It’s been a great week here in New York and for our site leaders worldwide. I’ve got lots to share.
First, our International Fellow Shahinaz led a workshop at Planned Parenthood of New York City about bystander intervention with a mixed gender group of late high school/early college-aged peer educators. She also facilitated a similar event with middle-school youth.
I also got a note from Simone Kallett, a Resident Adviser at Florida State University, set up a board in her dorm with info from our website and resources from her school about ending street harassment. Simone said the response was overwhelmingly positive and she hopes her board will inspire other college students and activists to do the same.
Here’s what our sites around the world have been busy with this week:
Hollaback Ottowa‘s incredible site leader, Julie Lalonde, was a panelist at the World University Service of Canada’s International Forum where she spoke about feminist youth and Hollaback. This makes us so proud!
Hollaback Richmond volunteered with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia this week and made phone calls to encourage Americans to vote. They’re also sitting on the planning committee for Richmond’s Transgender Day of Remembrance which is coming up on November 20th.
I am so proud of our family of activists this week. Keep up the great work.
HOLLA and out,
Noticed a guy masturbating on the train, started taking pictures of him, and when he noticed me and got up, I started yelling at him, “I see you!!! Masturbator!!” No one else on the train flinched, the guy got off the train and I tried to follow him but he jumped back on, I kept yelling at him and banging on the window to warn the other people in the car. I exited train platform and tried to file a report with a station agent, who panicked, and said there was nothing he could do. It takes him 3 uptown F trains before he calls it in. Then he switches shifts and explains to the new station agents the situation, cause I’m still standing there, and I’m not going anywhere til I file a report. The new agent is the first person to ask me if I am okay, which I reply YES but I need to report this. He tells me the police are coming and I can file with them. 30 minutes later there is no police. I ask the agent when they are coming, he says he has no way of knowing. I ask if I will still be able to file a report tomorrow, explaining that I’ve had friends who experienced this and were not allowed to file a report because it was “too late”. He assures me I can file a report any time I want. It’s a snowstorm, so I’m worried I won’t make it home if I don’t go now. I get back on the train with a crystal clear photo of the masturbator that nobody has looked at, unable to file a police report.
I was at a Halloween party and this guy was saying “good-bye” to everyone who passed. I said “bye” to him. He then stoked/grabbed/tickled the length of my torso. I instinctively brought up my arm as if to back hand him. He said, “oh, oh. Hit me. Go ahead, hit me.” With a disgusted face, I lowered my hand and said something like, “that is NOT cool. You should NOT do that to anyone.” Then I walked away. After contemplating the situation later I realized that I should have stayed by him, talked to him and made him feel very uncomfortable by standing my ground. He won that interaction and I could have annoyed him until HE walked away. He was alone and I was at a house surrounded by people who know me.
When I was 17 I played on a traveling soccer team and in order to get to practice I would have had to drive between 25 and 30 miles of back country winding road to get there. So since the coach was a man who had worked with my dad for close to 30 years he made the suggestion that I could ride with him because I was not a very experienced driver, so that way my parents would know I was going to make it home safe. All during practice he kept asking me what kind of underwear I had on and he would tell us all how great our rear ends looked, but we just passed it off as it’s just him being him and laughed it off. Well when we left, it was just he and I in the car because the rest of the team were from that county, he starts up again with the comments and I just laughed it off like I always did. Then he pulled onto a side road that I had never seen before so I just sat there. And when I asked why we were here he said he wanted me to see the “coolness” of his van that he bought for the team to travel in. So while still in my seat i turned my head to look back and he said that the back row of seats fold out into a full size bed and he said that the shades are made in a way that we can see out but no one can see in. There are no words for how afraid I was in that moment, so I just stayed strapped in the front seat and begged with him for an hour to take me home. When he finally got back up in the drivers seat he asked me if he had upset me, I told him yes you have upset me more than you will ever know– to which then he replied “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to that wasn’t my intention” and I said yeah I know what your intentions were now drive me home. It was then that he leaned over and tried to hug me and asked for a kiss. I squirmed away from it and told him to drive me home right now and to be prepared because when my dad and big brother and my big brothers friends that all see me as their little sister too find out what you’ve done, they are gonna drag your name so far through the mud that by the time it comes out it’s gonna reveal who you really are.
