Athens GA, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia MO, Columbus, Denver, Des Moines, Duke University, NC, Durham & Chapel Hill, East Lansing, Flagstaff, AZ, Houston, Iowa City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Lubbock TX, Manhattan KS, Muncie IN, New Orleans, New York City, Oneonta, Pittsburgh, Plattsburgh, Providence, Richmond VA, San Fernando Valley, San Francisco, Twin Cities, West Georgia (University)
Interview conducted by Lauren Bedosky.
When did you start your holla?
In October, 2011.
Why start a HOLLA and what does Hollaback mean to you?
Street harassment is a real problem in Bogotá, and in Colombia in general. We wanted to make people aware of this problem. We thought that starting a Holla was a great first step to make change.
HOLLAfact about your city:
In Bogotá, there is a transportation system called Transmilenio, where women are harassed on a daily basis. Many people in Bogotá think that street harassment is women’s fault, that it is caused by the way women dress or behave. Many men in Colombia think that street harassment is a compliment, and that women who don’t like it are “crazy feminists who hate men.”
Say you’re Queen for the day. What would you do to end street harassment?
We would teach children (boys and girls) to respect each other and understand why street harassment is not a compliment. We would also offer training sessions for teachers and do campaigns to eradicate street harassment.
What was your first experience with street harassment?
I was on a farm playing with animals when I was eleven years old. One of the farmers was standing behind me and grabbed me all of a sudden. He fondled my breasts, which were just starting to grow. I ran away, cried, felt terrible, and pretended it never happened.
What’s your signature Hollaback?
I ask the harasser if we know each other. When he says no, I ask why he thinks it’s ok to talk to me like that. When I am not in a good mood, or am feeling sick of them, I just show them the middle finger…
My superheroine power is…
What is your proudest holla moment so far?
Several people we never met know about Hollaback and talk about it in public.
What do you do when your not holla’ng?
Marcela is a lawyer, currently completing a PhD in Law. Nathalie is a college student and vegan activist. Maria is a university professor.
If you could leave the world one piece of advice, what would it be?
Respect other people.
What inspires you?
In the year 2020, street harassment…
Will still be a problem, but hopefully people will understand it is a problem.
I moved to a new town last summer and met a boy on my swim team. Although he appeared nice at first, I was soon informed thay he was a little “off.” I soon understood what this met. Even when I told him I was busy he would not stop texting me, and although he lived fourty five minutes away from me, he even showed up at my house. I eventually stopped returning his texts, so he joined the cross country team because he thought we needed to “catch up.” Needless to say, we do not speak.
Brought to you by Hollaback! Boston
Sidewalk chalking is a fun, safe, and super easy way to bring awareness to street harassment. Chalking allows you to create slogans, quotes, or drawings that can be displayed on sidewalks or walls in public spaces. The cool thing about chalking is that you can do it with just one or two people, or you can unleash a whole fleet of HOLLA-chalkers on your city and take over the place! Here are the steps you should take when preparing to chalk up your town:
1. Get the materials needed for your chalking expedition. Those materials are: sidewalk chalk. No, really! That’s it! You are totally welcome to create stencils to take with you but you really only need chalk.
2. Pick a location to chalk. Busy areas with lots of foot traffic are definitely best. It’s a good idea to go out before there are too many people on the streets so that you’re not totally in the way, but you also want lots of people to walk by as you chalk so that you encourage them to engage you in conversation about what you’re writing and why you’re writing it (and they will talk to you!).
3. Think about catchy slogans you want to tag up the sidewalks with. Some good ones include: “My name is not [baby/sexy/mami/etc.]!” “‘Hey, baby” is no way to say hello!” “Stop telling women to smile.” “Street harassment is not a compliment.” “We don’t want your wolf-whistles!” “My dress didn’t ask for your opinion.” “Everyone has a right to feel safe on the streets.” “I’m not a dog; don’t whistle at me.” Be creative and come up with something short, sweet, and to-the-point that you think will grab people’s attention. Don’t forget to write “hollaback” and/or your web address, too. You want people to know who’s raising hell!
4. Assemble your team. Who is going to go spread the word with you? Maybe it’s just you, and that’s great! Maybe it’s all of your site leaders. Maybe you’re dragging a couple friends with you. Or maybe you make a Facebook event letting all your fans know that they’re welcome to join and holla with you!
