According to Her Blue Print:
The sound for Maluca’s best known track, El Tigeraso, was inspired by “mambo violento”, a sped-up style of merengue music.The video for El Tigeraso takes the viewer to Audobon and West 182nd Street, an intersection in Washington Heights, the heart of New York City’s Dominican community. Maluca struts down the street wearing curlers in her hair and red high heels. But it’s when she hits a nightclub later in the evening that she really gets comfortable: she dons house slippers and socks. In her hair, a crown of beer cans serving as rollers are spray painted gold.
The song’s lyrics were inspired by an issue many women deal with every day: cat calls and harassment on the street. “Dominicans call the bad boys on the corner who are up to no good – but who have mad swag – Tigeres. ‘El Tigeraso’ is the game or swag. Growing up, I would go visit my cousins or grandma uptown. Back then, you couldn’t get from one corner to the next without those ‘Tigeres’ trying to holler at you. It was kinda outta control. Especially if you walked down Broadway. So the song ‘El Tigeraso’ is poking fun at that whole situation.”
Um, awesome. Now we just need to track Maluca down so we can get her to do a celebrity endorsement of Hollaback!.
I am harassed on a daily basis, no matter what I wear or how I look. I take the bus to work everyday and I can’t remember a single time when I was not stared at. Most of the time it’s lewd staring but sometimes men will hiss, make kissing noises, approach me to ask for my number, yell at me from their car window, honk at me when they drive by. I’ve also been groped.
For the longest time I felt embarrassed to talk about how much this bothered me. When I talk about it to male friends, they think I should get used to it. But I don’t think I ever will. It’s not up to me to get used to it, it’s up to them to stop disrespecting me.
I’ve lived in 2 different countries and the same harassment happens in both countries.
It’s very sad that a woman should feel unsafe and uncomfortable every single day on her commute to work.
I feel scared to retaliate because I’m on my own.
Submitted by Sham
I got my fair share of catcalls and unwanted attention when I was a student in New York. I began having a discussion about this with one of my classes. The (male) teacher said in some cultures men giving that kind of attention to women was acceptable, so why did we women get so uptight about it here?
Another boy piped up that in his country, saying hi to a woman he didn’t know was completely acceptable.
I couldn’t manage to get anyone to understand that it wasn’t the attention that bothers me and other women, it’s the blatant sexual come-ons. And the fact that these things start out innocently, but can lead to things much more sinister.
A few days later, I was walking to work and a construction working waved and said a cheery, “Good morning!” to me.
I said good morning back, and that was it. I wonder, if you want to talk to a woman, why can’t it be like that?
Submitted by SJ
When I read one of the stories on here I remembered something that I had kinda pushed out of my mind. I had 30something neighbour that still lived with his parents that used to stare at me. Whenever he saw the lights going on in my bedroom he would go upstairs in his house and look into my window. I was about 15 at the time and only found out when my mum came into my room and told me that she saw him doing it. I don’t know how long that had gone on. I was so shocked at first, but I thought he needs some sort of “virtual slap”. So I pretended to not have noticed and one evening I actually saw him looking I took all my courage and opened the window and asked him if he liked looking at a 15 year old and what he thought his parents might think about it. The look on his face was hilarious! From that day he never looked again and he couldn’t even look into my eyes. Creep!!!
Submitted by Dana
Meet Inti Maria, the Badass Painter fighting street harassment in Buenos Aires.
What’s your signature Hollaback? A second and a half side eye. Makes ’em quiver.
Why do you HOLLA? Because everyone has a right to enjoy city life to the fullest!
What’s your craft? : I’m interested in art that finds it’s niche outside of the art-market – like mail art, street art and art made with the intention of being reproduced anywhere, downloaded or passed around. I am a painter and an art theorist too! I’m into critical theory and philosophy especially how economic and political systems drive and/or manipulate art production and structures that exist and survive outside of that.
HOLLAfact about your Buenos Aires: There are tons of cool queer and feminist stencils around.
What was your first experience with street harassment? I was only 12! My family and I were on holiday in Mar del Plata and took my younger brother to play Street Fighter in an arcade while my mum did some shopping. I was alone playing tetris, sitting on a tall stool. This short man came and stood beside me. It took me ages to realize that the hard thing pressing into my hip wasn’t the stool. He was grinning at me. I ran away and pushed the stool over towards him. I tried to tell my brother but he didn’t really understand, so I went to our hotel and locked myself in the bathroom for a few hours and cried. It was a truly horrific experience!
Say you’re Queen for the day, what would you do to end street harassment? Make a machine that made one feel what it is like to experience street harassment. Make it compulsory for street harassers. Extend it to other forms of gender violence.
My superheroine power is … My badass strut!
Define your style: I like baggy/big teamed with skinny and simple shoes. I love signature jewelry. I’m all about fabrics.
What do you collect? Small handmade ceramic cups and teapots.
If you could leave the world one piece of advice, what would it be? Live your life your own way.
In the year 2020, street harassment … will be something people can talk about and feel comfortable discussing in public as an offense.
Tell us more! I identify as queer. I (mostly) like gurls. Peace 🙂
What inspires you? People who fight the good fight and those that support them.
If anyone needs help with translations, Inti Maria has experience in translation, especially from Spanish and Portuguese into English.
