I had just left an interview for a summer internship with one of the top International Development Consulting groups in the world. I was excited and anxious about how it went, I called my best friend in California to tell her all about it as I walked home. Nothing could have stopped me in that moment, I felt so empowered, that I could do anything and handle anything. I was wearing my favorite black dress and a beautiful red cowell neck scarf my mom had knitted, I felt comfortable and great.
Anyway, I was as happy as a clam walking back home. I turned left onto P Street, because it was the fastest way for me to get home. As usual I was minding my own business, so wrapped up in the events of the morning to be distracted or bothered my anything. Then I noticed three male construction workers coming up Hopkins Street up to P Street. They were all staring at me, so I ignored them and looked forward, knowing that I would be in the safe, respectful, cozy walls of my tiny studio very soon. But they were staring like they had never seen a girl before, really guys? Never seen a girl in a dress and heels walking around before?
As I got closer, one of them said “All eyes on you.” My face got hot and I just thought “Ew! Ew! NOT EVEN in your dreams, guy!” I typically walk pretty fast, so I thought I would pass right by them, but for some reason we all met at the corner of P and Hopkins at the same moment, so I had to walk through the three of them to keep going. Another one said something to the effect of “Why don’t you say hi?” And I thought “Because I typically avoid talking to creeps and people who don’t respect me!” I just made a disgusted face and I did not say a word and I kept going on my way, tall and with my head up.
This happened a few months ago and to this day I wish I had turned around and said “You should respect women!” or even something less composed as “Get bent, a**hole!” When I got home, I did not feel vulnerable or scared, I was 85% fiery, angry, so riled up and 15% uncomfortable. Those men do not know a thing about me. They have no idea who I am at all, yet they judged me about my body and my appearance. I dress for myself, not for others. If I decide to wear dress and heels, it is for me only.
Between our first-ever board retreat at the OMEGA institute (which got a Wall Street Journal shout-out!) and the American Express/Ashoka Social Entrepreneur Boot Camp (thanks to the Women’s Media Center for promoting this!), last week was a week of strategy, strategy, strategy. So much strategy (and travel), that we missed writing our weekly update. But this week, we’re back with a bang!
A Warm Welcome! to new staff member Amy Klein and also to Duke students Sunny Frothingham and Rikera Taylor. We super-psyched for you to join our team! We were also happy to have Soapbox’s Feminist Summer Camp interns in our office on Tuesday, thanks for the help!
Out and About. Victoria attended a working group at Barnard College on Thursday led by feminist author, speaker and blogger Courtney Martin, to discuss the impact and sustainability of online feminism.
Hollaback! Around the World. The change making ladies of Hollaback! Brussels have gained the support of Flemish minister P. Smet and Parliament member Yamila Idrissi.
In the Press. I was interviewed by Bandit Queen Radio on Monday, I told them all about the college campus campaign, the revolution and the moving and shaking of the Hollaback! movement. We also got press by Fox News Latino, an interview with the Line Campaign, and a shout-out in Jezebel.
We’ve only got 6 days left in our campaign to end campus harassment — PLEASE DONATE and spread the word! We need all the help we can get!
HOLLA and out —
Join us in our fight to bring Hollaback to 10 college campuses over the next year — and bring an end to sexual harassment on college campuses!
I was getting on my bike outside the English Faculty in Oxford and some gross guy yelled from a blue car that I was a “stupid slag”. Considering he was missing half his teeth, I think I’m still winning here.
Take a stand against campus harassment and bullying! Send a tweet or status update about our new college campaign and you’ll be entered to win this sweet Hollaback tee!
Dear supporters —
It’s the final countdown. The clock is racing. We’re only 9 days away from our deadline and time is running out. We’ve still got over $20,000 to raise in order to bring Hollaback to 10 college campuses over the next year. In world where 51% of college men admit to sexually harassing their female counterparts, we don’t have time to spare.We know we can do it, and we’ve done it before. But we’ve never done this without you. So today, we’re turning towards you to ask a favor: can you take a stand against campus harassment and bullying? If you can help us, your ultimate reward is a world where campus harassment is no longer accepted as “normal,” and where everyone has a right to education in a safe environment. As a token of our gratitude, however, we’re giving away some Hollaback prizes as well. Every day that you post about our campaign on your social networks, you’ll automatically be entered to win a free t-shirt from Hollaback. We’ll be announcing one winner per day until our campaign ends on June 13th.
