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This October 17 – 19 in Washington, DC the Healthy Masculinity Summit will mark the beginning of the Healthy Masculinity Action Project. The summit’s structure, designed to be facilitated through conversations instead of presentations, requires skilled dialogue facilitators about issues like ending street harassment and more.
That’s where the topnotch faculty members for the Healthy Masculinity Summit come in. These individuals, representing a wide range of expertise and issues, will be the conversation-starters. Faculty members include people like:
–Rosalind Wiseman, author Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World, the groundbreaking bestselling book that was the basis for the movie Mean Girls.
–Joe Ehrmann, Founder and President of Coach for America, called by Parade Magazine “the Most Important Coach in America”
–Jacquelyn Boggess, Co-Director of the Center for Family Policy and Practice and President of Women in Fatherhood
–Andrew Barnett, Executive Director of the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL), winner of the Metro Weekly Next Generation Award, which recognizes the accomplishments of LGBT activists, artists, and leaders under 30
Learn more about the Healthy Masculinity Summit’s topnotch conversation-starters and take advantage of early bird registration price, ending August 17th:
I was sitting on the train home from uni, minding my own business. It was evening but still the rush hour train so it was packed. There I was looking out the window minding my own business and listening to music when these to guys get on the train. I payed no mind to them until I started to feel observed. I looked up and sure enough they were staring. I considered changing seats but the train was packed and I live at the end of the line. So I turned away, two other girls get on and sit across from them which for a moment deflects their stares. unfortunately the girls get off one stop later and I’m left with them sitting across from with a row between us. I start to notice how the one directly in front of me has stretched out so his legs are touching mine from under the row in front so I pull my legs closer to me and start to freak out. They continue talking and staring and I’m getting angrier and angrier. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when one of them pulls out his phone and it looks like he’s taking pictures. I get up out of my seat, tell them that they are vile disgusting creatures and basically tell them to sod off, basically screaming how they have harassed me for the past half hour and stomped off further down the train. I was so afraid to do that at first because I was afraid how other people would judge me for telling them off but couldn’t stand being treated that way for any longer. I felt much better for having said something.
I witnessed this man secretly recording woman’s private parts on the 7 train. I also saw him viewing previously recorded video on his phone.
I was on a job interview, like an on-the-job one where I observe an experienced seller and also try some selling myself. I was paired with the assistant manager of the office I was applying for. It was just me and him on a rainy weekday afternoon going door to door on a pretty much empty street.
To begin with, he was just being brusque and patronising, but I thought it was just to get me off balance and see how I cope under pressure.
Then he started invading my personal space, flirting with me, making really inappropriate , frankly quite racist comments and stuff like that. The worst thing he said was ‘you’d be great for porn you know’. I was just looking for an excuse to leave. Then my dad rang and asked when I would be home. I pretended that he was asking me to come back home and I left.
He insisted on walking me to the bus stop and carried on harassing me when I was there. When the bus arrived he felt my arse and said ‘chin up. you’re pretty you know, for a black girl’.
I cried my eyes out when I got home and I haven’t been on a job interview since.
This week’s edition is all about PRIDE. We are proud of the tremendous progress made for LGBTQ individuals this year, proud of the tremendous legacy left by our interns Natalie and Victoria, and proud to have Rikera and Sunny on our team this summer. Here’s the details:
PRIDE! We marched with over 45 fellow Hollabackers this year in New York City’s PRIDE parade — it was incredible. Thanks to everyone who marched with us! We also met with Kate McDonough, lead organizer at Empire State Pride Agenda this week to discuss collaboration.
Duke’s Moxie Project Visits Hollaback! We are lucky to have two interns on board with us this summer from Duke — Rikera Taylor and Sunny Frothingham. The rest of their cohort came to visit Hollaback! on Friday, and I spoke with them about what it was like grow Hollaback from the ground up.
