demonstration, Stalking

Jen’s story: Serenading Stalkers with F.U. Songs (love it!)

In the summer before my senior year of High School, my mother decided to host a party for her coworkers. Myself and my brothers were there to help watch the younger children, grill the hamburgers and hotdogs and my mother enlisted me to be the official ‘bartender’. The party was in full swing and going well when one of the night-shift nurses showed up with her two daughters and her husband. She pulled me off to the side and asked me to make her husband something very strong as he didn’t want to be at the party. So I made him a drink and took it over to where he was sulking by the pool and told him to drink it, “orders from your wife”. He laughed a bit and every once and a while would come up and ask for a refill before going back to where he was sitting.

A little while later, one of my brothers and I were watching the kids while they swam and I was teaching his daughters how use pool noodles as squirt guns, etc. I noticed him staring, but I didn’t think much of it. After we tired the kids out, my brother made them popcorn and put on a movie for them. While I was in the kitchen getting a soda he came up behind me, brushed my hair over my shoulder and creepily whispered to me that I was “really good with his girls”. This made me extremely uncomfortable, and I just made some weird noises and muttered “thanks”. His family and him all left not long after that, but that was not the end of it.

Around midnight, when the only people left at the party were some of the younger hospital workers without kids, he turned up again. My oldest brother came to the backyard and told me that there was some guy outside asking for me. I was very confused and thought it might’ve been one of my friends, so I walked out to the front of the house. When I saw who it was, I immediately felt scared and uncomfortable, so I called to my brother and asked him to stay close before going outside. He had driven to our house and was very obviously drunk and reeked of weed. He came up to me, well within my personal bubble and seemed very happy to see me. I didn’t understand most of what he said because it was all drunken slurs, but I do know that at one point he pulled a pipe out of his pocket and asked me if I wanted to go toke up with him in his truck. At this point I was rather fed up and I could see my brother looking very angry in the doorway, so I very pointedly told him that he had a wife and two children waiting for him at home, and even if he didn’t I wouldn’t touch him with a 10 foot pole, and that he was far to drunk to drive and if he wanted me to call him a cab (all in a very sickly sweet voice). He got rather ticked off at my comment so he grabbed my arm and started to say something but my brother twisted his arm and threw him to the ground before he got anything out (my brother studies martial arts) and told the man to get “the fuck off our property before I blow a hole through you, and don’t touch my sister again”.

I later found out from my mother that he crashed on his way home and received a DUI, and he wife filed for a divorce not to long after (which I was very happy to hear, I didn’t think he belonged around children).

During that same summer I was driving one of my friends home late at night when some guys pulled up next to us. It was a hot night, so I had the windows rolled down, and they started to make rather lewd comments and gestures at us. The light turned green so I sped off and turned into a random neighborhood, but they followed us and honked their horn and flashed their lights at us constantly. I pulled back on to a main road and got stuck at another stop light when they pulled up next to us again and resumed yelling. So I switched the song and turned up my car speakers all the way and turned to them and began serenading them with this song (Another F.U. Song):

My friend burst out laughing and they tried to yell over the music, but I just turned it up more. They eventually gave up and sped off.

no comments 
Street harassment in the media

Lacoste Caught in Lie About Association with Racist, Homophobic, Misogynistic Magazine

Lacoste responded to our petition yesterday calling for the withdrawal of their ad dollars from Argentinian smut publication El Guardian with this well-crafted paragraph:

Thank you for sharing your comments with us on this matter. Please be aware that the petition being circulated by Change.org wrongly associates the Lacoste brand and the offensive ideas expressed by a journalist in the Argentinian El Guardian Magazine. These ideas are contrary to the values of our brand. Lacoste has no advertising plan with this magazine.

But we found this:

If Lacoste has ‘no advertising plan with this magazine’ we will call this campaign a great success. We just want to make sure our supporters don’t doubt that Lacoste did in fact advertise in this magazine at one time. So here it is on the record.

The ball is in your court, Lacoste. We can forgive the past transgression with your promise of future civic responsibility.

And FIAT has not taken the time to respond to our requests yet, so while we’re at it, we’ll get their sleaziness on the record too (and we’ll promise not to call them sleazy again if they promise to stop funding El Guardian):

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demonstration, Stalking, Verbal

Catherine’s story: She’s a hollaback girl now!

