Story, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: Advice needed.

I have gone to my friends’ house to meet him as he was not well. After sometime, we decided to go out for a light stroll. Some boys standing outside the apartment abused me without any reason. My friend got angry but I asked him not to loose his patience as they were in large numbers. But, still I am not able to forget that incident and I really feel insulted. How to overcome this?

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A week in our shoes: MAKERS EDITION!

Dear Hollabackers,

2013 is off to a roaring start!

First off, a big THANK YOU to the MAKERS project for creating six awesome videos about our work. My favorites are “Pissing People Off” and “Progress.”

Second, congrats to our partners at GirlTank for releasing their first video of girl-innovators, featuring me alongside SO MANY OTHER AMAZING GIRL ACTIVISTS.

Third, I want to give special thanks to the Paley Center’s Executive Director Pat Mitchell for the shout-out in Fast Company! “Mitchell’s got a long list of other inspirational and influential examples. She reels off a set of names that ranges from teen activist Julie Bluhm (who took on Seventeen magazine’s photoshopping policies); Deanna Zandt for her Planned Parenthood Saved Me Tumblr blog; Emily May of Hollaback.” If you aren’t familiar with Deanna or Julie – check them out! They both rule.

This week, we had two Feminist Summer Camp interns on Tuesday! Erin Norskog is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, with a major in Sociology and a minor in Women’s Studies. She enjoys reading, cooking, and working with clay as a ceramic artist. Gina Barber is a senior at the University of Virginia where she is majoring in sociology and women, gender, and sexuality. She has worked for Obama for America as a digital media fellow, the Feminist Majority Foundation, and with Thanks Erin and Gina for your help!

 Hollaback Croatia was on Croatian National TV discussing their recent research on street harassment!

Hollaback sites in Canada are parterning with the Represent Project. They are “offering a new forum to challenge damaging media representations of women in Canada.” RAD!

Hollaback London published a letter to Argos written by Rachel, a woman who was harassed by employees of the company. In the letter, Rachel writes, “Sexual harassment is always unacceptable, at any time and in any place, but the fact that these men feel they have the right to harass a woman while representing the Argos brand demonstrates extreme impudence. I hope that the management at Argos will take this matter very seriously and deal with their staff appropriately”. Way to go, Rachel!

Hollabackers in Mexico, Richmond, St. Paul, and San Francisco are banning together to do a content analysis of bystander stories on our site. They will be looking for trends around bystander intervention, including impact.

Hollaback Jacksonville, NC’s leader Kari Raack is up for military spouse of the year! Please vote for her. If she wins, she plans to use the platform spread the world about Hollaback across the military and their families.

Hollaback San Francisco issued a statement in support of a woman who was stabbed after being harassed on the street in the Tenderloin. Jezebel wrote a great article about the incident.

Last but not least, we’ve got a couple volunteer positions open!Take a look and let us know if you can help.

HOLLA and out —


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Stalking, Story, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: ongoing harassment…

Harassed for several weeks. Contacted my employees, verbally attacked me.

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Story, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: #pathetic

For some reason even though I have my two kids with me and my wedding ring on my hand men still come up to me it’s really pathetic.

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Nonverbal Harassment, public masturbation, Story

HOLLA ON THE GO: bystander does the right thing, market not so much

I saw a security officer of a marketmasturbate in public; it was a very hot day and a girl was wearing a short and a tank top and he did this while watching her. This disgusted me so much I called the market manager! This happened around 14:30 about two weeks ago. The worst thing is that he still works there!

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Story, Verbal

Natalie’s story: #bystanderFAIL

So me and a friend of mine are walking through downtown Portland Oregon to the mall to get some Christmas shopping done. As we’re crossing the street, a man comes up to me and my friend and starts screaming 6 inches from our faces
After being startled half to death I finally worked up the courage to scream right back, “GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM US BEFORE I BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF YOU!!” He didn’t back off so we shoved our way through and kept walking.
What bothers me the most was that there were 20 or 30 people around us at the pioneer courthouse square and not ONE person did anything or asked us if we were okay.

This is only one of numerous times ive been harassed on my way to work/class/at work.

I cant shake the feeling these encounters gives me. Something has got to be done.

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groping, Nonverbal Harassment, Stalking, Story, upskirt

HOLLA ON THE GO: looking up my skirt

A few years ago I was employed at a clothing store in Seattle, WA. One night I was towards the back of the store straightening the rack of women’s lingerie when I felt a man standing very close to me. I moved to another part of the store when I felt him near me again. I tried to ignore my feelings and stay put. I then looked down and saw him on the ground, his head between my legs looking up my dress. I kicked him hard in the throat and he ran away. I called the police and they didn’t show.

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public masturbation, Story, youth

Marysa’s story: “I was 14 years old.”