A big thank you to Natalie and Victoria! We are so grateful to our volunteers Natalie Richman and Victoria Travers for their many, many months of service to Hollaback!. Natalie worked with us to grow our legislative relationships and was a critical component to the success of our first safety audit in Queen. Victoria designed the blog that you know today – even this “week in our shoes” column was her idea! Their legacy will be felt for years moving forward, and we wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.
HOLLA and out —
I was going home by bike, it was after 10 o’clock in the evening and it was already getting quite dark. I was waiting for the traffic lights to change at the bikeway at the crossroads.
Right in front me, a bus stopped and a young woman stepped out of the bus and went down the street.
Suddenly a male voice (one of a group) shouted out of one of the cars waiting at the other side of the street: “Wow, she is so hot!” (tried to translate it as best as I could). I think it was directed to the woman, not to me (I’m female as well) but I’m not completely sure.
She walked on without reacting (visibly). When the traffic lights turned green, I drove on and again the man started shouting, this time – it seemed – at me. I gave him the finger. The I drove home as fast as I could.
I’m sorry that I didn’t stop to ask the other girl if she was ok or if I should escort her home or something. I was just so shocked myself and couldn’t really think clearly until I was home.
Cross-Posted from Travelling Legally
Caution: The following includes some liberal use of four-letter words. Be aware, read with care.
When I woke up this morning, I planned for this to be a pleasant post about how nice it is to go to a familiar church when living abroad.
Not so much, now.
I don’t go to church when I’m away from home. I usually try to go when I’m back in Calgary, mainly because I’ve known the congregation there since I was five and I like to catch up with everyone when I’m in town. But through the magic of Google, I found that there’s a church of my denomination here in KL, and three weeks ago I decided to see what the service was like.
I had a lovely time, met some nice people, and decided I would try to go back soon.
Cue this morning. I got up, went to church, enjoyed an interesting service with lovely music, and was planning to meet some new people over tea afterwards before heading out to do some souvenir shopping.
No exaggeration – as soon as I walked out of the sanctuary, I had four different guys try to pick me up in the space of ten minutes. One didn’t even bother telling me his name before asking for my number. After dealing with that one, I was so flustered that I gave away my actual email address to two guys because I was too thrown to figure out how to get them to leave me alone.
Particularly noteworthy was this conversation:
Guy: So we should talk again some time.
Me: Oh, um, I guess.
Guy: What’s your number?
Me: I lost my phone when I was out last night. [NB: not true.]
Guy: Okay, what’s your email?
Me: Um. I guess I could write it down for you.
Guy: So did you come here alone?
Me: Uh, I’m living with some friends.
Guy: But did you come to Malaysia alone?
Me: … Yeah, I guess.
Guy: You’re my kind of person.
Trust me, there is a lot of subtext to be read when a strange man asks a young woman, “So did you come to this country alone?” In this circumstance most of that subtext was not pleasant.
Look, this isn’t me complaining about people in Malaysia, or churchgoers, or even this church in particular. I had a really nice time the first time I went; there are clearly lots of nice people at this church. I also happen to love plenty of churchgoers generally, and most of the people I’ve met in Malaysia have been truly wonderful people.
No, this is me complaining about the kind of men who think that it’s a good idea to treat women like pieces of meat after sitting through an hour-and-a-half long sermon about how we’re all heritors of Christ’s goodness because we are all equals as children of God. Are you kidding me? So long as I can walk out of a service and immediately get accosted by a guy whose first words to me are “You’re so beautiful, I really enjoyed sitting beside you,” we are not freaking equals.
I am so sick of men (and yes, it is only ever men) acting like they have the right to get in my space, ask for my personal information like it’s on offer, and make me feel unsafe. And believe me, this is not just about Malaysia. Let me tell you about the time in Ottawa that a guy followed me all ten blocks from a friend’s place back to my apartment at 2 am. Or the other time in Ottawa that a drunk guy came up behind me on the sidewalk and just grabbed my ass while I was walking home. (When asked “Did you actually just grab my ass, you fucker?” his response was “Hell yeah!”) Oh, or the time in Edmonton I was crossing the street on my way to a party and some dude in a pick-up truck took it upon himself to lean out the window and yell “FAGS!” loudly and repeatedly at me and my friends. The uncountable number of times men have decided they get to comment on my appearance just because I have the audacity to be a woman out in public.
