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 was 14 years old and I was with some friends in a World Cup event that was happenning at the beach. Me and a friend of mine were going to tha snack bar when a drunk 30 year old guy surrounded me and asked if I would kiss him. I didn’t want to and I told him that, but he didn’t let me go. He hugged me and asked many times why I didn’t want him while he tried to still a kiss. My friend was a little bit far, since she thought that I was intending to kiss him, and the friends of the guy were laughing aroud us. I wanted to get out of there, so I told him that I would kiss him if he let me go. It was a very disgusting moment, but then he liberated me. At that time I hadn’t realized what happened. And whenever I tell this story to someone, people also doesn’t see. By now, I regret that I didn’t kick his balls and call the security. I have the right to say “no”.
I’m a couple blocks away from my job, having just picked up some McDonald’s for myself and my boss. The bag is heavy and I’m overheated, just trying to get back so I can eat. I’m waiting to cross the street when a skinny white man on a bike wearing sunglasses and sucking on a pacifier (it looked like) starts to yell at me.
“Suck a dick white girl!”
I tried not to look but I was in such shock that someone would even say something like that, even though I have been harassed in the past. I didn’t turn my head but I looked at him zoom by as he never broke eye contact with me waiting for my reaction.
“Suck a dick!” he yelled again, smiling.
All I wanted to do was get from point A to point B without being objectified and harassed. Is that too much to ask?
allston MA on my way to a coffe shop walking my bike wearing workout gear and this dude calls out to me asking “can I ride with you?” I ignore him shaking my head then as I walk away I hear him say “sexy” ew dude that is so gross. I want to be able to walk in a world that doesn’t specialize me- like seriously not ok.
I randomly decided to go for a morning jog before going to work. I passed by a house and noticed a car I had never seen at this property (mind you, I’ve ran in this neighborhood a zillion times). The car was on and there was a guy inside. I keep jogging, to eventually turn around and jog back to my apartment. A couple of minutes after I see the same exact car parked on the side of the pavement, a little ahead of me, in front of a different house. I pass him, and take a better look at the subject. I keep running and noticed the car passed me again and parked ahead of me on the side of the pavement, AGAIN. I started freaking out but keep running towards my apartment complex. He drives past me once more and wait for me in a turn, waits for me to pass him and does the same for about three times. I was frightened and decided not run home but instead I keep running towards my Alma Matter (which is a couple of blocks away). I crossed the avenue on a red light to avoid him to catch up with my pace. I want to get inside a building but for that I need to cross a parking lot. I start running but using the cards as shields. I turn around and see that the harasser had gotten into the parking lot but was on the opposite side. I pray that he does not see me while I keep hiding among the cars. I try to get into a building but the entrances were blocked because a construction was there. I keep calling for help but no one is picking up their phones. I managed to get into a building through a back door and then I called my school’s on campus police, who gave me a ride home.
Those were the worst 20 minutes. Being followed by a guy I have never seen in my life for 10+ blocks.
Why do I have to feel the most vulnerable and unsafe when I am supposed the most free when I am doing the one thing I enjoy the most: run?! People are sick and this should end. It is not okay to alter one’s tranquility in such sick manner, there is no excuse! I think street harassment -of any kind- should be punishable!
I was leaving a screening of Out in the Night, which is amazing and everyone should see it. http://www.outinthenight.com/
We were even lucky to have the women on a panel for a Q&A. I was so moved.
As I was leaving and waiting on the corner for my ride a car full of boys pulled up and called me “beautiful” etc etc (everyone on holla back can imagine what they said). For context, I am a teacher at this university and they could have easily been my students. I let them know I wasn’t interested and told them to go on their way. They did, briefly, then they stopped their car and went in reverse to return and harass me. Have you ever felt the panic of a car full of men reversing towards you? Wasn’t the first time for me but that doesn’t mean it isn’t terrifying.
This time I played along by asking if they were students. They said they were so I said “Ok great. I’m a teacher here and I’ll be sure to remember your face. I’m sure I’ll grade your paper someday.” They weren’t impressed. Called me an ugly cunt, bitch, etc. Drove away.
They circled back a third time and I hid. I hid because they were escalating and I didn’t know what they were going to do. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I had just been inspired by Out in the Night. Maybe I would have hurt them.
I kinda wish I did.
Guy says when I’m not looking at him or near him, “Good morning. Que Linda. Beautiful.”
I was sitting in a coffee shop on Dupont Circle at the bar facing the windows on Connecticut Ave and noticed a man parked directly across the sidewalk was watching me from his car. I realized after a minute that he was touching himself, and eventually saw that he wasn’t wearing pants. I tried to get a picture of him (included) but people were walking by so he stopped. He continued after they passed so I got up to leave. I tried also to get a picture of his license plate but he drove away quickly when I got up. He was an older white man wearing a yellow reflective safety vest in a bright blue pick-up truck with a construction rack in the bed and Maryland plates.