I have witnessed some assaults so far, but most of them weren’t that severe. But in June 2010 , I experienced Something really bad happened to me and my friends when I was 14 years old. My friends and I were sitting in a bus when a man right next to us started to masturbate in front of us. At first, I didn’t really realize what he was doing , but when I got it, I was so shocked ! He looked into my eyes while doing it and I turned away, but still we all could hear him breathing louder and louder. It was disturbing, disgusting and just so creepy. Some adults saw what he was doing, but no one helped us. It was really, really disgusting. I felt so humiliated – he was “using” me in order to please himself.

This was one of the most disturbing things I’ve experienced. Later, there were other things, comments, looks or rude remarks . Still, the bus incident was the worst – it made me feel dirty and abused ! I wish I would have said something, but I couldn’t say anything.

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Emily May: Pissing People Off

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Story, Verbal, youth

Joee’s story: “that intuitive prickling sensation we all experience as a primitive warning system”

There have been so many times throughout my life that I’ve experienced street harassment without even realizing what it truly was. Like many women, it began around the time I reached adolescence and has only gotten worse. Unfortunately, I have too many stories to share here at once, but there is one from several years ago that still sticks out in my mind like it was yesterday, and probably always will.
I had just turned 16 and gotten my first job hostessing at a restaurant in the small town I lived in. One spring afternoon, a friend from work and I decided to go shopping at an outdoor plaza and take a walk around the park across from it. We went in and out of a few stores, having a nice time. My friend needed to make a quick stop at a store in the plaza and since I didn’t need to go in that store I told her that I’d walk across the street to the park to get some ice cream and we agreed to meet back up by the ice cream stand in a few minutes.
I did just that, but the line for ice cream was short and my friend was no-where to be seen. I sat on a bench in the park and ate my ice cream out of a little cup, waiting and watching the few people there walking around the track. I pitched my empty cup in the garbage bin beside the bench and that’s when I saw him: an elderly man, perhaps 70 or 75 years old, walking a bicycle, overtly staring at me and making a beeline in my direction. I didn’t pay him much heed until he came to a halt right in front of me. I looked up, confused, and he said, “Sure is a lovely day, isn’t it?” I replied that it was. He then backed up a bit so he and his bike were close beside me and I was beginning to feel that intuitive prickling sensation we all experience as a primitive warning system, but try to ignore. He said, “What’s a pretty girl like you doing alone in the park?” He leaned closer to me. I had been sexually assaulted less than a year before and was still slightly skittish around strange men approaching me. I tensed and began feeling like a cornered animal, prey; his body and bicycle were blocking my most immediate exit. I tried to think of an appropriate response that might discourage him. “I’m waiting for my boyfriend,” I said. “He’s just on the other side of the park.” I thought that may be enough, but it only gave him more to question me with. “Do you like to have fun with him? I don’t think there’s nothin’ wrong with two adults having fun.” I knew what he was implying and I knew there was no way he thought I was older than I was, let alone an adult. With my tiny frame and still slightly child-like face, I was often mistaken as being even younger than I was. ‘Is he a pedophile?’ I thought, and it alarmed me even further. I smiled sheepishly, uncomfortably, hoping he wouldn’t sense my unease and prey on it like a canine when it smells fear.
“So you like to have fun? I live around here, I just got this real nice place. We could walk over there if you wanna. We’ll have fun.” He smiled. Creepy. His words themselves were innocuous but the implied meaning was clear. I looked around as discreetly as I could, hoping to see my friend or another person, anyone, nearby. I didn’t, but I wanted away from him right then. “Oh look, there comes my boyfriend!” I stood up abruptly, causing him to stagger backward a step, and power-walked with no real destination in my mind; just away from him. He got on his bike and rode out of the park.
I crossed the street, heading to the store my friend was in just as she came out of the door. I called her name and she must have seen something in my eyes I was unaware of because she sounded alarmed when she asked, “What’s wrong?!”
I relayed my experience to her and we got in her car. She was determined to find the man and we circled every block in the vicinity, but we never saw him. Although the panic I felt was nearly gone, adrenaline was still pumping through my veins, and I was shaken. I told her I just wanted to go home. As I was getting out at my house, I sincerely thanked her for her concern and efforts in trying to find the man.
Only when I was alone in my bedroom at last did I allow the tears to flow unbidden. I felt ashamed, scared, powerless, sullied, but most of all I felt angry. Angry not only at this one creep, but for all the women who have to live with men like him and their lecherous glances and words that poison innocence. I was angry with myself for not standing up, not reporting him right then because I realized that with the confidence and persuasion he exuded towards me, he must have done this before and will undoubtedly do it again, perhaps to an even younger or more naive girl who will follow him home.
I realized I needed to take a stand, and I have. Not only for myself, but for every person who has ever experienced sexual harassment. I’m so thankful for organizations like Ihollaback for raising awareness for something so vitally important. From me, and I’m sure from women everywhere, thank you for showing us we have the strength to holla back!

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