Many of them are professionals who just don’t want to get married or stick around. Having oow children seems to be the way it’s going to be in the black community. That’s not because BW date thugs. It’s because BM and BW don’t see the importance of two parent households. If I were a man, my girlfriend becoming pregnant with my child would be enough to make me enter into the commitment of marriage not breakup.

  • Golden Silence

    “Have you thought of putting up your street harassment site again?”

    No, that ship has sailed, but I still comment on street harassment blogs when I feel the need to.

  • trueletterson

    You was naturally sexual attractive they did what they was purpose to do by nature the was suppose to woo you for the purpose of populating the earth.

  • my_reply

    @trueletterson – Disgusting. You must be one of those guys that shouts vulgarities at underage girls. You know white racists called us animals and savages. Are you all trying to prove them right? Humans are animals but we also know to reason and use self control. There are plenty of women of age for grown men to populate the earth with. There is no need to go around traumatizing and abusing children under the name of populating the earth.

  • ALM

    @truletterson: Danielle is speaking of pedophiles. They think that it’s okay for a grown man to try to sexually approach a 12 year old. You can’t validate pedophilia with an argument to “populate the earth”. Danielle was a child when these men began coming on to her. I guess you are one of those dudes that doesn’t see a problem with this. SMH

  • KEIKO

    Guys like him usually don’t read the article in it’s entirety. They just see the words, ‘street harassment’ and run in to defend why they think it is okay for women/girls to be disrespected.

  • Apple

    Ive been chased,grabbed,groped,cursed out all by the same race of men. When I see black guys get really nervous and scared In hopes they leave me alone . When they don’t look at me sexually or aggressively try to seek me out I feel relieved and can talk to them much more easily but as long as I know they want Somethng from me I am unease and want to get the hell out their view

  • simplyme

    @Curlgurl As embarrassing as it is, this was basically my experience. Except for the father part…I just thought the guys in my family were the exception. There aren’t a lot of Black people where I grew up. But when I went to areas where there were, I would experience the street harassment and my perception of Black males was really screwed up. I would get nervous when walking past a black guy for no reason, sometimes even crossing the street…. I don’t even think it was conscious. This continued until early in college…when I realized I was being an idiot. When I realized what I was doing, I made an effort to stop because I knew I would be angered if someone behaved that way to my brother or father. It also helped that I made Black male friends who were genuinely good people…people I would trust with my life. Its important to remember its not actually all Black men. Yes it seems like the only men that do it are Black, but that is hardly the same thing as “all Black men do it” ….but it doesn’t help that so many guys seem to excuse this behavior.

  • http://www.rivaflowz.com RivaFlowz

    Powerful. It’s a shame that we have to feel so naked when we’re catcalled by men. It’s become something that has propelled me to cross streets, pretend I’m listening to music intently or walk faster. It’s sad that my mannerisms in my own neighborhood should have to suffer, for fear of men who don’t know how to keep their hands/gestures to themselves.

    -RivaFlowzDOTcom

  • Stanley

    Anything a man does to a woman on the street can be define as harassment. Anything!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1662885944 Courtney**

    This has been my experience as well. I grew up in overwhelmingly white suburbs, and while I was constantly bullied (mostly by white peers but also by black peers) throughout middle school and high school, the ONLY sexual harassment and abuse I have experienced has been from black males. I am consciously trying to unlearn my intuitive fear of black men because I know all of them are not this way (my brother is a very respectful man, as well as my dad although there is some violent trauma associated with him), but I am not stupid and so I will still use certain avoidance techniques when my intuition calls for it. When I go running, I have no problem acknowledging white men or women, nor black women. Black men is another issue because often 1) contact has been taken as encouragement to harass me, and 2) no contact/avoidance has been taken as encouragement to harass me. Depending on the age, I may or may not acknowledge black men also walking or running (the older the better but old men have also proved skeevy as hell in my experience) and will not make any contact if I get any sort of “thug” vibe. May sound bad, but I’ve never been harassed by anyone in a suit. I KNOW that men of all race and dress/class can and have sexually harassed women, but in my experience it is almost exclusively the domain of one type of low-class male and I don’t think it’s wrong to use this experience to determine my behavior.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1662885944 Courtney**

