As a girl from a small town in Alaska, I’ve not been subjected to or ever seen cat-calling (or street harassment) in any form before (except on TV). That all changed once I moved to the Capital District of New York a couple weeks ago.
I don’t have a car most days (my boyfriend takes it to work daily), so I walk to/from the grocery store or library or etc by myself fairly often. I’ve gotten cat-called multiple times during my walks.
Earlier today, I was minding my own business while heading home from the store (I was out of milk and needed some for my coffee) when a guy in the backseat of some car at a stoplight yelled something like “Hey Momma!” or “Hey Honey!” at me. I was the only person on the street. Ignoring it, I continued my walk home, all the while worrying that maybe the car turned around. That maybe the car I hear coming up behind me is the guy (and his friends) coming back.
I arrived home safely, and am thankful for the locked-door policy of my apartment building (key card only access to the lobby and elevators). But it still bugs me how much one phrase yelled by some random stranger made me feel so insecure and scared.
As the humidity rises outside, our office is starting to fill up! Debjani just got back from the New Media Ventures conference in San Francisco where she promoted HeartMob, our new platform created to address online harassment and build a virtual community of support. This week we also welcomed our new communications intern Maggie to the team. Give a warm (not humid) welcome to her!!
Meanwhile, at Hollaback! sites around the world…
That’s all for now!
Holla and out!
We are finally feeling the heat here at the Hollaback! HQ in New York City, and things seem to be shaking up for what will be an exciting summer full of actions and activities! Debjani took off for a New Media Ventures conference in San Francisco, representing our new platform to address online harassment and build virtual community, HeartMob. Don’t forget to sign up as a HeartMobber to make the internet friendlier and safer today!
And at our Hollaback! sites across the globe…
Hollaback! Romania is releasing a survey about women’s experiences of street harassment in Romania for a doctoral thesis.
Hollaback! London announced that they will be transitioning out of group form and assembling “a diverse new collective to help take this message to the streets.” If you know anyone in London, be sure to have them contact their Facebook site! They are looking for event support, social media volunteers, and contributors to partnerships and projects.
That’s all for now!
Holla and out!
I live in a small college town, where I don’t experience harassment every day- people are generally nice to each other. Which is why I was a bit surprised today. I had just gotten off the Appalcart (our local bus system) and was walking down the sidewalk to my apartment. I heard a couple of short honks, made by some sort of truck. I look to the road to see what had happened (I was on the sidewalk) when I saw a plumbing truck from a local business, with two men leering at me, no cars near them. They passed by too quickly for me to react. I’m in summer classes at the university right now and have had a lot of late nights for homework, so I was really too tired to do anything anyway.
I wonder, what about me asked them to “catcall” (via honking)? Of course, this is a rhetorical question, the only people at fault are the perpetrators. It’s still a question that pops up in my mind, however; I run through what I was wearing (I dress conservatively, though that doesn’t even matter!), I had my backpack on, I was walking back from a long day at class… In the end, I am just at a loss as to how someone can think it is appropriate to treat another human as a zoo animal.
If you are in the area, the truck had a logo on it from Triple T plumbing. I’m halfway tempted to phone the business and report this to them, but if the management employs people like that, they probably won’t do anything about this matter.
I’ve been grabbed full frontal in the crotch in a nightclub and at a carnival – where the men could get away quickly and disappear into the crowds afterwards. I felt so angry and powerless, but also disturbed – it was so intrusive that both times it felt like it could be a warm up for something even more sinister.
Drunk vagrant men catcalling and following women out of the museum. Cops were called and never showed up.
I was walking to school a couple months ago, and as I walked past the public library I watched a tall woman with a Bluetooth and a briefcase get verbally harassed by a man a little shorter than her. He started out by asking her if she played basketball, and continued with sexual threats while following her. She finally turned around and walked into the library to stop the creepy guy from following her any farther.
Harassed while sitting at the bus stop, again. This time it was an “Oooooh she pretty!!” as 2 guys walked by together. It’s cool, just go ahead and comment on me like I’m a zoo animal as you walk by. Of course, none of the men or women around me said or did anything. And all I did was flip them the bird. They didn’t seem like the type who would ever take a woman defending herself seriously no matter what she said, anyway.
We have had a quiet and surprisingly chilly May so far at the Hollaback! HQ in New York City, but we’re getting excited for some amazing things to come in the summer! This week we said goodbye to our lovely, inspiring, and crazy brilliant interns. Rachel did stellar work assisting with the launch of HeartMob, Noelia developed some amazing resources for our legislative program, and Alexis starred as our comms intern. While we’re sad to see them go, we’re looking forward for our summer interns to join in June to make the office less lonely! Thank you Rachel, Noelia, and Alexis!
Check out what our Hollaback! sites across the world are up to:
Hollaback! Ottawa will be at Ottawa Comiccon hosting their workshop Cosplay =/= Consent and walking around the Con with supportive messaging this weekend. They will be creating a “mobile safe space”so anyone attending in Ottawa should be sure to find them!
Hollaback! Vancouver site leader Stacy Forrester had an amazing live interview on Global BC to discuss the Ghomesi case. If you haven’t already, check out our collective statement on the trial we released a while back.
See you later Hollas! We can’t wait to update you all on our summer activities!
Holla and out!
This summer I was on holiday with my best friend and in my bikini around my family probably most of the time. One morning when we were walking through the field that belongs to my holiday home, we walked past my grandad who was reading a newspaper and he told us to have fun. When we had walked out of earshot my friend told me that he had been staring at my ass the entire time we were walking past! Not hers but mine! (Not that it would have been acceptable for this 70 year old man to stare at a 17 year old’s butt in such an obvious and perverted way, but it would have been different had it been her since she is not his grandchild…) And my grandma was also in the house. This happened at least three more times that she noticed on the same holiday. I now do not feel comfortable being in swimwear In my family home. I feel completely violated and disgusted, as well as disappointed that this will be what I remember of my grandfather after he passes. I am 17 and do not have a lot of memories with him since I live in the UK and he lives in Greece. I only see him for a few weeks in the summer. I just don’t understand and feel so awful about myself and can’t get the image of him looking at my butt out of my head (I caught him staring one of the times).