How I Turned the Tables on Street Harassment : GangStarr Girl

How I Turned the Tables on Street Harassment

[ 16 ] April 3, 2013 |
Street Harassment, iHollaback

Street harasser caught on camera.

Street harassment is an unnerving and unwelcome part of womanhood. We all have several stories that vary in intensity about some poor misguided attempted suitor cat calling, whistling, speaking inappropriately, or aggressively stalking us on the street. These men have an unbridled sense of entitlement (a problem with patriarchy) and genuinely don’t believe that their behavior is wrong. Of the many times that it has happened to me, there were a handful of times where I confronted the person about their behavior. Sometimes they were actually receptive to my admonishment, other times I got cursed out or physically threatened, but the following is an account of the most unique example of a moment I turned the tables.

It’s footage I found (and finally decided to do something with) from a couple of years ago when I was walking around in New York City’s West Village trying to enjoy a nice day. And here came Captain Stalks McGee asking the trite question we’ve all heard many times, “Can I talk to you?” I replied, “No,” and sped up. He continued walking with me and asked for my number like I didn’t just firmly tell him to go away. I wanted to go off on him but what’s sad is if I did, he probably would have flown into a rage. Instead I decided to start recording him even thought I was nervous. I had never done that before but I decided it couldn’t hurt. Here are the results:


I’m just going to come out and say this…

I imagine how much worse he would have been if his mug were actually attractive.

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Category: Reflections, Videos

About the Author ()

Starrene Rhett Rocque is a recovering journalist who often fantasizes about becoming a shotgun-toting B-movie heroine.

Comments (16)

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  1. Tim Terrell says:

    The still with that negro’s face already annoyed me before I pushed play on the video.

  2. daisy says:

    Good one sister! Keep on the good foot, more men need to be confronted with their own antisocial behaviours…

  3. See. He could not even look at you. He was looking around for the next woman he could harass. “I don’t deserve a no.” That’s exactly the problem. And then they have the younger generation of boys watching their behaviors and doing the same thing. Look at him…*sucks teeth long and hard*

    • Starr R. says:

      Exactly! He was EXTRA bold when he followed me and even sat down on the
      bench with me (at that point I was fishing for my phone) but once the
      cameras were on all eye contact ceased smh.

  4. texassa says:

    LOL. Nice closing line. And nice work.

  5. Cat says:

    Hell yes. Well done. Man, catcallers get SO FREAKED OUT by people filming them. They know they’re wrong!

    • Starr R. says:

      Exactly! I got the idea from remembering a friend of mine who told me that she was on a relatively empty train once, and this man across from her kept grabbing his crouch and licking his lips in her direction. She took multiple photos of him and he ran off the train. Effing psycho. Smh.

  6. You’re totally right about that type of behavior being a part of rape culture. I can only hope that most parents (it would be too much to ask for all of them too) will start raising their sons to respect women, and not think that it’s okay to act like a bunch of female overlords.

  7. saucey says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS!!! I hope your quick thinking will inspire other women to record their harassers and upload/share them. We need to stop feeling a sense of shame when we are harassed and instead turn the shame onto the men who harass us!!

    • Starr R. says:

      Thanks for commenting! I completely agree that we should never feel shamed. It’s hard not to because unfortunately, we don’t have enough male support with this. I wish more men stepped in to help discourage this behavior too.

  8. carol b says:

    “i dont think i deserve a no” yeah, ok, but we dont think you deserve a yes.

  9. fy7uikfy says:

    #1- “Leave me alone.” #2- if they continue- snap kick to the groin.

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