I was walking home from work on Friday and the traffic was backed up so there was a line of cars by the sidewalk. I heard voices and I looked over and three guys in a car were whistling and yelling at me. Calling me names and telling me they’d give me a ride home. It’s scary enough when you have one guy saying things to you but to have a car full of men yelling at me when I’m just trying to walk home is so frustrating and upsetting. People in the other cars nearby were looking to see who they were yelling at so it makes you feel completely on display and so embarrassed even though I didn’t do anything wrong. I just want to be able to walk home without having a car full of guys yell at me. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
On November 5, 2012 at roughly 11:50AM in Washington, D.C., I experienced street harassment. I was on my way to my local US post office in downtown (Gallery Place) to return my absentee voting ballot. A man was staring at me and leeringly said, “Pretty girl,” as he passed. Given the fact that we could have been the same age (29 or early thirties), somehow it felt particularly demeaning, intrusive, and uncalled for. I said “Stop talking to me,” but probably did not say it loud or assertively enough for him to have heard since he was already on his way.
Today when a car pulled up next to me with the window down, the passenger said, “You need a new bike, baby.”
First of all, my bike IS new. Secondly, I don’t even let my husband call me baby. Ugh.
I was on the bus with my sister, mother, niece, and nephew on our way home when an elderly man holds up his phone at my sister and I, and I see the flash go off. At that moment, I look at him and tries to play it off like he’s just taking random photos and points his camera somewhere else. I start yelling at him and he tries acting cool and like I’m talking nonsense and then starts laughing. He moves to the back of the bus because I didn’t stop berating him. Just before I got off the bus I made sure to get my own picture of him.
In spite of the hurricane — which hit us here in NYC pretty hard — it’s been another great week for the movement.
First, a big thanks to Hollaback Croatia and Hollaback Istanbul for their vital contributions to our ever-growing database of street harassment research. We are still getting submissions from our site leaders so stay tuned for more.
We also co-authored a letter to the editor to the New York Times in partnership with our friends from SAFER — and it got published! The letter brings attention to sexual harassment on college campuses.
And you’ve got to watch this hilarious video on street harassment made by the TV show Totally Biased. It’s bleeping amazing:
Here’s what our sites around the world have been up to this week:
Hollaback Ottawa took part in a conference called In Love and in Danger which was targeted toward students and focused on issues of gender-based and relationship violence.
Hollaback Buenos Aires is organizing a self defense workshop at their local Slut Walk and will have a stand with advocacy materials.
Hollaback Melbourne gave a lecture at Melbourne Free University asking the giant question of “what if?” They explored what the world might look life if all women had freedom of movement. They were also published in author Melinda Tankard Reist’s blog.
Great work guys!
HOLLA and out,
Skate World In Michigan-
Male about 15 years old, having sex in public when younger children were around.