I walked out on my lunch hour a block away to get something to eat. On my way there, I heard several “kissy” noises coming from my right side. I turned to see a delivery man walking right beside me and staring at me. As soon as I turned to him, I gave him a look of disgust to show him those noises were not welcome. He was just happy to have gotten my attention at all and followed up with “HI!”
This made me feel disgusting and totally degraded in the middle of the day. Immediately after I walked away, I wished I had some something to him about how inappropriate that was. It made me feel icky and gross. I came back to work and told a friend (girl) about the situation, and she made me feel worse by telling me its not a big deal and she loves it when she gets compliments in the street, but “to each their own” and then she refused to engage in any further discussion on the matter. I feel awful! If women can’t get on the same page about this, how can we ever hope that street harassment will stop?
I was coming home at night from a really good job interview. I got on the train at Hollywood/Vine Metro Station and headed back towards 7th/Metro Station. About a stop or two down the track a drunk man got on the train, singing VERY loudly (with very little talent) and sat directly across from me. I ignored him until about 10 minutes later when I noticed he was opening a can of bud light (probably his 5th). I looked away trying to ignore him again and when I glanced back I saw him starring directly at me, licking his lips, and rubbing the inside of his thigh dangerously close to his small dick. I glared back at him trying to get him to stop but he just kept going so I changed seats. He began to laugh and say degrading comments toward me … so I flicked him off (I don’t take that kind of bull shit from anyone). And then he began getting really aggressive, stumbling toward me and threatening me. We continued cussing each other out until I got to 7th & Metro. As I exited the train he made a knee jerking motion and said “I will kick your ass, bitch” and that’s when I blew my top, turned around, and said “WELL THEN COME ON BABY, I”M RIGHT HERE”. Of course the dick did nothing and continued to cuss at me as the doors closed. The ONLY bystander on a train full of useless people was this angel of a woman who, as she was also exiting the train, told the man “Don’t you touch her”. I can’t thank that woman enough for standing up for me. I’m always use to standing alone, I just want someone to help me out, just fucking once. If anyone sees a short, black man wearing a red baseball cap handing out stupid black business cards on the metro promoting himself as a “world champion boxer” (he actually tried using his cards to intimidate me) call the cops and stay away from him.
Hi Hollas! Hope everyone had amazing activism-filled weeks!
Here’s what’s been happening at the headquarters:
Earlier this week, ED Emily May moderated a panel at Youth + Tech + Health Live where she spoke about online harassment and safe spaces on the internet. Now she’s in Atlanta at the Points of Light Civic Accelerator where she’s working on HeartMob! Go Emily go!
One of our amazing interns, Kate, went to Denim Day to rally around rape prevention and support for survivors!
Our new project, HeartMob, was funded in just five days! We are so amazed by the generosity of our activist network and excited about the great press we’ve received this week from Cosmopolitan, KillerStartup, Mic, Bustle, Collectively, and more! We can’t wait for Heartmob to be a real thing! Next step – unlocking our bonus levels. The Heartmob Kickstarter doesn’t end until May 15th, and the Knight Foundation has offered to donate $2,500 if we get 250 backers, $5,o00 if we get 500 backers, and $10,000 if we get 1000 backers! Donate a dollar if you can (even a dollar gets you early access to the platform!) and check out Heartmob’s Facebook and Twitter!
Let’s check out what some of our sites did!
Hollaback! Peterborough is having a launch party on May 9th and it’s Cats Against Catcalling-themed! They’ll be projecting their newly launched website on the walls of Artspace, providing yummy vegan food, and featuring music from Evan Gentle, Stacey Green Jumps, Nick Ferrio, and more!
Hollaback! Vancouver showcased the results of their “What’s Your Number?” campaign on Thursday, where participants were asked to record instances of street harassment through journal or clicker. The results were shown at an art show/party educating attendees on the prevalence of harassment!
Hollaback! Bahamas hosted a chalk art event at College of the Bahamas with the Pro Society, and received a small grand from The Awesome Foundation for their safe spaces campaign! Director Alicia Wallace was chosen as an honouree at the Bahamas Sexual Health & Rights Association’s first annual tea party and recognition event!
Hollaback Cuenca launched an anti-street harassment campaign in Cuenca Ecuador together with the President of Universidad de Cuenca, the Province Government Vice President, the head of the department for social equity and gender of the municipality of Cuenca and the President of the Women’s Association of Universidad de Cuenca.
Hollaback! Italy held a workshop in Genoa during a week event show for a feminist journal’s 20th anniversary in partnership with Arci Gay Ostilia Mulas. They held a four day workshop in Agape during Easter at Lesbian Camp of Agape about harassing in LGBTQ communities.
And, a few week in our shoes back, they marched in Turin for an anti-sexist march!
That’s all for this week. Keep being awesome! Holla out.