My morning exercize partner and I were walking in Palm Beach one morning at 530 when 2 men sped toward us in a car on the street, turned off their lights, and shouted, “Hey baby, come here and let’s have some fun!” Immediately, I ran away in the opposite direction. I realized after a minute that my friend was not with me and turned around. She was frozen with fear and the men were continuing their graphic verbal assault. I collected her and told the men to go away. We called the police, who took our numbers and said an investigator would call. Palm Beach police tend to cover up this type of crime to promote an image of safety and perfection on he island. In that way they undermine the safety of women who live there.
My chemistry teacher told me my entire bra was showing. Who is he to be looking at my chest?
Dear Hollabackers —
News from the mothership:
Now, for news around the world:
HOLLA and out —
I was waiting for my friend to pay for her ticket as we got on the bus when a man started calling at me “eh eh eh” I was confused if he was talking to me but when I looked at him he said “Take off all your clothes eh?” and laughed I looked at him with total shock and disgust I assume because he said “It was just a joke” as if that made it ok, I told him in a loud and clear voice “That was not funny at all” we walked to the back of the bus and sat down but I was shaking I was so mad so I got up and walked back to where then man was sitting and told him “I just wanted to let you know that I am 15. And what you said is NOT OK, you can not speak to women like that, Never say that to a girl ever again” and started to walk back to my seat he called after me “It was just a joke I said I was sorry” he kind of went on like that for awhile getting pissed off, He called to the bus driver to kick me off the bus, The bus driver ignored him but a woman sitting across from him said “What she said was completely justified what you said was totally inappropriate, If anything you should be the one kicked off the bus” (Thank you random lady!!!) he shut up and got off the bus a couple stops later. The thing that made me the most mad though that the harasser was sitting in the seat closest to the bus driver and I made myself very loud and clear,there was no way the bus driver did not hear what was going on, yet he did nothing. I looked at what the id number for the bus was but forgot to write it down, and after coming back to these sites I should have taken his picture.
This is not the first time I’ve been harassed on that bus as it does go through the area that most parent wouldn’t let them on at night, but sadly I ave to take it every day to get home (I’ve had a guy try and sell me crack on that bus)
I called the bus company and asked what do I do in that situation of sexual harassment and they said tell the bus driver, I have gone to the bus driver and told him there is a drunk man who rolled onto the floor and was grabbing at me and another young girl. He did nothing. The only time I’ve seen a bus driver do anything is when he is getting mad at me for not showing my ticket. Is it not part of their responsibly to ensure the safety of their passengers?
I was on a run when a group of men I passed started shouting at me. One began to run along with me saying things like “we running back to your place? Where you going baby? I’m gonna run with you.” I sped up and he kept with me. I finally said “you can’t keep up” and he finally stopped.
Meet Rubina Singh, site leader in Chandigarh, India.
Interview conducted by Rita Beth.
When did you start your holla?
Why did you start a HOLLA and what does Hollaback! mean to you?
Street harassment had become a daily reality for me. I was tired and had no idea what to do about it. One incident in particular, triggered me to find a more long-term solution. I was followed home by some men in a car and it scared me to death. I wasn’t sure what would happen and I just froze. I didn’t do anything then but it really got to me and I knew I had to do something. That was when I found out about Hollaback!. I wrote about it once here.
HOLLAfact about your city:
It’s the greenest city in India.
Say you’re Queen for the day. What would you do to end street harassment?
Engage men and women in conversation about gender roles and gender based violence including street harassment.
What was your first experience with street harassment?
My first experience was when I was 16 years old. I was walking from home to a market and a group of boys started following me and making lewd comments. I entered a shop where I knew the owner and stayed there until I saw them leave.
What’s your signature Hollaback?
I usually keep Hollaback! Pamphlets with me and just hand them over to people harassing me or someone else around me. It’s a great way to start talking about the issue.
Define your style:
My superheroine power is positivity. I try to look at the brighter side of things and make the best out of what is available.
What is your proudest holla moment so far?
We recently conducted a campaign, The Pledge Project, where we encouraged people in the city to pledge that they would speak up against street harassment in their city. We collected over 500 pledges and hopefully made a contribution in ending street harassment in the city.
What do you do when you’re not holla’ng?
Sleeping! Other than that, I work full time with the Commonwealth Youth Programme, Asia Centre based in Chandigarh. We work primarily in the field of youth development.
If you could leave the world one piece of advice, what would it be?
Keep calm and Hollaback!
What are you excited about in 2013?
Queer Pride! Chandigarh is about to see its first ever pride march on the 15th of March. It’s being led by an HIV/AIDS awareness organization, Saksham Trust CBO and Hollaback! Chandigarh is supporting it.
