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It happens on an everyday basis, virtually. If you are female and walk down the street you get asked, “How much”, and slag, or slut, etc. from random men passing by or from men in cars shouting out to you. It’s no good blaming it on what a woman wears, because even when you are wearing no make-up, no high heels, hair unbrushed and a long dress they still do it. Also, the people driving the cars should be concentrating on the traffic and road, not neglecting it to look out the window and harass a woman. I would say, “How much” is the most common phrase and then you are asked 70p, etc. It is unacceptable to be harassed just because you happen to be female, especially in the 21st century.
I worked at a restaurant in an area (shopping district) that is widely considered nice, and somewhat “high-class”. I was on my break and and decided to walk to the Panera two blocks away. On my way back two men were crossing the street from the other end. As I walked past them one said: damn girl you’re beautiful. I wasn’t so much scared, as taken aback. It was broad daylight and there were tons of people around. I still felt uncomfortable despite the fact it “sounded like a compliment.”
As usual, i was going home after closing the bar i used to work at, it was around 4a. So i was (a little bit) drunk, heading to my flat, at a 2mn walk away, walking on a big lightened pedestrian street when a groupe of 4 or 5 young men joined me. One criticized my low waist jeans saying he sees everything and the others laughed when i stammered a multiple excuse “you don’t see anything / i’m wearing a boxer/it’s not my fault my button gave way sooner”. last thing i remember, the guy who adressed me put a hand against my throat, pining me against the church’s wall. They all left laughing. I ran back home. I don’t want to blame myself for being tipsy, i don’t want to feel guilty about an outfit, but i do feel bad about the explanation i gave them : we shouldn’t need any.
Flowers are blooming, Spring is in the air, and Hollaback! sites are creating on-the-ground actions! At the HQ, ED Emily May spent the week at the Ashoka Future Forum, collaborating with leaders from around the world! Also, ICYMI, check out these (US-Specific) graphs on prevalence and effects of street harassment, created using the recent Cornell street harassment data!
In HeartMob news, we met another funding goal and will receiving a boost from Catapult! We also launched #MyTroll, where we asked people to tweet about their harassment experiences. Check out the storify here! Finally, we’ve gotten some killer press. HeartMob was featured in Fusion and Refinery 29! It’s been a great campaign (wrapping up tonight) and we couldn’t have done it without all of your support.
Let’s see what some of our sites have been up to…
Hollaback! Toronto has received some serious press this week. Hollaback TO’s Alicia was on a panel discussing the #FHRITP incident and harassment at work on CBC Radio’s The Current. Way to spread the word and stand up against harassment Toronto!
Hollaback! London provided Good Night Out training to The Island and Distriandina – ten points to everyone involved! PS – did you know that this year’s HOLLA::Revolution will be held in London? You should attend!
Hollaback! Ottawa went to Comiccon and talked about the four Ds of intervention, and what to do if you see someone being harassed in Geek spaces. They have some AMAZING photos from the event that you can check out here!
Hollaback! Vancouver held their amazing “What’s Your Number?” show a few weeks back. You can check out all the work in an upcoming zine, out at the end of the month. It’s not too late to submit if you have a writing or art piece about street harassment / gender/ public space – or – if you did attend – a review of the show! Send your work to [email protected]
Great job team!
HOLLA and Out!
Walking down the street in a black t-shirt and jeans. Two white men, mid 20’s cat called me saying, “look at this bitch. Bitch you busy, wanna party?”
I did not respond, which apparently prompted anger in an additional response with, “are you a fucking dude? Funking ‘trannies’! Someone should do it [sic] a favor and kill it [sic]! Better start moving faggot!”
I am 15 years old and there is not a day that goes by were I am as you say “hollad at ” I walk to and from school everyday and men always find something new to say and often shocked when I’m not the age they think I am I’ve luckily never been touched while making my way to school but some times these men have the most ugliest things to say that I end up crying the rest of the way to my house or to school I do NOT dress inappropriately the only time I go out is to go to school in uniform
I am a science presenter in Perth, Western Australia. At work a few weeks ago, I had a group of men in an audience ~170 people. I encourage heckling in my shows, because it’s fun and keeps people awake. These men kept calling my “muma”, and once called me “sexy”. At some point, another audience member asked me a question, the kind of question that no one has answered, I said I didn’t know, and one of these men asked how I got a job if I didn’t know. Then afterwards he asked me out!!!
It’s been a busy week here at HQ, but boy has it been a good one!
On Wednesday, Emily met with NYC Councilmembers Cumbo and Palma! They’re helping us make a video that compiles NYC Councilmembers’ first experiences of harassment to help create legislative urgency and increase representation for the fight against street harassment. Keep your eyes peeled for the video!
Last week, our HeartMob Kickstarter reached 250 backers, meaning that the Knight Foundation is giving us $2,500 extra dollars so we can include our safety plan powerup in the HeartMob platform! And this week, the wins keep coming! HeartMob was featured in The New York Times (WHOA) and our friends at Catapult agreed that if we got $2,500 more donated to our Kickstarter campaign, they would give us another $2,500 to further improve our platform! That’s amazing!
Nothing but good news here! Now, let’s see what’s going on with some of our sites from around the world…
Hollaback! Ottawa is hosting their Cosplay =/= Consent workshop this Saturday at 12:30pm at Ottawa Comiccon! Cosplay is a fun way to explore your favorite characters and NOT an invitation to harassment. That’s why HB! Ottawa will be exploring the issue of harassment at Cons and how attendees can ensure that cosplayers can let their geek flags fly without fear of harassment!
Hollaback! Peterborough is hosting a Cats Against Catcalling Launch Party for their anti-street harassment campaign and website on Saturday! The party will be hosted at Artspace and they’ll be projecting their website onto its walls during the party! If you go, you can ask any questions you have about HB! Peterborough and the general Hollaback! movement. Also, attendees will be able to eat some great food, see performances of slam poetry and bands (such as Evan Gentle, Stacey Green Jumps, and Nick Ferrio), and compete for the prize for best Cat Against Catcalling costume!
Hollaback! Glasgow‘s Sandra Kinahan and Hollaback! Edinburgh‘s Lena Wanggren were featured in the Herald Scotland’s article about women in Scotland fighting back against street harassment! This conversation was sparked by Poppy Smart, who reported construction workers to the police after an entire month of being harassed by them on her walks to and from work. She’s been getting a lot of hate for standing up against her harassment, but people like Sandra, Lena, and all you great hollabackers are helping to support her. No one should be discouraged from holla-ing back!
With that, we bid all of you in Holla Land adieu! Great work this week, guys!
-the Hollaback Team
Most of the time the people who harass me do not say anything sexual. I go through weight fluctuations and I usually attract the most unwanted attention when I’m a bit heavier. One time, two people yelled at me that I had “a big fucking butt”, followed by laughter. Most recently, I was called a “fucking bitch” while crossing the street. I’m not sure what provoked this comment, but the perpetrator was with his friends so I assume he felt safe enough to yell out an insult at a random stranger.
I was walking down the street at night with my friend and a guy pulled up next to us and started saying please and yelling “dick” at us