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It was my 12th birthday. I and two of my friends were walking back from Walgreens (we had bought ice cream) and we were waiting to cross the street back to the neighborhood. Two guys driving past yelled “Daaamn!’ at us. My friends laughed. I wasn’t even a teenager and was already being sexualized by complete strangers.
Was looking at a menu on the side of a building and two men walked by and they appeared drunk (it was 4 o’clock) and one preceded to say something inaudible and I managed to pick out the words “you look nice and tight” and they walked away. I’m fourteen and was with my parents although they weren’t directly next to me at the time so they didn’t overhear.
A car kept verbally harassing me while I was waiting for the bus. They kept asking me if I wanted a ride in a really sleazy way. They wouldn’t stop asking me until I started taking photos of his car.
A man in his late 30’s and early 40’s was walking up and down inside the A,C,E train platform (Chambers Street) as I was waiting to catch a train. About 145-165 pounds and about 5’6″ or 5’8,” with fringe bangs and a bowl hair cut. He came up really close behind me and sniffed my hair. As I was pretty shaken up by this, I turned around and saw him jerking off his erect penis. I told a nearby couple and they saw him too, but they just kept their distance (the woman screamed, her boyfriend was appalled). The perpetrator, still with penis in hand, jacking off, walked up the stairs and disappeared. He had a tan jacket.
What’s up, Hollaback!
Things are heating up here at the HQ! The hot and humid air can’t get in our way of keeping the movement going.
Here’s some great news: we are hiring two positions here at the HQ! For our Full-time Program and Administrative Assistant, we are looking for someone with strong administrative, communication, and programming skills. Additionally, we are hiring a HeartMob Program Coordinator who will manage the program, partner with development and management, oversee legal projects, and strategize for the new platform. Please pass these opportunities along to anyone you know who may be interested!
Here’s what’s going on with the sites:
Hollaback! Bmore had a coffee chat with its site leaders and locals in the community to talk about the issues of street harassment. It’s awesome to engage with community members who care about making the streets a safer place.
Additionally, Hollaback! Bmore joined the Baltimore Trans Alliance for their #Baltimoretransuprising Rally & March. The team supported the transgender residents of Baltimore in demanding change to the city’s systems that actively and violently work to erase their presence in city life.
Hollaback! Ottawa did an interview with CBC about street harassment in their city. They discussed how to get the community involved in the movement to end harassment in public spaces. Using #corneredinOttawa, the site followed the harassment stories of women and LGBTQ folks in the community.
Great work this week!
Holla and Out!
-The Hollaback! Staff
Three instances around the same area in Chelsea:
1. On my way to the mailbox before heading home-
Random Guy 1: Hey, I like your sunglasses!
RG1: Hey, can I ask you a question?
RG1: I’m having a party next weekend, do you want to come?
Me: Uh, no that’s okay, bye.
2. On my way to work at about 7:50 AM
RG 2 veers off his path and towards me: I wish every girl were as pretty as you. (he proceeds to make kissing sounds at me)
3. On my way to work at about 7:50 AM
RG 3: Hey sexy, hope you have a great day! (also makes kissing sounds at me)
Three completely different people with varying degrees of verbal interaction that made me uncomfortable.
“You got a boyfriend?”
“I’ll turn you straight”
whistling and jeering as I reverse park my car.
While walking down my block next to a bar, I noticed a tall man coming towards me. He then abruptly blocked my path and mumbled something to me. I ignored him and tried to go around him. He then pushed me hard against the building. I screamed and yelled, “What the hell! I didn’t do anything to you!” He then backed away and started running away. I was shocked but I dialed 911 right away. The cops took 15 minutes to get there but he was gone. There were bystanders all around (this was around noon) and they didn’t do anything. Only later, when I walked home did someone stop me to ask what had happened.
I wish I would have known what to do. It was broad daylight and I didn’t have my pepper spray with me.
This has been my last 24 hours in New Orleans:
Yesterday, it was over 95 degrees and I dared to wear shorts to a gas station. A man walked up behind me while I was in line, rubbed his hand on my butt and said quietly in my ear, “look at that ass.” I said “Please don’t touch me” and he yelled back “I didn’t touch you” and then stared at me intimidatingly until he left the store. I was so shaken up I waited inside the store for a few seconds after he left so I could be sure that he wouldn’t attack me again in the parking lot as I walked to my car.
Today, I had to walk to the UPS store from my office. On the 3 block walk, while wearing my business casual work clothes, I received two beeps from cars passing by. On the walk back, a car with two men in it slowly drove next to me and commented on my appearance for a block and a half.
I feel powerless against these men. I’m too afraid to confront them because I worry their sexual aggression will turn physical.