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I was coming home from my gym class when I stumbled upon a group of young men. Probably in their early twenties or late teens. I am in the midst of a project I am working on so I didn’t pay much attention to what was going on around me on the street. Until I noticed one of the guys was walking on to me, grabbing his crotch. I passed by him and then another guy, from the same group stormed on me, doing the same thing. Holding and massaging his crotch. The third one was making a movie with his phone while those two were obviously trying to intimidate me. I passed them by and they started laughing and asking if I liked it. Before I got home I regretted I didn’t turn around to ask them if they actually knew what they were doing and that it was street harassment and they COULD get in trouble for that. I hope they post this video somewhere so someone could report it as abuse and take action. Their faces are in the movie.
I was eating at a restaurant when I noticed a man masturbating at a table near me. I called the cops and the man was arrested. He has since plead guilty, turns out he did this to another woman.
GOOD Maker have joined forces with Jumo to further their mission to help people take meaningful action in the world. They are offering $2,500 in grant funding for projects that are exclusively from organizations who are former Jumo members and we have entered!
Voting opened on April 3 and ends on April 17 at noon PT, so get clicking and give us your support. YOU do have the power to end street harassment.
Cross-posted from Hollaback! San José.
End Street Harassment Room in the 8th Annual Tunnel of Oppression
Tuesday April 3, 2012 // 9am-8pm,
Wednesday April 4, 2012 // 9am-8pm,
Thursday April 5, 2012 // 9am-12pm.
SJSU Student Union Ballroom
We have the power to end street harassment. For the full experience, visit SJSU V-Day‘s Hollaback San José: End Street Harassment room in the 8th Annual Tunnel of Oppression.
This spring break, we created a film with women bystanders and Yan Yin K. Choy’s spoken word, “You Wanted to See My Vagina: We Have the Power To End Street Harassment.”
Chara Bui also animated a video to End Street Harassment.
We also worked with male-identified allies to inspire bystander prevention, ”Shit Men Say to Men Who Say Shit to Women on the Streets of San José!
We also created a mural. Thanks to Joshi, Sharon Singh, Alessa Baldonado, Mirna Mendoza, Lauren Doyle, Eva Roa, Lindsay Sporleder, and Chara Bui for your help with the mixed media. Drawn by yours truly, Yan Yin K. Choy.
The Tunnel of Oppression is free, and open to the public.
This April, the 2012 Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) campaign centers on promoting healthy sexuality to prevent sexual violence.
One time I was just walking down the Ave and a group of girls were standing outside a Thai restaurant. One of them slapped my butt as I passed and said “nice ass baby”. I felt like turning around and kicking her in the cooch but I resisted because I didn’t want to lower myself to her level. It just makes me so irate when women put their hands on me without asking.
It’s been a fairly typical Saturday, and I’ve been out and about all day. I happened to notice a few men look at me and smile earlier, I didn’t pay much attention – they were looking at my face after all. It’s just nice to see people smile, sometimes.
To get home, I walk down a steep hill with a number of bars on it. I walk this way every day, so I know the pavements are narrow, and I keep an eye out for people coming the other way, especially big groups. So when I stepped aside to make way for a group of half a dozen lads in their 20s and 30s to get past earlier, I was not expecting one of them to stand in my way, stare at my chest, lick his lips, and then proclaim, ‘Wow. They’re massive, darlin’.’ Once he’d said that, I was expecting his mates to laugh, which they did.
Now, I could make allowances for the fact he was probably trying to impress his mates, and I can’t really dispute the factual content of his observation. But the tone and gesture made me feel objectified and, if I am honest, sullied. I am ashamed to say that the first thing I did when I got home was to verify that I was not wearing ‘provocative’ clothing. I wasn’t, but that really isn’t the point: after all, what the hell should it matter what I am wearing when I go out to buy groceries, as long as I am not breaking any decency laws?
I was minding my own business, and now I won’t be able to walk up my own street without thinking of this incident. I’m in my 30s, I’ve lived all over the world, and I can take most things on the chin. But this has really upset me – and I wish that guy stops and thinks the next time he wants to pay a ‘compliment’.