    This has been my experience as well. I grew up in overwhelmingly white suburbs, and while I was constantly bullied (mostly by white peers but also by black peers) throughout middle school and high school, the ONLY sexual harassment and abuse I have experienced has been from black males. I am consciously trying to unlearn my intuitive fear of black men because I know all of them are not this way (my brother is a very respectful man, as well as my dad although there is some violent trauma associated with him), but I am not stupid and so I will still use certain avoidance techniques when my intuition calls for it. When I go running, I have no problem acknowledging white men or women, nor black women.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1662885944 Courtney**

    (part 2, had to post in separate comment because the full comment in one post removed the ability to see the “post comment” button”)
    Black men is another issue because often 1) contact has been taken as encouragement to harass me, and 2) no contact/avoidance has been taken as encouragement to harass me. Depending on the age, I may or may not acknowledge black men also walking or running (the older the better but old men have also proved skeevy as hell in my experience) and will not make any contact if I get any sort of “thug” vibe. May sound bad, but I’ve never been harassed by anyone in a suit. I KNOW that men of all race and dress/class can and have sexually harassed women, but in my experience it is almost exclusively the domain of one type of low-class male and I don’t think it’s wrong to use this experience to determine my behavior.

  • Krysie

    lol at this comment. “Unlike what movies portray, most men find 95% of all women unattractive.” Where did you get this statistic from? How do you know this is fact and not fiction?

  • NTG

    @SMH

    LOL I could recognize you anywhere :) Welcome!

  • Hmmm…..

    @SMH – You’re the one that seems to not even understand what you type. You said:
    “- Secondly, even if you were black, it’s highly unlikely that you have a legion of eligible black men knocking down your door. Every single person in the United States knows exactly what that demand curve looks like, so spare us your fairly tales.”
    It seems to me that says something about what you think of black women not just Keiko. You have comments all over this site that put black women down. I don’t think I said anywhere in my comment that you condoned harassment. Did you miss something important in reading comprehension? Please take your childish name calling and sit down somewhere. I will go about familiarizing myself with the cognitive process. I suggest you do the same young sir LOL.

  • iQgraphics

    infuriating…
    hum, oh well. guess you’ll have to deal with that.
    I change the things that I can and know the difference between what is within and outside of my own control. I am proactive. I have no expectations of people that I don’t know.
    So what do I do? I teach my sun better.

    You be stressed and infuriated. Good luck with that.
    I’m going to challenge those who challenge me.

    Good luck with all that.

  • iQgraphics

    @mutemia “Right so its okay for these men to harass women and young girls to sexually humiliate and degrade them for just for kicks.” -Never said that.
    “Is it really so much to ask these men and boys not behave like horrible creatures and stop bothering them?” -I completely agree with you! But if you are stuck in your own head and taking the harassment personally, you can’t be effective when you challenge them.
    TRUST AND BELIEVE that if it wasn’t you walking down the street, then it would be the next woman receiving the SAME type of attention.That’s what I mean when I say “don’t take it personal” Because it’s not personal AT ALL. These clowns don’t know or respect you.
    Suggested reading “The Four Agreements” by Miguel Ruiz.
    your life is yours, not theirs.

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

    RAWWWWWRRRRR!!!@iQgraphics!!

    I’m going to challenge those who challenge me.
    YES!! Standing ovation for this comment, and that phrase that I personally stand by! CHALLENGE it.

    Smooches hun!!

  • KEIKO

    SMH: Between the diatribes, the interrogation, and the assertion that I ‘stalked you out’, it leaves me to believe that you are either trolling on this website or you are a certifiable mental case. If there is anyone who is deranged, hallucinating, and being neurotic, it is YOU! After all, you went off the handle, typing up a dissertation about a stranger based on details you fabricated in your mind. For you to say that I may be ‘too spineless or mentally bankrupt to challenge you directly’ further highlights how loony you are, because I don’t recall us being in a competition or any of my comments ever being in response to you. “All of that, and you still managed to say absolutely nothing.” – Why yes, the sarcasm in that post must not have been evident to you.
    Now, SMH, you go ahead and type out your hearts content up and down this comment thread, but I won’t be reading. Hopefully, everyone else will just ignore you too.

  • iQgraphics

    @african mami
    ***HAY MAMA!!!***

  • http://gravatar.com/motrenaissance motrenaissance

    @Hmmm….

