Uncategorized

You have a Progressive Women’s Voice: Now Apply!

Last June I was accepted into Progressive Women’s Voices (PWV), a media training by the Women’s Media Center. It was one of the most transformative experiences of my life. Too often, it’s easy as women and activists to sit in the backseat, running the day to day operations but not leading the way. The issues that face this world are grave, and women are still underrepresented in the media, politics, and businesses. As much as PWV taught me about media, it taught me about how to stand up and speak out. With their help and support, I stopped thinking of pursuing media as an “ego exercise” and started thinking of it as what it truly is – the most important social change tool that we have.

Street harassment is poised to be the most important women’s issue in this decade. Each photo and story you submit establishes your leadership in this movement. I’d like to challenge you all to push your leadership to the next level and apply to PWV.

To apply, click here. To nominate someone, click here.

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Uncategorized

Submissions Requested: Queering Sexual Violence

Queering Sexual Violence seeks 20- 25 LGBTQ writers who are interested in submitting pieces that confront the current state of our anti- sexual violence climate. Part memoir/ part criticism/ part call to action, this anthology seeks to address the limitations of a society that is not only unequipped to deal with rape culture but also unable to look at it without the lens of heterosexual privilege and through the interests of a gender binary system. The anthology seeks to destroy the image of the “perfect survivor” and motivate the anti-sexual violence community to embrace a more radical perspective in order to foster sustainable change.

For more information or to submit, click here.

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Uncategorized

Here is an older man at the public library in Grand Island, Nebraska. He kept staring at me despite the fact that I repeatedly tried to stare at him back to show him that I could tell he was gawking at me. I was trying to do work for a class I was taking, but it’s a little distracting when you have someone ogling you the whole time! I wanted so badly to give him the finger.

Submitted by Nicole

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Uncategorized

Casting Call: Hollaback!

NOTE: Thanks to everyone’s support, we have enough volunteers. Thank you so much for your support!

Hollaback is shooting its first-ever PSA on Sunday, March 7th. The ad will feature 12 women, telling different parts of their street harassment story, in a 90 second ad that will help educate the public about our newest project, Hollaback!. It will be shot by the uber-talented Nari Kye of NyamNyamTV.com fame. We are seeking 10 women of diverse ages and ethnicities to star in the PSA. The shoot will take place in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Participants should plan to wear expressive clothing that you have been harassed in: anything from pajamas to sequins to everyday wear. You will be shot from the waist up. While we have you there, you will also be invited to be photographed “Holla’ing back” for our new banner and to answer the question on camera “Why Hollaback?” for our new Why Hollaback? series.

Help us end street harassment, one hollaback at a time! Interested hollabackers should email hollabacknyc@gmail.com with a short description of themselves.

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NYPD FAIL, rape

Raped and Stripped of Dignity

There is something that I never reported which happened to me in New York back in 2006. I live in California now and, despite some of the things that happened to me, things are generally good and no one for the most part bothers me as evidenced by guys apologizing for making crude passes when I flip them off or tell them off crudely. However, you guys in NY have one helluva up hill battle to climb when it comes to street harassment and the general overall abuse and misogyny towards women that seems to prevail in that climate and this story shows why.

Back in the Summer (June or July?) of 2006, I was the victim of rape. I don’t want to say for sure my status since I never got or heard the results from the rape kit, but the bruises on my face along with the black outs I suffered and the constant yelpings from the perpetrator asking me to, “Just have sex with him,” tells me that something took place. As a backdrop, I lived in Queens at the time. I was coming from a bar in Manhattan alone (I’m a loner and have done this many times.) I was drunk AND tired and fell asleep until I ended up in the Bronx (not sure where.) I spoke to a man who offered to show me the right way home. We left the subway and he went to buy us some food which he gave me a sandwich. He gave me his number and I took it since, in my inebriated state, I didn’t want to seem rude.

I recall he went into an alley. I followed. When he went in, I recall him saying, very specifically, “That he sells drugs.” That is when I was out of there. All of a sudden, I felt an arm choke my neck. That is when I experienced my first black out and kept going in and out of consciousness until dawn. A couple founded me with the man asking, “What was I doing out there?” They called the cops on my behalf.

I recall how insensitive the cops were towards me. One cop said about me to the other cops, “That’s probably a girl on the stroll.” As I was placed in the ambulance, an ambulance driver said to me, “That necklace got you in trouble,’ referring to the pentagram I wore around my neck! I underwent the rape analysis, was given a morning after pill (thank goodness for that), and was told to come back for a prescription for AIDS preventative medicine.

