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Comic: Home Creepo
cap, captain miss america

There is a Home Depot within walking distance of my apartment. While I like supporting such an equality-minded business, I have a really hard time going there because every time I do, this is the experience that I have in the parking lot. Not just once, not twice. Every time. It is degrading and makes me feel like I'm running a gauntlet. Yet no one stops these men from milling around in the parking lot (and they are milling, not going to their cars or anything) and harassing any woman who walks by.

I was thinking about writing an open letter to Home Depot, but I decided to do this instead. I had the preliminary sketches for it in my notebook when Ampersand (whose comics I adore) posted a more generalized comic about street harassment, and so I sat on the idea, wondering if it was worth doing anyway. I didn't want to seem like I was ripping off what was a really good idea. But I decided after a bit that adding to the dialogue is important no matter what, that recording these experiences is important no matter what.

I do hold businesses responsible for making sure that all of their customers have an enjoyable experience while on their property. I don't know if this happens at any other Home Depot stores, but the experience I've had every time I've patronized this one in particular has been vile and humiliating. Just because the majority of regular customers are male does not mean a business should allow them the comfort of expressing their misogyny at the minority of female customers who shop there. Female customers will remain a minority at stores like this if their presence is not as welcome and respected as that of the male customers.

Originally posted at

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those aren't customers, those are day laborers. they stand around there hoping that someone will need help loading and unloading trucks. When i moved into my apt in LA D had to work and my dad got food poisoning and the truck had to be returned that day. We hired a couple of guys, and while they did hit on me a bit they were polite about it. nothing more offensive than "Soooo... what's YOUR name."

I don't get why any guy would ever say stuff like that to a woman in this day and age. Even in kansas I didn't get crap like that from the guys. D did. Whenever he'd run there were always guys hanging out of their cars yelling and calling him a fag or throwing cups at him.

There's a difference between a guy who says "You look good!" and he just means it as a compliment and a guy who means that he's actively imagining fucking you right there. The inflection and expression is different and you just FEEL it. It feels like they've violated you and they haven't even touched you.

I would say about half of them are day laborers. The other half are contractors waiting for their pickups to be ready and dudes who are just hanging out at the sausage stand or ice cream truck in the parking lot. I deliberately chose not to call out day laborers here because I feel like that opens up a can of worms that involves a lot of classism and racism-- I feel like a lot of people see it as carte blanche to deride Latin American immigrants, and I can't tell you how many discussions of street harassment I've seen devolve into a lot of white ladies talking about how much they hate "Mexicans." I didn't want to get into that here. The point is still the same to me: Businesses have a responsibility to make all customers feel welcome.

The inflection and expression is different and you just FEEL it.

It also helps when they are licking or humping the air in your general direction.

Most Latino guys i've been catcalled by it wasn't so abrasive and i've never had the licking or air humping. Who thinks that's okay!? My mother is the one that attracts creepy guys, usually of the variety that try and convince her that her "english is good" and try to take her home.

I feel sorriest for the girls that work at the home depot. they're probably getting that everyday.

Ugh, that sucks. I've never seen the "dudes milling around" at a Home Depot.

That situation doesn't exist outside my Home Depot, mostly because the Home Depot near my house is in an island of gentrified Oakland/Emeryville surrounded by slums filled with drug dealers and hookers, and it's kept that way with a dedicated security team.

That said, do you find that Home Depot employees tend to assume that the male-est person you're there with is the one with all the questions that need answering? That drives me crazy, too, though obviously it isn't violating to the same degree. I'm actually more mechanically minded than 70% of the dudes I live with, but if I go to Home Depot with a dude, I can't get a Home Depot employee to address me. Drives me MAD, and makes me less interested in shopping there.

I've never been to Home Depot with a man, so I couldn't say, really.

This really sucks. :/ I wonder if they could enforce a no loitering policy, and maybe have a waiting room for contractors waiting for their orders to be completed.

I once had some trouble with Home Depot customer service (i.e. told me that they had NOTHING like what I was looking for and was watering my potted plants incorrectly), but Tim called and talked to a manager, and they were super apologetic, because that's not how people are supposed to be treated in their store.

Yeah, I feel like people who need to be there for work-related stuff should be allowed to be there, but...not harassing wimmins? Is that possible?

Interesting. I have went to Home Depot before and never really had an issue (or maybe I am oblivious, I tend to get lost in my own little world more often than not). I would certainly hold the store accountable for the behavior of other employees. That is just disgusting to be treated that way.

Well, none of these are employees of the company. They're just random guys who hang out in the parking lot for various reasons (day labor, guys waiting for a large pickup to be filled, hanging out at the ice cream truck in the lot, just loitering because there are a lot of people there). If they actually worked for Home Depot I would go to the manager.

Oh, I meant customers. My brain is fried today. Certainly, if it were employees, it would be an instant complaint to the manager!

Aw! It's ok! It happens to the best of us.

I cannot believe people actually say those things to you! :o

I can't believe it doesn't happen to more people! I get catcalled at least once a day, and really crass or creepy dudes at least once a week.

Ugh. I know Nicole got hit on A LOT by customers when she temporarily worked at Home Depot. And for the most part, it was older men (like retired age) who would do the creepy lines that would make her feel uncomfortable.

On behalf of my gender, I apologize.

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