    The only real issue I blame BM for, is enabling fat black women…

    A man’s job is to get s*x… A woman’s job is to inspire commitment from said man… Meaning getting said man to sign a marriage license before they copulate… Then if the man leave’s after woman did all that, then we can have a forum where we are lambasting the men for abdicating their responsibility…

    My belief is that women would weed out alot of ain’t sh*t men by requiring them to put a ring on it, and sign on the dotted line… Women are willing to have boyfriends & believe the lies that they want to hear from the men they are attracted to… So, as males, they did there job on getting s*x from said woman (which actually takes skill), and as females, they failed willfully & spectacularly on not securing commitment from a black male, who, if she did her homework, check if he the father/husband type…

    But BW love their Mr. Wrong, and should be rightly shamed for it, everytime the topic of single motherhood comes up…

  • TWObyTo

    i like the comments it lets me know i still got it

  • TWObyTo

    thin dont stop the comments- i get men that say hey slim- not all men are into butts – alot are but some like other stuff

  • KEIKO

    Should say that street harassment HAS effected the way I interact with certain men.

  • kaya

    Too be fair, its not like smh is lying. Look you dont need to stalk anybody on this
    Site, as long as ure an avid reader of the blogs posted and read the comments u get to know the usual names. After only coming to this site actively for 2 weeks back in October “african mami” was the first name I recognize in the comment section. Eventually, you learn the people not simply by their name alone but the way they write. Cali 78/introverted leo/keiko is all the same person.
    The story is always the same. Now is that a problem? No. but the hopelessness and despair in a lot of comments made by Keiko, you dont know whether to pity her, nothing her her or be annoyed by her. Obviously the latter got to smh. And she has every right to feel what she likes because u can’t tell someone how to feel just like ure entitled to your own opinions and feelings.

  • KEIKO

    A lot of what men do on the street is harassment because they don’t know how to just let a woman be.

  • Ella

    @SMH

    At no point does she say or intimate that the former is “more civil than” the latter!

    So no, you did not “get this straight.” Try again.

  • KEIKO

    NO, NO, KAYA. YOU LOOK – HAVING SOMEONE FOLLOW YOU AROUND ON A WEBSITE PROPOSING FABRICATED RAMBLINGS ABOUT YOUR LIFE IS PRETTY BIZARRE. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING AN AVID READER AND RECOGNIZING SOMEONE’S WRITING AND HAVING SOMEONE BECOME FIXATED ON YOUR COMMENTS, INSISTING THAT YOU ARE BEING DECEITFUL ABOUT YOUR OWN LIFE AND TYPING UP AN INAPPLICABLE QUESTIONNAIRE TO REMEMDY THEIR PSYCHOSIS.

  • Hmmm…..

    @motrenaissance – Men don’t give celibate women the time of day. Look at your comments on the dating article. Women want male attention. Women who give sex away seem to be winning. Women don’t want to be alone, so they have premarital sex. People have premarital sex and will never go back to the way it was. So BW need to improve their birth control game. Either way men still have a responsibility to raise their children. You can’t just go around impregnating women and saying it’s their responsibility. I think civilized men understand the need to populate the earth but at the same time in a responsible way that doesn’t lead to millions of kids growing up with no father. Are women the only ones responsible? But seriously, how many men are going to date a woman for 1-2 years with no sex and not cheat?

  • Pseudonym

    Ummm…have you ever been to a Latino or Italian neighborhood? It’s the same. I went to Spain and had “Morena!!!!!” shouted at me 50 times a day and in Buenos Aires, my cab driver was so busy lusting at me in the rear-view mirror telling me I had beautiful “skin…eyes…lips…[BAM]!” he read ended the car in front of him. Same with getting shout outs in Zanzibar and even Thailand (though the men there were more subtle and it wasn’t as much as other places). It’s not just a “black” issue so these Clutch comments need to stop beating up on black people and black men whenever anything in their life doesn’t go right.

    I understand that we can only have frame of reference from what we experience, so not blaming anyone for what they do not know BUT a lot of the commenters on this blog need to get out and experience more of the world to get an idea of what the overall human experience is vs. just thinking every problem they have only exists in the black community, all other cultures are living fantastically in Utopia, and the solution for the black woman is to “flee Blackistan.”

    It’s bad enough we have non-blacks making us the villains in their folk tales and painting a negative black image based on selective fact-collection; black people shouldn’t be doing it to. I come to this “black women’s blog” to get away from all of that, but most days, the negativity towards black people seems to be just as bad.

