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Meet Ingrid from Hollaback! Brussels (she is wearing the long flowery dress in the photo)
Interview by Lauren Bedosky
When did you start your holla?
Our Hollaback! started right after the Brussels’ Slutwalk in September 2011, launched unintentionally in March 2012 and officially in April 2012.
Why did you start a HOLLA and what does Hollaback mean to you?
I was living for a while in Stockholm, and there was this moment when I was walking alone, in a slow pace, at night, around 2 am, just enjoying the gentle breeze, being amazed by how lovely the night was, when I stopped all of a sudden and wondered ‘what is this amazing, extraordinary feeling that I’m feeling?’ and I realized, it was FREE-dom. Fear seemed to have left my body. Why? Because ever since I got here [in Stockholm] I never once got harassed, never once leered at in the street, there were never whistles, never vulgar stares, not at night, not during the day. Slowly, all my well-built defense-, protection- & ‘what to do when you go out’ mechanisms of years and years of experiencing street harassment had begun to crumble until I was finally out and about alone at night on the street, fearless. Once you experience a freedom (human right) like that, there’s NO going back, and going back was exactly what it felt like when I returned to Brussels. Hollaback! for me is a way to reclaim that right again, to reclaim it for EVERYONE.
(Important to note here: I’m not saying Stockholm is some sort of utopia for women, I just felt safe there cause I never experienced harassment or violence. This is a personal experience. Other Swedish women did tell me stories of the violence they experienced there. This proves what is so for one person, is not so for another.)
HOLLAfact about your city:
Surrealism your name is Brussels. Weird, ugly and beautiful are synonyms here. You can see the world’s most daring contemporary dance piece in a venue nobody knows about, stand in line for 1 hour at the ticket hall in Central Station wondering why the bloody vending machines never work, discover the most brilliant piece of architecture standing next to a ‘who the hell built this crap’ building, speak 5 different languages, get lost in translation, and run into a night shop where the owner invites you to the ‘Bollywood’ party down the street… ALL in one day.
Say you’re Queen for the day. What would you do to end street harassment?
Easy. That would be the global DAY where NO ONE experiences street harassment or sexual violence, a day of total peace, freedom, respect and bliss. It would let loose such a profound ENERGY into the world that it would be IMPOSSIBLE to return to how things were. To take away that sense of freedom would be simply unheard of, people would be outraged. BUT just to make double-sure, that day I would cast an ANTI-street-harassment-violence spell upon the world for which there is no counter-spell. Problem solved.
What was your first experience with street harassment?
I feel harassment in one way or the other has always been part of my life as I was bullied heavily as a child, but I guess the 1st time (better said, the 1st time I remember) the harassment was of sexual nature or on the street was when I was 14, on a holiday with my parents, brother and a friend in a small village in Spain. A guy with a motorcycle was following my friend and me home, after we had sneaked out to go to the sea after dinner. He was circling around us, speaking in half Spanish and English, making vulgar comments, horrible hissing noises, being extremely threatening, roaring the engine of the motorcycle, riding fast away only to turn around and ride towards us. My friend and I walked super fast, holding on to each other for dear life, staring at the ground, and ran for it when we saw the house appear. He kept on screaming at us…
What’s your signature Hollaback?
It all depends on the situation, how threatening it is and how many harassers there are. If I feel safe to Hollaback, I do it with a return stare that says ‘O don’t you mess with me. I have a superwoman power and it’s going to bite you’, it’s quite strong and effective. If they call me something nasty (in Brussels sometimes harassers call you ‘sale pute’ or ‘salope’ = ‘dirty whore’ or ‘slut’), I reply with a word that makes no sense at all like ‘fourgette’ (fork) or ‘dentifrice’ (toothpaste). This mostly throws them off balance cause they don’t know how to react to that, wondering ‘what the hell did she say?’ One great comeback I did recently; I said in a super kind, sweet (almost fake) way: “O, I wouldn’t do that, if I were you… This is Brussels, you know. You get a fine for that sort of stuff here. And by the way, you’re being filmed. Just saying…” And walked away.
Define your style:
My friends call it Ingrid-style , it’s basically a translation of how I feel with a lot of icing on top. Colors represent emotions for me. I don’t care what’s fashionable, acceptable, and what’s not. I can easily leave the house in a vintage 20ties ball gown for no particular reason, be in a bohemian hippie-style all week, discover a working girl 80s look, or just mix everything up.
