Check out this amazing video, “Smile for me Baby”, filmed and edited by Hollaback! supporter Ceclia Wachter.
The video has scenes from Hollaback!’s Anti-Street Harassment Rally in Washington Square Park and interviews folks who experienced and respond to street harassment.
I work at a day camp for gifted kids, and this morning, my boss sent me and two other coworkers down the street to get ice cream sandwiches and more kool aid for the kiddos as a special treat.
Normally, we’d drive but all three of us were low on gas, wanted to kill time and get some exercise and the weather was still relatively nice, so we walked.
On the way back, a pair of gross guys, probably early 30’s started cat calling my female coworker and i, making comments about our legs and asses, as we were wearing shorts. they kept hollering, asking us if we wanted a ride to wherever we were going, and when we ignored them, they asked us what our problem was, why were were being bitches? they continued to whistle and even bark (what?) and unfortunately, we had no where to go and had no choice of standing at the stop light near their truck.
We kept ignoring them and they kept yelling at us and whistling, making gross kissing noises, inviting us to get in the truck. our other coworker, a sweet 17 year old kid, says, “FUCK OFF”
So the guy in the passenger seat pulls a gun out of the glove compartment and points it at our friend’s head.
Thankfully, the light changed, they drove off and we walked back to work in silence. once we got back, we hid behind the school in order to compose ourselves before going back inside. (with lots of tears and hugging, my female friend and i were all snot and running mascara)
We went about our duties of setting up snack, cleaning and playing with the kids and told our boss as soon as she returned from the bank. She promptly called the cops who took statements and descriptions from us.
Both the cops and our boss told our coworker he did the right thing, and he answered “what, was i supposed to stand there and let them be disgusting?” and that even if he would have gotten shot, it would have meant he did something.
Luckily, we were able to walk away but were shaken up all day.
Not only are street harassers persistent and disgusting, but they have no qualms about pulling guns on those who try to intervene.
I was in somewhat of a hurry that day so I got onto the tram right at the back where people tend to accumulate. Therefore, I stood right next to the door with a middle-aged man on my other side. I felt like he was standing a little closer to me than strictly necessary but didn’t think anything of it because it was really quite crowded. After a stop or two however I felt something moving against my thigh and being kind of stuck between the guy and the door couldn’t just move away. I didn’t call him out on it because I still thought that I could technically be imagining things and didn’t want to cause a scene. At the next stop I had to let people out so I could move to a different place away from the guy. When I looked at him from the distance his quite thin pants clearly showed that I hadn’t been mistaken at all and he had definitely been rubbing off on me.
I should definitely just have said something right at the beginning or at least when I was totally sure what had happened but being the quiet person that I am I just let him walk away. I really hope that the next time something like this happens, I’ll be able to call them out on it because guys like that absolutely need to be informed about what they’re doing to women all over the world.
A documentary about street harassment, created by the one and only Cecilia Wachter! Check it out:
The bus stops seem to a prime location for street harassment. This particular day a month ago (May 27th to be exact), was slightly more of an extraordinary occurrence then I was used to (and now that I know about this site I could probably post a story every week).
I had walked from Frankfuary, on Butler, up 39th to Penn Ave and over to the bus stop by Main Street. Shortly thereafter a torrential down pour ensued. After it cleared up, a man who had just parked his truck near the bus stop got out of his vehicle and say down at the bus stop with me.
“Did you hear me hollering at you on the street?”
“Damn, you got a baby face, how old are you?”
This conversation should have ended here. If I look too young for you to be talking to me (even though I’m not), then stop. THEN I realized that this guy had seen me on the street and either made a u-turn or drove around the block to come talk to me. Fuck that.
Unfortunately I was tipsy enough to politely play along and dismiss him. Next time I hope I have more wits about me.
If you didn’t know, Wednesdays are half-off clothes at the Salvation Army in the Southside. This particular Wednesday proved more trying than just finding some good deals. As I walked the stairs up to the second floor, a man gave me a look over and a “compliment.” I said thanks and kept walking up the stairs, grateful that we were headed in opposite directions. To my dismay, he decided to turn around and come back up after I had begun browsing the racks. He asked if I was married, if I had kids, or if I had a boyfriend. He told me I should be on the cover of sports illustrated in a little bikini (the was in the winter and I was wearing jeans and a cape style jacket, not figure flattering). I was followed around the store for what felt like an hour trying to politely be an asshole and dismiss him, saying “no” and “probably not” to everything he said. He tried to get me to try on some work slacks. I made a sarcastic joke about how I could wear them to my corporate job (I also had blue hair at this time) and he responded with a sexist and inappropriate comment about how all the guys in the office would be checking out my ass (which was currently covered and potentially very flat for all he knew). He had some lunch he had been neglecting and after several of my suggestions to go eat it, he finally did.
Relieved I no longer had to deal with this guy, I went to text my friend and tell him about this crazy situation I had encountered. Unfortunately, this man returned. This time it wasn’t to ask me a million questions and follow me around the store but to ask for my phone number because apparently the little voices inside his head told him. I said no. He asked if that was how it was going to be, I said yes, and he left.
I browsed the clothes for quite a while longer and contemplated asking my friend to come pick me up. I didn’t want to walk home. What if this guy was downstairs waiting for me? What if he followed me home? I took an unusual route home and thankfully haven’t seen that guy since.
I was waiting at the bus stop on Fifth and Bellefonte, as I’ve done many times before, when I heard a person come out of the Victorian house whose fence borders the bus stop. The man was making weird noises, then walked closer to the fence. He was covering his face with a clothe held up by one hand while he was masturbating with the other hand. He asked me if I would stand there until he came. I said no, walked away, I called the police and they HAVEN’T DONE SHIT.
I was followed home as I zig-zagged across the street and stood at the bottom of my steps–watching me fumble for my keys
I was 10 years old in New York City. One day my family and I took the subway home. I walked over to a trash can and a man stood behind me and whispered “I’d love to lick your tight little pussy” when I turned and noticed he was talking to me I gasped but he smelt so awful! I immediately bent over and started gagging, I almost threw up on him! I guess this really made him mad because he walked away cursing. I will never forget that smell, still to this day if i think about it, it makes me gag!
I’m from Israel, just done with military service and visiting family in America. I was wearing a shirt with “Israeli Defense Force” written across the front and shorts, wandering with my family to look at shops. A man was catcalling at us, and when we didn’t respond, he walked up behind me and grabbed me by the shoulder to turn me around and make more comments. He saw my shirt and said it was “cute” that a pretty girl like me was pretending to be a soldier.
So I broke his nose.