President Obama kicked the month off right with a message in honor of National Teen Dating Violence and Prevention Month:
“Adolescents in controlling or violent relationships may carry these dangerous and unhealthy patterns into future relationships. The time to break the cycle of teen dating violence is now, before another generation falls victim to this tragedy.”
Visit the Love is respect site by the National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline for more information on how you can help yourself or a loved one.
I was on a family vacation in Las Vegas, being 15 at the time and i always looked really childish with chubby cheeks and a baby like face and i was going down the escalator with my mom talking on the phone right next to me!! I’m looking away towards all the stores and I hear “Hey,Hey,Hi,Hi” I look to my left and the guy riding the escalator up is waving at me and saying hi so I look around and noone seems to notice him and he’s staring straight at me, not my mom or anyone else. I make a weird look and he still is staring at me and i run down the escalator being so scared. My mom had no idea what that guy wanted and she thought he mistook me for someone.I doubt that. But he gave me a stare that looked so evil and like he wanted to harm me. I feel like I can’t even be safe with my mom next to me. He looked about 40ish and was balding. I can’t get the mental image of him out of my head.It still scares me so much. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…or not.
Submitted by Vicki
Please spread the word!
The founders of HollabackNYC have decided it is time to pass the torch and give 10 youth (ages 18-22) the opportunity to become the leaders of HollabackNYC so they can focus on Hollaback’s international expansion.
We seek a diverse group of youth from the different neighborhoods of NYC, who are committed to making social change. Youth who are eager to learn and are able to invest at least 10 hours a week to this process. The new leadership of HollabackNYC will receive training in social media, community organizing, policy/advocacy, and marketing. They will also become part of an international movement that will broaden their networks and aid their development as agents of social change.
We are excited to be in this recruitment process and to move forward in solidifying youth leadership to continue to build the movement against street harassment. Help us create this pool of youth leaders and spread the news. Our recruitment flyer and our short application are available here for download: info flyer and HollabackNYC Application. If you need more information contact Claudia De la Cruz at [email protected].
Spread the word… HollabackNYC is on the move! The deadline to apply is 2/16.
This was long ago, but I was maybe 12 or 13 and had just moved into a fairly pricey, secluded suburban neighborhood that was still building new homes. I had my own bathroom with a window that happened to face a house being built next door to mine but alas, I lacked a proper window shade. I would shower at approximately the same time each day a bit after getting home from school when one day I had the most awful feeling and peered out my bathroom window. Not just one construction worker but a few others were just standing there, looking right back at me. These perverts had presumably been watching me get into my shower for several days. Freaking pedophiles! Gross! I still feel the same indignities every time a dirty man slows down his vehicle while I’m walking down the street, every catcall, leer or lewd gesture. I despise the fact that some people have no shame or decency.
Submitted by Liz
I studied abroad in Holland and loved almost every second of my semester in the country of gouda, tulips and tall, tall men. Almost. It’s sad that I’ve grown to accept the fact that verbal street harassment will forever be a part of my transit. I reluctantly came to terms with their format – usually verbal and often racial. I learned that the word “ni hao” meant “hello” in Mandarin, not through a book or friend, but because from an early age, it was so often shouted at me in passing. Of course, I no longer expect any of these men to suspect that they actually coexist with a diverse range of Asian Americans, but that never prevents me from responding with an forceful, “I’m not Chinese!” or keeping it sweet and simple with a flip-off.
It’s true that aggressively responding to such harassments can be reckless and lead to escalated incidents, but I’ve never been able to shut up the voice inside my head, which tells me that no man should be allowed to make a woman uncomfortable in her own city and not at least have his stupidity met with clear resentment. This is weird, but I seriously think about my nonexistent/hypothetical daughter during each catcall and refuse to think about her growing up in an environment where these actions aren’t met with some consequence. I don’t want her constantly on guard and uncomfortable in her own world when the only thing she should be thinking about is getting from point A to point B.
So, I might have not been fine with the state of street harassment, but for the most part, I felt physically safe when confronted in public areas and city streets. Unfortunately, my perceptions were skewed when my mom and sister came to stay in Amsterdam and my sister and I were making our way back to the hotel. We were taking a very crowded tram when I noticed that a man was staring at me from across the car. I glared back at him as he continued peering around people to continue smiling at me, raising his eyebrows up and down, etc. When it got to the point where I felt the need to mouth something obscene to him, his smile faded and he became noticeably irate. My sister and I exited the tram on one of the busiest tourist spots in the city and were immediately followed by our new friend, who began shouting obscenities and things like: “What’d you say to me, China?!” He followed us down the street until we took refuge in a theater venue. We made the decision to ask for security when we saw him pacing back and forth outside the box office and were directed to a back door exit. We made our way back to the hotel with our eyes darting around faster than our feet and never relayed the message to our mom.
I may not be proud of my gut reactions and the situation wasn’t all that bad in retrospect, but what if my sister wasn’t there to back me down or what if we had chosen a more desolate tram stop? Words cannot describe how disparaged I feel when faced with the harsh reality of what my gender so often deals with on a day-to-day basis. Much of my frustration is rooted in the simple fact that we cannot retaliate without taking at least some physical risk. I hope websites like Hollaback! continue to act as a channel for women who want to retaliate with a cell phone photo or simply share their story. I remain optimistic that more people, both women and men will empathize and understand the need to shed serious light on the issue. After all, I’m not the only one with a nonexistent/hypothetical daughter in mind, right?
Submitted by Melanie