What do you do when your not holla’ng?
I’m sort of a full-time holla’er cause I’m a storyteller. And those stories I’m trying to tell are with words (writing, translating), images (film), and movement (performance). I’m also a traveler, nature-trekker, cake-maker, and knitter on the side.
What inspires you?
Everything! To name only a few: My mom. My brother. My friends. My fellow Hollabackers. My heroines… People who history seems to have forgotten (or worse, were burned on the stakes). People who live ordinary lives in respect for each other and nature. Who stand up against injustice, for others and for themselves. Who were bullied into silence, but kept finding ways to express themselves. Solidarity. Acts of kindness. Love…
With the movement to end street harassment stronger than ever, here’s some a quick recap of our progress this February:
Our apps won the “Top three safety apps of 2013!” A big thank you and congratulations to Jill Dimond, our Hollaback! developer, as well as volunteers and site leaders Josephine Hall and Amy Palamountain for their hard work.
Thirteen of our sites took action for ONE BILLION RISING, and 18 sites held separate events in their community. Hollaback! Alberta screened “Invisible War” at the local theatre, Hollaback Bmore held a “Terrible Two birthday bash,” Hollaback! London spoke at the Reclaim the Night anti-Rape march in Cambridge, Hollaback! Brussels participated in a day of solidarity with LGBTQ organizations to contest the Russian Federation’s potential passing of discriminatory legislation that would limit the rights of the Russian LGBTQ community.
Site leaders advocated to get street harassment on the legislative agenda in the EU and in the Capital of Canada. Hollaback! Ottawa met with City Councillor Diane Deans and the Chief Constable of OC Transportation to talk about sexual harassment on public transit and Hollaback! Brussels spoke at the European Parliament and met with a representative of the European Women’s Lobby. We’ll keep you posted on their progress.
Poland, NYC, and Brussels called out sexist politicians. When NYC Mayor Bloomberg said, “I know for a fact that any self-respecting woman who walks past a construction site and doesn’t get a whistle will turn around and walk past again and again until she does get one,” Hollaback quickly released a public statement demanding an apology. When Assemblymember Vito Lopez was outed for repeatedly harassing his staff, HollabackNYC responded with a firm public statement demanding that he step down. Similarly, Hollaback Poland struck back against politician Janusz Palikot’s sexist language, and Hollaback! Brussels stood up against a sexist German politician.
13 sites received press from 18 media outlets. Hollaback! New York City was in MS Magazine’s article “How Some Men Harass Women Online and What Other Men Can Do to Stop It”, The Story Exchange, Vice Magazine, and on the Pure Imagination radio show, listen in, Hollaback! Istanbul was in the Washington Post and site leader Ezgi Cincin was on Turkish national television, Hollaback! Philly’s site leader Rochelle Keyhan was featured in a documentary titled Trigger Warning, Hollaback! San Francisco’s site director, Michelle Seivers, went ON THE AIR this past Monday on 91.7 KALW “Your Call” to discuss the recent attacks on women in the Bay Area, Hollaback! Winnipeg‘s director, Jodie Layne, spoke out about policies in schools that try to control women’s bodies and choice of clothing in Thursday’s article, “Leggings Off Limits” in the Winnipeg Free Press, Hollaback! Halifax was on CBC Maritime Noon, Hollaback! Brussels got an awesome shout out on the blog Brussels is Love, Hollaback! Gent’s Ilse wrote a great response to an article in De Standaard online publication, and Hollaback! Berlin was featured in the German blogs Femgeeks and Antiprodukt.
