Kati Heng is tired of being asked what she was wearing when someone catcalled her.
So, Heng began a Tumblr in September called But What Was She Wearing?
She created an open space in which women can submit the instances of catcalling that scare them or make them feel violated.
Because the women also submit an image of what they wore when the incident happened, it gets the inevitable outfit inquiry out of the way.
In a statement posted to the blog, Heng says she's interested in both conservative and revealing outfit submissions.
The point is not that harassment is unacceptable when women are wearing sweatpants, but rather that it isn't acceptable at all.
Heng told BuzzFeed she hopes readers "just listen to our stories" for once. The blog already has five pages of submissions.
Here are just a few of the stories shared on But What Was She Wearing?
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I'm working at a costume shop right now, and we have to dress up all week. Naturally, since it is Wednesday, I spent the day as Wednesday Adams. Then, I threw on a leather jacket, left work and was trailed by three young men who were telling me I had the sexiest legs he'd seen all night, then singing some song to me, then just yelling for my number.
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I have to ride my bicycle up and down that street [every day] to get to and from work. I get hollered, or whistled at almost every time I pass. I work in a glorified sweatshop. I don't wear makeup (why waste it). I don't do my hair (gets messed up I the ride anyways). I don't dress to impress anyone I'll see. And yet I still get harassed almost daily.
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The worst time [at the theme park] was when a [forty-something] man introduced himself, and shook my hand…But he wouldn't let go, he rubbed it, and said, 'What's your name, baby? You're the prettiest girl here. I can't have a bad day if I get to see you. Can I have your number?'… He finally walked away, but not before saying, 'I'll see you tomorrow.'
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On my way home from work, a man on Chicago's red line told me: 'I hope you aren't a homosexual because you're a cute little thing and that would suck for a lot of men.' As if I exist for the mere pleasure of 'a lot of men.' Or anyone for that matter. As I made my way from my red line stop to my apartment, someone yelled from their car window: 'I bet your pussy tastes really good!'
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About to fly. Got cat called by an airport worker. Black slacks not pictured.
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Walking to a job interview today, there were two guys standing on the sidewalk staring at me. They waited until I walked past them, when my back was towards them, before one yelled 'hiya blondie!' and the other 'where you headed, walking like that?' Walking like what? A girl with sneakers on? Some guys try to say that cat calling is a compliment. If they wanted to compliment me, why would they wait until I walked by, until they were only talking to my ass? That's not flirting. That's harassing.
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I was coming out of my apartment and walking out the alleyway when a guy started driving slowly behind me. As he passed, hanging out of his driver's window, he said, 'heyyy girlfriend, you lookin gooooooood today.' Unnerving distance between that driver's window and me. I regretted wearing a skirt that day, and that just isn't right.
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I work in a lab and this is my lab coat that goes down past my knees. I wear it over loose scrubs. I was doing a drug screen on a very large male behind a closed door. He asked me 'has anyone told you how beautiful you are?' I was glad I was finished so I just said 'ok we're all done here.' Then he said he'd 'be thinking of me' on his next truck route.
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As soon as I walked out of the concert hall, some dick in a white suit who looked a dirty Nick Carter starting shouting 'hey blondie, I like your pretty blonde hair!' at me. I ignored him. Then the guy ran and caught up to me, asking why I couldn't take a compliment. He kept shouting 'hey, I'm talking to you, why are you being so stuck up? Why don't bitches know how to say thank you when someone gives them a compliment??' He cornered me while I was waiting for the crosswalk to change, and there were enough people around, so I looked him in the eye and told him plainly, 'I don't owe you shit.' Bad choice. This guy, for some reason, decided he was going to take his frustration on every girl who ever ignored his cat calls out on me. He followed me more and kept saying 'didn't your goddamn mother teach you any manners? A man compliments you, you owe him a thank you! Why can't you take a compliment? Why do you have to be such a goddamn bitch? I was being nice to you!'
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I got to the bus stop as soon as a bus pulled up, and made a joke with the bus driver like 'perfect timing!' He said 'wow, women never say that to me!' I asked how he was doing this morning and he said 'oh, I'm in a kinda naughty mood. I'm feeling kind of randy.' I quickly moved to the very back of the bus. Still onboard as I write this.
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I was going to run to the bathroom downstairs before work when a guy who was going up the escalator jumped on the one going down. Looming over me on the step right behind me, he said, 'Hi.' I walked down the steps & still headed to the bathroom. As I glanced in the glass I could see he was following me. He followed me right to the bathroom, but as I walked in the door, he stopped.
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Last week I walked my son out to my vehicle wearing this outfit (was headed to a job interview) and was cat called at THREE times by the same 'man.' My little boy was with me… I ignored the calls. I'm not a dog. I don't respond to whistles.
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My roommate and I go to school in Orange City, IA. Here's some proof that street harassment happens in even the smallest of towns. We were nearing the crosswalk, headed to the cafeteria to eat supper when a guy stuck his head out the back window of his pickup as they drove by, yelling 'I want your pussy!' Sadly, this isn't the first time this has happened here. Last year at about this time in a very similar situation, I had a guy yell out 'Dear Diary, I like your ass.'
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I was walking out of a store in my school uniform and got an unwanted and uninvited whistle and holler of 'hey baby!' from a guy driving in his car. After I ignored him, he sped off very upset.