We’re also hoping to collaborate with the city police (they’ve been hugely supportive) to conduct safety audits in the city.
What inspires you?
Learning from the awesome Hollaback! Family. Everyone is amazing beyond amazing and it’s a daily inspiration to see the great work they’re doing and how fantastic they are as people.
We are less than a month away from Anti-Street Harassment Week, April 7-13. Mark your calendars!
Here’s what we’ve been up to this week:
Now, without further ado, let’s talk about how y’all rocked this week:
HOLLA and out —
Thanks to Erin Jill for another great video!
I was walking down a street and a group of painters/workers keep going up and down the street honking and yelling things at me. It made me nervous because I was alone and they went up and down the street more than 3 times. I thought they were going to follow me all the way to the coffee shop.
Today, like every other day, I was sexually harassed by a man on the street. As I was walking to my university’s student association to draw money from the ATM, two older men were sitting directly outside the entrance door. As I walked into the association, one gentleman said “ooooOOOOOO siiiiiim Senhora” in a sexual manner.
I continued to the ATM, withdrew money, and walked back out the same entrance. The following conversation occurred (in Portuguese mind you).
Me: Can I ask you both a question?
Them: Yes of course.
Me: Imagine that you are walking and a homosexual man said “oooo sim senhor” to you sexually as you walked by.
Man 1: What? Are you a homosexual man?
Me: No. Imagine if a homosexual man did that to you. How would you feel?
Man 1: I don’t understand, where did this happen?
Me: No. Use your imagination. Imagine a situation where you are walking and a homosexual man called out to you sexually. How would that make you feel?
Man 2: I have a lot of gay friends, so I wouldn’t say or do anything about it.
(Sidenote: I find this hard to believe considering the amount of anti-gay sentiment. I find it hard to believe that he has “a lot” of friends who are openly gay, especially at his age. But hey, maybe I’m wrong, maybe he has a lot of gay friends. Who knows?)
Me: Ok. I don’t believe you. You probably can’t imagine it because it has never happened to you. But everyday that I go out, men call out at me in the street-
Man 1: Because you’re very beautiful.
Me: But I don’t care if old men find me beautiful. Why do I care if you think I’m beautiful? You are egotistical to think I want to know anything about you or what you think about me or my body. And I shouldn’t feel like I can’t dress the way I want –
Man 2: Yes you can dress however you want.
Me: No! I can’t! Because if I dress nicely then men harass me. I shouldn’t have to feel like I can’t walk on my own university campus without being harassed by creepy old men. How old are you?
Man 1: Me? uh… well..
Me: Exactly! You’re disgusting for commenting about me or my body. You are so old! And I nor any other girl wants to know what you think.
Man 2: Well you are in Portugal now and things are different here.
Me: No they are the same everywhere in the world, and it doesn’t mean that you have a right to harass me and it doesn’t mean that it’s okay.
Man 1: But I am not harassing you, I am telling you something nice.
Me: Objectification of my body is not nice. It is disgusting. I am a human being with intelligence, not a body walking around for you.
Man 2: Well Portuguese women like it.
Me: NO. They don’t. Every woman that I have spoken to thinks that it is disgusting too.
Man 1: No no no no. Women like to know they are beautiful. You are the only one with a problem.
Me: No. I am not the only one. Women don’t want to know if creepy old men think they are beautiful.
(Two girls walk by)
Me: Excuse me, girls, girls! If a man whistles or hollers at you, is it something good or something bad?
(At this exact moment another girl walks by)
Me: Excuse me, wait wait, if a man whistles or hollers at you, is it good or bad?
Man 2 stands up and walks to the entrance: Listen I wasn’t being mean to you, and now you are being mean to me and embarrassing us –
Me: Nooooo! Why do you feel embarrassed? Women obviously love that you comment on their bodies as they walk by! You are clearly right! Did you hear what they said? They said they love when men whistle and holler at them! There’s no reason to feel embarrassed! Feel proud of your behavior because you are obviously right!
Man 1 stands and reaches out to touch me: Listen, what is your name?
Me: Do NOT touch me [I put my hands up]. Do not come near me.
Man 1: Ok you are crazy and mean.
Man 1 walks into the association too.
I declare this verbal war: won.
Even if they think *I’m* crazy or weird, maybe they will think twice before they holler at another woman… and if they don’t, I will be ready again.
In any case, even if hypothetically I am crazy and/or mean (crazy, I will admit to, mean? I don’t think I’m mean), two old men should not be sitting outside the entrance to a University Student Association and then sexually harassing women as they enter.