As usual, this week we were buzzing around like bees. Amongst all the action, Hollaback! HQ hosted one of two town halls on the new site leader program. We are so thrilled that so many of our site leaders are excited about it because we certainly are! We’ve also been working on some new and exciting partnerships and Natasha, our IREX fellow, attended a training institute organized by A Call to Men on prevention of violence against women.
And in the Hollaback! movement around the world:
Alicia Wallace of Hollaback! Bahamas lectured on “The Construction of Gender Throughout Bahamian History” at the College of Bahamas Talks on Race, Class and Gender. It’s only through understanding our histories that we will be able to take the patriarchy DOWN.
Hollaback! Peterborough was up to all kinds of coolness this week! They teamed up with the Draw the Line team, Kawartha Sexual Assault Center, and Courage Peterborough and organized a night of comedy, music, poetry and activism in support of the Draw the Line Campaign. Nice job!
Hollaback! Baltimore hosted a happy hour chat at Blue Pit BBQ, talking about street harassment, sharing stories, and planning the events of the fall ahead. We’re looking forward to seeing Bmore’s making deeper strides in their community this Fall.
That’s it for this week! Stay tuned for more Holla-news next week!
Holla and out!
The Hollaback! Team
I was walking down Durant Ave. around 10:45pm, just to get some chocolate chip cookies – they’re my favorite. Im wearing a half buttoned shirt (so unbuttoned at the top few buttons) and a low cut tank top, showing my chest, breasts and cleavage, but that shouldn’t matter for what happened next. (Im biologically male btw.) I was on my phone texting and I saw a group of 4 slightly bigger guys walking slower in the opposite direction. They must have seen my low cut tank and cleavage, because they firmly touched and cupped my breast and said “big titties!” and laughed. I froze. I had no idea what just happened. I don’t know who did this, but I ran to the cookie store, bought my cookies, and felt so angry and bewildered and frozen inside. I told one of my online close friends what happened, and she recommended I report it to Berkeley’s counseling center. I will never forget this every time I touch my body, it was such a violation of my body. And I like physical intimacy in the sense I like hugging my friends, holding their hands. But this was it. This was way way over a line I couldn’t handle.
My coworker and I (both women) were ending one of our regular lunchtime walks around the park when a guy started walking next to us and saying “Excuse me, excuse me”. We ignored him at first and hurry by him (there are a bunch of bike rental people at that entrance so you usually have to dodge a few people trying to get your attention like this). He kept walking very close to my coworker facing us.
And then the conversation went like this-
my coworker: sorry, no thanks
him: I just want to walk with you . . . (now shouting) I JUST WANT TO TELL YOU YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL
my coworker: I don’t want you to tell me that
(we abruptly change directions)
me: sorry we have to go
him (shouting): YOU DON’T WANT TO TALK TO A BLACK MAN, THAT’S FINE! YOU’RE RACISTS!
he kept shouting things along those lines until we had crossed the intersection and were out of ear shot.
All these incidents happened within a week and around the same subway station since its near my home:
1. I am not from New York or USA. I feel cold even when the locals do not. I was wearing a jacket and had the hood up and I passed by a bar. Two men were hanging outside it. One of them said, “Aww come on, it isn’t that cold. Want me to warm you up?”.
2. I was waiting to cross the street and someone cut the signal and crossed the street. He then turned around and was encouraging his friend to cross as well when he saw me. He kept staring at me till the light changed and I crossed. As I passed by him, he commented to his friend “She is gorgeous, isn’t she?” and his friend made an appreciative noise. I thought that was it but as I kept walking a sharp, loud whistle followed.
3. Two men were standing a couple of steps away from each other. I passed the first one by. He was like “hey baby, hey, you look fine. Mm-mmm.” As I was passing the next one, he was like “Is this man bothering you? If he is let me know. I will set him straight.” When they were behind me, the second one was like “at least I got a smile from her”. I didn’t smile at all.
This week has gone by so fast! Let’s see what has been going on in the Holla-universe! Hollaback! HQ is teaming up with the Hunter College Department of Urban Affairs and Planning for research on street harassment. CJ, our fierce Admin and Program Assistant, attended the Organizing at the Intersections of Black Lives Matter & Gender Justice workshop, aimed at an understanding of gender, violence, policing and solidarity to create a more robust organizing practice. Program Coordinator, Desiree, attended a weekend conference on safety and cyberharassment, hosted by the Tyler Clementi Foundation. The revolution is going down!
