Alone at night? We all know what that means…

by

Freshman year of college, I had to walk to the school across the street to vote. My friend decided she no longer wanted to vote, and after being rejected by Campus Safety’s shuttle system because it was too close(argh!), I decided to walk. My school’s in a not so nice neighborhood but I figured a two minute walk at 6pm wouldn’t kill me.

I was wearing jeans, a purple top made out of sweatshirt material, and sneakers. This will be important.

On my way back, as I spoke on the phone with my friend, I was followed by a man with a beer bottle. When I paused to look down at my phone, he approached me and said “Excuse me miss? How much?”

Shocked, I asked “How much for what?”

“For some sex.”

So, sweatshirt, jeans, sneakers, cell phone, walking quickly back to the school? Irrelevant. Being a woman alone at night? Prostitute.

(I won’t even go into how my incompetent Campus Safety office handled THAT)

Oh well. #MFIF

Katie, USA

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12 Responses to “Alone at night? We all know what that means…”

  1. laura Says:

    I’ve been “mistaken” for a prostitute while wearing a similar outfit and being about seven months pregnant (also in broad daylight)! amazing…

  2. annabel Says:

    It doesn’t matter what you wear, it’s about the old guy having power over you.

  3. Emma Says:

    I’ve been “mistaken” for a prostitute as well while fully covered up (long wide skirt, Doc Martens, long sleeves, no cleavage, but I suppose I *was* wearing all black at the time which *is* terribly “slutty”). It was in a very public place, a shopping district even, full of people, and at noon. I was also 17, looked my age, was wearing earphones, and I was carrying a backpack…

  4. Clarisinda Says:

    I was wearing jeans, a purple top made out of sweatshirt material, and sneakers. This will be important.

    No, it is not important. If you’d been wearing a bikini you still don’t deserve to be harassed as you walk down the street.

    • Katie Says:

      I meant important for illustrating what a douche the guy was. I’m certainly not apologizing for wearing ANYTHING that I want to wear.

    • Katie Says:

      But I agree, he’s a douche even if I was dressed as a prostitute. In fact, he’s a douche even if I WAS a prostitute. Lol.

  5. Lucie Says:

    My friend used to live in an ‘unsavoury’ part of Sheffield, UK where we went to university. It didn’t matter what she was wearing, how many books she was carrying, the backback she was wearing etc, she was regularly approached by men thinking she was a prostitute. She even got told by one of the ‘ladies’ that she should think about going into the trade as she’s make good money!

    One evening, she looked out to find one of them plying her trade on the bonnet of her car. Classy.

    • Katie Says:

      Yeah, I mean, this was the worst but the heckling and honking and trying to get me in their car still happens, every time I wander off campus. I could be wearing a burlap sack.

  6. BranchMonster Says:

    I agree about clothing being irrelevant – I will wear whatever I want and I’m not asking you to do or say anything about it. Sure, I like to be looked at, but it’s rude to stare or leer no matter what. Katie, I do understand that you’d describe your attire to illustrate the situation, of course. Also, I am very sorry this happened (and still happens, it would seem from your last comment).

    Allow me to extend that to the rest of you who have commented – I am sorry people have said these things to you.

  7. Katharama Says:

    This reminds me very much of when I was in high school and spent a month in England. Our group took a weekend trip to Paris, and me and two other girls went out wandering one evening. We were not dressed in any way provocatively – hell, I was wearing cut-off (at the knee) sweat pants and a George Michael t-shirt (shut up, it was 1989) – but yet a trio of men followed us around for a good 10-15 minutes, thinking we were prostitutes. We were all rather flummoxed that these guys couldn’t comprehend that we were just tourists. One of the reasons why I felt that Paris was a low point of my trip.

  8. Mary Says:

    A friend of mine who did a lot of outreach work with sex workers got really annoyed about the media stereotype that all street prostitutes wear short skirts and high heels. Plenty of them wear the same kinds of jeans and hoodies that you were wearing. It probably depends where you are and what your local culture is, but plenty of prostitutes don’t “dress like a prostitute”.

    Not that that gives anyone the right to harrass you, of course.

  9. TK Says:

    It doesn’t matter what one is wearing. For instance, many people think that women who wear burqas run no risk of getting raped since they are being good and keeping themselves fully covered but they get raped and abused as often as people from other countries where women commonly wear much less. I hate that I live in a “The rape victim was dressed wrong! She deserved it!” society. It’s a defence mechanism that women [and men but to a lesser extent] use thinking, “If I don’t dress or do like she does than me or someone else won’t be subject to what she went through.” Being female I run the risk of being raped and killed if walk outside, not only at night, but in the day and the way I dress has nothing to do with it, but my sex does.

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