Every morning, I take the city bus to school. The bus terminal near my apartment is pretty busy and it’s not uncommon for me to get verbally harassed by men while I’m there waiting for my bus. Because of this, I was trying to mind my own business the other morning when a man approached me. I had my ipod in when I noticed him coming directly towards me. I avoided looking at him, hoping he would leave me alone, but no such luck. The next thing I knew, he was standing way too close to me and was talking to me. I turned my ipod off and asked him what he had said. He started asking me questions about my ipod and then asked me how old I was. I told him I was 20 and he looked me up and down and said “Some pretty for only 20…” I started to text my friend hoping that if I ignored him he’d move away, but he didn’t. Each time I stepped away from him, he’d step closer again.I was starting to feel threatened so I walked away to the other side of the terminal, pretending to look at the bus schedule. The man followed behind me without hesitation. As I was looking at the schedule he started asking me what bus I was taking, I ignored him and walked away again, back where I had come from. He continued following me. I walked into an area with a larger group of people and he still followed me. He was still standing too close, and was looking me up and down my body. I was so creeped out and my heart was beating so fast. He had this look in his eye that told me there was something not right with him. I wanted to tell him to get away from me, but at the time I was so scared. I was worried that if I told him to leave he may react badly, I didn’t want to escalate the situation.
After what felt like a lifetime, but was really a few minutes, his bus came and he left. Shortly after, a friend of mine arrived and we got on the bus to go to school. On the bus, I told her what had happened and we got to comparing stories about the various times that men have harassed us and about how generally messed up our society is. During this conversation, the man sitting in front of us kept peeking around and looking at us. It was clear that he was eavesdropping. When he got off the bus, he walked by our window and stared at us, then licked his lips and winked as we drove away. We were completely taken aback. After everything he had probably just heard us say, he had the nerve to do that!
I thought about that morning for the rest of the day. I was angry at myself for giving someone else the power to make me feel scared. I was angry at myself for not standing up when I should have. I am constantly being harassed by men, and ignoring it obviously is not working for me. I’m done with keeping my head down and my mouth shut. From now on I WILL hollaback!

one comment 
demonstration, Verbal

Natalie’s story: In the workplace it is illegal to make sexual comments like this, why is it ok in the street?

This isn’t about one particular incident, this is about the overall attitude of men. Today it was sunny so I walked from work to the bus stop without my coat on and I felt vulnerable. Vulnerable! How ridiculous is that.

2 men who I walked past made some sort of sexual animalesque grunt at me just as I passed them and another guy in a group said something offensive. There was the usual classic of a group of builders making comments. I was wearing black tights and a dress with a baggy jumper over the top and I actually caught myself thinking ‘i’ll never wear this dress again without a long coat’. I think it was mainly because I was on my own, as these incidents seem to be about power.

It is intimidating and undermining for this to happen so much that it is normal. The sad fact is that I thought that somehow I had to adapt. I have to have an armour to walk to and from work!!!!!!!!!!

In the workplace it is illegal to make sexual comments like this, why is it ok in the street? Like many of you, I wish I knew what to say. ‘F off’ makes you look angry and mental. A disapproving stare seems to have no affect and the act makes me feel so pathetic that I don’t feel capable of making a witty banterous put down. What shall I do tomorrow?

3 comments 
demonstration, homophobic, Verbal

Melanie’s story: First kiss, violated.

This was fourteen years ago, the fall of 1997. I was nineteen. I was on a date with a girl, walking along the boardwalk – it’s one of the more romantic places in our small city. We found a nice spot to look out over the lake, and sat there talking quietly. We leaned in and began kissing, just an innocent kiss. Not a minute later, some slimebag scared the living hell out of us – he had to sneak up behind us of course – by saying stuff to the effect of, “Wow, do you two want some company? Y’all look good, a couple hot little white girls, you want some big dick to keep you company?” And just on and on.

What pisses me off the most, even after all these years, is that it was our first kiss – my first real kiss with a girl, even – and it was completely ruined. Luckily, my date took me by the hand and we walked to the car, even though I wanted to run. She kept telling me it was okay, that he was just some asshole, that we were okay. But I will hate that crusty old creep for the rest of my life. At the time, it felt like he took maybe the one good thing going in my life and cheapened it, made it a bad memory instead.

Wow, I thought I was over this. Just goes to show you how long those old wounds stay with you. I suppose I’m lucky that he didn’t pursue us or attack us, but I felt, still feel, violated all the same.

no comments 
Street harassment in the media, The Movement

Lacoste Denies Advertising in El Guardian, but We Know Better

In response to consumers’ outraged posts on Lacoste’s Facebook page regarding the brand’s association with a magazine that works with would-be rapists, they issued this statement:

Thank you for sharing your comments with us on this matter. Please be aware that the petition being circulated by Change.org wrongly associates the Lacoste brand and the offensive ideas expressed by a journalist in the Argentinian El Guardian Magazine. These ideas are contrary to the values of our brand. Lacoste has no advertising plan with this magazine.

