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I was running an errand for work, and was walking along the side of the street to head back to my car. As I approached an intersection and waited for the light to cross, a man in a car stopped to yell at me. He yelled “you’re so beautiful, do you have a boyfriend?” To which I ignored. My relationship status should be irrelevant- I’m not interested in you, do you really respect that another man has a girlfriend more than you respect my lack of interest? I shouldn’t need an excuse not to be interested. Anyways, when the cat calling was persistent enough, I looked up from my phone and said “excuse me?” with a dirty look. I noticed the man was not alone in the car, but had another woman sitting next to him. When I shook my head and looked away, he slowly drove by and said “You should say thank you when someone gives you a compliment,” and the woman next to him yelled “you’re the ugliest person I’ve ever seen.” I wanted to yell that sexual harassment was a crime and take his license plate number, but no one else was around, they were in a car, and I was scared. I regret not saying something else.
Two days ago I was walking down the street in Montreal, Canada in a knee length parka with black sneakers. A man coming towards me stopped in the middle of the street about twenty yards ahead of me and stared at me until I reached him. Then he stepped to the side and said loudly, “Nice woman!”
I felt like a piece of meat on an auction block. I felt the usual rage that not only has this type of disrespectful behavior been a regular occurrence for all of my adult life, but NOT ONE PERSON on the crowded sidewalk, male or female, even batted an eyelash when it happened. This man was able to act with impunity. Not only am I dehumanized by an individual, but I am reminded that society has normalized my dehumanization.
I had only just arrived in Canada a few weeks before, and now I am dreading the warm weather. If that’s what happens here to women dressed in a parka, I can only imagine what will happen when ill mannered males can actually see my female form.
My friend from school has double Ds and was catching the train into school one morning when she overheard some year 7s behind her (note: we’re 15) as they were ogling at her her chest they kept making comments about her “huge rack”. She felt belittled by a pair of 12 year olds
Biking by he yells “hi girl”. Wasn’t looking at him or giving him any reason to yell at me. First verbal of the spring!
i’m 16. there was this man on the street and i walked next to him and he said to me that i was beautiful. I said back that i didn’t want to have sex with him. What is said was WTF are you saying but he followed me and when i saw a police man I said that he was stalking me and wanted to abuse me and the police man went to he guy to talk with him, but I just ran away because i was scared. Later the police man said to me that there was no problem and that the guy went just the same way as I went. I don’t believe it.
You look good on that bike!
I went to an Albert Heijn supermarket today in Rotterdam,Netherlands & while my family was doing the shopping I was waiting at a bench near the cash desk.2 guys were sitting on the bench. 1 of them approached to me started asking questions and wanted my number & when I told him I don’t wanna be bothered he started verbally harassing me in sexual nature. When I called the security they didn’t do anything and let those guys go because I didn’t have a proof of what they did
Hope everyone has had a great week – we sure have at the HB Headquarters! We are only a week away from our Anti-Street Harassment rally on April 11th, and we can’t wait! The rally is part of International Anti-Street Harassment Week, and will feature poet, performance artist, and art therapist Queen GodIs as the MC! We will have plenty of other speakers, activities, and workshops, and of course our giant inflatable Cat Against Catcalling!
This Wednesday, ED Emily May visited Temple University to speak at a Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event (where men literally walk a mile in heels to raise awareness around sexual assault – see left!) Emily was also featured in USA TODAY’s #InTheirWords series!
Here’s what our awesome sites around the world have been up to:
Hollaback! New Orleans won Hollaback!’s second annual Innovation Challenge! They plan to create a public art installation and digital media exhibit that allows individuals to share their stories! Big congrats to NOLA for standing out amongst many amazing submissions!
Hollaback! Nottingham is co-hosting an event with Fan Club this weekend featuring a live tweet wall where folks can share their harassment experiences, a “Patriarchy Pinata,” and Slum of Legs! They also had their monthly meet-up on Thursday to make banners and plan for Anti-Street Harassment Week!
Keep up the great work and have an awesome weekend, Hollas!
-The Hollaback! Team
A guy walks up to me from the other side of the aisle, leans his head really close to mine and mumbles “how are you beautiful”. I was shopping for craft supplies. I felt like my personal space and my person was violated. The fact that he went out of his way to say that to me made me unnerved and scared.
I was food shopping with my little brother in my hometown back in France and we were waiting for the cashier to finish adding up all the articles of the previous client. While we were waiting, two men (who technically were old enough to be my father at least) wearing a building construction outfit lined up behind us, and started making comments in Spanish. My knowledge of this language being relatively limited, I could only understand that they were talking about me. I heard the words “bitch” and “slut” and other obscene words, followed by equally obscene gestures, as they mimicked anal sex and spanking. My brother did not notice anything, and although I really wanted to confront these two specimen I did not want to get my brother to see all this, and maybe put him in an uncomfortable or dangerous situation if they became violent. They ended up following us, still catcalling me in Spanish. They work in the construction field right next to my house, and now I am scared to go out without being accompanied. I should have said something once and for all.