9 Teens Tell Us Their Stories of Sexual Harassment and This Shit Needs to Stop

By: Amina Farouk

Let’s be real, every single woman you’ve ever met, including your sister, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, (if you met her) has been the unwelcome recipient of inappropriate touching and crude groping and hugs that go on much too long and clumsy pawing and cheek kisses that inexplicably involve wetness and all sorts of leers and ogles and catcalls and having to constantly worry that the provocative or conservative clothing they are wearing might provoke the unwarranted attention of some deranged carbon unit with y- chromosome poisoning who thinks he is god’s gift to women. Which admittedly is many of them. Okay. Most. All?

Men Behaving Badly is a tale as old as dogs chasing cats, so we asked a bunch of you guys to fill in our form and we’re here to share them to show that is NOT a rare thing, it does NOT only happen in movies and most importantly it is NOT a result of what you wear, this is the result of men being raised pigs instead of humans.

When I was 9,  my mom had invited her nephew over. While she was getting dressed to drive him home, we were having a chat in the neighbouring room. He got super close to me, all of a sudden, and started stroking my cheek. I asked him to stop and tried pushing him away, but he wouldn’t budge. He kept up with it; I felt so violated. Violated beyond belief…but in a normalised sense—maybe that was how it was supposed to be, you know. After all, we weren’t raised to think so about our close family, they are the ones that supposedly are protective of us. At the time, the asshole was 20. A pedophile. I wish death upon him every time this memory crosses my mind.” -NE,15

For a girl who lives in Egypt in this society you are constantly triggered by men just existing. one time I was going to school with my uniform which is actually disgusting and baggy. note that  I also use public transport as a normal human being but for some reason, a 70 year old something of a man decided that he would just pinch my ass i swear to god i never felt that feeling before and i’m a *3ayoota* bas I pushed back my tears, lost my mind and slapped him. He cried but I couldn’t help it and I just grabbed him from his T-shirt and threw him out of the minibus. I arrived to school and as i left the transport I started crying so bad my eyes where pouring. Met my friends they started asking what happened all i could say is nothing , and i never told this to anyone till now. Still hurts.” -ANON,18

I was 18 years old, and some days i had to take a taxi to get back from school, one day after I got into the taxi, the driver started to look at me in a weird way, I ignored him, after a couple minutes he started to talk to me and asked me about my name, my country..etc. after that he started to touch his private area, I was very scared but i was in an isolated area in the town so if i got out of the taxi i wouldn’t find a ride back home, I didn’t look at him and pretended that I didn’t see what he was doing, when I was finally near my house i told him to stop and when i gave him the money he grabbed my hand very firmly and asked me if I needed anything and repeated it, thank god i arrived safely that day. Since that I don’t trust any stranger and I’m always paranoid. * Note: I’m a boy.” -ANON, 20

I moved to Germany almost 4 years ago to live with my father who didn’t have a place back then (I didn’t know that) due to some irrelevant problems. I had to stay at my sister‘s so i went straight from the airport to hers. I thought I’d go to my father’s next but turns out that he didn’t have a place or even a job. It started with my brother in law (my sister‘s husband) as jokes. he pretended to hit me masalan because i made a kid mad or something he would grab my breasts if i ran . I said eshta yemken mesh asdo awel mara bas etkararet tany. I was sleeping in my room and he pretended to wake me up w by-shake my body keda gamed w am 7atet his finger ne7yet my butt hole bas i had pants on he couldn’t get through. It felt so bad. My body felt like a stone in that moment and i couldn’t say anything. My mom wasn’t in the country back then so i texted her about the whole thing. I felt like she wasn’t surprised but she said she’s gonna teach him a lesson (turns out he did the same with both of my sisters) He did it again then again then again. I was so weak and i hated myself for it. I cut my hair and fucked it up. I was fighting with my sister (his wife) which lead her to beating me, kicking me out of her house more than one time because, apparently, makontesh ba3mel b lo2mty 3andaha and called me “3abda” once because I’m the darkest sibling. I had no one to talk to and was so alone. Almost a year and a half from that time, my father had found a place, I’d gone to school for the first time in Germany and had made great friends there. All this formed me into a person i never ever wanted to be and I’m still trying to recover from all that..  thanks for giving me and others that had gone through similar situations an opportunity to speak about it. It feels so good:)” -AN, 19

I was walking at night alone at my club. And an old man grabbed my butt. I remember this day so clearly and I’d never ever forget this day. I was done with my training at 10pm so i decided to go get some food from the club, so i crossed a dark area. The old man and i were walking opposite sides. So it all happened in like 20 seconds. He first kind of touched my left shoulder, then his hand grabbed my butt, i removed his hand from there and shouted at him. And I couldn’t tell anybody anything because they wouldn’t believe me plus they would say that I’m disrespectful to shout at him. I was terrified, scared and embarrassed. how can an old man grab a skinny girl’s butt? I thought , on this day my parents weren’t at home they were traveling so I was sleeping at my grandmas. And I couldn’t sleep because i wanted to get it out of my chest but who would i tell, if i tell anyone they might’ve laughed at me. I hope this never happens to anyone because it sucks, it really does.” -ANON, 19

I was about 12. We lived in Khobar, Saudi Arabia and were visiting Bahrain. I was still so young but developing. I earned a bunch of tokens in the amusement park we were in and was looking for the booth to redeem them. I kept looking then found a guy calling me over. I was still so young so I thought it was okay. He told me he would take me to the booth and I said okay. He started leading me to the ‘booth’ then I soon found him putting his arm around my shoulders. I felt weird about it. Soon, he started to grope my chest and I started to become worried. I was so confused. I was only 12. He kept on doing that and I began to feel scared. He was leading me somewhere. It looked like he was taking me to his office or something. As he lead me there, his other hand reached to the button of my pants. I started to panic because I knew there was something wrong about this. I started to tell him that I wasn’t sure if the booth was there and that I needed to leave. He squeezed my shoulders tight and said that it was fine. He kept rushing me and continued to grope my chest. I never felt so scared of someone in my life. We reached the office hallway then I heard my mother tell my name. I tried to get away from him but he held me tight and tried to diffuse the situation trying to joke with my mom. She told him that I needed to come with her. He kept insisting he wasn’t doing anything and that he was showing me the booth. She smiled at him with deep strain then grabbed me and left. I am so thankful that my mom reached me when she did. It could have gone way worse.” -ANON, 19

I was walking alone in suncity w  two men were walking in front of me ya3ni in the opposite direction w kol ma y2arabo el space mabenhom kanet betekbar fa ana 3adet mn el nos 3ady fa one of them placed his hands on my chest. I was 13 at the time” -ANON, 16

I’ve been harassed countless times, especially in concerts, they usually touch me once or twice thinking i wouldn’t notice in the crowd, too bad i notice and remember each & every one of them. However, the one time I literally broke down was when i was walking down the street, a man came up next to me and asked for directions, I kept walking & ignoring him for like 3 mins, & suddenly he just stood ahead of me, not making me move, looked me in the eyes, touched my ass while asking me for directions. I couldn’t say a word. I just continued walking, hoping he doesn’t follow..” -ANON, 16

 Men need to understand that not only does no mean “no”, it also means “don’t.” Don’t threaten, don’t harass, don’t stand close enough I can smell your aftershave and don’t make sly innuendos, which usually aren’t very sly or innuendo-ish. This is the 21st century. Time to lose the Middle Ages werewolf attitude and start walking and acting like a human.

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