Athens GA, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia MO, Columbus, Denver, Des Moines, Duke University, NC, Durham & Chapel Hill, East Lansing, Flagstaff, AZ, Houston, Iowa City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Lubbock TX, Manhattan KS, Muncie IN, New Orleans, New York City, Oneonta, Pittsburgh, Plattsburgh, Providence, Richmond VA, San Fernando Valley, San Francisco, Twin Cities, West Georgia (University)
I’m a server, at a small family owned restaurant. I love it, but the hours are so crazy sometimes. I typically get out after midnight. This night in particular I had to stop by Kroger on the way home to grab some tampons and groceries. No big deal. But as I was walking down the bread isle, some guy crosses my path and doubles back. He’s around my age. Frat guy looking. And I’m thinking “okay here we go.” So he keeps pace behind me. Doesn’t say anything. So I’m like “well maybe he’s forgotten something ahead and I’m being paranoid.” No. He follows me down several isles. He pretends to look at things as I continue to shop. He hasn’t even picked anything up. He doesn’t have a cart or a basket. So I start to get weirded out. Then I guess he musters up the courage to talk to me, so he says “having a good night, darlin?” And it’s so freaking creepy. He’s not even making eye contact with me, just staring at my body like I’m meat on the grill. So I’m like “I was, creep.” And I turn and walk away. This I guess, pisses him off. So he follows me in a huff and I can hear him muttering to him self “bitch” so I decide, ‘you know, I really need a giant box of tampons and pads.’ So I turn down the feminine hygiene isle. I guess he realizes where he is, and is disgusted, so he turns around and leaves. I made sure I had a manager walk me to my car. Thank god for tampons.
In case you missed it, Alicia Keys spoke up this week about changing the way she dresses to feel safer on the street. Executive Director Emily May appeared on WPIX to remind the public that “What’s unique about this isn’t that she changed her clothes; it’s that she’s speaking up and speaking out…” According to our research with Cornell, 66% of women changed their clothes due to fear of harassment.
Around the world, Hollaback! site leaders keep encouraging conversations:
Keep making and surfing those waves! Holla and out!
I was on the subway with my father, and a man sitting across from me kept looking back and forth between me and his phone, and when he thought i wasn’t looking i saw him fumbling with it, i think he was trying to take a picture of me, and whenever his eyes met mine he’d smirk at me. A few minutes after i first noticed his creepy behavior, i saw him out of the corner of my eye rubbing his crotch through his pants. throughout the ride i saw him staring at other women.
I’m just sitting at a red light, first car in line, minding my own business. This runner stops across the intersection from me and locks eyes with me and starts staring me down. He puts his hand in his shorts and starts masturbating, never breaking eye contact. So I took a picture, because at the very least, I have proof. But when I did that, he slowly took his hand out of his pants, raises his hands over his head, beamed from ear to ear, let out a delighted whoop, and ran off in the opposite direction. Creeper.
Today I was walking with my friend trying to get to the subway when a male passed me and told me I shouldn’t look so angry anymore. I was annoyed by the comment but let it go and put some distance between us. Sadly him and his group of friends stopped and I had to pass them again. I guess one of his friends made a comment about me and the original male said aloud that “I just told her about herself”. I know I shouldn’t have but I snapped and told him to f*** himself. Something about him thinking I needed to listen to a stranger on the street really got to me. I regretted saying anything tho because as I made my way to the train I got scared that he was following me and that him and his friend would try and hurt my friend and me. I hate that I let him gain power over me. I feel like he won.
This week at HQ has gone by so quickly! We participated in Breakthrough’s #ChatBreak to talk about campus culture and sexual violence. Find more about our research on sexual harassment on college campuses on this page. On top of that, Executive Director Emily May and Hollaback!’s decentralized leadership model were featured by Mobilisation Lab. Now here’s what’s going on across the Holla-verse:
Hollaback! Panama had their launch party featuring performance artists and gallery art! Great job engaging your community and kicking things off with a bang!
