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News, The Movement, What Hollaback Means to Me

Help us and our new partners at ModCloth build a world where you can dress for yourself and feel safe!

Have you read Erin’s Story or Ursula’s Story or Kristin’s Story? Each of these stories have two major things in common: First, they’re experiences of street harassment. Second, they’re three of the many stories of people who felt very aware of what they were wearing and how it related to their experiences of harassment. In our research with Cornell we found that 66% of women change the way they dress in order to try and avoid harassment.

Our partners at ModCloth think this is absurd because they know just as well as we do, we dress for ourselves (or at least we should be able to). We love their new video campaign that hones in on this message:

In a world that perpetuates the myth that our clothes are an invitation, it is so important for us to speak up! By telling your stories you are transforming an experience that is lonely and isolating into one that is sharable. You change the power dynamic by flipping the lens off of you and onto the harasser. And you enter a worldwide community of people who’ve got your back. Your stories are inspiring legislators, journalists, academics, and the guy on the corner to take street harassment seriously and create solutions that make everyone feel safe.

So wear what makes you feel good about yourself, and join the movement to shut down street harassers who think your smile or your awesome outfit is an invitation to invade your space. We know that you dress for yourself, and we’ve got your back. Share your stories online or through our new app and participate in the conversation to help us end street harassment.

Published on August 26, 2015 at 11:04 am

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Stalking, Story, Verbal

Emma’s Story: Scary experience

I was walking to class at about 8:45AM on Annie Glidden road and Stadium Drive, and a bigger man named John with dirty blondish hair, and short beard followed me to Graham Hall, and made gross comments about my body, “oh, look at that chick in the blue sweatshirt. She has some hot curves.” I started to walk faster, and then at the light near Graham, I turned around and saw him. He was the same shit stain that harassed me in Neptune dining hall a couple of times last year. He and his other shit face buddy gave me creepy looks, and John (shit stain) said, “Hello, miss. Why don’t you come with us.” Last year, I told him to leave me alone, but today, he followed me and did that. I barely know him, and I got scared… All I could say was “Why don’t you fuck off?!”, then I ran to my class. It was surprising that he remembered me. I wish I could have gotten a picture of him, but I couldn’t. A police report was filed. They said they couldn’t find him, but I could call the authorities if he bothers me again. I just hope he leaves me alone. I was wearing a blue courtoroy jacket that did not show anything, black pants, and “mom shoes”. I am 20 years old.

I've got your back!
5+

Published on September 1, 2015 at 10:32 am

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A Week in Our Shoes

Week In Our Shoes: Wear What You Want Edition

This week, as always, a lot has been going on at Hollaback! HQ! We were so lucky to be able to collaborate with the amazing, ModCloth who launched this awesome video, shining a spotlight on how we should be able to wear whatever the heck we want and not have to worry about being harassed! Check. It. Out.

We also had a busy week planning and celebrating. We are happy to have our Program Associate Jae back in the office from maternity leave, but so sad to see our Program Assistant, Rachel go. We wish her all the best in her fumural1ture endeavors and are so grateful for all her hard work! Also, Happy Birthday to our IREX Fellow, Natasha, who also attended the unveiling of the most amazing mural in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.

The search for our fall interns is coming to an end, and with our strategic planning we are on the path to a busy and amazing Hollaback! year! Also, we’re growing the team and hope to have some exciting announcements on that front very very soon.

Hollaback! teams around the world have been busy in raising their voices XO_DykeMarchthis week…

Hollaback! Ottawa represented at Dyke March in Ottawa! This year’s event was small, but diverse. Check out site leader, Julie Lalonde’s take on the event here!

Representatives from Hollaback! Bahamas participated in a group of 500 government officials, policy experts, youth-led organizations, and peacebuilders at the Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security in Amman, Jordan where the Amman Youth Declaration was adopted.

Hollaback! Baltimore has booked two events this fall: Hollaback Offline Coffee & Chat in September and Street harassment: Know Your Rights in October. If you’re in Bmore, check them out!

Until next week, holla and out!

Published on August 28, 2015 at 1:40 pm

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Story, Verbal

N.R.’s Story: “Control” in the gym

Today I went to my local (mixed) gym in Brussels.
An older man came up to me while I was on a cardio bike. He asked me if he had seen me before. I told him that I didn’t remember him so probably not (staying friendly but not engaging in the conversation).
At the end of my 1 hour cardio session he comes back telling me he likes my thighs and that my shorts made me show too much leg and that I should wear something else the next time I would come to the gym. Because he could “control” himself but maybe other younger men in the gym would not be able to”control” themselves. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I told him it was not my job to dress to his “standards” (less eloquent because my french isn’t that awesome). I blocked the following of the conversation and the man left.
When I was done (ten more minutes of anger pedalling and not believing this happened. I went to the desk and asked the employee if there is another female-only gym in the neighbourhood (they have it for a reason). She replies nicely and then I explain I will not be coming back and explained what happened.
I went for my bag and the head-employee storms towards me with her sandwich steaming. She was not-amused something like that happened and wanted to know who had said such a thing. I pointed out the man by saying what machine but told her I didn’t want a confrontation.
her colleague told her to confront the men when I left (which I was about to) and she almost stormed toward him. She also confirmed me that I was in my right and that being properly dressed wasn’t up to the man to decide. the short was good enough.
So I am sad I am leaving this place though.

I've got your back!
16+

Published on August 26, 2015 at 3:58 pm

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Story, Verbal

An Anonymous Story: “I am not used to strange men commenting on my appearance…”

I went for a bike ride from the East End over to the Legislature and back. It was around 2 PM on a Saturday. I wore leggings and a tee shirt. I am 38 years old, a mother, and a busy professional. I am not used to strange men commenting on my appearance or trying to talk to me. However on this particular day I was harassed twice on the same ride. Once in Wascana Park in a crowded area, and once on the intersection of Assiniboine and University. Both times, a strange man shouted “Hey Baby.” One also asked me “how I was doing.” That I was harassed was fairly shocking as I was simply out exercising. I have recently moved to Regina and have been having a hard time liking the place – and this certainly did not help. On this particular day, the first catcall didn’t bother me because I was in a crowded area and felt safe. But regarding the second one, we were the only people on the street, and it scared me. The harasser had a bicycle and could have followed me. It was awful and I have not been out exercising since.

I've got your back!
16+

Published on August 26, 2015 at 2:02 pm

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