Thanks for all your support! You keep us moving,
“I personally feel I walk differently on the streets now. There’s a strength that wasn’t there before, and that’s all thanks to Hollaback.” – Ingrid Vanderhoeven
Angelika Hild, Julie Richel, Ingrid Vanderhoeven, and Anna Whaley started Hollaback! Brussels because they wanted to make their community a better place to live. They celebrated their site launch with a flash mob, and have since been working with partner organizations like Outrage, which focuses on ending harassment of LGBT individuals, Garance, which specializes in violence prevention, and Zij-kant, a sociocultural movement focused on gender and equal rights. Hollaback! Brussels has seen an outpouring of support from their community, which helped make their 2nd Chalk-Walk (Reclaim the Streets) this past June a huge success (Their First Chalk-Walk was held in March, serving as an event for the International Anti-Street-Harassment Week , but also serving as a pre-launch ritual for the four site leaders). During the Chalk-Walk in June, members & volunteers of Hollaback! Brussels covered streets and sidewalks with eye-catching slogans advocating for a harassment-free city. In the next year, Angelika looks forward to continuing to meet with government leaders, and is excited by the upcoming opportunity to speak at a session of Parliament. Angelika notes that, “More and more politicians want to meet us and are recognizing that street harassment is a problem.” Brussels’ Parliament Members Yamilla Idrissi and Bianca Debaets have recently contacted and declared their support for Hollaback! Brussels. MP Yamilla Idrissi spoke up in Parliament on the subject of sexual violence and street harassment asking what the Parliament intended to do about it and mentioned Hollaback! Brussels as a great initiative in the fight against these issues. As a result, Equal Opportunity Minister Pascal Smet said he intended to lead a year-long project to map incidents of sexual violence, street harassment and homophobia in an attempt to better understand the roots of misogyny and homophobia in Brussels.
BY DIANA EMIKO TSUCHIDA
The talented movers and shakers of Hollaback! Brussels have made media waves and incredible political progress in the last two weeks, by capturing the backing of Equal Opportunity Minister P. Smet and Brussels’ Parliament Member Yamila Idrissi in the fight to end street harassment in Brussels.
In recent times, Idrissi has observed a distinct increase in street harassment in Brussels, before, she admits that she would walk down the street virtually carefree, but today she reveals being whistled at, which makes her more and more insecure during her city strolls and very enthusiastic about backing Hollaback!.
Both Smet and Idrissi will head up a groundbreaking, year-long initiative where researchers will map out sexual violence incidents and attempt to unveil the root causes of homophobic and misogynistic attitudes in Brussels.
Idrissi will also give the Hollaback! group a chance to appear at a session of parliament to voice their ”demands,” one of which is that the Minister of Education is present along with Smet. This will be an ongoing struggle but full of exciting potential that leads in the right direction.
So from all of us here at Hollaback! HQ WELL DONE HOLLABACK! BRUSSELS! It is fantastic to see their fearless endeavors creating social change. The only question left to ask question is when will something this awesome come over to the U.S.?
Check out P.Smet talking about the new initiative here.
Check out Hollaback! Baltimore chatting with Hollaback Brussels about the revolution, launching and taking back the streets one story at a time.
Why do you HOLLA? Because it makes me feel less a victim. Because it is a way to reclaim my right to be seen as a full human being. And because I like it when I take them by surprise.
What’s your signature Hollaback? Depends on the situation. Sometimes in German, because then no one understands, sometimes just “Fuck off”, sometimes “Don’t harass people”. What I did last time was “Jamais vu une femme? Pauvre!” (“Never seen a woman? Poor guy.”)
HOLLAfact about your city: Brussels has a large amount of beautiful Art Déco and Art Nouveau houses.
What was your first experience with street harassment? I was perhaps around fourteen, walking down the street with a friend of mine. A guy drove past, sounded the horn and yelled something unintelligible.
Define your style: Flowers, flowers, flowers on my clothes!
My superheroine/hero power is…..My dark, loud voice. As no harasser would expect this from the girl with the flower dress.
What do you collect? Memories.
Say you’re Queen for the day. What would you do to end street harassment? This might be a bit nasty, but: Force all the harassers out there to be for one day one of the persons they normally harass: women, LGBTQ people etc. So they see how it feels like.
If you could leave the world one piece of advice, what would it be? Don’t wait for someone else to push for change. Go start it yourself.
What inspires you? My three fellow HollaBrussels! girls. We’re a dreamteam!
Meet Anna, the thoughtful mover and shaker fighting street harassment in Brussels.
Why do you HOLLA? I Holla to show myself, my harassers and those around me that harassment is unacceptable. I Holla because it inspires me to be the strong person I can be. I Holla because it reinforces the fact that any large-scale oppressive treatment of a specific population simply can not be tolerated.