I know this didn’t happen to me on the street but he is one of those men who will harass a woman if he sees the opportunity. And until now I haven’t had the strength to say anything to anyone except for my immediate family, and I think this is a much bigger monster than any of us realize or maybe even want to realize. I also had another so called friend grope me while we were trying to workout one day because I asked him to give me some tips and help me with my workout. He was probably in his 40s and was a mutual friend of mine and he had known me since high school and I was friends with both of his sons yada yada yada. When he did that I was immediately in shock and scared because he was a very physically strong man. So when we went to leave I left and never went back or returned his calls. About 2 weeks after that I see him in the Wal-Mart parking lot and he grabbed my arm so tight that I couldn’t break loose and he asked me what I had told our mutual friend. I told him that I told them the truth, they asked me how the workouts were going and I just broke down and started to feel trapped all over again, I felt like I was trapped in that god awful van again. I didn’t find out until about a year later that my friend, my best friend chewed him up one side and down the other and told him that if he ever touched me again in any way that he would have my best friend to deal with, and they are someone that you do not want to cross.
I was walking home from work on Friday and the traffic was backed up so there was a line of cars by the sidewalk. I heard voices and I looked over and three guys in a car were whistling and yelling at me. Calling me names and telling me they’d give me a ride home. It’s scary enough when you have one guy saying things to you but to have a car full of men yelling at me when I’m just trying to walk home is so frustrating and upsetting. People in the other cars nearby were looking to see who they were yelling at so it makes you feel completely on display and so embarrassed even though I didn’t do anything wrong. I just want to be able to walk home without having a car full of guys yell at me. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
On November 5, 2012 at roughly 11:50AM in Washington, D.C., I experienced street harassment. I was on my way to my local US post office in downtown (Gallery Place) to return my absentee voting ballot. A man was staring at me and leeringly said, “Pretty girl,” as he passed. Given the fact that we could have been the same age (29 or early thirties), somehow it felt particularly demeaning, intrusive, and uncalled for. I said “Stop talking to me,” but probably did not say it loud or assertively enough for him to have heard since he was already on his way.
Today when a car pulled up next to me with the window down, the passenger said, “You need a new bike, baby.”
First of all, my bike IS new. Secondly, I don’t even let my husband call me baby. Ugh.
I was on the bus with my sister, mother, niece, and nephew on our way home when an elderly man holds up his phone at my sister and I, and I see the flash go off. At that moment, I look at him and tries to play it off like he’s just taking random photos and points his camera somewhere else. I start yelling at him and he tries acting cool and like I’m talking nonsense and then starts laughing. He moves to the back of the bus because I didn’t stop berating him. Just before I got off the bus I made sure to get my own picture of him.
In spite of the hurricane — which hit us here in NYC pretty hard — it’s been another great week for the movement.
First, a big thanks to Hollaback Croatia and Hollaback Istanbul for their vital contributions to our ever-growing database of street harassment research. We are still getting submissions from our site leaders so stay tuned for more.
We also co-authored a letter to the editor to the New York Times in partnership with our friends from SAFER — and it got published! The letter brings attention to sexual harassment on college campuses.
And you’ve got to watch this hilarious video on street harassment made by the TV show Totally Biased. It’s bleeping amazing:
Here’s what our sites around the world have been up to this week:
Hollaback Ottawa took part in a conference called In Love and in Danger which was targeted toward students and focused on issues of gender-based and relationship violence.
Hollaback Buenos Aires is organizing a self defense workshop at their local Slut Walk and will have a stand with advocacy materials.
Hollaback Melbourne gave a lecture at Melbourne Free University asking the giant question of “what if?” They explored what the world might look life if all women had freedom of movement. They were also published in author Melinda Tankard Reist’s blog.
Great work guys!
HOLLA and out,
Skate World In Michigan-
Male about 15 years old, having sex in public when younger children were around.