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Don’t Let History Repeat Itself: Stand With Tyler Clementi and Ellen Pao

Dharun Ravi

This week the news has exploded with stories of sexual harassment. On Monday, Dharun Ravi was sentenced after videotaping his college roommate Tyler Clementi having a sexual encounter with a man, and then outing him via instant messenger and twitter.

On Tuesday Ellen Pao brought a case against Kleiner Perkins and Caulfield & Buyers after facing sexual harassment and discrimination over a six year period. Both stories are testament to the fact that this behaviour is rooted deeply in the fabric of our culture, however, what is more chilling is how harassment filters from school, to college, to the workplace.

By allowing sexual harassment to persist on college campuses, we’re creating a pipeline for acceptance that bleeds into the workplace. In one case, the victim is a young gay man. In the other, the victim is a high-powered female executive. And yet neither of their experiences with sexual harassment is unique: 61% of men, like Tyler Clementi, have experienced sexual harassment on college campuses, and 25% of women experience sexual harassment in the workplace at some point in their career.

Too commonly harassment is disregarded as ‘kids being kids’ on campuses or ‘boys being boys’ in the workplace. And victims are oftentimes advised to ignore it because ‘it’s just a part of life.’ It shouldn’t take suicide or a high-powered investment firm to make society pay attention to sexual harassment. Had Clementi not killed himself, this ‘harmless childhood prank’ would most likely have been deemed ‘kids fooling around.’ And had Ellen Pao been a cashier at the grocery store, her story wouldn’t have made the headlines. Regardless, both reports demonstrate how when victims of harassment come forward to tell their stories — people listen.

The Hollaback! campaign against campus harassment is the first step to breaking the cycle of harassment. Harassment is at epidemic proportions. According to the AAUW, 51% of male students admit to harassing someone. If we do not address the culture of bullying in college then students will continue to harass throughout their lives and in the workplace and the victims will continue to accept it as ‘just a part of life.’

The good news is, there is a solution. In a survey, 57% of students said that to cope with sexual harassment, they wanted an anonymous online reporting platform with resources. At Hollaback!, that’s what we do best. But we need your help. We’re raising $25,000 to customize our platform that has been used in 50 cities in 17 countries to address campus harassment, too. If we’re successful, we’ll bring Hollaback! to 10 college campuses within the year. And that’s just a start.  Soon, students everywhere will be able to report their harassment. And we can rest easier knowing that we’re making the world just a little bit safer, and a little bit better, for everyone.

Stand with Tyler Clementi and Ellen Pao by donating today. With your support, we can give voice to countless victims of harassment.

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HOLLA ON THE GO: new submission from phone app

Just got harassed while getting off an elevator. Thank goodness they were getting on & I was getting off so I didn’t have to share any more time with them. 2 guys, pretty young, “hey ma, hey baby, how you doing?” I said I’m not ye baby, that’s not my name. “I was just…” Nope, it’s disrespectful.

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Article

Campus Harassment Tales: Part 4

The Men Who Will Never Get Laid

It’s late and you’re tired. You didn’t want to go out tonight, but you lost the latest battle against peer pressure so here you are. You’re trying not to be cranky as your friend drags you down the street, rambling on about some boy that she has a crush on. It’s just past ten and you sigh, knowing that you have to stay out until at least midnight so as to not receive backlash from any of your girlfriends. You ask your friend where you’re headed.

“The frat house on the corner,” she says.

You groan and make a fuss, whining about how you are not in the mood to deal with vagina-hungry party boys.  She chuckles and rolls her eyes, mistaking your concern for humor. Nearly to the corner, you give yourself a pep-talk: just smile and stop being such a downer, this will be fi…You and some guy bump shoulders, and you’re thrown off track.  You turn around to apologize but before you can open your mouth to say anything, he looks you up and down saying,

“Damn girl, I’d lease you out for the night.”

It takes you a quick second to register what he has just said.   Your face flushes with anger, but before you have time to react, your friend yanks you away. You wonder how people can be so disrespectful. Your friends tell you to relax, that it was just some drunk guy being stupid. You tell them that, no, it’s not just some drunk guy—that it happens all the time and that you’re tired of being so passive about it and that nobody should  be able to talk to you like you’re some used up sex doll.

You realize that you’ve once again become the downer of the group; you decide not to care. Your friends pull you down the rest of the street to the house and as you’re about to walk up the stairs some guys stops you.

“Hey I’ve got some condoms in my wallet, let’s go.”

In all your sophistication and glory, you smile and politely tell him to go fuck himself.

Megan is majoring in Women and Gender Studies with a minor in Philosophy. She has a fearless passion for helping people and is dedicated to revealing the harassment that occurs on campus and on the street every day in New Brunswick.

