I was waiting outside to leave with my partner and a man whistled at me from a truck. I flicked him off
After a night out at a bar, we sometimes grab a poutine for the walk home. There is always a big crowd gathered and many people outside the restaurant eating their gravy and cheese covered fries. As we were leaving, we pass a group of guys dressed up in a variety of costumes. One guy, dressed in a mechanic’s jumper shouts at me as I pass by, “hey girl! Wanna see my dick? I know you want to!” I almost let it pass. Almost. I turned on my heels, looked straight at him, and slowly walked back towards him. “Sure,” I replied, as I stabbed at a fry. Now, my girlfriends were already ahead of me, but my boyfriend was a few feet away. I wouldn’t have done this if I was alone, but I knew I had back up if anything got out of hand. Now, this boy was not expecting a response. I stood there, in front of the late night food crowd, publicly calling this guy on his bluff. His friends were laughing, and the guy was getting nervous. “Oh you want to see it?” he says, “you wanna taste it too?” To which I lifted a fork-full of fries to my mouth and replied, “No, just your original offer will do.” He stood there, trying to think of what to do next. Then he tried backing out of it. “What if a cop sees me? I don’t want to get arrested” he says. “Oh really?” I reply. “Maybe you shouldn’t ask me if I want to see your penis if you’re not going to actually follow through. Or maybe it’s just too cold out tonight and your outtie has turned into an innie”. With that we walked away, and the roar of laughter from behind me assured me that boy would think twice before making that mistake again.
Up until now I’ve experienced the usual catcalls from the car,street,etc.I’ve even had people pull over and try to pick me up it just to stare or take a photo.A month ago I went to the park to draw and this old man (about 70) who was sitting at a different table was like “hello sweetheart.Are you an artist?” And I didn’t really know what to say and just nodded hoping he would just leave me alone.Nope he proceeded to come over and tell me how sweet and cute I was and repeatedly asked me my name,age (17),if I went there often and if I had a boyfriend. I just answered. I didn’t know what else to do. No one else was around except his friend and I am so afraid of making someone angry and having something worse happen. Then just before he finally left he said that I could think of him as a “father” and get his advice on things. I was so afraid the entire time,I don’t go to that park anymore. I felt and still feel thoroughly disgusted. I hardly ever leave the house anymore in fear of something similar happening.
Our first ever international speaker series on street harassment was followed by three incredible days with 20 of our global site leaders where we worked together to establish a global agenda for Hollaback!. We were inspired and humbled by their incredible vision for the future.
Check out the press from HOLLA::Revolution: Stop Street Harassment has a recap, as does The Source. Hollaback also gets mentions in this Daily Beast piece, this post on Vitamin W, and Michael Urbina’s list of 101 ways that men can be allies to women.
Here’s #hollarev’s impact in numbers:
2743 Tweets and Facebook posts mentioning “#hollarev” with a 1.8 million potential reach
572 of people watching Ustream
150 people in attendance
We also want to thank our incredible summer interns, Maya Flippen and Sarah Scriven for their powerful work this summer. Thanks to them, Hollaback!’s 2013 State of the Streets report is near complete, and Hollaback! will be issuing an intersectional guide to understanding street harassment later this year. Our badass site leader Britni de la Cretaz will be taking over compiling a week in our shoes until our fall interns start. We’re still recruiting, so please apply!
Hollaback Des Moines invites you to two upcoming events: their first is a raffle, fundraiser and discussion of personal safety products (happening August 6) and the other is their 2nd anniversary party, which they’ll be celebrating with an open mic night on August 15th.
Hollaback Philly announced their fall comic book tour stops, which starts this weekend in Boston! Check out the other stops they’ll be making in the Northeast United States. While you’re at it, maybe buy something from their newly launched Etsy store and check out their photos from HOLLA::Revolution!
Hollaback Ottawa posted a ton of GREAT photos from the chalk walk led by site leaders from around the world in NYC this past weekend. They also answer questions for parents wondering how they can teach their children about street harassment in this piece on the Yummy Mummy Club and get mentioned in this assessment of their recently released report on harassment on public transit on SSH.
HOLLA and out —
The Hollaback! team
Hollaback! is proud to be a supporter of the new Quist App that just launched.
Quist is a mobile app that displays events from this day in LGBTQ history.
Historical events in the app paint a picture of how far the LGBTQ community has come over time — how we have been treated, how we have reacted, how our allies have supported us, and how others have worked vehemently to stop the progress. LGBTQ individuals’ contributions to society and events in HIV/AIDS history are also included.