I will say this as clearly as I can: if you comment on the appearance of women you don’t know in public, you’re a jerk. If you ask women for their phone number before you ask for their name, you’re a jerk. If you make women feel like they have to giggle uncomfortably and keep talking to you while looking around carefully for an exit, you’re a jerk. If you know anyone who does these things and you don’t tell them to stop, you’re a jerk, too.
Seriously. Stop it.
The worst thing about these incidents is that the way they happen leaves you with a vanishingly small amount of space to respond. Sometimes it happens so fast that by the time you’ve processed what’s happened, the guy is gone. Sometimes you feel so scared to do or say anything that you just pull your jacket tighter and keep walking. Sometimes you try to call the fucker on it and his response is “Hell yeah!”. It makes you feel powerless, and it makes you feel weak.
I can’t do much about these incidents, but I can do something so I don’t feel so useless whenever I’m not able to directly respond. From here on out, any time I get harassed on the street, I’m donating $5 for each gross jerk to Hollaback, a non-profit dedicated to ending street harassment. Maybe it will help us end this crap sooner rather than later.
Cross Posted from Hips and Hangers
I want to take a minute to talk about something serious- street harassment. I’ve never met a woman that hasn’t had to deal with cat calls, whistles, and/or unwanted advances at some point in her life. It’s something I face about 2-3 times a week as part of my commute to work. Most days I can shrug it off with a witty remark, but Tuesday I dealt with five separate instances of street harassment.
1. 9:00am- On the platform at the train station: “Good morning beautiful”. I sigh, roll my eyes and walk away.
2. 9:20am- On the bus a guy sits super close and says “hey baby, how’s your day going?”. I say “It was going fine until you invaded my personal space” and change seats.
3. 9:25am- Walking from the bus to work, I get honked at and whistled at by a truck full of workers. The driver almost hits a biker because he isn’t watching the road. I give them the finger and shout “watch the road”. One of the men calls me a stupid bitch.
4. 2:45pm- Out of work early for the Holiday and excited to go meet up with my guy for a late lunch, I’m walking quickly to the bus. While waiting at an intersection for the walk signal a guy says “Excuse me” thinking he’s going to ask me for directions, I acknowledge him. He follows up with “where’s your boyfriend pretty girl.” I say “Please leave me alone loudly” and cross the street.
5. 9pm- Walking with my boyfriend enjoying the beautiful summer evening listening to him tell a funny story when I am distracted by kissy noises and calls of “damn, girl” and “hey sexy” from three men sitting on a stoop. I glare at them, drop my boyfriend’s arm and say “You’ve got to be kidding me.” He looks confused because he didn’t hear any of it. I explain what happened and that I would have said something back to them had he not been with me. They outnumbered him 3 to 1, and I didn’t want to start anything. I then vent to him about my day. I’m shocked that this happened with him. Normally men don’t bother you if you appear to “belong” to someone else.
By the end of the day I felt unsafe, pissed, annoyed, anxious, and sad.
I don’t know what it is that makes some men think that I get dressed for them in the morning, but I don’t. I get dressed for me. This sundress is for me! Women deserve to live in a culture where we can walk freely in our communities without fear of harassment or assault.
Pretty mundane, I suppose, but as I was walking to work the other day, in a modest though flattering outfit, I passed a man outside a bodega who regarded me with “mm mm mm mm mm!” – the same intonations as a Quizno’s commercial. Perhaps the product placement wasn’t exactly the connection he intended to make, but I literally carried for the rest of the day the fact that the man had the same response to MY BODY as a SANDWICH COMPANY would like you to react to their subs.
Gettin on the Blue Line & this youngish guy gives me a predatory look & says “I see you been workin out” He gets up from across the aisle to come sit next to me. I immediately get up & move across the train. He mutters “I’m sorry” as I get up. Leave me alone! I’m tired from work & don’t need this.