Many women feel uncomfortable when men tell them to smile or make comments about how great they look while they walk down the street, a point that’s been underscored over and over again by the anti-street harassment movement. But even though some feel that catcalling is fairly harmless, many women know the truth: that rejecting a man in public could end up getting you bullied, beaten or even killed.
At about 2 a.m. on Jan. 22, that’s what happened to 29-year-old Pittsburgh woman Janese Talton-Jackson.
Earlier in the evening, Talton-Jackson had been at a bar called Cliff’s, where a man named Charles McKinney, 41, reportedly approached her to ask her for a date. Police say the woman rejected McKinney’s advances shortly before closing time, then left the bar. When she did, McKinney followed her outside, shot her in the chest and fled. Talton-Jackson was found laying in the city street, and was pronounced dead at the scene.