A woman’s tweet about a male stalker prompted so many terrifying stories
When you’re a woman, walking home late at night can be a very scary, tense situation. It usually involves clutching your keys in your hands, checking behind you multiple times, and speed walking to your front door. Why do we get so nervous? Well, there’s currently an entire viral Twitter thread that shows just how creepy, predatory, and dangerous men can get.
The online conversation started when Gabriella Rich took to Twitter to share a recent experience she had with a female stranger. “Last night some girl came running up to me whispering ‘please pretend to be my friend this man has been following me for 6 blocks,'” Rich tweeted. “As soon as this guy saw me hugging her he said ‘fuck’ and went the other way.”
Last night some girl came running up to me whispering “please pretend to be my friend this man has been following me for 6 blocks” as soon as this guy saw me hugging her he said “fuck” and went the other way. Please ladies stay safe and never walk alone!
— Gabriella . (@gabriellarichh) July 12, 2018
So, that’s pretty scary right? Her story, it turns out, was just the tip of the iceberg. Hundreds of comments poured in from women who had been stalked, harassed, and literally chased through the streets.
There were the men who didn’t outright run after women, but made really scary overtures.
There was one time I was walking my dog in my neighborhood in broad daylight, and this man was parked in his car staring at me. My dog (who is the friendliest giant ever) began to growl in the most strangest way, and didn’t move from in front of me until the guy sped off.— Cassy ◟̽◞̽ (@smolbblwt) July 18, 2018
When i was like 12-13 i was going from school and some man stopped me saying hi. I didn't want to be rude so i greeted him back. Then he said "you know whats gonna happen? I'll do the same to you like to the other girls" I ran away from him, scared to the death and crying— terez | diana is my soulmate💓 (@sadchonihugs) July 18, 2018
There were men who aggressively ran after women.
It’s such a scary feeling. A man stopped his car and parked at someone’s house and proceeded to follow me when I was walking my dog. I tried to ignore but he kept yelling and pursuing me. I’m trying to work out in my head what tactical moves I can make if he tried it. Scary!!!— NamaSLAY🧘🏾♀️🤸🏾♀️ (@BlkCarmenSDiego) July 18, 2018
Omg one night I was packing my car to move and some man parked across the street, got out of his car and started talking and walking towards me. I ran inside so quick locked the doors and my car and turned the lights off. As soon as he left my ass did too!! Creep.— sav 🌹 (@slstuple_) July 18, 2018
There were men who physically tried to grab/touch/pull women.
On a girls holiday, I’d been left by my friends, so I was drunk & crying as I was walking back to my hotel. a delivery guy tried to force himself on me and push me into his van. I got him off, he drove down the road and jumped out and tried again. Luckily I fought him off!— h.f (@hannahmfoley) July 18, 2018
I was walking with one of my friends to the market to get something when we decided to split up. A guy with a mouth mask approached me and he tried to grab my face & look at me. My friend came and acted as my boyfriend to get me out of it. Keep in mind I’m not even 15 yet— sad’lena (@SessomsAlena) July 19, 2018
And then there were so many stories of concerned strangers just like Rich, who helped women when they were in a really scary situation.
One night, I was leaving the campus library with a guy friend. We pass this girl who’s walking backwards & is talking panicky on the phone. I stop her, ask what’s wrong & she said that a group of guys had been following her since she left her apt.— Morgann Smith ❂ (@smith_morgann) July 19, 2018
They had been walking w her asking her personal ?s (where she’s going, etc.). She ignores them. They run off, hop in their truck, & try to cut her off/intercept her. She cut through the quad & that’s where we ran into her. I walked w her & made sure she made it inside.— Morgann Smith ❂ (@smith_morgann) July 19, 2018
I did that once in a bar when a stalky dude wouldn't leave me alone and I was starting to panic. I pulled up a chair next to a random woman and asked her to pretend she knew me. She did (and we've been good friends ever since).— Tanya Johnson (@pixelwench) July 19, 2018
This does happen ! A gurl was walking out the clubs and a man wouldn’t leave her alone. Literally did not take NO for an answer. Ran up to her like I knew her yelling at her that mom was waiting at the car and we had to leave NOW. Have been sisters ever since 😍😍😍— fa’atuatua 🌺 (@mango_juicex) July 18, 2018
This brought up a broader conversation about how completely screwed up and frustrating it is that women have to deal with such terrifying stuff. Twitter users also had some choice words for men who just don’t seem to understand the concept of not stalking women.
How about men respect women, their space, their feelings and opinions!— Wine caddy (@ngugi_eve) July 18, 2018
It’s crazy the things we have to deal with as women. It is downright terrifying just existing at times. Glad you were safe tho!— NamaSLAY🧘🏾♀️🤸🏾♀️ (@BlkCarmenSDiego) July 18, 2018
this thread is full of women w similar experiences and that is scary in itself— ༺ hokage honey ༻ (@supernovacel) July 18, 2018
The thread helped drive home Rich’s point about the importance of women taking precautions.
“I think women need to be safe at all times and any way possible. It’s a real thing that goes on daily,” she told Buzzfeed News. “…I simply just wanted to tell other females to always be safe because I can’t change a man’s mind; I can only protect other women so they can be aware of their surroundings.”