We are a powerful movement – and Quist reminds us how far we’ve come and just how much all of us, as a community of activists from all over the world, can accomplish!
Check in with Quist with their app and share your stories of how allies have supported you on ihollaback.org
We are so excited to report to you today–the day after HOLLA::Revolution and the first day of our weekend-long site leader retreat!
With over 150 attendees, 2700+ #hollarev tweets, and 17 kickass speakers, HollaRev was a HUGE success! We want to thank everyone who supported us in creating this conference and attended HollaRev or watched it on the live stream!
Although the NYC office has certainly been consumed with the conference, it hasn’t been the only thing Hollaback! sites have done this week! Check out what Hollaback sites have been up to…
Around the World…
Hollaback! Ottawa released its street harassment survey and report this week, concluding that street harassment in Ottawa is prevalent and under reported! The team’s work and results were such a big deal, they made serious news throughout Ottawa, appearing in news article after news article after news article after news article. (But seriously hollas, they were featured in the Ottawa Sun, Bustle, and the Ottawa Citizen to name a few!) Congratulations, Ottawa!!
Hollaback! London announces their collaboration with the British Transport Police on Project Guardian, a groundbreaking campaign to address sexual assault on public transit! Their work was noted in a Guardian article!
Hollaback! Boston held a Holla Offline in Allston this past week, asking for coffee and conversation! Britni recapped an experience of hers regarding responding to an incidence of street harassment and learning that she can do something about it. The team also continued their introducing series, this week interviewing Brandie–the latest addition to the Hollaback! Boston team!
Hollaback! Des Moines invites you to a product presentation and safe-space discussion for personal safety products! The event will feature a demonstration, as well as a raffle and silent auction, of Damsel in Defense products, with proceeds benefiting Hollaback! Des Moines! Be sure to check it out!
Again, we want to give a BIG THANK YOU to all of the support we received this week! We are also excited to spend this weekend getting to know and learning from our site leaders around the world (and we appreciate everyone who was able to come, despite all of New York’s “pimps and shit”)
HOLLA AND OUT—
The Hollaback! Team
I left my friend’s house at 11:30pm and started walking towards the metro station. The street was empty and the sky was dark. Halfway I see a group of young men standing along the opposite side of the street. I instantly know they are gonna say something. I look straight ahead and walk faster. As I pass them they yell at me: “Hey! Where are you going? Come stay with us.” “Nice legs!” “Hey, you could at least say hello!”. I just walk past as fast as I can.
Almost at the metro station I realize I forgot my bag with my metro card at my friend’s place. I walk back, and I realize too late I’m on the same side of the street where the boys are standing. They start yelling nonsense again. One of them goes: “Hey look at me!” just as I pass him. Instinctively I go: “Schhhhhhhh!”. They all laugh. I get to my friend’s place, I get my bag and voila: ready for the third round. I walk on the opposite side of the street this time and I look straight ahead again. As I approach them they start imitating me: “Scccccchhhhhhhhh! Schhhhhhhhhhh!” One of them yells: “Oh she really loves walking past us!” Another one goes: “Yeah, she’d really like to see our big dicks!”
I stop. I turn around and I walk slowly towards them until I stand in the middle of the empty street. They are all spread out on the sidewalk. May be nine or ten guys. They look at me in complete silence. I feel my heart beat very fast.
“Guys, I’m a girl. I’m alone. I’m walking to the metro station late at night. It’s dark. You’re ten guys. I am not being disrespectful to you. But you are to me. A lady..”
One of them goes: “Oh she’s a lady now!!” They all laugh, but they’re nervous.
“A lady, a woman, a girl, anybody should be able to walk in the specific street without being yelled at.”
One or two of the guys try to make they other ones laugh. One of the older guy says: “You should listen to her, you’re just idiots”
“Why do you scream this kind of stuff? Do you think I like it? NO! I don’t. I would never scream those things to anyone. Do you think girls start walking faster when they hear those things because they’re happy about it? Because they’re so impressed by you? Or because they’re flattered? Well I can tell you they arent’t. They’re FED UP with it.”
I walked away. They stayed silent. Since this happened I’ve constantly said STOP to every verbal harassment I’ve been subject to. Calmly and smiling I look the guys in the eyes and I tell them what they’re doing is disrespectful. If we all say STOP, it will stop.