Jasmine’s Story: Harassed while in our own cars

I was driving along bopping to my music with the windows down when I drove through this intersection. A construction worker was standing in the street directing traffic and as I drove past him he decided to call out to me “Haaay beautiful.”

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Jo’s story: Showtime Creeper

Was watching Brave at the movies. Was wearing shorts, cause hey, it’s hot out. Creeper in the seat in front of us was turned around through half the movie, staring in my general direction. I SWEAR he had his hand in his pants. And he wasn’t sleeping– I saw him blinking. Disgusting! I tried to get a pic of his creeping face, but my phone’s camera sucks. I had to use my purse to cover my legs, and that deterred him a little, but not well enough. Gross.

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A week in our shoes: HOT DAYS, COOL DONORS

Hey Hollabackers —

We have the coolest donors in the world.  And no, we don’t just think you all are awesome because you keep us alive and afloat, we think you are awesome because you do things like this – one of my favorite Hollabacks of all time. SuperRavenRay is a repeat donor to Hollaback, and as you can see, a total and complete badass.  Not to be outdone, I also had the honor of meeting with Cynthia Khoo this week.  She’s a repeat donor who runs THIS BLOG.  If you’re a donor and would like to come by and meet us in person, drop me a line!


Last week to vote for Hollaback PhillyThey write, “You heard about our advertising campaign for the Philadelphia subway lines. Help us expand that campaign to include more ads, and push us toward our goal of getting ads in bus shelters in Philadelphia!” Visit their project page and click “Vote for this Idea.”  If they win, they’ll recieve the $1000 needed to bring anti-harassment ads to the Philly bus shelters!


Welcome, Shahinaz! Shahinaz El Hennawi is our new international movement fellow. She comes to us from Egypt, where she has over eight years experience in projects related to women, youth and peace building. She’s now part of the “Community Solutions Fellows” program, and is with us full-time until the end of November.  You can read her full bio, here, or reach her at [email protected]


HOLLA and out —


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Anonymous’s Story: “What if it becomes worse?”

Hey, I’m a 13 year old girl and I’ve been street harassed since I was about 11-12 years old.

It mostly goes like this :
When I’walking down a street several cars start honking at me, or stop next to me rolling down their windows saying things like , “ohh your pretty” or “you have nice eyes” and stuff.
Some guys also start screaming things at me like “hey sexy” or “hey girl, whats your number?”
This also happens, guys come way to close to me and start whispering things in my ear like “how are you” and “want to go somewhere?”
These things don’t bother me that much , but it does creep me out a lot , because what if this doesn’t stop and it becomes worse?
I m still so young , and i m not that strong to say things back…
I m hoping this will end..
Untill then i m gonna have to cope with all of this shit..

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CA’s story: menfolk, it’s time to STAND UP!

I was in the elevator, leaving the hospital after a joint injection. I was walking very carefully, obviously hurt/in pain. I took the elevator down to the main level, where my ride was pulling the car around for me. Two men, in their 40s, got on the elevator. I barely noticed them, and we didn’t talk. Then an elderly man, at least in his 70s and walking with a cane, got on the elevator.

After the doors closed, the elderly man turned and said, enthusiastically waving his cane around, “We’ve got her! Three guys and one girl! We can take her!”

It happened so quickly. He got off on the very next floor. The whole thing happened in less than one minute. I didn’t know what to say or do.

It’s nice that the other men didn’t join in, and after he left, one said to me, “You should have said, ‘You think you’re walking with a cane now, you try it!'”

But it would be nice if just once, when someone harasses me in full view of other men, those other men would stand up for me. They didn’t even know him, so why do menfolk think that they can’t say other manfolk, “STFU.” That’s all it would take, really.

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Isaac’s Story: It’s my sidewalk, too

I walk 2km to the library at least once a week, going past a park, some stores, and a few busy intersections. Usually no one bothers me, which is amazing, because I’m androgynous and short, which seems to give some peope the impression that it is safe or okay for them to comment on my appearance. But mostly I worry about getting hit by people who are driving their cars with their butts.

Not anymore! Some people can’t leave well enough alone when a genderbent person has the temerity to use the sidewalk.

“Hey, *giiirl*, gimme a smile.” It is lewd and leering and said right in my personal space. Being called “girl” makes me see red at the best of times—I’m an adult person and it’s deliberately misgendering.

“Mind your own business!”

He laughs, I flip him off and yell “F**k you!” and just keep walking, furious. I’m scared he might be following me, or some other creep will appear, so I call a friend—who immediately gives me a huge line of bullshit about “taking a compliment” and “not a big deal” and “that’s how men are”.

