Story, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: “We just want to workout in peace!!”

I go to a Fitness Center in Kanawha City and there are guys there who stare at us – leering, actually. Some are more aggressive and start talking to you. One freak who seems to be an nutrition salesman started flexing & telling me I should “brag on me, I look good for my age. I’m growing like a two year old!”

Women pay the same fees as the guys do – we just want to workout in peace!!

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Story, upskirt

Bex’s Story: Bathroom creeper

My husband and I stopped at a fast food restaurant to use the bathroom on our way to a marriage retreat. I entered the bathroom and immediately felt like this was not a good area to be in.

I entered a stall anyway and while using the bathroom a woman reached underneath the door with her phone, made a clicking sound and then took my picture.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time I’ve been taken advantage of in a public place and immediately the feelings of anger and powerlessness overtook me. I didn’t know what to do.. Stay away from this location!

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Nonverbal Harassment, Story

HOLLA ON THE GO: A horrible way to start the day

On my 12 minute walk to and from work, I get 5 honks per day on average. It’s a frustrating experience, and a horrible way to start and/or end my day. I wish I could tell which cars they come from when traffic is heavy so I could tell them how disrespectful and disgusting it is.

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The Movement

Week In Our Shoes: Heaps of HOLLA Edition

Hello Hollabackers! Happy Women’s History Month! HOLLAs have been especially busy this past week and it is AWESOME.

This week, Hollaback! was featured in the Huffington Post (more than once!), CBC News, Stop Street Harassment blog, and Metro News.

Here’s what HOLLAs around the world have been up to:

Hollaback! Alberta presented yesterday on street harassment being an issue in the local community and across the globe at the University of Alberta’s International Women’s Day Celebration.

Hollaback! Appalachian Ohio held their first Safer Spaces training with Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery. They also did  two 1-hour workshops with the women at the Southeast Ohio Regional Jail.

Hollaback! Baltimore is gathering TODAY to celebrate three years of fighting street harassment. The event will include an awesome and impactful display by Luminous Intervention, along with readings of stories submitted to their website or from attendees who would like to share their own. Happy Birthday, Hollaback! Baltimore!

Hollaback! Boston held a workshop titled “We Hollaback!: Creating a World Without Street Harassment” for Harvard University students. They discussed the prominence of street harassment in the local community and how students can address it in a  powerful and meaningful way. HB! Boston also participated in Massachusetts’ White Ribbon Day Campaign, which seeks to mobilize men to end violence against women. And last but not least, they released a public statement about a court ruling in Massachusetts that made upskirt photos on transit legal.

Hollaback! Brussels participated in an event called: “Feminist Action 2.0” in recognition of “Week of the Women”, a week of events leading up to International Women’s Day. The event was organized by the “Vrouwen Overleg Komitee” and the city council of Brussels to bring together different types of feminist action groups and feminist organizations, and to start a debate on how they can work together, which views they have on feminism, and on taking action. This was the first meeting of several.

Hollaback! Croatia participated in a panel discussion titled “Feminist Therapy“.

Hollaback! Des Moines held casting for their production of “The Vagina Monologues,” which they are sponsoring in collaboration with the Women of Color Advisory Network (WOCAN) and Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault. The performance is slated for April 12th, during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and proceeds will go to WOCAN.

Hollaback! Dublin gave their FIRST workshop on street harassment at Trinity College Dublin’s International Women’s Week. Way to go HB! Dublin!!

Hollaback! Edinburgh newest committee member, Felicity Tolley, wrote a fantastic post on why she has joined the Hollaback! team in Edinburgh. Welcome, Felicity!

Hollaback! Hamilton created a street harassment survey for McMaster University students in order to help them better understand some of the realities of street harassment in Hamilton. Yesterday, they tabled at their local International Women’s Day event. They have also started planning an event for International Anti-Street Harassment week at McMaster University. Stay tuned for more details!

Hollaback! London is launching a brand new campaign today! It’s all about getting clubs, pubs, bars and venues to tackle and prevent harassment. Keep an eye on the hashtag #goodnightout for details and check here for updates. They will also be attending an 80s Themed Good Night Out club night with feminist DJs at ULU. Hollaback! ULU will also be joining them.

Hollaback! Ottawa, along with community partners, wrote an open letter directed to men involved in a recent rape culture incident at the University of Ottawa.  Here’s an excerpt from this amazing and powerful letter:

“How do we tell young women to protect themselves from their lab partners, their boyfriends, their prom dates, their classmates, and from rapists? We don’t. We tell men that sexual assault is wrong. We educate young men about consent. We build a society and community that respects women and sees them as equals, not as objects. Can you take steps to further educate yourselves about violence against women? Can you help turn the conversation around?”

HB! Ottawa was also honored and asked to share their most recent victories at an event titled “We Win Every Day”.

Hollaback! University of London Union (ULU) hosted “Hollaback Riot Night Reloaded” to celebrate the beginning of ULU Women’s History Month Festival. They had a great turnout with some awesome bands as well as their kickass t-shirts mentioned last week. The flyer for the event is pictured above. Sounds like it was an awesome event!

What an amazing start to March! Keep up the fantastic work, HOLLAs!

HOLLA and out!

– The Hollaback! Team


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Story, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: 7Eleven Creeps

I was walking out of 7eleven when a male behind me said to his friend “I like that butt!” Several times, loud enough so I could hear until I gave eye contact. I got in my car but he kept staring and then finally got into his car. I wrote down his license plate but doubt I can really take any additional action. I felt sad and gross inside afterward.

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Story, Verbal

Sage’s Story: “Would she talk to a man in the same way?”

