USC Student’s “Cat Calling” Video

Check out “Cat Calling”, a powerful video created by students from the University of Southern California.

USC: Take Back the Night – “Cat Calling” from Hunter Elijah Bryce on Vimeo.

USC students created “Cat Calling” as part of a Take Back the Week initiative to raise awareness and to protest against sexual violence.
The “Cat Calling” video is a collection of interviews on student experiences of harassment or cat calling on the streets. Their objective is to explore the effects that cat-calling has and to advocate that this form of harassment is not flattering or empowering.

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Dear Men, Street Harassment Sucks pt. 2

Thanks to our friends at the Thee Kats Meoww for awesome breakdown!

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A Week in Our Shoes

A Week In Our Shoes: Raise For Women Challenge

News from New York:

  • PRESS! Hollaback! got a generous shout out in journalist Josh Sterns’ blog “Talking to Strangers” and in the Globe and Mail’s piece on Lego’s sexist mini-figures. We were also featured in Vassar’s student newspaper, The Miscellany News and in YC Teen Magazine!
  • PUBLICATIONS! To launch our RaiseForWomen Challenge with the Huffington post and Half the Sky, Deputy Director Debjani wrote a awesome article for the Huffington Post! Read about why increasing criminalization is not the answer to street harassment.
  • ADVOCACY! Emily and Jae met with Councilmember Ferreras’s staff to plan out another safety audit! Stay tuned. Emily also met with staffers from Councilmember Wills office this week.
  • PARTNERS! Jae, Lindsey, and Emily had lunch with the Feminists Women’s Health Centers of California to discuss collaboration.

News from around the world:

Hollaback! Brussels welcomes a guest entry on their blog in post by Emilie Van Limbergen. If you can read Dutch, check it out! In human rights news, Hollaback! Brussels is standing in strong support of rape victims and the organization “Rise Against Rape.” They are asking everyone to join them. This August 31, 2013 is the trial of the rapist, Taufik Ahaddouch, the a man who raped five young girls after being REALEASED from the justice system after raping another seven. This case represents serious failure of the justice system as a whole and the trial must be well-attended with supporters of the victims and allies against rape.

Hollaback! Philly’s projects coordinator, Anna, wrote a kickass article in the Huffington Post s part of the RaiseforWomen Challenge. With an incredible sense of humor, Philly hollas back at the “Ask Papa” advice columnist of the Philadelphia City Paper. Finally, check out the POWERFUL video tour of Philly’s Anti-Street Harassment Chalk Walk featuring our hollas and allies:

Meet Us on the Sidewalk from Kara Lieff on Vimeo.

Hollaback! Melbourne announces the launch of their  new series The F Word, a bi-weekly discussion of feminism, what it means, and issues that face feminists and humanists in the world today. This is going to be awesome, stay tuned!

Hollaback! Gent posted an extended discussion regarding LGBTQ experiences of street harassment and explores possible solutions.

Hollaback! Chemnitz covers their launch party and zine release! Check out what the new site has been up to! Screen shot 2013-05-02 at 5.20.39 PM

Hollaback! Chandigarh was featured in Femina, a well known women’s magazine in India! The issue covers Rubina’s story and how Hollaback! Chandigarh got started. This week, the site posted an essential resource on their site this week titled, “Ten Things You Need to Know About the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Law,” breaking down important facts and clarifications on the anti-sexual harassment law put in place in India last year.

Hollaback! West Yorkshire is getting ready for their street harassment workshop, scheduled for June 1st! The site is also announcing that they are now accepting submissions their upcoming zine on street harassment! Stories, poems, drawings, and pictures are all welcome! Holla at the via [email protected] with `zine submission’ in the header.

Hollaback! Baltimore presents….“4 Quotes from 4 Famous Male Allies.” Read these, they’re great!

Hollaback! Boston has released this week’s edition of Introducing!, an ongoing series where hollas interview Bostonians. This week, Boston hollas interviewed L, a friend of Hollaback! Boston who blogs anonymously at 5 Cities 6 Women. Next Thursday, May 9, Hollaback! Boston will be joining Fenway Health and IMPACT Boston next for a workshop on responding safely to street harassment how how to be an effective bystander. In honor of National Bike Month, hollas are calling for cyclists’ street harassment stories. Send them in!

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Liz’s Story: This Married Mom Sends a Creep On His Way

Today I was stalked by an older man, when I was walking to the park with my toddler. I felt something off when I passed him on the street. After I had been at the playground for 10 minutes, the guy rides up on his bike. What I had suspected was confirmed. He approaches me, as I am playing with my young son, and asks my name. I tell him a fake one, then he asks if I am married. When I tell him “yes”, he says, “Oh, sorry about that.” Then he rides off.

