Woman Records Her 5 Minute Walk To The Store— And All The Men Who Won't Leave Her Alone

Street harassment isn't a compliment, and it's never okay.

woman on the phone walking on the street Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

A woman from Newark, New Jersey filmed herself walking around her neighborhood, and while that fact alone might not seem noteworthy, she captured footage of all the unwanted attention she received during her daily errands.

The woman recorded her 5 minute walk to the corner store — and all the men who refused to leave her alone.

She posted a POV TikTok, facing her phone towards the sidewalk, so viewers fully felt like they were walking along with her. Six seconds into the recording, a man called out, “Hey, gorgeous.”


She chose not to respond, which led him to engage her even more. “You not speaking? Alright… have a good day.”



As she walked further, someone leaned out of the car to scream, “Where have you been all my life?” and then honked his horn. She kept walking, ignoring the continuous greetings of passing men. At one point, she refused to respond to a man calling her gorgeous. “You ain’t gotta be like that,” he scolded her.


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She filmed the sidewalk in front of her, narrating her journey as she went. “Like, 12 cars have pulled over,” she murmured. 

“Baby girl!” A man’s voice called out. “Hey, hey,” said a different man. When she didn’t answer, he called out, “Hey, Becky,” which garnered a response from her, the exact effect this man was seemingly hoping for. 

woman records her five minute walk to the store where men continuously harass her on the streetPhoto : Elif Dortdogan / Pexels 


“I’m not Becky,” she called back, laughing slightly. He asked her name, and she told him, “Shady.”

“Alright Shady,” he answered. “Be safe.”

The irony of a male stranger telling a woman to be safe after being confrontational seemed lost on the man who called out to her.

Shady kept recording. The men harassing her on the street kept coming. She recorded a car pulling up to her, noting it was the third time she’d seen him do so. “You are everywhere,” she said. “You’re just so sexy,” he replied, as though that were a valid reason to follow her.

As cars honked, Shady turned the camera on herself “for reference” as to what she looked like in that moment. She was wearing a pink hoodie, shorts, and glasses, yet what she wore is besides the point. She could be wearing anything at all and she’d still receive waves of unwanted attention.


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She noted that one of the older men who asked her name came to find her on his bike, pulling up beside her. She pointed her phone down, recording her feet as she walked and the shadow of his bike wheel.

“That man just followed me for five blocks,” she said, after he left her alone. “Hey gorgeous,” came one last call. “I see you.”


Shady ended her post with that sinister statement, writing in the caption of her post, “I should’ve recorded going to the store last night when the sun was down.”

Street harassment is a normalized part of being a female-presenting person in public spaces, yet it's never actually okay.

Most of us leave the house knowing that we’ll receive attention we didn’t ask for, steeling ourselves against a barrage of comments from men who think we owe them something: Our time, our reactions, our bodies.

A 2022 paper published in the journal Violence Against Women looked at the intersection of gender, race and ethnicity in street harassment. The authors cited a US study of 2,000 respondents, which found that 77% of women involved in the study experienced various forms of street harassment, compared to 34% of men.

The paper utilized the following definition of street harassment, clarifying that it “constitutes unwanted attention in public, which psychologically, emotionally, and/or physically impinges on the target's well being… [it] is an intrusion, often by a person unknown to the target, which may take a variety of forms, ranging from remarks on physical appearance to sexual touch to brutal physical assaults.”


woman records her five minute walk to the store where men continuously harass her on the streetPhoto: Bruce Taylor / Pexels 

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The paper made sure to note that people with marginalized identities, such as transgender men and women, non-binary people, and people with disabilities experience even higher rates of street harassment than those recorded percentages. 


The paper acknowledged the negative ripple-effect that street harassment has on people, including increased fear in public spaces, a heightened fear of rape, symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and the internalization of negative comments made about their bodies.

According to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, street harassment rarely occurs only one time. It happens over and over again, which can lead someone to live in a heightened state of anxiety, existing in a way where they never feel fully safe or at ease. 

The organization clearly delineated that street harassment is never the fault of the person being harassed, no matter what they’re wearing, saying, or doing.


RAINN emphasized that there’s no one right way to respond to street harassment. They recommend trusting your intuition, especially in situations where you fear physical violence. They urge those being harassed to find a safe place to go, such as a store, restaurant, or apartment building lobby, where there are other people around. 

They also offered guidance for people acting as witnesses to street harassment, noting “when in doubt, assume you should help.” They advise bystanders to ask if a person is okay, step in if needed, and to check in on the person being harassed.   

We should all be able to exist without fear. Yet for some of us, bodily safety in public spaces is a luxury we’re not afforded.

Shady’s post showed just how prevalent and pervasive street harassment is, while proving that there’s no right way to react. It didn’t matter whether she answered the men or not, they still didn’t stop.

Her casual case study on being a woman in the world captured an upsetting truth. All too often, we are the appointed guardians of our own safety, even if we’re just running to the store. 


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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.