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The man pictured in this photo harassed me on the subway after work. As I stood in a hot jam-packed train, I coughed as I grasped for air. After I released one cough, this man who reeked of alcohol started screaming at me with garbled words in English and Spanish. He yelled at me for not covering my mouth (which was not true) when I coughed and started nudging the guy next to him to try to get him to gang up on me too. He screamed and yelled and when I stared him down and ignored him with disdain on my face he elevated his tone and tried to get in my face. I continued to ignore his attention-mongering which made him even more irate. He continued to yell and asked me if I understood him. He carried on like this for several stops and started squirming and yelling. When I decided to get off the train because his stench, harassment, and attitude were pissing me off, he got started screaming at me and another woman who didn’t affirm his harassment to “move out, get out of here, get off this train now.” He was completely disgusting and rude and I’m happy a place like Hollaback exists where he can be publicly shamed and held accountable for disturbing the peace and treating women badly.
I was walking back from a party with friends- we were going to try and get a late night bus. Just as we’re approaching the bus stop, a group of guys started running at us yelling “BITCHEEES”. I wasn’t really appalled until one of them ran past me, and as he did so, he ran his hand up my leg and grabbed my butt. I always thought I would be able to say something in that kind of situation, one that was more than verbal abuse, but I didn’t. I sort of froze and just said something to my friends. I’m disappointed in myself, but I’m more disappointed in the fact that women simply walking down the street is apparently an invitation to grope and touch them.
So, I’m a fifteen year old girl…and I was going to my third period class yesterday (friday). I was wearing a red cotton dress with an over sized tee shirt on top so I wasn’t breaking the dress code that I completely disagree with. The dress goes down to about an inch or so above my knee and my shirt goes down to a little lower than my clavicle. Well my history teacher put me in a group with three other people and I was explaining what was on the homework because of course I’m the only one to do it and I notice my at least sixty year old teacher keep looking at me and hanging around close to my group and he the entire time is looking me over, and I don’t think of myself as a particularly sexy TEEN but I am curvy so I generally catch on when guys stare at my boobs or ass and he was staring at my boobs a lot and when I crossed my arms he called me out of the room. And as always this will inspire an immature ooooooh from my classmates and i walked out embarrassed into the hall with an OPEN DOOR and was quite loud about how I was not appropriately dressed for school and I was distracting the other students, a lady of my age and intelligence (as if letting air touch your skin is harmful to your brain cells)shouldn’t be wearing such apearal blah blah blah and I nodded wanting it to be over and agreed to dress more appropriately on monday because what else can I do? Its not like I can tell him to go fuck himself instead of staring at my tits all 45 minutes of the class. And after I walked into class again i see the two boys in my group grin at me and I raised my eyebrow at them, when I sat down they started to ask all sorts of inappropriate questions like “so did he bust you for being a coke whore yet?” “hey I got five dollars on me is that enough for a blowjob?” “So is there some kind of slut academy where a guy can get a girl a bit thinner than you for cheap?” I fucking kid you not…and no one did anything…so I looked over at my teacher’s desk, guess what? HE WAS FUCKING SMIRKING AT ME WHAT THE FUCK? And so for the rest of the day these boys saw me in the halls and coughed “slut” “bitch” “hoe” “fat cunt” and some of their inbred jerk-off chauvinist pigs of friends joined in…Well I survived friday, can’t wait till monday…
It was a girl’s night. I was out with my friends and we were walking around the city town’s square around 9pm, scouting out stores we wanted to go into. I was walking in front, and my friends were walking and talking behind me. As we kept walking there was a group of 3 guys coming our way and when we were about to pass them on the sidewalk the guy in the middle says “oh yay hug” and forces himself on to me, giving me a hug thinking he is funny. I didn’t hug back, as a matter of fact I pushed him off of me and said “no” As I kept walking, I heard him go “what’s your problem?”, or something along the lines of that, while his friends laughed in encouragement. It angered me that a person, especially a boy I did not know, thought he was in the right by trying to touch me in any way. Out of annoyance and anger, I flipped him off and continued walking down the sidewalk without looking back. At first I sort of felt bad for being so harsh with this guy. I found myself not blaming him at all and making up excuses for him to my friends, saying “Oh he’s just a boy. It’s not that big of a deal. I overreacted.” But my best friend stopped me after I said that and started telling me I was absolutely wrong. That it was an extremely big deal that he thinks he can get away with harassing me in public when it was unwanted. She made the point to tell me that WE CANNOT MAKE EXCUSES FOR MEN, JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE MEN (I put that in all caps because I think it is the most valid point of this story). And I believe what she said is 100% true. He was pushing boundaries, making me feel uncomfortable, and then acting like I did something wrong when I got mad. Thankfully my friend was able to help me realize that I wasn’t the antagonist at all. I now understand why it is wrong for men to think it is okay to whistle at women, or honk at them when they are walking by, or yell things at them, or even try and force themselves onto you. This is not right that women brush the situation off, while thinking “Oh he’s just a guy”; because it is still street harassment, and whatever it may be, it needs to stop.