I felt sick, and wanted to cry. My beautiful spring day at the park with my toddler was ruined. What kind of sick person stalks and pervs a young mother? I was scared for myself and for my son. More than anything, I was angry. I am angry. This is not okay!

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A Week in Our Shoes

A Week In Our Shoes: DENIM DAY!

Denim Day

Denim Day! Look at the top left!

Hollaback! is all over the beautiful Aiden Murray photography blog for our amazing chalk walking this month. Also, Hollaback! and I got an awesome shout out in the Los Angles Times this week!

Hollaback! NYC hosted a very successful clothing swap this week. Hollas and allies swapped clothing and raised some holla-funds while also collecting tons of clothes for Out Of The Closet. On Wednesday, hollas made a grand appearance at Denim Day at City Hall.

Hollaback! Philly is all over the news! Clutch Magazine and GeneroCity covered the site’s work on the anti-street harassment ads on SEPTA.

Hollaback! Ottawa also got some fancy press coverage regarding harassment on public transit! Read about our Ottawa hollas in The Province and The Ottawa Citizen.

Hollaback! Gent’s Jolien and her boyfriend will be running to raise funds for Hollaback! Gent. Find out how you can support them.

Hollaback! Belfast and Hollaback! Dublin started a campaign to urge Irish radio presenter, Ian Dempsey, to apologize for trivializing sexual assault on his show this week. Read the hollas’ open letter and sign the petition!

Hollaback! Melbourne launched a series of initiatives as part of their International Anti -Street Harassment Week. The site created a photo wall of a bunch of photos they collected of Melbournians holding up anti-street harassment messages. The site also put together a collage of fun and interesting online feminism.

Hollaback! Brussels reposted an awesome #sharethestreets report written by their volunteer, Anna Claire. The report covers the site’s activities throughout anti-street harassment week.

Hollaback! Berlin posted a series of tips how to deal with street harassment. Super valuable resource!

Hollaback! Chennai has a wonderful new entry titled, “A Time for Assessment, a Time for Growth” talking about the necessity of initiatives like Hollaback! and the site’s plans for the future. Stay tuned!

Hollaback! Baltimore hollablogger Rebecca Evans hollas back at the music video, “Sacrilege”!

Hollaback! Istanbul’s Kacie Lyn Kocher spoke at TEDxReset 2013!! Her incredible speech called Silence is a Choice is on youtube!! Watch her GO!

Hollaback! Boston interviewed Laura, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project about her work, inspiration, and vision for the future.

Hollaback! NYU got some press in Her Campus on their anti-street harassment rally and chalkwalk with Hollaback! NYC last week.

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Kristin’s Story: “I screamed on the top of my lungs”

My friend came home tonight terrified and told me that she had just run home after being pursued by a man who tried to get her in his car. I thought the community of Lacey, WA and Olympia, WA should know about this so we can catch the guy who tried to take her.

“Walking home from work at 11PM. Guy tries to get me into his car. He was parked in a dark parking lot. He yelled at me when I walked by, ‘Hey! Come here! Come here!’ I yelled ‘No!’ and ran. As I’m running he drove alongside me and yelled “Get in! Come here!”. I screamed at the top of my lungs ‘NO!’ and he drove off. Probably scared that I was making loud noises near some businesses/houses.
I ran home, scared out of my mind, until I couldn’t breathe anymore. Thankfully made it, hands are still shaking, still can’t breathe.
This is the 5th time in my life—from my childhood till now—Someone has tried to kidnap me. Apparently I can’t even walk a quarter of a fucking mile without being harassed.”

Hollaback community, keep your eyes out for a small, white compact vehicle in the Lacey area loitering around in any dark spots in parking lots for a long time. From what she could see of the driver in the dark, he was wearing a backward baseball cap and had dark hair and spoke with a light accent. Keep aware and if something seems off, say something. The number for Oly police is 360.704.2740.

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Deputy Director Debjani Roy Speaks Out in the Huffington Post

Hollaback!’s Deputy Director, Debjani Roy, wrote an amazing op-ed in the Huffington Post last week discussing criminalization and street harassment.  Check it out below!


When it comes to combating street harassment, increasing criminalization is not the answer.

I have been working as an advocate to end gender-based violence for 10 years with a focus on domestic violence, widows’ rights, forced marriage, sexual trafficking, forced prostitution, and other issues affecting women and girls globally. I currently work to end street harassment or sexual harassment in public spaces.