5. Start chalking! Head out and just start drawing! You’ll get the hang of it as you go, but there’s really no wrong way to chalk. Make sure you’re on public sidewalks and not private property, though! You can get kicked off public property or even talked to by police for tagging someone else’s land.
6. Take photos of your work. You’re going to want to show off to all your friends, Twitter followers, and Facebook fans!
7. Engage the people walking by. Some people will walk right up and want to ask questions about what you’re writing. This is GREAT. It’s an opportunity to spread the word and bring awareness to street harassment and the fight against it. Ask if it’s ever happened to them, ask if they want to join in, thank them for
stopping and chatting. People WILL show interest, so be ready to chat them up!
8. Ignore the haters. You may find that
once people (particularly men) read what you’re writing on the streets, they choose to harass you even more. Keep your chin up and hollaback in whatever way feels right for you. They’re just proving, in a public space, why the work you’re doing is so important. Haters gonna hate, and they just may walk away thinking about the behavior they just engaged in in a new light.
That’s it! Chalking is one of the easiest ways that you can join the fight against street harassment. It requires very little planning, no artistic ability (though that helps, if you happen to have it!), and just an hour or two of your time. Get out there and HOLLA at your town!
Thanks to Erin Jill for making this and sending it along to us!
I was walking to work this Sunday morning at around 7:45AM and a man comes up to me sayng “hey, hey, hey” trying to get my attention. Well I ignored him cause this has happened so many times I can’t even count anymore and I find that if I look at the person or respond they persist futher. So anyways I tried the unreponsive method and it just made him angry cause then he starts saying just awful comments (sexual in nature) and also racist things. I tried hard to not listen cause it was garbage he was spewing but they got really violent in nature(something about he hopes I choke giving a guy a blowjob) and I was so scared all I could do was walk faster but he was relentless and followed me. Nobody was on the street except a woman who was walking a bit ahead of me but she either didn’t hear or didn’t care( a typical response in every encounter I have had, sigh) . He didn’t leave until I got to a busy intersection where a couple of other people were and he left thank goodness. He was such a coward I knew it but at the same time, as much as I wanted to tell him off because he was the lowest person I have ever met, I couldn’t because I was worried he would get violent. I hate these feelings of humiliation, disgust but mostly fear. I should be able to walk in public without being afraid for my life. Street harassment needs to end! Thank you for listening I feel better now.
I was walking to work this Sunday morning at around 7:45AM and a man comes up to me sayng “hey, hey, hey” trying to get my attention. Well I ignored him cause this has happened so many times I can’t even count anymore and I find that if I look at the person or respond they persist futher. So anyways I tried the unreponsive method and it just made him angry cause then he starts saying just awful comments (sexual in nature) and also racist things. Not about my race (I am white and so was he) but about sterotypes about white women and black men. I tried hard to not listen cause it was garbage he was spewing but they got really violent in nature (something about he hopes I choke giving a guy a blowjob) and I was so scared all I could do was walk faster but he was relentless and followed me. Nobody was on the street except a woman who was walking a bit ahead of me but she either didn’t hear or didn’t care( a typical response in every encounter I have had, sigh) . He didn’t leave until I got to a busy intersection where a couple of other people were and he left thank goodness. He was such a coward I knew it but at the same time, as much as I wanted to tell him off because he was the lowest person I have ever met, I couldn’t because I was worried he would get violent. I hate these feelings of humiliation, disgust but mostly fear. I should be able to walk in public without being afraid for my life. Street harassment needs to end! Thank you for listening I feel better now.
A man on a bike was saying gross things to me and I ignored him. Maybe 20 seconds later he circled back again and followed me on his bike as I crossed the street. Felt threatened, he was angry I was ignoring him.
Happy International Women’s Day! I’m sending all the women and supporters-of-women much love today. I hope you are all celebrating and holla’ing with full hearts and voices on this very awesome day. Here’s what we’ve been up to this week at the mothership:
Its no secret that Hollaback! has been on a ROLL lately, with many many sites making incredible strides every week! Welp, this week was no different–another beautifully busy week for our Hollas around the world:
Thanks for all you do — and have a wonderful International Women’s Day!
HOLLA and out –
During my senior year in high school, I needed a caffeine boost while doing homework late at night, so I drove to the gas station nearest to my house. A man was standing in the parking lot when I pulled up. As soon as I turned off my car, he walked over to it, said “Hey, baby,” and reached for the door handle. Luckily, I was able to lock it in time. When he couldn’t open the door, he gave me a look as if to say, “Why you gotta be like that”. I drove to the station down the road.