What’s your signature Hollaback? The one I’ve been sticking with lately is saying: ‘’Don’t talk to me like that’’ in a serious and authoritative tone. Although, I tend to flip the bird if I am caught off guard.
What’s your craft? I am infinitely intrigued by the human body and mind. Almost everything I do with my time involves the exploration of those things through various mediums and thought processes.
What was your first experience with street harassment? Witnessing: I remember being in Brooklyn and walking near McCarren Park. I saw a woman walking her dog and she had her cell phone out as well. There was a car slowly driving by and the guy said something to her. She immediately responded with something about how she was there to have a walk. Before she responded, I didn’t know if they knew one another or if the male driver was harassing her. I was so proud and in total admiration of this woman who responded, and I was so scared at the same time because I realized how a bystander like myself could let harassment happen because of fear and not knowing. Sometimes I can tell and I know I can do something. Sometimes I am unsure and then I am too slow to react or not brave enough. Now that Hollaback has the Bystander/Green Dot campaign, I feel well equipped to respond.
Define your style: Funky, comfortable, utilitarian and a little bit hippy. Nothing too fancy… and a bit of athletic gear mixed in b/c of heading to or from one activity or another.
…Since I’ve moved to Brussels though, I wear a lot of black and a lot of pants to try to blend in– to avoid street harassment.
My superheroine/hero power is…Starting things: gathering people together, getting excited, supporting.
…Although I’m working on fire breathing and flying.
What do you collect? Scents and sensations of experiences.
If you could leave the world one piece of advice, what would it be? Follow your intuition. Stand up for what you know deep down to be right. Support one another. Breathe. Keep going.
What inspires you? Seeing other people stand up for themselves or someone else. Seeing people work on issues they care about. Passion. Engagement. Care for oneself and others.
Hollaback! launched 14 new sites! Congratulations to the new members of the HB family, be sure to check them out:
Austin, TX, USA, Bengaluru, India, Durham and Chapel Hill, NC, USA, Guyana, Houston, TX, USA, Iran, Korea, Mumbai, India, Muncie, IN,USA, Niagara, Ontario, Canada, Pittsburgh, PA, USA , Tucson, AZ, USA, University of London Union, UK , Vancouver, BC, Canada. Welcome!! Welcome !! Welcome!!
Here’s what the HOLLAs around the world have been up to:
Hollaback! West Yorkshire held a workshop at Bradford college in collaboration with victim support, Bradford Women’s Forum & the college.
Hollaback! Brussels gave a talk on “Violence against Lesbians: On the intersection between sexist and lesbophobic violence” at LFestival Brussels. They also held their Hollaback! Offline N°4 event, the 4th event of the series and represented HB along with Gent at the “March of Silence,” a March calling for an end to rape culture organized by Flemish Women’s Lobby for International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Hollaback! Halifax rightfully called out politician for careless behaviour and invited locals to contact his office and suggest resources for him to educate himself about race in local & global contexts.
The movement is growing everyday!
HOLLA and out!
-The Hollaback! Team
In the past two weeks Hollaback! was featured by Studio B / WOUB, Athens News, Whyy/ News Works , NBC Philadelphia, The Prospect, Think Progress, Calcasa, Omaha Free Press, Parker Country Active Democrats, Feministing , Philadelphia City Paper, Feminist Majority Foundation , Ms. Magazine, Blast Bombshell , Time Out NY, Finding My Feminist Voice, Ashleigh not Ashley, PolicyMic, The Resource, Boston.com, and The Huffington Post!
Hollaback! got some badass research done pro bono on college campus harassment in the United States. Julie, our Hollaback! Berlin site leader, stopped by to visit the mothership after presenting at a conference in Ithaca. Maria Lujan Tubio was invited to talk about Hollaback! as an example of successful net-activism at a conference on Net-Activism in Sao Paulo, Brazil – 3 people approached her after the talk interested in starting a Hollaback chapter in Sao Paulo and doing research on street harassment in a Latin American context at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. We met with community partners at Girls for Gender Equity this week, as well as Tatyana Fazlalizadeh about collaborating more during PRIDE in June. We’ve also began our search for Spring 2014 interns as we get ready for our class 9 launch on December 3rd. Our biggest class yet! Woot!