It’s minor in the grand scheme of things, but I walk this way all the time, I’m a recovering depressive and I need the library. And it’s my god damn sidewalk as much as anyone elses’! I already can’t go places after dark or past the clumps of loitering men that surround the grocery store. If I get harassed on this route again I’m going to flip my shit. Thanks for this site and its tip-of-the-tongue techniques for dealing with sexist aggression and the people who enable it.

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I am proud of the way I handled this. I think if more women fought back and spoke up about this general, pervasive act of violence against us, less of this abuse would happen.

Earlier today, at around 10am, I went to clean off the windows of my car in preparation for going to the beach since they were so dirty, I couldn’t see. I was wearing a bikini tank top with short shorts but that is neither here or there.

I then heard coming from the Ralph’s store unloading dock area someone saying, “Hi”, and then cat calls and wolf whistles. I told them, “You need to respect women!” That is when I heard them call me a “Bitch!” I then walked over and confronted them and said that they need to respect women and to stop thinking that they are entitled to act like animals cause of what a woman wears and that they have no right to bully us around if they think we have “loose morals”.

Wanting to report their behinds to their company for calling me a “Bitch”, I ran back inside, saw their truck was parked next to a red light, and, next thing you know, a guy got out the truck, got in my face in a threatening manner, threatening to hit me – the entire time the tape was rolling – and felt he could intimidate me because of my 5’4, 100lbs frame. Because I was trained in Tae Kwon Do and in hand to hand combat, I stood my ground, I didn’t buldge and I let the film roll because if I were to run, that would show weakeness, a tactic a lot of women use which makes things worse since bullies and aggressors are only scared of aggression being thrown right back at them and so when you run, you show signs of weakness, which is what makes you an easy target since that is what predators like.

Interestingly, he also made racial epithets in terms of putting me down for my hair texture and calling me “manly looking” which further shows sexual Harassment and abuse is about male domination, bullying and control and not about “compliments” because if they felt I looked like a man, why approach me in the first place!?

So the cowardly Bastard jumps back in his truck and go. Fortunately, I got THIS incident on tape. I have a feeling he will be losing his job!

I felt great standing up to this Bastard. I am quite certain this is not the first time he did this but it will be the last with me because maybe he’ll realize some women will fight back and not put up with his Shit! I think if more women stand up to these fucks like I did, less of this would be happening since they do it to bully women since they feel we are physically inferior and weak so they feel we won’t fight back!

Unfortunately, most women don’t as when I spoke to a lady on my block about it, she said, “I would harass you to if I were a man and saw that body of yours”. Goddess, help us!

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HOLLA on the go: drive-by harasser, with heroic bystander intervention!

I was with some friends walking along the street and this truck of guys slows down and they start whistling and making noises. This nice man came to our rescue and told them to ‘f’ off and they drove away but he got their license number and called the cops.

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HOLLA on the go: “touched my behind”

A man who was older than me (almost 30), touched my behind in the street and went so quickly that I couldn’t tell something. Very mature.

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Article, demonstration

Kat’s story: “Is this more of an ableist/opportunity thing, or do you guys think there is a sexualized element to it as well?”

Ok, this isn’t exactly a story. Well, it is, but it’s also a question. Sorry if it’s a little long!

So, I am a women who was born with a disability. I am a little person, but I am a proportional one, so I basically look like a little kid. (I think it’s due to an auto-immune disease). I also have Crohn’s disease, which is unrelated, but results in me being unable to eat and digest food properly, so I’m pretty skinny as well. (Now I’ve got some meat on my bones, because I’ve been in remission for almost two years. Go me! But I also swim, so I’m still pretty tiny). Besides that, I’m pretty conventionally attractive. I don’t say that to brag, but just to sort of give a context for my life–as in, I think I would have it worse if I wasn’t conventionally attractive, and it also draws more people to me. (Because society sucks that way)

People often compliment me on various things–my complexion, my hair, my body. Or they will ask/remark on my differences–which is annoying, but tolerable. However, they will then sometimes reach out AND TOUCH ME. They’ll stroke my cheek, or try to run a hand through my hair, or put their hand on the small of my back (still can’t figure that one out). It happens a lot at work (I’ve actually posted about it before.) The worst was a few weeks ago when a man grabbed me on both sides where my neck and shoulder meet and SHOOK me. I don’t know why. Everyone asks, and I honestly could not tell you what the fuck was going through his head.

It’s sometimes women, but it’s mostly men who do this, and my question is two-fold. 1) Is this more of an ableist/opportunity thing, or do you guys think there is a sexualized element to it as well? (When it’s men) 2) Do you guys think that I would experience the same thing if I were a man? (Are there any male posters with experiences of this?) I’m not sure why it matters–I guess I just want to be able to identify the type of harassment, in order to respond properly.

Thanks and sorry this was so long!

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