Here are some suggested messages, but feel free to come up with your own:
51% of college men admit to sexually harassing their female counterparts. Donate to end campus harassment now: http://bit.ly/JcLZbT @ihollaback
27% of female students stay away from libraries, canteens, and computer labs on campus bc of sexual harassment http://bit.ly/JcLZbT @ihollaback
9% of female students dropped a course or skipped a class in response to sexual harassment. bit.ly/JrpO39 @ihollaback
16% of female students who have been sexually harassed found it hard to study or pay attention in class. bit.ly/JrpO39 @ihollaback
I just donated to @ihollaback ‘s campaign to end campus harassment! Please consider making a donation here: igg.me/p/107514
Fine print: To enter, you must tag us on facebook or twitter and you must include a link to our indiegogo campaign. You can enter as many times as you like. T-shirts are available in men’s or women’s sizes, and will be mailed to you following the campaign.
Thank you for your ongoing support, and for your donations so far! We’ve got nine days to go, and we know that, if we work together, can do this!!!
With hope and gratitude,
Thank you to our supporters so far!
Andrea C Vial
…and all our anonymous donors!
Upon realizing that I had just missed the bus I had hoped to take and that I would have to walk through a darkly lit stretch of sidewalk to get to my destination, I cursed in frustration. It wasn’t a long walk, but it was still one that I was trying to avoid having to take. My partner said to me, “You don’t need to be taking the bus anyway. It’s a beautiful walk through the park!”
I looked at him and sighed. I was a little exasperated that I had to explain this to him AGAIN. “It’s late. And I’m female.”
It’s not his fault that he is an able-bodied cismale who has the privilege of not having to fear walking in dark places alone at night. And part of that privilege is not having to think about the fact that that privilege exists. It means that he never has to think about where he can and can’t walk and what the safest route for him to take will be, but also that he doesn’t even have to be aware of the fact that he doesn’t have to do that. Unfortunately, I don’t share that privilege. I should, of course. Everyone should. But as a female-bodied person, I am denied that luxury by society.
Not only do I fear walking alone at night because something could happen to me, but I also fear the reaction I would get from people if something did happen to me under those circumstances. “Well, you shouldn’t have been walking through there at night by yourself,” the victim-blaming rhetoric would go. I should have known better. Why would I put myself in that situation? What was I even doing walking in that neighborhood alone? All of these things would inevitably be thought by other people, if not vocalized by them.
And that’s one of the differences between the way I live my life and the way my partner is able to live his. Where he sees a beautiful walk through the park, I see potential danger. That’s what we talk about when we talk about privilege. That’s what we talk about when we talk about rape culture. And that’s what I’m hoping to change by doing the work that I do.
Cross Posted from boston.ihollaback.org
This man was on the bus asking personal questions and harassed two women and put his arm around them even when they voiced discomfort. I stepped in to talk to them and created a non-confrontational distraction. There was a security guard on the bus and neither him nor the bus driver said anything.
I went out today for a walk–I was going to a nearby park to play my kalimba by the pond, then go the library and read. Just a block from my home a construction worker on a house called out to me, “Hey Girl…” I instinctively raised my hand in greeting and he stands up and says “What’s up?” This is a nice neighborhood and I’ve never had trouble before so I had instinctively assumed he was just a neighborly person, but when I realized just what his attitude was I tersely responded, “Walking” and kept going.
Then later on the way back from the library a car slowed up and honked at me. That’s not flattering, it’s just startling and annoying.
It’s ridiculous–I’m just trying to chill out and be in my community and people are going to act like this? Not cool.
I was raped and sexually abused a long time ago by a babysitter and family friend.
I have been told that because I am a woman that my job is in the kitchen making meals. Ive been told that I’m a good for nothing babymaker and that I have to submit to the men in my lives. I was told that all I am good for is sex and that i need to use my body to please men.