I’m new to Cincinnati, and I wanted to explore downtown because I heard so many good things about it. I ignored the expected “hey baby’s” and even the comment on my brown opaque stockings (WTF?).

As I walked by the downtown bus exchange, a woman (older than me) made a comment like “look at you in your fine hat.” The way she said it was remarkably suggestive, especially the way she said the word “fine”. At the time I just smiled awkwardly, feeling pretty uncomfortable.

Later I thought, Hold on, would she talk to a man in the same way? And if she did, how would he respond? I love my new hat, but now it seems…tarnished.

I don’t want people to walk down the street stony-faced, never acknowledging others around them. There’s nothing wrong with a nod or a smile as you walk by. But come on, people! What is the point of making other people feel uncomfortable on purpose?!?

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Tweet-up today on race and street harassment: #harassmentis

We’re so excited for our tweetup today! It starts at 1pm EST, please use the #harassmentis hashtag.

Our ALL-STAR list of panelists include:
Soraya Chemaly @schemaly
Patricia Valoy @Besito86
Jamia A. Wilson @jamiaw
Jennifer L. Pozner @jennpozner
Hollaback Boston @hollabackboston
Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (Stop Telling Women to Smile) @fazlalizadeh
Joneka Percentie (SPARK) @jpercentie.
Courtney Young @cocacy

We want to acknowledge that this conversation may be challenging and even triggering to people, and it’s OK to step back and take care of yourself if you need to.   To make this conversation as smart and loving as possible, we have three rules:

1. No woulda coulda shoulda. When someone shares their story, keep any advice you have for what the person should have done in the situation to yourself. We know you’re just trying to help, but street harassment has a way of filling folks with self doubt and they don’t need your encouragement.
2. No personal attacks. This can range from “you deserve it,” to “you’re an asshole.”  We’re all here because we’re against harassment, so let’s not perpetuate those behaviors online.
3. Attack ideas, not people’s stories. If there is idea or a concept that you don’t like, tweet about it. If someone is telling a personal story that you don’t like, please approach their story with sensitivity. If there is a concept behind their story that you disapprove of (i.e. men of color are more likely to be harassers) comment and critique the concept, not the individual.

If you’re new to the conversation on street harassment and race, welcome! Please take some time to read #harassmentis: our guide on how identity impacts the experience of street harassment. Hollaback! Boston has also put together a fantastic reading list that will help you engage in this conversation in a smart and thoughtful way.

If you’re coming in as an ally, we’re happy you’re here. Please remember that sometimes the most revolutionary thing you can do as an ally is listen.

Story, Verbal

Sleepless in Seattle’s Story: “It felt good to say something”

I was walked up to the bus stop at 7:15am to head to work. As I walked up there was one women sitting alone at the far left and two men in their 50’s who were clearly intoxicated. The first man greeted me with “hey beautiful,” “want to go on a date with me sexy,” “I think you are sexy lady.” etc.

I looked at him and said “Don’t talk to me that way” and then stood awkwardly waiting for the bus because I didn’t want to be late to work.

He reacted by being defensive. “I didn’t do anything, can’t I say hello.” His friend made him stop, but they stood there until the bus came talking and pointing over at me.

It felt good to say something, usually I just look away. I also felt vulnerable and I am resentful that the other women at the stop did nothing but look away.

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Story, Verbal

Melissa’s Story: “It made me feel like I had done something wrong”

Hi. I was walking outside my apartment building today and as I was rounding a bend, after being adjacent to a busy street, I heard a young man shouting something after me from across the street. It was unintelligible, but made me feel like I had done something wrong, and disappointed me because it disturbed my sense of peace and tranquility. It made me feel like I can’t even take a walk.
I feel like something in our culture has changed because I used to not get any harassment and now it seems like its the easiest thing in the world to just go somewhere and have someone verbally attack me. I was a victim of bullying 20 years ago at college but had not been bullied very much in K-12 and I was not bullied significantly again until 2010. I wonder of it is cyclical and, during certain times, the streets are inhospitable, but at other times (for me 2006-7) people are respectful. One thing is for certain, where I live it is currently hostile.

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Story, Verbal

Sarah’s Story: Water Fountain Creeper

Today when I was at work I went down to the food court to get some water. I walked over to the drinking fountains to dump out my old water before I had it refilled, and as I was walking away, this man who was walking my way looked at me in a strange way and then started to walk closer to me.

It weirded me out a bit but I kept walking. As I was waiting in line to have them refill my cup, I kind of spaced out looking ahead, when I felt someone’s presence next to me. I turned my head and the man was standing literally right there next to me, uncomfortably close. He spoke very quietly, asking me how old I was. I felt extremely uncomfortable and tried to show that with my body language by trying to distance myself from him, but he just got closer. I replied slowly and awkwardly, “I’m 22.”

He then asked me if I was mad or something, because I obviously did NOT want to talk to him. So I said, “No, I just don’t really understand why you are talking to me right now.” He replied with “Cuz you cute.” I was like “Oh. Ok. Thanks I guess.” Then he said something about me being anti-social, so I said yeah, I’m shy, even though I’m not at all. And he said, “I wouldn’t judge you, I’m schizophrenic and bipolar.” At this point it was my turn to order, so I just ignored him and proceeded with what I was doing.

The guy at the counter was definitely aware of what was going on, and I could see that in his face. The man asked them about where the bus stop was and I left as quickly as possible. The thing that freaked me out was when he told me about is mental problems. Why would anyone share that information with a complete stranger? It scared me, because if he was already being creepy by hitting on me, but he was ALSO struggling with mental issues, who knows what this guy could do! And I was wearing my lanyard for work so he could easily figure out where I’m working! Ugh it was just creepy and weird and it got my heart racing. Totally uncool.

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