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Hi everyone I would like to share, some of my experience with street sexual harassment.
I’ve been walking alone the streets of Lisbon since young age, because I grew up mostly without my father and my mother had to work much to support our life.
The first street sexual harassment I can remember (but I don’t think it was the first to happen), I was 14 years old!
I went very early to school, probably around 7 a.m, and a man sitting inside his car asked me “please could you came here” I thought he would need a information, but since I was “trained” to not trust anyone I kept some distance from the car, where this man was masturbating and asked me “Do you want to suck here?”!
Between the age of 14 to 28 years old:
I CAN’T count in my fingers of one hand how many penises I had to involuntary see on the street, and acts of masturbation towards me!
I CAN’T count in my all finger and toes, how many times I had verbal sexual attacks by men, from “Beauty I would eat all your strawberry!” to “Today I would eat up all of you” and so on…
I’ve changed country, my second day in a new city (Graz/Gradec) and my warm welcome was “Do you want to fuck with me?” and believe me, that was not the last time!
Years have been passing by, I am a self confident woman who goes alone to bars to have my beer, draw or write, do some creative things for relax, I’m constantly interrupted by sexist men who think a woman shouldn’t be in a bar alone and decided that they are the perfect company, most of the time I tell them that I am alone in the bar because IWANT TO and I have plenty friends if I need company. Many of them don’t take that as an answer, so I have to politely ask them repeatedly to leave me alone, some do not understand polite language, so I have to threaten them!
Till some weeks ago all that was enough to keep these sexists away! But apparently, there are those for whom threatening it’s not enough, so I had to use physical violence!
In my usual bar in Graz, this young drunk man, sat on my table without asking permission, he kept on talking with me after I’ve told him my wish of being left alone in peace, he came closer to me every time I’ve asked him to stay away, and after all he touched me on my arm and shoulder after I’ve showed and told him my wish of NOT being touched! I threaten him and he joked about me, asking “Where are your friends, hum?!” and coming even closer!
I left the table to talk to the barman, that misunderstood the situation (probably due to the noise and being alone working), and this young man had my pen, paper block, cigarette filters and lighter in his pocket, I’ve asked him repeatedly to put my belongings back in the table and leave me alone, he came close again and replied “Kiss me or beat me!!”
I’ve punched him in his face with a full fist, he fought back in defense, I stood up on my seat and held his head kneed his chest and kicked his legs!
Finally he was kicked out of the bar!
I don’t think physical violence should be a solution for any problem, but everyone has a limit and after all these years that was mine!
I hope the stories of a 1,59m little girl may inspire many other girls to NOT SHUT UP! You have the right to show that IT’S NOT OK to be treated like this!
I want to be able to wear what I want; I shouldn’t have to cover myself with clothes because sexists “can’t help it”!
I want to be able to be alone where I want (bar, parks, coffee house, concerts); I shouldn’t have to be “chained” to someone because sexists think a woman sitting alone, is a guaranteed woman to be sexually attacked!
I WANT TO BE FREE TO BE A WOMAN SO I WILL FIGHT BACK