    What’supwiththat?!

  • http://gravatar.com/motrenaissance motrenaissance

    @Hmmm….. Smart, but not quite there yet…

    Simply put, all women have a pen*s market… Women need to choose the best man willing to long-term commit & be a father to future unborn children when she in her prime beauty years… Men will wait, especially if the woman is not price discriminating (f*cking other men while making him wait), but not the men who have options…

    FIN… Killing this thread

  • Dionne

    @motnonsense

    why dont you and smh go back to black men vent or masturbate and leave the ladies of C alone.

    You are not as smart as you think. You are not schooling us about anything. You are juvenile and annoying. Be gone.

    Thanks.

  • Paul

    Hmph!

    Kieko and SMH

    seem like the sam person to me.

    LOL!

    And like most the so called “black” website I bet there are only about 10 posters in total here, writing under various names and only two of whom might actually ne black.

  • ginamodschooler

    It’s definitely something that happens to white women in white areas too. I lived in Maine as a young woman, population was about 99% white at the time, and I got harassed constantly. Same in suburban areas in Pennsylvania – I couldn’t ride my bike anymore because I was so scared after getting groped as I rode along a fairly busy road – the guy and his friends were in a car and slowed down, pulled up behind me and the guy reached out the window and grabbed my butt. In Whitey McWhitington “safe” suburbia, so have no illusions – same vulgarities, same violent reactions if you weren’t flattered at the “attention”. Had many bottles thrown at me, luckily I’m agile and they weren’t very good at aiming ;-) NYC, Portland ME, Wallingford PA, Rutland VT, they all had assholes who thought they were entitled to be miserable cretins to a young girl or teen and get rewarded for it. Not a black guy among them. Only common denominator was that ‘Y’ chromosome. And, as Marisa points out, no home training. I’d think if they were raised by actual wolves they’d probably have shown better sense though.

    Best deterrent to unwanted attention for me when I moved to Brooklyn and wanted the freedom to be out and about walking, enjoying the park, etc. was getting a nice Rottweiler who went everywhere with me. A very well-trained, calm and serious Rottie is a great deterrent to fools :-D

  • http://gravatar.com/motrenaissance motrenaissance

    @Dionne Get over yourself

  • Sue

    Thank you for pointing out that this is not just happening in the U.S.!The cycle continues because the younger ones see the older ones doing it, and think it’s funny. I was particularly appalled by the statement the author quotes above where a teenage boy says she is so fine, he would have to “rape” her! That is absolutely terrifying!

    This story is about men being disrespectful to women and girls. Period! It’s wrong and these men obviously don’t know any better!

  • Me

    As a woman who has been through this as a child, I actually have to agree w/iQgraphics. It’s not about condoning the behavior, it’s about knowing you’re better than what they think you are and not giving any energy to it. I say that because, another post will pop up any day now saying how grown women need to claim their sexuality and not be defined by xyz, etc etc. Women would get there a lot sooner if we were teaching our daughters that “sometimes you’ll run across some extremely ignorant assholes pretending to be men, but who they are and how they behave has nothing to do with your intrinsic value. Yes, there may be cat calls and lewd gestures as your body matures, but the only thought that should be running through your head is ‘that creep needs to go somewhere else with that because I’m not having it’. Anything else that hints at you being ashamed of your body doing what it’s supposed to do should have no place in your beautiful developing mind. Just cross the street and keep having a great day.” That conversation should be in tandem with the one to young boys that goes something like “you better not ever even so much as SMELL like you’re about to disrespect a girl/lady/woman in your path…”

    I think one part of the parent/child conversation that’s missing is that just because someone else TRIES to debase you doesn’t make you any less awesome. It only makes them all the more pathetic. Take pride in your greatness, and don’t let the foolishness get to you. Young girls need to be taught the confidence to not allow foolishness to mean so much to them.

  • http://sizeandsubstance.com/2012/07/02/stories-of-substance-body-image-round-up-7/ Cristina Fahrbach-Connors

    What a great article! Gave you a shout-out on my blog!