This week, our Executive Director, Emily May, gave a TED City 2.0 talk as she accepted her TED City 2.0 award.
Hollaback! was featured by MSN News Online, Feminist Current, The Daily Californian, Genius Online, TED Prize and the West: Welfare, Society, Territory; we posted the HOLLA::Revolution promo video on our main page; DD, Debjani, trained 70 men and women at Turning Point in Brooklyn; and Stacy Bullard joined our team as the new Development and Research Intern!
Here’s what the HOLLAs around the world have been up to:
Hollaback LA is leading a talk and workshop with an art museum in Rancho Cucamonga today. Thursday, they partnered up with the End Violence online forum. They’ve just developed a new Spanish-language version of their city postcard. Plans are to branch out into the Orange county and San Fernando Valley with some awesome new volunteers!
Hollaback Hamilton is working with McMaster University to potentially have a group of students to coordinate event planning for McMaster’s Fall experiential education program. Jess of Hollaback Hamilton has been asked to speak of the Leadership for Summit for Women- a one day conference about leadership in Hamilton.
HOLLA and out!
-The Hollaback! Team
I had just had a baby 2 weeks earlier. I needed to get some groceries and went to the local grocery store. While waiting my turn at the deli counter some older scroungy guy walked behind me and said “Nice tits! “. I was speechless and so embarrassed! I couldn’t look at anyone and no one could look at me! They guy behind the counter looked panicked at having to take my order but that was okay because I was so upset I left.
My friend and I were at a sleepover (we’re 14) and we were walking to the corner store when we hear a man whistling behind us very creepily… He followed us all the way there but we couldn’t see him but we heard him whistling. Then we stayed in the store for 15 minutes so he would go away, but then after we left we heard him again behind us, he was waiting. He didn’t talk just whistled we faked a phone call like a safety class told us to do. Then we safely got home but it was the scariest moment
I was walking to a friend’s house at about 6 PM, and a man wolf whistled as I walked by. He then yelled that he and his wife (who was not there if real) wanted to fuck me and that she would go easy on me because I’m so young…
I was walking home from my bus stop one day when some old man approached me(around mid 30′s or early 40′s). I was 17 at the time. He was walking behind me and didn’t say a word or make any noise. He could have been following me since i got off the bus, but i didn’t see or hear him. As soon as he saw that i knew he was behind me he started to talk. I was so startled that i can’t remember what he said. I mean this man was just too close for comfort. So i decided to move to the side and let him pass. Well he continued to walk, but as he did so he would stop and look back. Just to see if i was still walking. If he didn’t see me he began to look for me. So at this point my heart is racing and i have no clue what to do than to walk slower. As he kept stopping and looking back he gave me the weirdest and creepiest look i have ever seen in my life. I mean his stare made feel so vulnerable, helpless and as if he was stripping me with his eyes. Then, what scared me the most. As i went in my apartments entrance i saw him. He was in his balcony WAITING to see me enter and kept staring at me until he had no visual.
On July 25th, 2013, Hollaback! hosted the first ever international speakers series on street harassment, HOLLA::Revolution. The event was emceed by Jamia Wilson and featured leading local and international leaders in the fight against gender-based violence.
The historic event featured 18 badass speakers and performers representing organizations such as: Bklyn Boihood, Sassafrass Tech Collective, Women in Media News, Girls for Gender Equity, Cornell University, Feministing, the Man Up Campaign, the Novo foundation, and Hollaback!.
Presenters discussed a wide range of diverse and engaging topics around street harassment, from Technology & Storytelling and The Importance of Online Movement Building to Un/Doing Masculinities and Youth Organizing Around Street Harassment.
HOLLA::Revolution had 150 (amazing) supporters in the audience of the sold out event. It was live-streamed at: ihollaback.org/hollarevolution/ with over 570 viewers watching the livestream around the world. Audience members described the event as “inspiring”, “diverse”, “intersectional”, and “educational”.
You can check out a promo video for the event, created by video editor Corinne Colgan, below.
Hollaback! is beginning their plans for the next #hollarev and we want to hear from you! If you attended HOLLA::Revolution on July 25th, or joined us on the livestream, let us know how next year’s speakers series can grow by filling out this survey.