Hollaback! ED, Emily May, spoke on the Real Safety: Domestic Violence Conference, keynoted an event with Hollaback!’s pro-bono legal researchers “trust law”, and was honored at the Healing Center of NY’s Annual Gala. Emily also held a dinner for Hollback’s Board of Directors.
Deputy Director, Debjani Roy, did two trainings at “Futures Without Violence’s Summit” speak up to take rape culture down” at Harvard University.
Here’s what the HOLLAs around the world have been up to:
Hollaback! Philly was interviewed for WHYY radio and blog (Philly’s local NPR station) and by their local NBC news team! They also held the 2nd ever City Council hearing on street harassment in the US! The hearing seemed to be a successful, highlighting a moment “when a councilman said ‘It’s really all about power, isn’t it?’” Check out the testimony and survey results here!
Hollaback! Ghent spoke on Thursday in Kortrijk, Belgium for an evening about sexism in the streets. HB! Ghent and Hollaback! Brussels represented HB! together on National Women’s Day, 11 November in a day event called STERE-OH!-TIEP, meetings with feminist organizations. Quentin of Hollaback! Brussels also represented HB on November 11 in a debate on street harassment and sexism. The debate was organized by the City Council of Brussels and the department for Equal Opportunities, for the occasion of International Women’s Day. It’s a debate with the Mayor of Brussels, The Department of Equal Opportunities, Garance asbl (a partner of HB Brussels) and Hollaback. It’s included in a day of events centered on women called “Brussels Celebrates the Women.”
Hollaback! Istanbul’s client (represented by their group’s lawyer) brought their case of harassment to first degree court. The judge ordered 1 year and 8 months prison sentence to the harasser who harassed the client on a public bus.
Hollaback! Boston hosted a very successful HOLLAween party sponsored by local business and Brandie Skorker represented at RI Comic Con!
Hollaback! Ottawa was asked to comment on the latest news that two womyn were sexually assaulted by two separate cab drivers. Site leader, Julie Lalonde was featured in one interview on the subject and got a nice Hollaback! shout out in the second. The Ottawa Police Service also responded to HB!Ottawa’s “Open letter to women in Ottawa,” inviting them to a facilitated discussion on violence against women in their city!
Hollaback! Hamilton is working with McMaster University through a few professors that have been interested in the work of Hollaback and would like their students to gain some experiential education opportunities through working with Hollaback!
Hollback! Halifax represented at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and leader, Rebecca Faria, performed her amazing original anti-harassment themed poem as well as gained some possible partnerships in the Canadian cities of Waterloo, Guelph, and London.
It’s pretty clear why we post these updates weekly, amazing work everyone!!!!
HOLLA and out!
-The Hollaback! Team
In our modern, global society sexual abuse exists as the most colossus impediment to gender equality. Street harassment, in particular, is a human rights issue that it serves as a daily, tangible reminder of the disparity between male and female power and freedoms.
Street harassment is not something restricted to a single culture or one concentrated area of the world. A recent study concluded that street harassment affects 80% of women worldwide, one in five women in the UK and similar figures in the U.S.
Street harassment can be defined as any unwelcome sexual behavior, be it physical or verbal. Catcalling is street harassment. Unwanted sexual looks or gestures are street harassment. Whistling or winking is street harassment.
Street harassment primarily affects women and limits their access to public places in volumes inexperienced by the opposite sex.
Women are forced to change commuting routes, only go to places accompanied, change jobs, quit hobbies and even move neighborhoods in order to avoid further harassment. And even with such radical measures; there is no guaranteeing that sexual harassment will ever stop.
StopStreetHarassment defines the endemic as:
“An invisible problem.. Dismissed as being a “minor annoyance,” a “joke,” or the fault of the harassed person.. it’s a human rights violation that must be addressed”
One of the major misunderstandings with street harassment is that it only comes in physical form. Both men and women largely misapprehend this. Not all forms of abuse come in touching or groping; verbal street harassment is equally as destructive as physical harassment. Just words can be enough to exercise power over somebody.
Sexual comments about women’s clothing, anatomy, or looks, referring to women as “babe”, or “honey”, kissing sounds, howling, pressure for dates, whistling, cat calling and asking about sexual fantasies, preferences, or history are all forms of verbal sexual harassment.