  • Me

    Surprisingly, I agree with SMH. First time for everything, I guess. But, yea… why is private sexual victimization any different than public victimization? Why fear the black men out of what they do in public, and not fear (possibly even fear more) the white men that you can trust to be in the same room with alone (based on your experience)? Something certainly is missing in all this. The only thing I can point to is the connection to Curlgurl’s father being a sexual predator upping the ante for black fear. Still I would think there’d be a general fear of all men based on the sum of those circumstances.

  • Me

    One aside: I’m not one for name-calling nor cursing, so the SMH’s last paragraph is his to claim alone.

  • Right as Rain

    That’s fine. But I believe that most of the comments are coming from Black women/young women who live in the US and are being harassed by Black men/boys, so why would we shift our focus on what is happening in Latino and Italian neighborhoods?

  • Pseudonym

    Because comment states that fleeing black neighborhoods is the solution to this problem and that the common thread to street harassment is black men. Not true. If they move to an Italian or Latino neighborhood, there will be more of the same.

    It’s just the overall tone of Clutch commenters. Every problem is treated as a “black” problem instead of a general people problem being discussed by black women. And that’s where all the anti-black and disparaging comments come out. (Just see above or below- take your pick.)

  • cake211

    So you’re saying that this is directly related to Daddy issues? Please go sit down and get a damn clue cuz youre missing the entire point.
    I know that dads make a serious contribution to growth, development, and self love because I had my Dad around- but that still didn’t stop me from hating who I was because I thought the beauty that God gave me was the reason why I couldn’t escape the blatant disrespect I endured from men of all creeds and colors- and I dont have a big butt. My dad always told me that “men never hear the word no.” But that didn’t lessen the humiliation I felt when I experienced it.
    It has nothing to do with thick skin, and everything to do with calling out men that have a false sense of entitlement. There is no “glare” you can give a man to make him not act like an ass because, unlike a dog, they have the ability to choose NOT to act wrong.

  • Wow

    What all are you trying to do to strangers on the street anyway, Stanley? Because it probably is harassment! Seriously. What possible reason do you have to go talking to women you’ve never even met before, besides asking them the time or how to get someplace? You don’t.

  • Right as Rain

    Hmph! Even then, asking for the time or how to get someplace is used as an opening to hit on a woman.

  • Right as Rain

    I understand. I do. But again, most of the Black women on this site are experiencing street harassment from BLACK MEN, nearly all of the time. The thing I don’t understand is why when Black women try to talk about an issue, someone has to come in make the focus be about what other people do.

  • Velma

    I believe this happens to most black women and it’s something that no one likes to talk about. As I got older the harassment from the street from brothers, turned into harassment at the office from white guys. I gained weight to keep people at a distance, and I have learned that a lot women followed this pattern. With therapy I have since learned ways to handle it directly. It can really *uck your head up.

  • Right as Rain

    “It has nothing to do with thick skin, and everything to do with calling out men that have a false sense of entitlement. There is no “glare” you can give a man to make him not act like an ass because, unlike a dog, they have the ability to choose NOT to act wrong.” – Yes, yes, yes.

  • Paul

    Well I’d say this story is exactly the kind of hysterical laying it on thick, to make a totally one sided point intended to demonise a certain class of males just for existing – we’ve come to expect from misandrists.

    Of course the “victim” has to be young and virginal enough, that she can be portrayed as a flawless innocent whose own conduct is above question.

    Really reaching on this one.

    This sillyness ignores a whole host of factors at play when men make romantic approaches to women.

    LIke the fact that the pressure is on men to approach women. That the repeated rejections most men experience as a result of this burden carries its own hurt, especially among poor and powerless men, which, admittedly, can sometimes express itself as hostility towards unwilling women.

    These are not mere ‘get over it’ issues for men any more than me telling women to grow some balls over sexual harrassment would be a satisfactory solution for women.

    But I’m not treating this racist garbage any more seriously than that. This is not about sexual harrassment – which btw, goes on in every public and private space men and women interact – not just on the street.

    It’s about demonising black men – ergo the term street harrassment – racist code to denote poor black men.

    And of course being a poor black man – I aint got much time and feel no empathy for people who don’t like poor black men.

  • Rose Red

    Bitter closet queens always troll spaces where BW gather instead of going to some hip hop space where the rest of the down low homos bash BW. BCQ’s are deep in denial, so deep that they refuse to recognize the trauma that many BW have lived through. SO GLAD that I dont deal with most BM and don’t live in Blackistan. I date character, not race thus most BM don’t have a chance with me.

