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On Friday, the whole staff went to lunch to celebrate our spring interns who will be leaving us in the next few weeks. We’ve loved working with all of them over the semester and had an amazing time celebrating with a great meal.
At our sites,
Hollaback! Bogota took part in the #MiPrimerAcoso campaign and held a Twitter chat.
Hollaback! Poland attended a protest held by Foundations for Positive Change. They protested the verdict of a rape trial that came out this week.
That’s all for this week! Stay tuned for more awesome things next week!
Holla and Out
When I first moved to Beaumont I lived with my sister and her husband until I found a job. Their house was directly across the street from a convenience store that I would walk to. Several times I would be stopped, the front door blocked, grabbed by the arm, grabbed by the hair once, forced to listen to sexual comments about my body or what they wanted to do to me. I finally started carrying a knife and occasionally walking my dog (a large Rottweiler/German Shepherd mix) just to feel safe. The harassment never stopped. I never stopped walking across the street though. I refused to be afraid. Most of the men started to leave me alone once they realized I wasn’t afraid of them. Or at least was very good at acting unafraid.
We want to first thank everyone who came out to support our 4th Annual International Anti-Street Harassment Rally last Saturday. We’ve uploaded some great photos from the event onto our Facebook page and more will be on their way soon. Check them out!
Hollaback! sites from around Canada came together to write a joint statement in regards to the Jian Ghomeshi case. You can read the letter here and promote the statement using the hashtag #WeBelieveSurvivors.
And at Hollaback! sites around the world:
Hollaback! Baltimore site leader Brittany Oliver spoke at “Uniting Women’s Struggles: Resisting Supremacist Regimes.” They also took part in the #Cometogether: Community Building Fridays this month with other activists from the Baltimore area.
Hollaback! Vegas will be holding a screening of the Hunting Ground and holding a chalking event next Friday, April 29th.
That’s all for this week!
Holla and out!
For 4 years at East Henderson High school I heard at least one negative thing about my body everyday. The girls would walk by and there would be guys rating our parts from 1-10.Lets just say the healthy girls that were not under weight or over weight got low numbers. I was walking in the walmart and some punk yelled your hot strut that! I didn’t respond and he called me fat. Im 98 pounds…. Another time I was walking in the Walmart and some punk said “she shouldn’t wear heels she has no ass”.
Walking back from a religious service in the evening my friend and I were shouted out by college aged men in an SUV with the windows rolled down.
This is just one of the many recent run-ins I’ve had with street harassers. I am a 27-year-old woman who has lived in New York for six years and I encounter these people just about every day. This one, was particularly scary, though, and stuck in my memory for many reasons.
I was just leaving my apartment building when a young man tapped me on the shoulder and made a sexual comment about my appearance. I was very put off by his comment and his physical contact so I told him to leave me alone and I went about my business picking up my dry cleaning. Like I said, I deal with street harassment almost every day so my tolerance and my patience for it has gotten very low over the years.
Minutes later, I was walking back and he was loitering outside of a housing project with some friends and they decided to start taunting me as I walked by. They made very lewd comments and I flipped out on him, called him a motherfucker and said he was raised by animals.
My harasser threatened to rape and to kill me. He also identified that he had seen me walking with my boyfriend in the vicinity before ( described him physically) and said he would kill him. I went to the police precinct and they were no help at all. The (make) officer told me that I was “very attractive” and that’s why get catcalled and threatened . He also told me not to “provoke” Street harassers acted like I was somehow at fault.
After spending all day with my husband and not hearing a word from strange men on the street, not minutes after I left him with friends to go meet my friend for dinner a man shouted at me from his car something about my butt in my jeans. When I didn’t respond he angrily yelled that I should at least say thank you. This is my first time back in San Francisco in years and my mood instantly changed from being excited to be here and explore to wanting to leave and go back to the small town I now live in where I drive everywhere and can avoid street harassment for the most part.
I was walking home from class in the afternoon. I always have to walk by the alley next to a junk and trinket store. I walked by with headphones on, and 3 guys on mopeds shouted at me. I ignored them, turned off my headphones volume to hear them. One guy shouted louder, I ignored him, and walked faster. I rounded a corner, and all three started following me, on bike and shouting at me to ‘join them for some fun’ from the road, I sped-walked toward this convenience store where I knew the owner, and they got mad, calling me every slur in the book. Eventually, I ran to get inside because the moped guys chased after me into the lot still screaming. I waited inside for a bit, cause they were still in the parking lot, shakily bought a soda when they left, and ran to my apartment, checking every street in case they came back.
We stand in solidarity with Lucy DeCoutere, Linda Redgrave, and others who have bravely shared their stories. We stand with Kathryn Borel, Reva Seth, Zoe Kazan, and anyone else who has reported harassment or assault.
This trial offered highly visible examples of injustice, but we recognize that there are many stories going unheard. Stereotypes and snap judgements privilege more powerful voices over others. Many do not feel safe or supported accessing institutions that claim to offer justice, particularly when facing discrimination based on race, ethnicity, poverty, ableism, and/or gender identity and expression. Many have reason to distrust and fear the police, the law, and the courts. These stories are no less true than the few that recently made headlines.
We understand that narratives are influenced by trauma, time, and memory. Too often, people are asked to push their own needs aside and ignore abusive behaviour for the sake of harmony. Insisting on automatic, linear storytelling ignores the realities of lived experience, and further prioritizes the stories of people who have access to traditional power structures and institutions. We believe in your process, whatever that might look like for you.
We know you’re out there. You believe. You remember. You find kindred spirits. You build networks. You share stories and skills. You open doors. You encourage resistance, resilience and persistence. You’re building a better world, one person at a time.
Not everyone is a survivor. We acknowledge the lives that have been lost because of this violence.
You don’t have to share your story with us, and you don’t have to give us your reasons, but we’ll hold space for you to breathe. We see you. We hear you. We’re so glad you’re still here.
With love and revolution,
I was on a tram and a young man, disheveled and a bit out of looking was next to me – standing up. He was swaying a bit and I had to move away so he wouldn’t lean on me. He touched a woman on the other side of him on the arm and she shrank back and said ‘don’t touch me’. I confronted him and told him off and that people don’t want to be touched. He said ‘I know, but she’s fascinating’ (!). I said, loudly and looking right at him: “no one cares about what you think stop touching people!”. I then got off. It was my stop. I wasn’t scared of him and I wanted the young woman he’d hassled to know that she had support. I’m a 51 year old woman. My 16 year old daughter gets hassled alot and it makes my blood boil!