Verbal

Harassment can happen anywhere… even on a boat.

While flyfishing in my kayak in the northern location of Lake Champlain in Vermont, I realized a fishing boat with two middle aged men was circling my boat and watching me as I casted my line. I was wearing my bathing suit, a one piece.  I continued to cast  and I heard catcalls, whistles and unnecessary comments such as “hey sweetie, fish for me”, “let’s make it a threesome”, The two men began to speed up there boats obviously making waves which made caused me to stop fishing and pick up my paddle to head my boat safely into the waves to prevent me from tipping over. Every time I stopped and began to fish when the waves settled, the men began revving up the boat, making waves and causing me once again to stop fishing. The men would then call out to me that they could give me lessons, to come to them and hop on for a “fishing orgy”. finally I put down my pole, quietly turned my boat in there direction and called out as loud as I could so other nearby fishing boats could hear me. I yelled to them there boatname Boat ID, and took my camera with a zoom and waved my flare  yelled out that if they dared harass me any more that I would set off the flare. I yelled out to the other fishing boats that I greatly appreciated the assistance  and announced these men were harrasing me. Three boats located on the other side of me stopped their fishing started yelling at the “bad guys” and all three began to come to my rescue. I yelled to the two bad boys that if they dared approach me again that they would be in deeper trouble than the depth of the lake and their pocket books would not be able to afford such a boat that they were in.

Submitted by Katra

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event, Street harassment in the media, The Webinar Series

Demystifying the OpEd

Learn more about our featured presenters: Elizabeth Méndez Berry + Holly Kearl

Email [email protected] to register.

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Street harassment in the media, The Movement

Anti-harassment sentiment gaining big ground in India’s urban centers

With recent headlines calling attention to a Mizo gang rape case and a popular Delhi actress not keeping silent about being groped in public at a half marathon, India’s press is taking a much closer look at the situation on the front lines.

Mid-Day’s “A Tale of Two Cities” is chock full of interviews with psychologists, sociologists, government officials, and women who are sick and tired of being unwilling participants in a war they’re not interested in fighting.

“Their eyes show how much they respect women. Even men who are old enough to be your father don’t feel ashamed to pass lewd comments or touch inappropriately,” says one of the article’s sources.

Read the full article here.

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The Movement

Ever been stuck in the back of a perv’s taxi cab?

The ultimate nightmare: being trapped in some sicko psycho’s taxi cab and no one knows you’re there. With things like Facebook’s check-in feature and Foursquare, something that allows women to check into a cab and simultaneously register the car number and driver information should not be light years away. If you’re working on a solution such as this, please let us know.

And it sounds like someone is. Take this quick 10 question survey and hold your breath for something on the market soon. It takes less than 30 seconds and will let its creators know that we want it! CAB SAFETY SURVEY

In the meantime, please help Hollaback collect some information on this subject by sharing your taxi cab experiences in the comment section here.

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Verbal

Harassment, an ongoing story

This happened so long ago I can hardly remember the year.  I’m fairly certain I was six years old.  Yes, six.  I went down the street with my brother to his friend’s house for a visit.  My brother’s friend had some older siblings who were in junior high at the time.  They got my brother and I into a shed in the backyard, shoved some porn under my nose and asked me to disrobe and mimic the poses.  I said no-I’ve always been stubborn, and being raised in a feminist household meant I knew I didn’t have to take this, even at such a tender age.  They threatened to beat up my brother if I didn’t comply, and continued to verbally harass me, but I didn’t buy it.  My brother and I went home and told my parents, who were horrified.  I got an apology from my brother’s friend, but to this day this memory hurts me.  I’m twenty years old, and it still hurts me.  And now, when I walk down the streets of my college town and get “Hey baby, where you going?” or “you’re sexy” or “how old are you” or “those are some nice boots *insert leer here*” or even “now THAT lady looks like she needs to get FUCKED,” it just all seems like an ongoing story, one that I wish would end.  What devastates me the most is the knowledge that I’ve actually been one of the lucky ones, because I haven’t been assaulted or raped, “just” harassed and lightly touched.  If this is what privilege looks like, what being lucky looks like, we have so much more work to do.  Thanks so much, Hollaback, for providing this space, for a sense of solidarity and community, and thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

Submitted by Tep

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public masturbation

Masturbate and run, East Village lurker

I moved to NYC last spring and, in between apt viewings, was grabbing a slice of pizza with my mother at the Two Boots in the East Village.  We were in a booth seat and I noticed a creepy guy outside the window on a bike staring at me for what felt like forever.  I finally craned my neck to see what he was doing and caught him with his penis out, masturbating while staring at me.  I reacted by standing up and immediately telling the manager of the pizza joint what was going one.  He rushed to the door but the guy had already taken off on his bike.  (His strategy of course is to do this on the bike so that he can get away ASAP after being caught).  The only positive was the amazing manager of the pizza place who apologized and told me that if I ever saw that guy again around there to let him know and he’d regulate.  I felt very violated and my hands were shaking and I was so angry.  Not to mention my poor mother was in from out of town and this was her first impression of the East Village.  Not cool!  It was so violating.  I ended up finding a place in the East Village and live here full time now and have seen this creep on the bike riding around since…he definitely lurks in the neighborhood.

