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I was walking around the downtown area and was shouted at by three different men, separately. One of them asserted that I was “thick.” I felt as if I were being publicly shamed for having the physiological features I could not help but be born with. For the rest of the day I thought about those feelings of shame and humiliation. I felt powerless and depressed about my position as a woman in society. Projects like ihollaback.org replace those feelings of powerlessness with empowerment. I will be using this site in the gender class I’ll be instructing this semester in hopes of empowering more people, regardless of gender, to take a stand against street harassment.
Hey Hollabackers —
I’m at the National Sexual Assault Conference ! I got to meet Kelly Ziemann from Hollaback Des Moines and gave a presentation to the to 60+ professionals (some are pictured left) from around the country on how to infuse activism and the internet into their work. It was an honor, a blast, and they had tons of great ideas.
The soon-to-launch Hollaback Victoria is holding a launch party! It takes takes place September 6th, isfamily friendly, wheelchair accessible, and includes t-shirt screenprinting! Rad! Details are here.
Press! Hollaback Chennai got a shout-out in the Hindu, Hollaback Boston got a shout-out in the Boston Dig, and I got profiled in Killer Startups! Also, Hollaback got profiled as an “outstanding organization” by A Woman Phenomenally. YAY!
Hollaback NYC holds workshops and gets organized! Hollaback! conducted two workshops at the “Yes She Can” conference for girls on introducing the Hollaback! movement, exploring the meaning and impact of street sexual harassment in their daily lives and provided them with tools to an empowered response to street harassment. We also attended the Women Occupying Wall Street 4th Feminist General Assembly. Hollaback! participated in the assembly focusing on people of Color and joined the education system committee group meeting. We Will Not Be Silent organization also participated in the meeting and provided signs of their inspiring quotes for the group photo.
All this work is possible because you believe in us. So keep on keepin’ on!
HOLLA and out —
I am not big headed in anyway at all. I am 20 years old and I would say I have a decent, pretty face so as most women, I get the wolf whistle ‘alright love’ and the occasional ‘excuse me miss’.. The line that was used tonight.
So I have been dating a guy for a few months who lives in the area, had a nice meal out and he got me a cab to the station so I could catch my train home when we were done. Considering the time of the journey from the cab to the platform was about a 30 second walk, I didn’t think there was much chance of getting stopped on my way. However, I turn the corner and a black Merc drives past ‘Oi miss, excuse me miss’ I didn’t look up just kept walking past, past a little bar where people could obviously see what was happening. Next thing I know the car is right next to me as I am walking, I said ‘drive on I’m not interested’ when they really started going nuts, shouting horrible things. ‘You’re fat, stupid sket, go to the fucking gym, your just any fat mans chick, you’re not even wearing Loboutins’.
I was laughing in my head because yes I have a few extra pounds however I am not fat and even if I was than that’s my decision, I’m not a ‘sket’ I am extremely respectful and cautious and Loboutins? Oh sorry that there are a million of other shoes to choose from in the world and I do actually own a pair for nice occasions, not for Brixton!
Thinking about it now, I wish I would have gone up to the car and told him and his friends about themselves but to be honest, after being in an abusive relationship before, I knew the dangers and I truthfully, I was already intimidated and scared.
I understand it was late and it was Brixton. But that shouldn’t happen and I shouldn’t have to feel like this!
Guy catcalled me, then told me to get in his car
A man pulled out his penis in front of me, and looked me straight in the eye, on the 1 train going downtown. I got up and moved. He got off at Penn Station.
An older man exposed himself this morning as I was walking my dog on Benton and 40th Street, NW in Washington DC. He was wearing a white t-shirt, khaki shorts, and hiking boots and had a small back pack. I called and reported it to the police, please do the same if you encounter this creeper. I should be able to walk my dog in the morning before going to work without having to deal with that.
I was removing special parking signs for an event as part of my student job when a car pulls up and stops at the light. The passenger yells out to me, “Hey, do you come with the ‘Special Event'”? I said no and started to walk away and he yelled out, “Aw, man! That’s too bad!” I am not an item to be given away at any event. I am not a happy meal toy. I am a human being.
I just witnessed and was the subject of harassment on the bus that was the worst I’ve seen yet. Three guys and a girl were travelling together, they seemed homeless. One of the guys was old and seemed drunk and touched her ear. She told him to stop and he said “That is not the only part of you I’ll touch.” Earlier I had overheard her say how she was going to lock herself in one of the rooms when they got where they were going to sleep at. She defended herself to that guy when he called her bitch. One of the guys is her boyfriend it seems, and both the other guys seemed nice enough but I wish they would have said something! I wish I would have said something. The guy then stood around where I was and lets just say made a lewd gesture. Then he went back over where she was talked to her, touching her knee, leaning into her personal space. “Back up!” she said.
I was waiting for the streetcar, minding my own business, when a guy came around asking everyone at the stop for change. I didn’t have any but I gave him a cigarette. He then stood too close to me, stared down my shirt and proceeded to bug me.
Where was I going? What were my plans? Where did I live, did I have a boyfriend, would I date him…the usual stuff.
I answered in monosyllables and angled my body away from him, hoping my streetcar would hurry up and get there when he reached out and grabbed my breasts. I was flabbergasted and too shocked to react. Eventually I took a step back, laughed (that horrible nervous laugh) and told him that what he’d just done wasn’t cool. He brushed it off, as I put my coat on and did it up. He then continued to bug me for a date, and to know where I was going. My streetcar finally showed up and I fled.
Of course, that’s when the shaking and the anger kicked in. I was so mad that I didn’t push him, or shout him down.
A week later I was back at that streetcar stop and lo and behold, here comes buddy, asking people for change again. He started with me and I took a step back, raised my voice so everyone could hear me and said, “You’re that guy who grabbed my boobs last week!”
People turned around to listen, headphones came out. I was on a roll.
“No, I’ve never met you,” he said.
“I remember you,” I said, “you were wearing the same jacket, and you have the same douchey neck tattoo you had last week. You don’t remember me because you were staring at my tits the whole time.”
He tried to respond and which point I put my headphones in and said, over his protests, “I don’t want to talk to you. No. Step away from me. Step away from me right now.”
He did and realizing he wasn’t going to get any support (or change) from my fellow public transportation patrons, he fled.