Women Are Sharing The Low Key Forms Of Sexual Harassment They Deal With Every Day (15 Stories)

Women have to deal with all sorts of obnoxious behavior from men—from belittling commentary at the workplace to whistles or rude commentary while walking on the street.

Sexual harassment can be blatant, but a lot of harassment is subtle—which doesn’t make it any less upsetting when it happens or less deserving of censure.

On Reddit, women are sharing the kinds of low-grade sexual harassment they receive on a regular basis, and it’s incredibly infuriating that this kind of stuff still happens.


“Went to buy a car with my boyfriend and the salesman started explaining something to me, before pausing and saying ‘nevermind, ask your fella he will be able to explain it to you.’ I was like, IM buying the car and HE doesn’t even drive. A**hole.” — JessNakano


“I’m a hand therapist. I have to show people how to massage their scars effectively after their surgery because otherwise they can become stuck to the bone/tendon underneath. To do this I have to put cream on the scar and then demonstrate the right pressure to put on while they massage it. I’ve lost count of the amount of times a man has tried to ‘hold’ my hand back, or make some lewd comment about how I can massage elsewhere if I like. Just no, yuck.” — rubyinthemiddle


“Random guys thinking we like literally getting swept off our feet. Last time it happened I was in a bar watching my husband’s band play and some dips**t tried to pick me up from behind and carry me onto the dance floor. Luckily I’m sturdier than I look so he didn’t get very far, but I still had to tell him I didn’t want to dance with him multiple times. He decided ‘I was scared to’ even though I said repeatedly I DON’T WANT TO.” — newdawn79


“When I was in university one of my housemate’s younger sister came for the weekend, 14 year old but dressed mature and wore a lot of makeup, we were walking in town and a group of guys in their mid-late 30s were casually shouting that they wanted to f**k her and the ways they’d do it. I remember saying openly that it was disgusting and how long she was – and looked. And she said she was completely used to it.” — PuffTheMightyDragons


“When I worked in an office there were a lot of sales reps who didn’t care that I didn’t want to be touched because they were huggers. Men older than my parents would shake hands with the other people in my department but insist I stand up for a hug. When I brought it up to my boss I was told they were old school salesmen and to just laugh it off.” — PandaKickPunch


“Aged 16/17 I worked in a DIY store. I had so many men ask how much it’d cost to buy me, can they take me home with their new bag of cement, and even had one guy ask me what I was doing later that evening and can he take me for dinner. Sometimes they’d be quiet when I’d reply with ‘I’m 16,’ other times they’d just continue.” — Isgortio


“Government Office. If I (22F) wear anything besides a turtleneck (and even that doesn’t always do the trick), my much older boss will blatantly stare at my breasts during every conversation. He also calls me cute, comments on my outfits, hair, and general appearance, at least weekly. It makes me uncomfortable, but HR wont do anything and I can’t afford to lose this job and the benefits.” — rachsmiel


“Once I was in the store with my 5 year old daughter who was carrying a feather duster we were buying, and an old man leered at her and said she needed a French maid’s outfit.” — after_this


“I used to work in a legal clinic doing public benefits (Social Security, Food Stamps, etc.). I was the only lawyer who worked in this area and supervised a couple of non-lawyer college grads who rotated through every year. For context I’m also young and Asian so I look even younger than I am, and I’m sure that didn’t help. If I had a dollar for every time a client asked me if they could get a second opinion from a male attorney, I could have kept doing public interest law. Some clients refused to meet with me and demanded to speak to a male staff member (no male attorneys on staff sometimes!), which would often lead to them meeting with one of my supervisees–fresh college grads with no legal experience except what I taught them. They would helpfully tell the client that they couldn’t give legal advice and should probably do what I told them to do in the first place.” — anony_pengu


“My best friend used to work at the depot of Home, and multiple times a shift a male customer comments on her ability to lift heavy items and say shit like ‘a pretty little thing like you shouldn’t be working so hard.’ If she has to climb a ladder to get something, she’s had multiple men grab her hips to ‘help steady her.’ Almost every time she worked she would get comments or be touched by older men, she absolutely hated it.” — blacksheep_onfire

Patricia Grisafi

Patricia Grisafi, PhD, is a freelance writer and educator. Her work has appeared in Salon, Vice, Bitch, Bustle, Broadly, The Establishment, and elsewhere. She is passionate about pit bull rescue, cursed objects, and designer sunglasses.