    They can get it on in jail or in alleys where they gather.

  • Rose Red

    Little BOY you’re just a bitter closet queen trolling grown BW’s space. Instead of getting some dike van dyke like the reset of the BCQ’s you’re trolling. Don’t nobody want a black man these days, yall trife mentally ill, in denial, broke, absentee dads, rude, and did I say bitter closet queens trolling grown BW’s space. I’m so glad I was hipped to BCQ”s they ALWAYS are trolling on BW’s space. Go get some dick, fool.

  • Rose Red

    Bitter closet queen get lost! WHY are yall here? This is for women there are always some jealous hag men trolling.

  • Rose Red

    This is why I refuse to make eye contact with BM on the street and at work. They don’t know how to behave. The can be rude, too aggressive and get an attitude if you don’t bow down to kiss their buttons or to respond to their crude words, they have no manners and no home training. Nope, I don’t want a BM and by the way, what the heck are they doing trolling a female’s space, anyway??

  • Eri

    @motrenaissance,

    I have to disagree. A few years back, I had a guy on the street slip away from his boys and ask me if he could walk with me for a bit, then ask me for my number. He was so sweet about it, but I was (and am) married and told him so. (I look younger than I am) I was flattered and thought he was nice. That’s in contrast to the guys I encountered growing up who have said “turn around so I can look at your butt.” There’s a difference. Guys who approach me like that, no matter how attractive, quickly become unattractive. Thank God I had enough respect for myself as a teenager to realize it.

  • Eri

    @Ms. Information:

    “don’t let anyone take your smile away.” Love that!

  • LoveFee

    I understand why you said females and did not use the respected terms ladies or women. Females are those who have no self respect or do not act as if they do, as well as not treating others with respect.

    I am glad you came to the knowledge it was their short coming to laugh instead of changing who you are. This is what happens too often.

  • LoveFee

    The article, if I’m not mistaken, is about this persons evolution of excepting herself and her body over time. As a child she may not have been receiving the guidance that is being spoken in regard to how some are raising their sons/daughters and in addition she speaks of a mental condition (being bi-polar) which could have played apart in her childhood. As an adult she has come to her own way of loving herself and not allowing unimportant outside individuals to factor in on her self worth. This is what you are saying, but realize not every young lady receives the all important message you have written and therefore can make loving themselves and viewing their appearance in a positive way difficult.

    As a mother of tween/teen young ladies, I talk to them, but hear too often directly or through conversations with my daughters of young women/men who’s parents are not having similar conversations regarding respect, self-worth, disregarding those who are speaking nonsense it’s their problem etc. You would be surprised the amount of parents that operate under the notion their teens no what is right or wrong without talking with them.

    This writer seems to say that there was a lack of needed conversations and she had to learn on her own how to navigate through this experience and not “take it personal”. In my opinion that should not have happened, she was ill-equipped as a child to deal through no fault of her own.

  • http://undressingher.com The Undresser

    you’re so fine, if you were my daughter I’d have to rape you.”

    What kind of nonsense is that?

    Anyway, I understand some of the issues that women, especially black women go through with being approached, but come on now, cut us some slack. We almost HAVE to approach you. It’s the way of life. Yes, we should be respectful, as I try to be, but don’t let the actions of few (in this case many), affect your view on all of us. Yall don’t seem to have a problem when you like the guy. :-\

    I think I need to blog about this.

  • http://undressingher.com The Undresser

    its a sad day in the world when we have black women hiding those butts. smh. Geesh, Don’t cover it up, I’ll check any dudes talking crazy. I hate them messing it up for the rest of us, lol.

  • http://undressingher.com The Undresser

    thankfully, someone here is thinking logically.

    And let us not forget, that some of these black women with “big behinds” purposely over-sexualize their bodies in an effort to get attention, but get upset with the attention comes from the men they don’t want to get it from. Trey Songz could say, “damn bitch, you got a fat ass” and they’d be all in. How convenient.

  • Right as Rain

    Instead of you asking women to cut you all some slack, start talking to your brothers about respectfully approaching women.