Street harassment is a widespread and global problem, defined as unwelcome and unwanted attention of a sexual nature, objectifying and targeting both women and men. The wide spectrum of actions ranges from leering, catcalling and whistling to public exposure and masturbation to groping, touching and grabbing. While some forms of street harassment, such as the overt physical acts, do fall under statutory penal codes, others including the ‘hey baby’s,’ the ‘can I get a smile?’, or even the reactive, ‘you’re so ugly, I wouldn’t touch you with a stick,’ do not. These commonplace comments and actions, some of which are claimed to be compliments, are belittling, offensive, intimidating and discriminatory. The 4,500-plus experiences of street harassment shared on the blogging platform of Hollaback!, the anti-street harassment organization, confirm that.

It is a commonly held myth that street harassment happens in low income communities and communities of color. Mapping incidents of street harassment shows it is prevalent in high density areas, such as Times Square in New York City or the West End in London. It makes sense — the more people present in a locale, the more likely harassment will occur, especially in a world that accepts it as a normal and everyday part of life.

When speaking about street harassment at trainings, panels and other outreach efforts, one question repeatedly asked by participants is, ‘How do you criminalize catcalling?’ Criminalizing verbal harassment and unwanted gestures is neither the final goal nor the ultimate solution to this problem and can, in fact, inadvertently work against the growth of an inclusive anti-harassment movement. The criminal justice system disproportionately targets and affects low-income communities and communities of color, as evidenced by more recent policies such as New York City’s Stop and Frisk program and other degrading forms of racial profiling. Our objective is to address and shift cultural and social dialogues and attitudes of patriarchy that purport street harassment as simply the price you pay for being a woman or being LBGTQ. It is not to re-victimize men already discriminated against by the system.

Further criminalizing street harassment can have a negative impact on families and communities within already marginalized and targeted groups. As a South Asian American immigrant woman who has been harassed by men of all backgrounds, including South Asian men, the thought of reporting men who already face institutional and systematic discrimination carries with it a personal sense of responsibility. Having been an advocate for survivors of domestic violence within the South Asian community, I understand the repercussions that families within my community face in the hands of the legal system. A family may depend on a harasser due to certain institutional and cultural barriers, including immigration status (dependent visas, lack of documentation, etc.), linguistic barriers or economic dependency. Say, for example, the harasser has a spouse who is on a dependent visa that does not allow her to work in the United States. Criminalization of the harasser, will directly affect the family that relies on him for their livelihood, potentially resulting in dependent family members losing legal status in the United States, being separated in the case of removal proceedings or economic hardships due to lost income. As advocates, our job is to consider the immediate and long-term impacts of criminalization, knowing that we are working with a flawed and discriminatory system.

This does not excuse the behavior and actions of harassers, but rather promotes the opportunity for more effective ways to let them know that street harassment is unacceptable and furthermore, prevent it from occurring in the first place.

A better approach would require devoting time, energy and effort toward creating social and cultural change. An example of these methods include going out to schools to talk to girls and boys about appropriate ways of treating one another; going out in our communities to engage members on how harassment affects their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters and sons; training individuals on bystander intervention, showing that we all have a role to play in having each other’s backs; creating communities of people who stand up against behavior that is demeaning, discriminating, sexist and homophobic; working through community-based organizations to discuss how masculinity is shaped and actively redefining what it means to be a man across cultures.

Change will not happen overnight, but we intend to continue with this work of changing minds amongst individuals, communities and institutions about the acceptability of street harassment, while simultaneously empowering and strengthening the community of those of us who are targeted. Together we must focus our energies into laying the groundwork so that street harassment is no longer a part of any of our lives.”

– Debjani Roy

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Story, Verbal

Megan’s Story: Non-stop harassment

walking to the supermarket (15 minutes) in thick tights and a jumper.
a man went ‘mmm’ as i walked past him, a van full of men and a car full of men both gawked at me and turned to stare at me, a car full of boys yelled at me, and a man in a van beeped at me.
it felt devaluing and intimidating.

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Story, Verbal

Jen’s Story: Offers for rides

About 1PM I got off the bus and began to walk home with my groceries. A car with at least 2 men slowed down, and yelled that they wanted to give me a ride. I avoided eye contact, and waived them off. Offers for rides are especially upsetting, because of the implied threat: that they want to get me in a situation where I am not in control of where I go or what happens to me.

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Story, Verbal

Jen’s Story: “I hate these situations”

About 9AM, I crossed the street as two men crossed in the opposite direction. As they passed, I avoided eye contact. One said “good morning, sister,” and I ignored it. He said hello again. When he realized that I was not going to respond, he yelled a veiled threat: “Don’t trip on the curb.” I hate these situations because they frequently end with a threatening comment, and I’m afraid that one day I’ll be physically assaulted because they think they’ve been insulted.

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