The 13 Strangest and Most Offensive Street Harassment Comments I've Gotten in New York City
I begin my day in Brooklyn, by heading to the coffee shop on the way to the subway. During that brief walk from my house to my much-needed Stumptown Cold Brew, at least two men usually compliment me on my afro and funky glasses. Sometimes, I just get the one-word compliment "Beautiful." Most of these comments come from neighborhood folks that I find friendly and harmless.
But as soon as I enter the island of Manhattan and step off the subway platform, I say goodbye to the friendly compliments of my neighbors and stepped into a realm of profanity, insults, and arbitrary suggestions. And I'm just not about that.
Of course, this is nothing new. I, like many women, have been suffering cat-calls and hissing all my life. And with a lifetime of these comments under my belt, I thought it would be only fair to list the most common, the most unique, and the most offensive street harassment comments I've gotten.
Those who have the gall to say these things to a stranger are trying to demonstrate their power. They know that you'll either be too flustered or afraid to respond, or they're hoping for some flirtatious exchange. My reaction is usually the former, which tends to be enraging in the aftermath — Why do they get to make me play the victim? I ask myself — so I'm including what I wish I'd said back. You know, had I not been busy getting HARASSED.
"Why don't you eat something?"
I literally just had 12 vegan buffalo wings, a bag of sour cream & onion ruffles, and then ate pasta salad over my kitchen sink, directly out of the pot. Why don't YOU eat something??? Dayyyum, son.
"You're so skinny, flies are buzzing around your head waiting for you to die"
Ok, bro, you got me. That was kind of funny.
"You can stand under my ella, ella, ella, ella- aye"
Wait ... is he offering me his umbrella? I can't tell. It's starting to come down pretty hard actually, an umbrella would be kind of nice. How about you hand it over?
"You're kind of cute ... for a dark-skinned girl"
Great! Racism AND sexism!
"Damnnnn girl (cue barking)"
What a coincidence! I JUST did that exact same thing to myself in the mirror after I blew out my afro.
"You a thick ass bitch"
He's not talking to me. Wait, he IS talking to me! Hold up, is this the same motha%$%& that told me yesterday I needed to eat something? You know what, I'm not trying to even HEAR your mouth today. I'm late for work and I don't have time for you to make up your mind if I'm thick or too skinny.
"Sup, nappy girl, let me talk to you for a sec?"
No, you cannot call me nappy just because you're black too.
"You're pretty ... for a black chick."
Wow, that's just so swell to know that I'm pretty — for a black chick. Just think if I were white, I'd be a f-ing super-model!
"I can smell the pussy on you"
Another winning combination! Sexism AND homophobia.
"One of these days, I'ma TAKE you!"
Even better, actual threats of kidnapping and/or rape!
"Girl, let me up in there."
You're so cute. You really think that you, as you scratch your balls, smelling like booze at 10:30 in the morning, are ever going to get up in here? You're a grown-ass man, and yet you still believe in fairytales?
"You're too pretty to smoke!"
Oh, thanks for your concern for my health. I'm sure it's very sincere.
"You look like a stuck-up bitch!"
I know you ain't talking to me like that. How am I stuck up when you're the one judging me from across the street, having never spoken to me, and calling me names? As it turns out, when you said, "Hey Beautiful," I was going to say "Good morning," but you didn't give me a chance before you started hurling insults at me. You know what? I can't even with you right now.