Hollaback! Ottawa tabled at ladies night at the Comic Book Shoppe. Great work getting out in your community and having important conversations, team!
We can’t wait to see what our sites have in store for next week. Until then,
Holla and out!
I am an avid yogi and I work hard to make it to yoga class every day with my busy schedule. I was so excited when I moved into the city within walking distance from my yoga studio. I usually walk the 5 minutes to class then walk home when it’s over, still in my yoga clothes. Apparently me wearing yoga pants is an invitation for men to comment on my most blessed attributes. Two days ago I was walking home from class when about 3 blocks from my house a white car drove up next to me, rolled down the side window and said “damn girl look at that ass”. I ignored them as I always do… the car drove down the block, turned around at the round about and rolled past me again, “ASS all day!”. He did this turn around/drive-by and yell thing about 6 times before I ended up running the last block home. I hid in the alley behind my house so that he wouldn’t be able to tell where I live and I cried. I now drive the 7 blocks to my yoga studio everyday out of fear that the same man or someone else might take it even further than that.
I was walking down a main road in my town to go to a local park. About 100 yards ahead of me sat a man on a bench. At this distance, he looked straight at me and then quickly stood up and crossed the street. I noticed his abrupt movement and thought it was a little odd, but didn’t think that much of it. I kept walking. After another five minutes or so of walking down that same street, I looked over and there was the same man, still across the street, walking in the same direction parallel to me. I tried to calm my paranoia and figured, “Maybe he’s going to the park too” or to some other nearby location. As we both kept walking, however, I noticed that he would frequently look over at me from across the street and made sure to walk at the exact same pace that I was walking. When I slowed down, he slowed down. When I sped up, he sped up. At this point, we were in a very residential part of town where there were no businesses or public places, only houses, and I was getting scared. We were the only two people on the street. Finally we passed by a church. I decided to try an experiment to see if he really was following me: in front of the church, I stopped dead in my tracks and took out my cell phone. I figured the man would keep walking without regard for my direction, and I would feel silly. To my horror, he stopped when I stopped, and turned to look at me, as if he was waiting for me to keep moving so he could continue to follow me. At this point I made direct eye contact with him from across the street, put on a serious face, and pretended to make a phone call (it could have been to 911 or the police or whatever; the point was just to let him know that I knew he was following me and I was calling someone to report it). At this point, the man turned around down a random side street and stopped following me.
It was another seven minutes of walking to the park, and I was turning around to look over my shoulder the entire time.
I went to my first college dance last semester as a sophomore with friends. A guy I only knew from one of my classes was intoxicated and was leaning on me and asked if me and my friend could get a pic in the photo booth. In the booth he groped me below the waist and leaned into me from behind while doing it. I was shocked and scared so my friend and I eventually got away from him. A few minutes later he came by grabbed me and started to pull me away from my friends but they stopped him. It freaked me out but I reported him to the college and he was punished. Speaking up felt like a weight off my shoulders, but it still scares me.
I’ve been getting followed and harassed by some guys in the neighborhood. I’m freaked out about it. I’m a single mom and live with my son, and the harassers live in front of us. One kinda stalked me today, watching me. Later today his buddy started shouting shit at me and then approached me because I wouldn’t respond. My guy friend was right next to me, too. I had just told him about the dude acting shady earlier, then we were outside and the guy started calling me blondie, getting mad that I didn’t respond, then approached and started trying to call me beautiful and stuff, I didn’t respond because I was uncomfortable and scared, and him and another bystander did NOTHING. It was really scary and upsetting. They live nearby and I see them daily, and they seem to watch me when I come and go. While this is bothersome, the worst is how my male friends dismiss it, invalidating my feelings just because they don’t understand the threat women feel constantly. We are taught as children that we are prey, and men can be predators. Some men just seem so ignorant of what it may be like for us women, and are not sensitive at all. With my friend, it isnt like I expected anything crazy, but I expected at least something like “Hey, you ok? That seemed scary”.