  • JJ

    Great, great article–thanks for sharing

  • Pseudonym

    Because women on this site like to link ALLLLLL of their issues to some sort of black pathology. See the comments above. The proposed solution is to not live around black people- b/c apparently only black men harass women on the street. FALSE. (see my examples)

    I’m all for discussing the issues that affect black women, however I will always come out and point out that it is a “human issue” when people start bashing black people as if we’re the only people with certain problems.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nikki.patin Nikki Patin

    In a preliminary study, 60% of Black women under the age of 18 (so Black girls, actually) reported being sexually assaulted. Folks can claim we’re laying it on thick, exaggerating, etc., but the numbers don’t lie. 3% of a population being affected by a disease is how we define an epidemic. So, what do you call 60%?

    Street harassment isn’t completely about Black men. We live in a rape culture that normalizes harassing and raping women and Black men aren’t the only ones who participate in it and perpetuate it. However, this is about community accountability. For those of you who don’t harass women, how many of you challenge it when you see it happening? Why or why now?

    What’s unfortunate is that the stories that Black women tell about their experiences are so often dismissed out-of-hand and not just within our communities, but also by police, medical professionals, teachers, social service works…i.e., people who are responsible for protecting others. I’d urge you to think about what women are actually saying about the violence and harassment that they’re experiencing and, as an earlier poster suggested, to not take these stories as personal attacks on ALL Black men but as testimony to what is actually happening in the world.

    You know, your denial of a thunderstorm won’t stop your head from getting wet, meaning that your belief in someone’s experience isn’t necessary for it to still be true.

  • Bakari

    No, I say this as a black man with a curvy white girlfriend: white girls with nice bodies get yelled at just as much – and the comments take a real awkward racial tone that’s hard to ignore.

    What’s worse is, often they don’t care if I’m standing right there because their reasoning is they could all beat the sh*t out of me right there if I defend her. That scares me a lot because if that’s what might happen to me, what in the world would they do to HER?

    Black women get exposed to this a lot because they live around young black men, who (I’m ashamed to say) are the most openly, publicly disrespectful of women, people in general, and their environments. I wish I could call out our young brothers every time they do this, but the fact of the matter is they don’t care, don’t care to understand, and I’m not going to catch a beat-down because their willful ignorance MIGHT hurt a woman’s feelings.

  • Bakari

    I’ve gotta say, where I’m from (Washington DC) it goes like this: White guys look and make private comments amongst each other. Latino guys stare and either whistle or honk. Black guys are mostly the only ones who will aggressively, persistently, and loudly say incredibly lewd and disrespectful things to women, or actually touch/grab them on the street.

    I’m a Black man and I have no trouble admitting that there’s a glut of young black men with absolutely ZERO home training and respect for anything or anyone but their semi-retarded, group-thinking crew. There’s nothing to get huffy about – there are honestly just a lot of us who suck at life.

    That’s not to say that offenders don’t exist in other cultures, but to put your head in the sand and pretend that this isn’t a uniquely black problem (for Gods-sake, turn on BET and see where they get it from) is patently ridiculous.

  • Bakari

    STOP, man. The more you talk the more completely retarded your argument becomes.

    This is coming from a man who knows that women care more about appearance and physical attraction.

    You are a child, or at least have the mind of one. GROW UP.

  • http://blackfemaleculture.wordpress.com blackfemaleculture

    I seriously doubt a person like that would care if his “mother, sister, aunts, female cousins were on the receiving end”. A man who hates women hates women. Familial ties mean nothing.

  • http://blackfemaleculture.wordpress.com blackfemaleculture

    Hey genius, instead of ass-uming facts not in evidence, why not ask if her father was aware of what was happening to her? I happen to know that Danielle Belton comes from a close-knit, intact, middle class family. The only thugs involved in her upbriging were the grown a$$ pervs who sexually harassed her as a child, in a pathetic attempt to feel like the men they will never be. There is nothing wrong with how Danielle “turned out”. Can you say the same?

    As I’m sure you know, BM gang raping little BGs is becoming a common occurrence in this country, but somehow it’s never their fault. Or so says BM like you and their sista soldiers / mammy enablers who hate themselves and other BW and girls.

    BTW, why is a supposedly straight man on a women’s fashion/lifestyle magazine, posting whiny, idiotic, misogynistic comments for attention? Do you realize how creepy that is? If you were gay or transsexual it would at least make some sense that you were visiting a magazine called ‘Clucth’.

    Did you know ‘Car & Driver’ has an online presence too? Here it is: http://www.caranddriver.com/
    My husband loves this website. Must be a man thing. You should try it sometime.

