A thread inviting women to share the terrifying ordeals they’ve been subjected by men they’ve rejected has gone viral.
Taking to Twitter, young adult fiction author Elizabeth May, who is originally from California, but now resides in Edinburgh, Scotland, wrote: ‘Hi ladies! RT if you’ve have had a frightening response from a man when you’ve rebuffed, rejected, or otherwise ignored his advances. If you feel comfortable enough to share your experience in the comments, I want to hear you.’
And with over 19,000 followers, Elizabeth’s tweet quickly went viral as hundreds of women flocked to the comments section to share their scary stories.
Sharing her story, @AlexLHardaker wrote: ‘Too many to count.
‘Some of the worst ones were when I worked at a bar during uni, it was usually men twice my age, and I didn’t get to work behind the relative safety of the bar because I had to sell shots on a tray, my manager told me, “Just let them touch you, you’ll sell more”‘.
For @gayleenfroese, the workplace also proved to be a hazardout place in her teens.
‘Working at a library, age 16, I got in the elevator with my male coworkers,’ she wrote. ‘They stopped the elevator & said, “We could rape you here & there’d be nothing you could do about it.”
‘FEMALE manager’s response later: “What do you want me to say? Don’t get in the elevator with them.”‘
@TinyWriterLaura shared a similarly horrifying story, writing: ‘Working at a pub just out of uni.
‘One guy who worked there mistook my friendliness for romantic interest. After repeated refusals for dates he started getting in my way behind the bar, grabbing my arse in front of customers & touching me constantly despite me telling him not to.’
‘It came to a head when, after I’d told him not to speak to me again because he was freaking me out, while i was working & he wasn’t he followed me into the cellar while I was getting ice and trapped me, begging me to date him and kissing down my neck. It was terrifying,’ she added.
Another recalled how a taxi driver thought she was interested just because she was being friendly, and asked her to perform a sex act on him.
One woman rejected a man in her book club and tried to let him down gently by saying she was too busy with work to date.
He told her she was too focused on her career and after she turned him down several more times, he wrote to her father to ask him to convince her to go out with him.
Twitter user @britnidlc shared her horrifying ordeal that featured someone in her college: ‘I turned down a guy at a party in college by mentioning my bf was in the next room. The next weekend my bf was away & dude followed me into a bathroom & blocked the door & said, ‘where’s your boyfriend now, bitch?’
And @RoseTintMyWorId revealed a similar story about unwanted advances, even as a 10-year-old child.
‘Had guys follow me home, right up to my front door. First time this happened I was about 10 years old? Now it’s guys you make small talk with on a night out, who believe they’re entitled to something as a result,’ she wrote.
Multiple women described being harassed by men who catcalled to them from their vehicles and were then followed and shouted at by them for refusing to engage.
Twitter user @britnidlc shared: ‘I declined to give my phone number to a guy who pulled up alongside me in his car (I was walking) and he proceeded to drive alongside me for the next four blocks yelling obscenities and threats at me.’
And @loveheylola had a similar experience: ‘I got home from work at 2 am. A guy stopped his car in the middle of the street to “hey baby” me. I ignored him and started walking away fast. I didn’t want him to know which house was mine. He backed up his car and followed me. I ducked down an alley. He followed.’
She continued: ‘I ended up running into a neighbors yard and basically hiding in a bush until he went away. Oh – and the whole time he’s yelling “where are you going? I just want to talk to you!”‘
Elizabeth has since taken to the micro-blogging site a couple more times to praise the women for coming forward.
‘Still doing my best to read. Your stories are important. You are important,’ she wrote.
‘I have to work now, but thank you for sharing your stories with me, and for the supporting comments, too. I’m trying to put together my thoughts. I have so many. But first: thank you.’