As a fighter who fought to come into this world and fought a hole in my heart as a newborn infant, I fought against this time despite what had been through so that I could look forward to commencing my new job at JP Morgan Chase as a personal banker at the time. Despite the severity of what had happened to me, I had to fight to get a detective in the special victims unit in the Bronx assigned to my case. When I went in there, they made a mockery of the victims whom they worked with as displayed by a picture on the wall of a picnic with the words: “Special Victjms Only” or something to that effect. I spoke to the detective, a woman, by the name of Mary McClennon, about had happened. I even offered her the perp’s phone number. At my insistence, she put me in contact with an ADA.

The ADA started accusing me of being at fault. She asked, “Why was I out at night?” “Why was I dressed the way I was,” and the whole 9 yards…And yes, it was a woman! Even more bizarrely, this woman, this ADA, whose tone was getting more belligerent by the minute, asked me what was my dad’s name, my mother’s name, my elementary school’s name (seriously), the principal there and my high school, where was I working, where was my dad working, etc. I asked her what do these things have to do with my case and I even went as far to remind her of the illegality of what she was asking due to rape shield laws. She asked for my employer’s phone number, his/ her contact info, address, etc none of which had ANYTHING, absolutely NOTHING to do with my rape. My bosses at JP Morgan Chase didn’t rape me, my dad and mom in Louisiana sure as hell didn’t rape me, so how that information was pertinent was beyond me. Even more sadly, when I walked out and talked to a robbery suspect, when I told him the BATTERY of questions I was asked, he said he was never asked those things.

That day, I got on the train and I couldn’t help but break from my hard and bust out crying. I knew what had happened. The detective deliberately set me up to go to an ADA who would effectively keep my case from going to trial, despite bruising, despite evidence, despite having the man’s number. What happened to me at the hands of the SVU of the Bronx along with the assistant district attorney was a real crime and a miscarriage of justice.

Fast forward later, today as a matter of fact, I tried to get the case info (since it was so long ago) to file a report with the Attorney General’s Office. Again, I nearly cried at, not only the way, I was being treated, but how potential other victims will be treated too. Again, I was met with a barrage of hangups, rude people yelling at me and overall refusing to cooperate. This is how the SVU which deals with women, child victims and the most vulnerable members of our society treats them. For them there is no serve and protect but to conceal and deny. If you love NY, please don’t take offence to what I am about to say, but it is not a woman friendly place. Incidents like this seem to be more common along with the severe street harassment which I experienced which borderlines on rape. Any woman who lives up there to me is a brave soul since I couldn’t do it at all and I could barely get past the 2 1/2 years of my living up there. What you are doing is a great thing by awakening people’s eyes to the things which offsets horrible things.

Submitted by Raven

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Verbal

HOLLA-bronx-BACK!

I live in the South Bronx, and I am harassed by men almost every day as I make the 10-minute schlep from my apartment to the subway, or vice versa; as I walk the five blocks to the grocery store; and even as I walk the one block to the laundromat. I literally cannot step outside my apartment without getting some kind of unwanted comment or stare. It makes living in a down-trodden neighborhood that much worse.

I used to ignore the harassers, but lately I’m just so enraged by this behavior that I’ve been trying to confront them, in an attempt to make them think about what they’re doing. My past attempts have thus far failed–the harassers just don’t get it, and the fact that I’m talking to them at all seems to make them feel even more self-satisfied.

But yesterday morning, as I reached East 160th Street and Courtlandt Avenue, I think my approach worked. I was walking back to my apartment from the grocery store when a man called out, in an very cheerful tone, “Good morning, gorgeous!” I said, in the same tone of voice as his, “Good morning, asshole!” He said, “Awww, that’s not nice. I called you gorgeous.” I said, “I don’t need you to call me that. I’m not an animal. I’m not a prostitute. I’m just walking home from the grocery store, minding my own business. I don’t need you to call me anything.” He said, “Well, I’m sorry. Most women like it.” I said, “Actually, most women don’t like it, and the ones who do like it only feel that way because they don’t know the difference.” To my complete surprise, he seemed very sincere and apologetic. He said, “OK. You’re probably right.” I said, “I AM right. Don’t talk to women like that. We don’t need it.” As I was walking away, he said, “Alright, have a nice day.”

I am quite confident that this man did not have any ill intentions towards me–he just didn’t understand the implications of what he was doing. Obviously I will never know whether or not he continues to cat-call, but my hunch is that he will stop. If one conversation can change one man’s mind, then I think we’ve accomplished something. Maybe that man will one day have a son, and maybe he will teach his son how to treat women with respect. Or maybe I’m being naive–but the experience gave me a little bit of hope, and I’m going to continue spreading this message however I can: ALL human beings have the right to be let alone. Women are human beings. Unless I ask you to talk to me, don’t.

