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My first Hollaback ever after years of verbal harassment on the street. I knew that my time had come when this creep said, “Hey sexy” as I walked by. I am actually pretty surprised at how close I got to him when snapping his photo. Maybe it wasn’t the best idea, actually – he full on swatted at me and said, “Fuck you” after I took it.
Submitted by KD
NOTE: We at Hollaback want to emphasize that your safety comes first. Trust your instincts. Your story is powerful, but you shouldn’t have to get hurt to tell it.
I had forgotten cab fare one night, and was forced to walk home drunk from a party one night. I was walking with a slurpee in hand as I reached an intersection. As soon as I walked into the road the light had turned green, and I ran to the other side. A jeep slammed on the gas and zoomed past me. The passenger in the front seat screamed “SLUUUUT” out the window as they were turning.
Without even thinking about what I was doing, I threw my slurpee at the car screaming “FUUCK YOU”. I got a perfect shot and my slurpee hit the windshield of the car. The jeep stopped and the passenger got out of the car. He screamed “YOU CUNT WHY WOULD YOU FUCKIN DO THAT?” For a few seconds I was in complete of what had just happened until a random man on the corner said “Yeah you’re psycho thats totally uncalled for”. As the passenger used his sweatshirt in an attempt to clean the slurpee off the windshield I went up to him and said “You deserve a lot more than a slurpee on your windshield for what you just called me!” and I stormed off.
Submitted by Amanda
I was on the train to 34th street and this man got on the train. He took up so much space with his bicycle and then continually asked every woman to sit down next him. Most women said no and ignored him. Some retaliated when he shouted out to them. One woman felt so pressured that after telling him no four times, she eventually had to sit down because he insisted so hard (disguised with politeness).
To add to the obnoxious objectification and sexualization of women, he stared at two girls and kept rubbing his genitals. He continued harder by placing a bag in front of his crotch and then pushing into that to seem less obvious.
He also sang loudly to himself and seemed a bit crazy. I would not trust being alone on the train with him.
This happened on the 3 Train Downtown from Grand Army Plaza (Brooklyn) to 14th Street (Manhattan)
Submitted by Julie
This happened to me before I’d ever heard of this site. I was in a clothing store, and this guy decided to be particularly obnoxious, coming on to me hard. “Hey shawty, what’s your number?” I said, “Didn’t your mother ever tell you not to talk to strangers? I’m as strange as they come in this city. Besides, I don’t give my number out like that.”
“Well, how about your address?” I looked at him like, REALLY? “Uhm…seriously– do you really think I’m gonna give someone I don’t know my address?”
This must not have sat too well with Mr. Obnoxious. “Well how about I call you on your extension–the ones you got in your hair, bitch?”
It was true– I was wearing braids at the time. People heard him, and his boys were laughing. So I said, “I’d tell you to grow a brain, but your dick would be pissed cuz it would then be the smallest organ on your body.” I turned and walked away, hearing his boys laugh again, but at him this time.
Stuff like that happens a lot here. I have tons of war stories: I had a bottle hit a few inches from my head for ignoring a guy, I had my hair literally yanked and then brick fragments thrown at me for not responding to another guy’s advances. It’s madness…
Submitted by Gata
Yesterday I was walking to the post office, feeling strong and standing up straight, happy to be feeling confident and grounded in my body. I recently moved with my partner to Philadelphia from our home in the Bay area Ca, and am still adjusting to a new city, but yesterday for the first time, I felt at home in my body here.
A man took that from me. He was just a random guy on the street, walking back to his car, but he may as well have knocked me over and kicked me. “Wassup Baby,” he said as he passed me. And then as I tried to speed up he watched me from behind and said “Nice ass.” I felt like every inch of my strength deflated with one breath, I was a puddle on the sidewalk.
I could feel his eyes on my body as I walked away, and I just wanted to disappear, but I couldn’t… So I just froze. I stood there, on the street, waiting to get up the courage to turn around and tell him that was NOT ok to talk to me that way. To explain how much his words cut through me like a knife, making me into a naked shell of myself. I stood there for what seemed like forever, as I heard him get into his car and zoom off. I stood there even after he was gone, ashamed of myself that I could not stand up for myself, for women, for our bodies that are forever under attack.
This was not the first time I had been harassed, but somehow it struck me differently, maybe because I am in a new place and far from home. Why is this ok? Why does this happen everywhere? I am now an adult woman, I don’t dress in a way that invites any attention to my body from strangers. I have a loving and respectful boyfriend who affirms my right to own my body every day, and I feel stronger now than when I got harassed as a teenager or even a few years ago. But yesterday, that man made me feel like nothing anyway. I wish there were more places like this website, where the force and weight of street harassment and all it leads to was acknowledged. How can we create more space for this issue to be recognized for the oppression that it is? I’m still searching. For now, thank you for making this space.
Submitted by Reena
I was influenced by the plight faced by poor Ines Sainz, the reporter who confronted the New York Jets about sexual harassment, to post this. This is for you…
As you’re going to see here, this guy leered at me and, when I approached and confronted him about it, he got pissed and called me a “white girl” and, when he thought the camera wasn”t rolling, he said to me, “Fuck you.” This was not or ever meant to be a compliment. This was male entitlement, sexual harassment and the belief that, because, to him, I am an object, not a human being, a woman, he could intrude into my boundaries as he wished and maybe take my body as he pleased. The days of women being men’s property or second class citizens is over (And DON’T cite my profession (which is acting as a fantasy) because that is the rape mentality by using a woman’s morals to justify the abnegation of a woman’s right to consent – just as the moral police do in Afghanistan ). Little does he know or care that when he does that, he disrespects the very women that gave him life: his mother, sister or daughter. This happens to every woman worldwide, regardless of how they dress, appear, act (Egypt, where burqas are common, instituted a law which mandated a year jail sentence for sexual harassment). Thank goodness a fellow women in a high position to correct this wasn’t brainwashed by misogyny and took the plight of a fellow sister seriously.
In this country, we have an egregious rape epidemic of major proportions. It’s called the rape mentality. Women are being and have been told that if they wear a certain outfit, look attractive or, in any shape, manner and form, appear titilating to men, then they were asking for it! Really, what’s being said is is that, because you are a woman, you were asking for it. The whore/virgin complex is being used to facilitate and justify harm against women with the male entitlement/ rape mentality being used as a system to keep women oppressed and in check.
This is why I DON’T fuck with men unless they are tricks!
The rape mentality has got to go and more women need to start confronting these mofos. To any man who doesn’t understand – thank you for changing my sexual orientation!
Please join us as we talk about the revolution at Barnard on Monday, October 25th at 6:30pm!
Speakers include: Emily May from Hollaback!, Shannon Lynberg and Chai Shenoy from HollabackDC, and Oraia Reid from RightRides.
Here’s the description: Street harassment, or sexual harassment in public spaces, is an issue with which just about every woman has some experience. Activists from New York City and Washington, DC will discuss new, innovative ways to combat street harassment using technology, mapping, and community organizing. Through online activism, public policy and advocacy, and outreach, these activists have succeeded in giving people from many different communities a forum in which they can speak out against gender-based street harassment.
For more details, click on the facebook invite here. Spread the word by inviting your friends.
See you there!