Welcome to this week’s west coast edition! I’m on a plane, heading back back from a week in San Francisco as we speak. Veronica, Natalie, Victoria, and Catherine have been holding down for the fort in New York, and of course, our site leaders continue to kick street harassment to the curb internationally. Here’s the roundup!
I talked, a lot! I was invited to speak on a killer panel with Shelby Knox (of Change.org and “The Miseducation of Shelby Knox fame) and Jamia Wilson (VP of Programs at the Women’s Media Center) at SEX::TECH, a conference put on by ISIS and dedicated to using technology to spread the gospel about sexual health to youth. I also spoke at the City College of San Francisco and UC Berkeley. At Berkeley, I got to meet our UH-MAZ-ING site leaders, Ian and Tiffany. They are working on getting harassment education instituted for incoming freshman. Totally revolutionary.
The tour-du-legislators continues! In my absence, Natalie boldly took the reigns and presented to the entire Brooklyn delegation of the New York City Council! Go Natalie!
The international movement is rocking and rolling! Our Southern California site leader Shira Tarrant has been blogging about street harassment for Ms. Magazine’s Ms. Blog. Also in California, we got a mention in The Gothamist this week after a woman snapped a picture of a creepy man that tried to kidnap her in LA. On the other side of the country, a french documentary company is coming to interview me tonight for their documentary on street harassment. A little look at france.ihollaback.org, and yep, I’d say they could use it.
And if you’re in the New York City area, please join us for our screening of War Zone, a documentary about street harassment. We’re co-hosting it with our friends (and former office-mates) Women’s eNews. Tickets are $10 and are on sale now.
HOLLA and out!
Why do you HOLLA? Why do I HOLLA? Why didn’t I holla back in the past?! I HOLLA because I experience street harassment on a nearly daily basis, because I live in a country that is dragging its feet in the past. I want to be part of the change, and I want to educate men and women about harassment because I find many of them don’t really know the difference between abuse and being polite (true story!).
What’s your signature Hollaback? “Will you say that to your mother/daughter?”
What’s your craft? I’m a social media manager, I specialise in social media policy and strategy and manage the online reputation of other brands and companies. I have a sneaky wine lover streak.
HOLLAfact about your city: According to a Human Rights Watch report, 68% of women in South Africa have been subjected to some form of sexual harassment.
What was your first experience with street harassment? I can’t remember my first experience, but I remember one of my earliest. I just got my hair done and was walking out of the shopping mall when a delivery man yelled “Hello girl!” in the most slimy tone of voice. It shattered my confidence at that moment, instead of feeling pampered and happy after a trip to the hair dresser, I felt violated and helpless in such a public space. People were standing around, nobody said a word, not even me. I just walked away, angry that I had no clever comeback, nothing to say, all the time feeling his eyes boring into my soul as I pretended not to hear.
Define your style: Laid back and inconsistent. I drift between fashion trends and classic pieces. I’m outspoken AND shy.
My superheroine power is…Flight.
What do you collect? I collect various things, wine, fighter-jet books, and specs and small model plane kits, badges.
Say you’re Queen for the day. What would you do to end street harassment? I’d order every school to have mandatory gender-neutral ‘Good Manners’ classes for juniors and seniors and for their parents. This won’t be about what to say at the dinner table (ok maybe that to!), but how to properly speak to people, how to pay a compliment to another person, how to RESPECT a person, how to defend a person, how to say “That’s not ok”, how to ask for help. My mom always said this stuff should be taught at home, but I think parents should be included in these classes too so that everyone learns.
If you could leave the world one piece of advice, what would it be? Treat others the way you would like to be treated, it’s all about respect.
What inspires you? Change inspires me, I see things changing all around me, especially in this country. We’ve gone through massive, urgent changes and I’ve seen the positive side of this. It inspires me to take action.
In the year 2020, street harassment…Will be an embarrassing phenomenon that people experienced in the dark ages and looked back on in disgust like racism.