 

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Article, demonstration

Maggie’s story: Reason #98234578 to fund our campaign to end campus harassment

To learn more about our efforts to address campus harassment and to join our campaign, click here.

Yesterday (5/22/12), I was waiting to cross the street around 7:30 pm. I was minding my own business, looking forward to a pleasant evening stroll on campus. Out of nowhere, this asshole in a green Toyota Tacoma drives by shouts out the window that he wants to do obscene things to my breasts. I won’t bother repeating what he said verbatim because it’s disgusting. It made me feel so angry and violated. It’s not the first time I’ve gotten stares or comments because I happen to be a big-chested girl. I wish he could have thought his actions through. I wonder what he would feel like if someone else did the same thing to his mother, sister, daughter, niece, girlfriend, etc.

I've got your back!
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Professor Kitty sez:

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HOLLA ON THE GO: new submission from app

A 40-50 year old man, bald, dressed in black, on the subway stared relentlessly at a girl wearing shorts and then caught my eye. When he got off the train at st georges cross he waited for our carriage to pass then leant forward at the window and made an obscene kissing mouth movement towards me.

I've got your back!
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Campus Harassment Tales: Part 3

The Man Who Has No Manners

BY MEGAN PICKARSKI

You’re walking quickly, because you’re running late for class. Past the flower shop, past the convenience store where you buy your eggs, past the shady bar on the corner that you know you’ll never go to; all these things you don’t notice, because you’re in a hurry. You’re frantic, because this will be the third time you’ve shown up late to that class and all you can think of is how you’re going to be late, going to be late, going to be so god damn late.

“Hey you!”

You look up, startled out of your trance. There’s a tall, thin man working on his car at the side of the street looking in your direction. You realize he’s talking to you. You walk by, not acknowledging his glances. He yells after you,

“Heyyo! Com’ here! Hey, hey you know I’ve fucked girls uglier than you, damn I’d totally fuck you right now. Come back here girl! C’mon, come back!”

His words are harsh and shocking against the background of the quiet street. Your heart thumps wildly inside your chest, heat rising to your face. You want to yell back, but nothing comes out when you open your mouth. Fuming, you keep walking, forcing your thoughts to fall back onto your upcoming class and inevitable tardiness.

Megan is majoring in Women and Gender Studies with a minor in Philosophy. She has a fearless passion for helping people and is dedicated to revealing the harassment that occurs on campus and on the street every day in New Brunswick.

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23 days to go: Jena’s story about campus harassment

We are taking Hollaback! to the next level, take a minute to watch our campaign video and to donate here. We are in the first week of our campaign and have already raised $3,310 of our $25,000 goal! Help us to end harassment on college campuses! Donate today, every donation counts!

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Campus Harassment Tales: Part 2

The Man Who Followed Me Home

BY MEGAN PICKARSKI

It’s early in the morning and you desperately need a cup of coffee.  There’s a Dunkin Donuts down the street from you.  Pulling on a sweatshirt, and shoving your long hair into a wool-knit hat, you sleepily shuffle out the door and down the street to your coffee haven.

The styrofoam cup warms your hands and you savor every blissful sip of the hot liquid as you make your way back home.  You notice that there’s an older looking man walking towards you. Instinctively you look at your feet and quickly walk past him, hoping he won’t say anything. You hear him whistle and smack his lips together. Your heart drops.

“Hey Mami! Com’ here!”

You keep walking, but you can feel him following you.

“Mami!” he calls again.

He smacks his lips together, making kissing noises and whistles loudly. Your heart starts beating faster, it’s broad daylight, but there isn’t anyone else on the street as far as you can see, and that makes you nervous. The man keeps smacking his lips and whistling. As you walk faster his whistles get louder and louder. You reassure yourself that nothing is going to happen, but doubt is starting to form in the back of your mind.

After what feels like forever, you finally reach the corner, making a right toward your house. The yelling and whistling stop. You look behind you and let out a long sigh of relief. He’s nowhere to be seen. You take a long gulp of coffee and walk up the steps and into your house. Your hand shakes as you place the key into the lock.

 

Megan is majoring in Women and Gender Studies with a minor in Philosophy. She has a fearless passion for helping people and is dedicated to revealing the harassment that occurs on campus and on the street every day in New Brunswick.

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Join our Campaign: Christina’s story about campus harassment

 

We are taking Hollaback! to the next level, take a minute to watch our campaign video and to donate here. We are in the second week of our campaign and have already raised $3,235 of our $25,000 goal! Help us to end harassment on college campuses! Donate today, every donation counts!

 

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