Studies have shown that street harassment can have severely negative implications on the well-being of young adult women, some even going as far as to blame themselves or not leaving their homes in order to avoid it. Public transport is particularly ridden with street harassers since there is nowhere for women to escape to.
An innovative resistance project labeled ”Stop Telling Women to Smile” launched by Brooklyn based artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is aimed at curtailing prevalent street harassment in Harlem, New York. Fazlalizadeh places portraits of women, defiant and impactful, in the very spaces where strangers have hounded her. She describes:
“The project is saying that street harassment is not okay. That feeling entitled to treat and speak to women any type of way, is not okay. That demanding a woman’s attention is not okay. That intruding on a woman’s space and thoughts is not okay. That women should be able to walk to the train, to the grocery store, to school – without having to cross the street to avoid the men that she sees already eyeing her as she approaches. That making women feel objectified, sexualized simply because they are women, is not okay”.
Fazlalizadeh’s street posters reflect a wider sentiment expressed by women all over the world that street harassment is simply not a compliment.
Among many things, street harassment is an inconvenience and frustration. Above all else; it is an infringement on women’s essential rights and a derailment of gender equality progression. Sweet Machine best explains this abuse of rights:
“If you speak to a woman who is otherwise occupied, you’re sending a subtle message. It is that your desire to interact trumps her right to be left alone. Street harassment indicates that you believe your desires are a legitimate reason to override her rights.”
For women who are dealing with a daily barrage of physical and/or verbal assault another key issue is at play; there is no telling who is a dangerous perpetrator.
As expressed in my article on Rape Culture in the Feminist Wire, our current milieu is a harrowing one; women are constantly victimized under a culture of physical, emotional and sexual terrorism. This constitutes a culture of rape that maintains an environment of sexual assault so that rape is viewed as normal, and even inevitable.
In this case, a rape culture does not allow for women to differentiate between dangerous and non-dangerous assailants since assault is so prevalent. Any male approaching you can be regarded as a threat, until proven otherwise. Women are forced to remain alert and on-guard, fearing the worst and discerning possible threats from street harassers. This undoubtedly exasperates the magnitude of street harassment.
Male collaboration is absolutely imperative in ending sexual harassment. This is not to say that women need male protection from street harassment — this would be a perpetuation of patriarchal ideals depicting women as helpless damsels and re-enforcing erroneous conceptions of masculinity.
Instead, I am calling for male allies: men who accept that street harassment are endemic and are willing to act on and educate others on this knowledge. Here are some examples male allies expressing their angst towards the problem:
“Harassment is never about complimenting women, and it never has been. You may respond, “But I’m not trying to bother her, just be complimentary.” In that case, see above; it doesn’t matter what your intent is, it matters how what you do is received by her. This can be hard for us as men to hear, but intent doesn’t matter in this case.”
Joe Vess, Former Director of Training at Men Can Stop Rape.
“As men, our silence is deafening and we continue to ignore the canary in the mine which says our community needs to deal with issues of gender and power. Until we see street harassment as the problem that it is, we’ll continue to live in our neighborhoods like the miner who labors in a mine with a dead canary, until it’s too late to get to safety.”
Dr. L’Heureux Dumi Lewis, Assistant Professor at the City College of New York.
Street harassment is ultimately a deplorable method at objectifying, sexualizing and trivializing women. There are many ways for you to act against street harassment.
Educate everyone around you on the importance of refraining from harassment and rally male and female peers to act against it. Sharing a story or joining anti-street harassment organizations is another imperative move towards raising awareness. We won’t end worldwide street harassment, but local initiatives have national impact and slowly but surely, we will erode the street harassment mentality.
What is Sexual Harassment? Facts and Outlines: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/osagi/pdf/whatissh.pdf
Stop StreetHarassment is a nonprofit organization dedicated to documenting and ending gender-based street harassment worldwide: http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/
Femme De LaRue: A powerful documentary on street harassment: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xsknaq_femme-de-la-rue-sexism-in-the-streets-of-brussels-english-subtitles_webcam
HollaBack is a movement to end street harassment powered by a network of local activists around the world: http://www.ihollaback.org/
Everyday Stranger Harassment and Women’s Objectification (2008) by KimberlyFairchild Laurie A. Rudman: http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/KimberlyFairchildStreetHarassarticle.pdf