And in Hollaback! news around the world:
Hollaback! London discussed the increase in recorded sex crime on London public transport at a panel at City Hall with the Police and Crime Committee. They also discussed the efficacy of efforts to tackle unwanted sexual behavior on public transport.
Hollaback! Baltimore held the panel “Street Harassment: Know Your Rights”. They discussed the legal recourses available to victims of street harassment, shared some personal stories, and explored the intersections between feminist legal theory to anti-street harassment. What an amazing event!
Hollaback! Vegas was promoting their zine with a lovely title, “The League of Extraordinary Feminists,” and was adding leaves to their positivity tree. We love everything they do especially the positivity tree!
Hollaback! Melbourne is actively participating in a survey on street harassment in their city. The survey is part of a larger project funded by the La Trobe University ‘Transforming Human Societies’ Research Focus Area in Melbourne.
Hollaback! Vancouver has booked a day to meet people interested in volunteering, discuss various opportunities, give out training packages and sign interested folks up for workshops. We hope they will be able to accommodate everyone cause this sure seems like an amazing opportunity!
That’s it for now! Stay tuned next week for more exciting news and events!
Holla and out!
My cab driver was taking me to a dance studio and started to tell me about how much he liked my figure…I felt trapped.
A coworker was taking pictures of my butt while I was trying to load a plane. He then started showing the pics to other coworkers, laughing, no one else thought it was funny……
I was in the library working on a review article for a journal. I’d chosen a fairly large table because I wanted to have room to spread all of my books out. I had been working for about an hour when this guy comes up and sits directly across me and puts his laptop down and his headphones in. Keep in mind, this library is huge, there are many places to sit, and he didn’t ask my permission to sit so close to me. I choose to ignore him and continue working. After about 10 minutes, I look up and he’s staring intently at his computer and (what looks like from my table-top perspective) rubbing his crotch furiously. I packed up my stuff and walked away immediately.
Another week has gone by and the Holla-train has not slowed down. We have been up and about spreading the word on our new app and gathering stories for our Story Sharing Campaign, which ended this week. Hollaback! HQ welcomed a new intern, Rose, former badass site leader from Nottingham, who will be working on our key programs. Hollaback!’s Deputy Director, Debjani Roy, addressed 300 students and faculty at Friends Seminary in New York City about the movement to end street harassment. Our new Program and Admin Assistant, CJ, spoke at the first Queens Brides March (Go CJ!), an event aimed at raising awareness about the horrors of domestic violence and mourning for those who have lost their lives to this crime.
Lets see what has been going on with our sites around the world!
Helen McBride from Hollaback! Belfast was on The Prospect Roads, talking about the Hollaback! movement, the same-sex marriage referendum held in Ireland earlier this year and the implications the result has on the LGBT community.
Hollaback! Baltimore participated at Cherrie Moraga’s talk on her exceptional book “This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color” and they are preparing for the discussion on anti-street harassment and knowing your rights.
Hollaback! Vegas started their first ever zine! The home-made publication is a tool their volunteers are using this year to educate the public and get the world out about street harassment and other forms of sexual violence. Amazing job Vegas!
That’s it for now! Until next week,
Holla and out!
So I was on the phone to one of my girlfriends when two guys in a Toyota corolla came up to me and asked me how I had phone signal in this area. To this i replied that my network was good and, as i was saying that they slowly started driving their car onto the pavement blocking my path. I then considered crossing the road but i was fearful of what would happen. Also it was my right of way therefore I kindly asked them to move. At this point the other man in the vehicle who had GREEN eyes started randomly saying “I think you would get better signal in my car as I have the best antenna in the world” at this point he start undoing his pants and took his …. out. I then looked at the driver and asked him to please control his friend and decided to walk away, although this did not deter the other man in the car. I gave him a middle finger and he started saying “hey you, dont call me middle finger” he seemed to have a non-native accent, one that seemed to be arabic. Then he started swearing at the driver saying “gawad back me up” Finally I said I would call the police but then he said “dont bump me again” after that he got back in the car and drove off.