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After being raped at gunpoint in her Harlem apartment in 2001, Jana Leo resolved to fight back not only against the rapist but against the landlord whose greed and calculated recklessness set the stage for the break-in. Encountering police disinterest, a health care system that refused to pay for a rape kit, and a beleaguered district attorney’s office, Leo sought justice for the violence of the attack, an experience that has resonated throughout her life.
The Feminist Press, along with Center for the Humanities at CUNY, RightRides, and Hollaback!, is sponsoring a series of dialogues to commemorate artist, philosopher, and architecture scholar Jana Leo’s forthcoming book Rape New York (Feminist Press, February 2011). Jana will be joined by writer and curator Gavin Browning, feminist writer and organizer Jennifer Baumgardner, architect and SUPERFRONT founder Mitch McEwen, and Michelle Anderson, Dean of CUNY Law School.
Join Hollaback! in Fort Greene on Monday, February 21 for the third discussion of the series.
Monday, February 21: Greenlight Bookstore, Fort Greene, Brooklyn, 7:30 pm
Violent Crime & the Urban Landscape with Mitch McEwen
Click here for a full calendar of events.
I was verbally sexually harassed by a train conductor while I was on the platform of the Marble Hill Metronorth station. My train arrived on the southbound side at 4:40pm on Feb 8, 2011, the harasser was the conductor in the center car with his head stuck out of the window on the northbound track as his train was departing. His train was in motion and he shouted “Hey there sexy!” at me. As though (1) a train in motion meant he had a clear getaway. Guess what genius? The trains are timed to the minute, and you are on the clock! (2) I had no recourse. I’ll keep you posted on how the MTA responds to my complaint. This is completely inappropriate, unprofessional, and moreover illegal.
And for the record, he is in his 30s-40s, and is on the MTA payroll so he can ride the trains and shout at women who are commuting. DO I PAY TO RIDE & GET HARASSED?? No.
Submitted by Sophia
My girlfriend and I went to a japanese style massage parlor (fully clothed & open tables) to get full body massages. I have been to the place previously & had a great experience so I thought I would try it again with a friend. Little did I know that my masseuse would push himself up against me. At first I wasn’t sure but after I repositioned myself away from him he tried again. I finally had to tell him that I didn’t need that area massaged. Weirdo!
I couldn’t believe this a***hole. I felt so furious, awkward & embarrassed. I didn’t want to ruin my girlfriends time so I didn’t say anything!
Submitted by violated
Girl with pen + typewriter = revolution. Here’s where we found this.
Yesterday I ran into this guy for the third time in the past couple months on the CTA Brownline. He pretends to be really engrossed in his red flip cell phone (like he’s sending a text or something) but what he’s actually doing is taking photos of young women on the train.
The first time I saw him, I was sitting behind him and could see his screen. The second time I saw him he got on the train the stop before I exited, but when I saw him yesterday – I decided to snap a photo of my own. Long dark hair and wire rim glasses. Pretty sure he was wearing that denim jacket each time as well.
Watch out for this guy. If I’ve seen him three times (on the Brownline headed towards Kimball – twice during evening rush and once later in the evening) he’s got to be out there even more. Every time I see him it makes my blood run thin to know what he’s up to but not have the power to do anything to stop him.
My friend suggested I share with Hollaback! to spread the word.
Submitted by Summer
I have experienced so much verbal abuse over the years that now it doesn’t even appear on my radar, but this night it was different.
I was on the phone to a friend outside of a pub, tucked into a corner so I wasn’t in the way of pedestrians or those sucking the last drags out of their cigarettes on the way to the bin. Minding my own business, this group of middle aged couples came up to me and one of them lifted my dress up and commented on my not so flattering underwear. Then they walked off before I could so much as process what was happening. So there I was, stood outside Northern Monkey with my knickers on display to a busy street stammering down the phone to my friend.
Submitted by Steph
When I was around fourteen or fifteen I went with my Latin class to Italy, and we took a day trip to Pisa to see the tower and cathedral there. From the train station you have to take a bus to get to the more touristy attractions, and it was on that bus on the way back when I noticed a man standing a little too close to me from behind.
Every time the bus lurched he would press into me, and I could feel his erection – he was wearing baggy sweatpants of a thin material. I kept inching away from him but the bus was crowded and I couldn’t move much. I was completely petrified – although I was already used to men making comments about me (which seemed to happen especially frequently in Italy, although I was living in a small town at the time where I was kind of an “alternative” kid and didn’t “fit in” so maybe it’s an unfair contrast) no one had ever touched me like this before. I didn’t know what to do. Luckily, one of my friends’ mothers was a chaperone on the trip, and she caught on to what was happening and offered to switch places with me.
I have been lucky enough to have traveled extensively, but almost everywhere I’ve been it seems like someone is going to harass me – including the time, during my second trip to Italy, a young man told me he “loved my boobs” – while I was walking with my mother.
I’m now attending college in New York City, which isn’t really a reduction in the harassment. I love New York but I’d really like to be able to go a day without a wolf whistle or a comment.
Submitted by Li
The words in this image show how i feel when being harassed.
An open warning to all street harassing males,
Not all of us exist to make you feel like strong, powerful cavemen who could drag us by our hair and rape us at will… some of us are LESBIANS who find you UGLY. Yes, I know, in your pea-brains, the only homosexuals in existence are the gay men who you also torment (many times because you WISH you could actually be with a FELLOW MAN you respect rather than the women you hate, yet refuse to explore your gay side because in your idiot brain, it means you would be…*ewww* more like a woman). You see, you street harassers are very, very damaged. Your definition of manhood is despising women as anything other than envelopes for you to screw/bang/pork/nail (notice the violence of these terms?) In your world, gay men are insufficient males, and lesbian women don’t exist. So when you yell something at me, or me and a date of mine, you assume that we are just dying to add you and have a “threesome”. In your mind, “lesbian”=either “woman who can’t get a man” (as if any woman can’t ‘get’ one of you desperate, ugly, hairy backed Neanderthals) or a woman just dying to add your ape-face to a threesome with her girlfriend. When one of us declares our sexual orientation, you usually come up with the original line “whyncha try some DICK, bitch?” And if I happen to be walking with a friend who is a dyke who doesn’t fit your narrow ideals of beauty (which, for some reason, you only extend to women–you MEN can be as repulsively ugly as you wanna be), my pal has to hear that she’s “too ugly to get a REAL MAN.” I wish I could gather a whole army of dykes of all shapes and sizes, from butch to femme, cissexual and trans, and tell all of you nasty street harrassers how we’d sooner do Sarah Palin than any of you…and that, by the way, “lesbian” does not mean we want you drooling while we do to our girls what you could never do to yours (ie give them orgasms, instead of STDs and unwanted pregnancies), but that we want you to leave us the hell alone.
Submitted by Gloomyboi
I was out in the mission with my friends for a birthday bar crawl and my roommate invited this guy she’s dating. He shows up with 3 extra friends in tow and they join our party and go with us to the next bar. I could tell the guys were sizing me up the whole time that we were at the bar together, but I tried to ignore their advances and just have a good time with my friends. Later on in the evening, one of the guys walked by and said in my ear- I want to taste you. He looked me in the face as he said it and kept on walking. I could not have been more disgusted. That behavior is NOT acceptable.
Submitted by Chrissy