But don’t be fooled, folks. The statement’s tricky language gives the impression us crazy non-rapists are wrong but does not explicitly say that they have never advertised in the publication. We’ll take “Lacoste has no advertising plan with this magazine” as a good sign they may not for very much longer.

We’re waiting for our Buenos Aires bureau chief to send over incriminating visual evidence of their advertising in El Guardian, and we promise to publish that here as soon as we receive it.

Thank you for standing up for civil rights today and showing your support for our leaders on the ground, everyone has a right to feel safe and comfortable when they walk down the street.

Petitions by Change.org|Start a Petition »

UPDATE 4/8/11, 7:46am: Here is proof that Lacoste advertises with El Guardian. What idiots they are.

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Street harassment in the media, The Movement

FIAT and Lacoste Advertise in Argentina’s El Guardian

…and El Guardian doesn’t mind publishing stuff from a neanderthal who calls himself a journalist; that is, El Guardian publishes the hateful, B-grade writings of Juan Terranova. And Juan Terranova publishes rape threats.

Help us out. Tell Fiat and Lacoste their advertising dollars shouldn’t pay for the promotion of hateful, sexually violent scribblings, before the magazine gains any traction. Still in its infancy, El Guardian doesn’t even yet have a website. But as advertising dollars grow, so will this publication—and if they’re publishing this sort of crap now, imagine what they might publish later?

Facebook bomb FIAT and Lacoste and let them know where their advertising dollars are going, and what sorts of writings they are promoting. El Guardian might not mind doing favors for men who publish rape threats but they’ll mind when funding is cut off.

Help us choke it at its source:

Petitions by Change.org|Start a Petition »

no comments 
The Movement, Uncategorized

An Opportunity to Get Involved

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has been a key ally in our efforts to raise awareness about street harassment.

Please join the Domestic Violence Task Force  on Wednesday, April 27th at 12pm at 1 Centre Street, 19th Floor South for the Manhattan culminating event for Denim Day New York.

Denim Day Manhattan will be a forum on Best Practices for University Sexual Assault Prevention, where university representatives, students and community-based organizations from across the city will come to share ideas, network and strategize about the best ways protect New York’s college students from sexual violence.

In the spirit of Denim Day, please wear jeans!!

no comments 
demonstration, groping

ElizaA’s story: This ‘hot piece’ holla’s back, jerks

I live in a town that’s filled, primarily, with bars, places I usually enjoy and have never had a problem (possibly because I usually go out with a group that is primarily male). However, on this particular night it was a friend’s birthday and we decided that getting plastered was a good idea. To avoid spending too much money we went to the local dive bar, somewhere I previously had never set foot in. It’s a strangely dark place (even for a bar) and VERY crowded on weekends.
At one point I, along with three of my friends (all girls) went out onto the dance floor, we were having fun jumping around and dancing with each other for partners when I feel something brush past my ass, initially I dismissed it, it’s a crowded dance floor and you do have to work your way through it to get to the bar, a little awkward jostling is too be expected. However, it turned out to be some guy who started grinding on me, when I tried to gently push him away saying, “no thanks” he just pressed closer when I pushed harder he said “woah, you’re grinding all up on me.” And I glanced over my shoulder to see him and his friends laughing. I was so uncomfortable that I just moved closer to my friends and waited for him to pass.
I wish I’d turned around and told him off for getting in my personal space and then trying to validate himself by saying that I was getting into his.
I felt violated and my friends and I left shortly after this happened. On our way out we reported this to the bouncer (with the friend I’d been dancing with pointing the guy who’d violated me out, as she’d gotten a good look at him.) He just laughed and said a “hot piece” like me should be used to it by now. On of my guy friends told him that he was an asshole and that his job was to protect the clients. He just scoffed and said something along the lines of, “come on, brah.”
Needless to say I’ll never be setting foot in there again.

one comment 
demonstration, Verbal

SR’s story: I wish I could just shrug it off, but I can’t.

Me: crossing Woodward with my boyfriend. Young guy in the passenger seat of car stopped at the Woodward red light: yells “SEXY” etc etc at me while I wait for the Congress light to change. This is about thirty, maybe forty full seconds of yelling. He’s far enough away that I can’t tell what he’s saying, so I ignore him until some other college girls walk towards the intersection and he yells at them too about their clothing (skirts). I turn and yell at him to fuck off, notice the asshole is *holding a camcorder* and presumably had been filming my ass the entire time. Light changes, he laughs with the driver as they zoom off. Wish I had a photo or a license plate number but I don’t, wish I could just shrug it off and forget about it but I can’t. All I can do is sit around thinking of things I wish I had said and I hate that feeling.

one comment 
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