Again, I applaud that woman for sticking up for herself and am glad that her offender was caught!

Submitted by East Villager

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The Movement

Monday Advocacy to restore City Funding–Please Help!

Due to budget cuts, the city is planning to reduce its Runaway and Homeless Youth expenditures by almost a million dollars this year.  Street Outreach Services will be reduced by half and completely eliminated next year.  Among the agencies affected is the Ali Forney Center, one of Hollaback!’s partners in New Yorkers for Safe Transit.

Balancing the budget on the backs of NYC’s most vulnerable youth is unacceptable.  Citywide, 3,800 teens are homeless; among those 3,800 forty percent are LGBTQ youths. Forty percent!  If we want to walk the walk of Dan Savage’s “It gets better” campaign, we have to provide the resources to make “better” possible.

It’s time to take action.  On Monday, December 6 at 2pm the City Council is holding hearings on the proposed budget cuts at City Hall.  This is an opportunity to have our voices heard, to voice opinions and concerns about the budget cuts. For more information, or if you have any questions, please call LGBT Liaison, Erik Bottcher, at 212 788 5646.

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Verbal

Don’t touch the hawk or the hips

I live in NYC, and have experienced street harassment many times, both here and in other cities. However, the past few years have mostly been pretty free of issue, since I have a fairly tough ‘don’t mess with me’ aura. I’m rather more aggressive with strangers now, and men in general, especially after I was sexually assaulted by the host of a party I was at.

And none of it (the street harassment) really scared me. It pissed me off, but I kind of dealt with it. I figured, I was in public, so I was ok. And considering the man who assaulted me was someone I knew, I was aware that strangers aren’t necessarily the biggest danger or worry.

However, a few months ago, over the summer, I was coming home kind of late. I got to my bus stop in around midnight, 12:30. It was a weekend, so plenty of people were there, as usual, and my specific stop is right in front of a deli that I go in quite a bit.

This night, there was some (possibly) drunk guy there, bugging people. I ignored him, and was watching a movie on my ipod in the line for the bus. This guy came RIGHT up to me and invaded my personal space, asking about what I was watching. I put up and arm and told him to back off, and he did for a bit. But then he started trying to come closer, and saying things like ‘hey mohawk, hey!’ and then saying ‘I just want to put my hands on your hips baby, just want to put my hands on your hips.’.

I tried to ignore him, but then he actually tried to touch my hair (the side of my hawk was nicely fuzzy. Lots of people thought they could try to touch my head…) and to touch my waist/hips! I got so pissed off, I backed up, put up my hands and yelled at him to back the f- off and leave me alone, or else. (I had pepper spray on me, but I’d rather not use it if I don’t have to.) He didn’t, and I moved further down the line, closer to the deli. He tried to come closer and I glared at him, and then he went into the deli. My bus came a bit later, and I went home. But I was both scared, and pissed off. There were TWELVE men in that line with me, and others around. I was the only woman there. Now, I don’t expect other people to fight my battles for me, but seriously, not ONE person was willing to step up and say something to this guy. I was really scared going home, and I didn’t like that this guy knew what bus I was getting on. He hung out at the subway station near the stop for a few weeks after that, but either he didn’t remember me, or decided not to bother me again. Wish I knew about this site/movement before, so I could have have photoed him and holla’dback.

Submitted by Wendy.

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Verbal

Dear taxi cab driver, I will report you

Dear Taxi Cab Driver:

Hitting on me while I am confined in your car is fucking frightening.

Driving dangerously with anger when I am doing my best to ignore you and pretend to rifle through my blackberry is also fucking frightening.

Accusing me of smoking in your vehicle, when I am not a smoker, and then trying to use that as a base of conversation is asinine.

No, I didn’t tip you. Yeah, I called your company. That card you demanded I take sure did come in handy.

Asshole.

Submitted by RR

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Street harassment in the media

Navigating the fine line between street harassment and not knowing how talk to women.

“…And while human kindness is free and something we should all attempt to keep in abundant supply, it’s also unfair to demand that a woman is constantly doing hostess duty for every Tom, Dick and Hakeem who wants to demand a few minutes of her time,” writes The Beautiful Struggler in “Real Talk, Wrong Talk”. Insert big nod here.

Another quote from The Beautiful Struggler we like? “No one likes feeling like prey, or as if they are auditioning for a sexual role they have no interest in playing.” Right on.

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