I’m eating lunch in a food court area, and I just watched a guy walk by loudly yelling comments about the appearance of a girl working at Starbucks.
I live in the northern quarter in a really busy area so it’s not often I’m walking on the streets alone, but yesterday I happened to be going down a quiet back street on the way back from the gym. Two guys no older than 30 came behind and began to walk on either side of me, and I had music on so couldn’t hear what they were saying. I took a headphone out and told them to leave me alone. They told me to learn to take a compliment and that wearing leggings like that, I was asking for attention.
Luckily, a family came out of a restaurant and they sauntered off, not without winking and miming an ass slap. This was at 7 p.m. and right next to my home, I don’t deserve to feel unsafe.
I was walking home from campus with my heavy backpack on (therefore aware of how immobile I was) and a teenage male saw me, made eye contact, walked around the back of his apartment complex and was waiting with his genitals out when I walked past on the sidewalk. I called the police to report it but didn’t feel sympathy or that action was being taken by the dispatcher.
There is a man who commonly hangs out near the AA building on the weekends. He is always with his buddies and drinking beer out of a cup. He always wears black oakley style sunglasses. And he always, ALWAYS, has something disrespectful to say to me when I walk by. This has been happening for years and for a while, it caused me so much anxiety that I would walk out of my way on the weekends to avoid him and that corner. I have confronted him many times but he just laughs at me and calls me names. I feel so helpless and angry about the situation. He clearly enjoys seeing me upset but it is very hard to ignore after five years.
After I was asked to walk with a young girl (about 13 years old) to a car to get something, a group of boys were staring at her from the moment they saw her until she was out of sight. When I stared back at them, making clear what I thought about it, it didn’t bother them at all. Normally I would expect a sign of embarrassment in such a situation, but it showed me that there wasn’t any respect for the girl. For me, it was really sad to see.
I was just in here yesterday buying something when the guy in front of me made a comment about what I was buying. I ignored him and he then started verbally harassing me and saying he was just trying to show me his appreciation and that I obviously never got attention and clearly hadn’t responded how he wanted! It didn’t end there. He then left the shop and because I continued to not engage. He was huge and seemed to be losing control. He kept coming back into the shop to launch verbal tirade on me, and the staff did nothing. They said I was safe when I said I didn’t feel safe!
Fall seems to be setting in, in terms of weather and other changes! It’s been a very busy week here at HQ, so let’s get to it:
We had a photoshoot for our new website that we’re working on! Despite the chance of rain, we powered through it and got some pretty good pics. For now, here’s a behind the scenes pic–we definitely can’t wait until they are unveiled on our new website! Thanks to our photographer, Luke!
We also had not one but three new interns start this week! Meet our interns Aoife (HeartMob; left in pic), Suzy (Communications), and Talia (Development and Program; middle of pic). Suzy is a New Yorker, while Aoife and Talia are recent transplants–Aoife moved from Ireland and Talia hails from Canada! We’re so excited to start this season with such awesome interns!
Speaking of interns, we’re very sad to say goodbye to Lucy (right in pic), our awesome, incredible communications intern.
Here’s what is going on with our sites around the world:
Hollaback! Jakarta held their official launch event! Congrats on such a successful event and we can’t wait to see what this new site is up to!
Hollaback! Bosnia & Herzegovina and Hollaback! Croatia got together in Sarajevo for the PitchWise festival of Women’s Art & Activism. Site leader Maksida said they discussed their “plans, strategies and perspectives. This year the festival gave attention to public place where artists often experience street harassment while performing art. We offered our expertise in this field and participated at workshops.” Really awesome work!
Hollaback! Ottawa was mentioned in an article from the Ottawa Sun. The article was about online harassment–more specifically, the online harassment playwright Jessica Ruano and her work, The Ghomeshi Project, have received. Feel free to join Hollaback! Ottawa in an event this weekend on Sunday the 18th called Mean Tweets Live: The Ghomeshi Project where Ruano and others will read the mean tweets they are sent.
Hollaback! Vancouver‘s site leader Stacey spoke at an event at SFU Vancouver. She spoke about safety in public spaces, sexual harassment, and the work that the site does. You’re doing a great job Hollaback! Vancouver!
What an amazing week! Keep up the great work everyone!
Holla and out!
– the Hollaback! Team
I have just started studying in Paris, and since I com from a little town in Normandy, I am not really prepared to face harassment. Sure enough there were guys in my high school who kept asking me out or took me by the waist, but I had “only” experienced street harassment once when I was 13.
A drunk man had taken me in his arms at night and I couldn’t escape from him. I felt his hands everywhere on my body and this was quite an awful remembrance, but this is not my subject.
So I just arrived in Paris and yesterday a man followed me my way to school, very close but not saying anything. I am glad we need a student card to enter the school so he had to pass away. I also had a man yelling at me “hé mademoiselle t’en vas pas” (Hey miss don’t go away) as I tried to ignore him while walking home another day at 9.30 p.m.
And yet a young sitting next to me inn the train back to Normandy kept pushing me against the window, and I even didn’t protest because I was too scared. I saw him rubbing his parts while looking at me but he covered his hand with a newspaper so I couldn’t make sure I wasn’t wrong. When I got down at my station, I felt something touching my rear and I just hurried to go out.
As if not sufficient, I had a class in the amphitheatre today and the guy at my right kept leaning over me, pretending to copy what I had written. I wore a dress, it’s more than 30 °C here, what’s the matter ?
It is urgent for men to realize their stupid behaviour is unwanted/scaring/shocking!
I had taken my eleven year old daughter to ride the trolley cars with me in San Francisco. We were waiting to board from a stop when two drunk/stoned grown men came out of a local shop/club. I instinctively pulled her closer. The first man said, “hey ladies” The second said “I’ll have that one please” pointing and walking towards my daughter. She gripped my hand hard. He said “Come here Preeeetttttttttttyyy”
I had never been more scared in my life. It was dim and only us and them were around. She turned around so fast it scared me and looked him dead in the eye and said “I’m 11, stop it you pedo” they backed off after that, but I held her so tight after she said that.
I was driving to school, stopped at a stop sign where unfortunately there was construction to redirect traffic at a now busy intersection, less than a quarter of a mile from my school parking lot. A construction worker standing, “working”, started shouting abuse at me, obscene and indecent, as I approached, stopped, and accelerated around the turn. With a full line of people coming up behind me, and having left before me. From my car I’m not safe, they treat us as if no space we own and inhabit isn’t theirs to violate. Going to school I’m not safe. They don’t care who sees or hears, because people rarely intervene, those people rarely care, and our abusers know they won’t have consequences. No shame.