  • http://ofurhe.com .o.

    Check out this racialicious article that deals with similar issues:
    http://www.racialicious.com/2010/06/10/black-women-x-the-streets-x-harassment/

  • Brei

    One day, around 8:15 a.m., while waiting for the train to work,out of nowhere, this guy I don’t know says, “Smile, beautiful”. In rsponse, I told him no. It was early, it looked it was about to rain, and I just didn’t feel like smiling. But that doesn’t mean that I was scowling or that I felt miserable. I was just standing there like everyone else. However, when I told this story to a couple of other women, one said that I took the comment negatively by ignoring his comment that I was beautiful. In other words, she thought it was a compliment. The other woman said that I sounded bitter. But regardless of whether I looked friendly or unfriendly, I should be able to control that. I don’t need someone to try and control how I position my face. Did I handle the situation correctly or was I too defensive? Any thoughts?

  • Mademoiselle

    I think it was meant as a compliment, but it was just a suggestion. You don’t have to humor everyone–compliment or not. My question is, would it have *hurt to smile?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ellenralbertson Ellen Albertson

    Great post. Want to boost your body image? You may be interested in a study I’m conducting on body image and meditation. It involves filling out two web-based surveys and listening to meditation podcasts for three weeks.

    For info or to participate please visit:

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/meditationwomenshealth

  • Brei

    No it would not hae hurt to smile, but like I said i was early morning, and I was headed to work. In thatparticular moment, I just didn’t feel like smiling and no one is obligated to. l just think it was rude of him and I don’t think he would have said that to a man.

  • Pingback: Street harassment | Ofurhe Igbinedion

  • Golden Silence

    You said that you didn’t feel like smiling, so why are you asking for people’s validation on your actions here? If you didn’t feel like smiling for a random man, you didn’t have to.

    Men think that women should be smiling like grinning idiots for them, regardless of our feelings. Do you ever see these men telling other men to smile? Unless you know someone personally, your facial expression should be of no one else’s concern.

  • http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com girlsguidetosurvival

    No this is not unique to your race it is equally or more worse for women in India if they resist they can be raped, killed or even have their faces disfigured by throwing acid on them.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16503338

    Peace,
    Desi Girl

  • Looking Forward to Gender Equality One Day

    Great post. But this isn’t restricted to any race. In fact, it’s widespread and affects women of all shapes, sizes, colors and races. This has everything do to a fundamental lack of respect for women as human beings and not as sex objects or objects to be oppressed and controlled.

    I’m a Caucasian (non-Hispanic) and I was chased down the street by truckloads of drunken construction workers when I was 9 years old and barely had developed at all. Those construction workers were Caucasian and Latino.

    Also, another commenter says that young black men are very vocal and have a tendency to catcall more than other groups. I would also have to question that because I lived in many areas with a high Latino population and those men were vulgar, disrespectful and, at times, threatening. I later lived in Latin American countries and it is much worse there than in the U.S. Plus, it happens Europe and Asia too. Actually, it happens everywhere and in some countries, it moves into more dangerous types of sexual harassment, such as rape, and the women are then punished for being impure after having been raped while the man walks free because he’s a man.

    This problem is pervasive and has its roots in the patriarchal world in which we live. And being told that we are too sensitive and that we should laugh it off just perpetuates the problem. Everywhere.

  • islandgirl77

    With these street harassment stories like this, it’s not clear if this is a way to boast (consciously or subconsciously) or if this is really an issue. They always start with how beautiful, curvy, desirable they are. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with beauty. I’ve seen some of the most beautiful women walk down the street without a peep from men. Maybe they are intimidated? It may have more with the men and their display of power over women.

  • islandgirl77

    Very, very true!

  • islandgirl77

    That is a misnomer. Sexual harassment is not about being attractive or unattractive. It is about power over women and men find women who they think is not as intimidating.

  • http://gravatar.com/islandgirl77 islandgirl77

    This is a very interesting article about race and harassment.

    http://www.racialicious.com/2012/07/09/street-harassment-race-a-sliding-scale/

  • Mary J

    I’m white, have a friend who is black with a big butt – and I do mean really big. Just going to the store with her was a real eye-opener. Men bother her non-stop with offensive comments, not just compliments. I was horrified by what she has to go through every day, all day. Men need to get it together.

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