Submitted by R.B.

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Verbal

Another Day, Another Street Harasser


“Hey baby, you look beautiful. Come talk to me.”

(Flushing Avenue G stop, Brooklyn)

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Assault, flashing, groping, NYPD FAIL, Street harassment in the media

Woman: Police ignored groping

Reprinted from Metro New York, written by HOLLAhero Amy Zimmer:

Georgia Warren felt “disgusted” with what she witnessed on a Brooklyn-bound N train as it pulled into Pacific Street around 8:45 p.m. on Feb. 1: A man shoved his crotch against a woman and touched her shoulder. The man then walked toward Warren, but she shouted, “Don’t you f—ing touch me, you pervert.”

She alerted the conductor as two “good Samaritans” blocked the man from boarding another train. Police arrived 20 minutes later but said they couldn’t do anything because the man was “crazy,” Warren said. Despite subway PSAs encouraging riders to report lewd behavior, they didn’t take a report, she said. The victim left before police arrived, but Warren and another witness were willing to give statements.

“I just wanted to make sure this guy is not still out there touching people,” Warren, 24, said. “They released him — even as he fondled himself in front of them.”

Warren said the incident was reported to the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

The NYPD’s Transit Bureau chief last year said subway sexual harassment is the “No. 1 quality of life offense on the subway” and officers are required to take reports. The NYPD did not respond to requests for comment.

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The Movement

Holla Right Back at Us!

We are in the process of developing our new project — Hollaback! — and we want to make sure that it is in line with the needs, wants, and desires of our many Hollabackers! Please take our quick, 11 question survey: Click here to take survey

It won’t take longer than 2 minutes (I promise) and it will help us make sure we are giving you what you need to hollaback faster, stronger, and smarter!

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NYPD FAIL, Verbal

Police Insensitivity Deepens the Pain

Today, I was walking across the street, with my headphones on, minding my own business to go to the store. When I reached the other side of the street, I caught a guy hanging with a female and a group of friends, staring at me. I looked at him back and asked, “What the fuck are you looking at?” He says, “You look beautiful.” I cursed him out, and he comes charging at me, stepping, literally, up to my face. Not wanting to show any signs of fear, I stood there in a Mexican Standoff. When he walked away and I told him not to fuck with me, he came back again and was literally in my face. I went to the store, then pondered what had happened. The guy, who was black, with blue jeans and a black and white sweater, looked like a psycho and I noticed that he was standing outside a liquor store drinking beer. One thing I learned is that, if you show weakness in neighborhoods like this, bullies will intimidate you even more so. So I bravely went back out there to let him know that I am not afraid of him. He charged at me again, but not until I employed one of my karate kicks from my Tae Kwondo Class to put him in his place. He threw beer at me and when I ran after him, him and his posse started awalking off.

Now, here is where it really pisses me off. I saw some cops, a male and female, on the other side of the street where they were heading (but not on the opposite or same side of the street where the crime took place.) When I went to report what had happened, the male cop – an indignant chauvinist – asked what happened. I said it was a case of sexual harassment, with the punk getting upset since I wouldn’t meet his demands. He then belligerently asked exactly what did I say. When I told him that I told the guy what the fuck was he staring at, the cop, a Hispanic man, said, “Well, that set him off,” effectively blaming me for what happened. That comment set me off. To blame me for that attack simply because of what I said is an insult to my humanity and character. I feel that that statement typifies what most cops feel towards women, especially women on color, in circumstances like that. We are just supposed to grin, smile, and put up with it and not challenge their male authority/ entitlement. Esp. being a woman of color, I feel that statement basically shows what the cops think of us as women of color; that we are animals to be subject to animalistic behavior and we are not worthy of being treated like human beings. I told the cop that I knew a guy who justified rape who said the SAME exact thing he said. Then, when I informed him that my area is a place where a lot of pimps troll for vulnerable women and girls and that does who DON ‘T say anything and are docile get treated the worst, he went on to state that the are is FULL of prostitution, not PIMPS, but prostitutes. Basically, this chauvinist piece of shit thinks that it is more of a crime for a woman to charge for her own body rather than a guy who attacks a woman simply for rejecting his compliment. Then he asked what did I DO for a living, so as to justify treating me like trash! What a sick fuck. My dad was a cop and it is a fucking shame when you have someone like that on the police department who harbors such views. I will report him. As to what good that will do, I don’t know. But hopefully that file along with other complaints will take his ass off the force. His badge number is 34473 and his name is Lopez.

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