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Dear HOLLAs —
Our Catapult Campaign Launched this week! With your support, we’ll bring our site leaders together in person for the first time ever.
Here at the mothership this week –
Here’s what happened around the world —
An incredible week — thank you all for making it happen. End the week on a good note by donating to our campaign.
I was in town for a conference and was walking back to the hotel by myself after lunch. I passed a man standing on the corner with a cardboard sign. He told me to have a nice day, so I said, “You, too,” to be polite. Then as I stood with my back to him while waiting for the light to change, he said, twice, “How about you and me meet up later.” And when I didn’t respond, he followed with, “You go, you never go back.”
It certainly could have been worse; he didn’t follow me, nor did I think he would. But it still marred my otherwise lovely spring afternoon and made me wonder what I could have said in response that would have made a difference in how he treats people in the future.
Hi. I waved and smiled to thank you for letting me pass your truck. As you drove by you casually called me a “fag”. Next time I’ll be sure to extinguish my cigarette in your eyeball! Coward. Hollaback!
I was just coming home from a friend’s house, having had a great day, when this truck rolls by and some guy is hanging out the window yelling at me “hey, sexy!” I turned as he passed, and several yards up the road he still had his whole torso out the window, looking back at me. I flipped him off and he flipped back and shouted “Yeah, I won!” as though my “fuck you” was a real invitation. I was just trying to enjoy my walk.
Back in the early 2000’s when I was in secondary school I was very shy, quiet and known as the class “square” and one of the “popular” guys who I’ll call “M” especially made my life hell, he once announced loudly that one day if I was lucky, I might get raped, in assembly he once got all the classmates between him and I to pass on a message to me that he thought I was “hot” so I had to endure them all sniggering and laughing at me while he sat back full of smug pride.
He used to try and gear the teachers towards yelling at me for any tiny excuse he could find, once he stole my pe kit and made a show of sniffing the bag and refusing to return it. He started several pass-around surverys during classtimes titled “is Lydia the class prostitute?” and also “do u think Lydia wears thongs?”
During a school play when it was my turn to sing he wooped really loudly and made a growling sound which everyone laughed at. I refuse to believe it was from attraction, I feel it was because I was an easy target who would never dare to answer back.
I always look back on my secondary school time with strong bitter hatred and embarrassment, I don’t think I could ever forgive him for how he treated me.
I do feel however that my ordeal has made me into the stronger person I am today, now I always make a point of confronting my harassers and standing up for myself.
…I do just hope one day I might run into M, who for the record is now balding, pot bellied and very different from the athletic cocky “bad boy” who tormented me in school…. and give him a punch.
Someone driving in a truck whistled at me as I was walking out of the gym. I yelled, “I didn’t need that” as they drove away. I immediately felt uncomfortable and unsafe.
It’s happened several times in Old Town Pasadena. Mostly by men handing out advertisements, I’ve experienced such things as “damn those are some nice pants” and stare downs by several men. It’s severely embarrassing when there’s hundreds of others around you in this shopping area. The ridicules are obnoxious and I wish the verbal harassers who work in these stores would receive some kind of discipline or punishment for this slander. There’s no respect for women here.
I have had several disturbing experiences with street harassment. My most recent experience is as follows:
Last week I was exercising at the track around the corner from my house. I noticed a man loitering around between where I was exercising and the public toilets close by me. He was there for a long while just watching. I didn’t think anything of it and walked home with my music turned up loud on my ipod. A few minutes after arriving home I decided to go to the store. Outside, I noticed a couple of police cars but didn’t think anything of that either. As I neared the store, two police men walked toward me from a side street. They stopped me, telling me they were waiting for me to pass and needed to talk to me. They asked me, “have you noticed the man following you?” I responded that I had no idea and that I had my music on really loud. They asked, “has a man approached you this morning?” and I said no, no one had. They then proceeded to tell me that I must be extremely careful and alert all my friends that the man who was following me had been reported by several people, loitering around my house, and that he had been masturbating on the street.
It is frustrating to not feel safe doing a regular, everyday things like exercising and going to the store. What’s even more frustrating is some of the reactions to my experience from some of my close guy friends. Things like, “I can’t believe the police caught me!!” or “I know I shouldn’t laugh but that’s hilarious!” or “If that were me I’d take it as a compliment” or “You must be flattered.” Are you kidding me? THERE IS NOTHING FUNNY OR FLATTERING ABOUT BEING FOLLOWED BY A FREAK!
In southern Holland, Carnaval is a big event sort of like Halloween minus the trick or treating. It’s basically a big party where everyone wears costumes, but it takes place throughout a large section of the city.
I’m studying here and decided I wanted to go, since it was one of those typical Dutch things I didn’t want to miss. I was with 2 other exchange students, and at the end of the night, we were walking back to the train/bus station. I definitely felt the alcohol at that point, but I wasn’t wasted or anything. Anyway, it was dark but the street we were on still had people scattered about. It wasn’t completely deserted. A man I’d guess to be about 30 physically grabbed me and blocked my path after calling to me and my friends and getting ignored. He started making kissing noises in my face while puckering his lips, his group of large male friends in the background laughing. I remember being terrified of what might happen and giving him a quick peck on the lips before running away, hoping he’d leave me alone after that.
No one did anything to stop it. One of the girls I was with even laughed while penalizing ME for kissing him, despite the fact that I did it solely out of fear that he’d hurt me if I didn’t. I changed the subject, but was reduced to tears the second I’d gotten home and had the chance to think about it.