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I was in the elevator at work, coming back from lunch, when I encountered a dude who randomly started talking to me while I was zoning out on phone. First, he called me “toots,” and then he made a kissy face at me. When he asked me how I was doing (my reply: “Just trying to ride the elevator, man”) he smiled and backed me into the corner. Then, his coworker (oh right. Because there were other people in the elevator) said “Oh, haha, just ignore him, he’s sick,” and my new friend leaned in so close I could actually feel his breath on me and said “Is that how you like it? Sick? You into that?” Then he grabbed my badge out of my hands and said “Where do you work?” before butchering the name of my company and sliding off the elevator (which, incidentally, I ride with him roughly twice a week. He works on the floor below mine).
Last week, I ran into him again. This time he oggled me all the way up to his stop, then leaned into my face and said “BYE!” like a 13 year old mean girl, before stepping off the elevator. On a whim, I followed him. He looked startled. “I’m coming with you today,” I said. He looked me up and down. “Lucky me,” he said.
He was a lot less cocky about 10 minutes later, after I’d followed him to his office, demanded to speak to his supervisor, and told his boss – and his boss’ boss – that the next time New Friend tried to make a love connection with me, I’d be calling the cops.
Submitted by Mads
Does this awesome hollaback make you wanna stand up from your desk and throw a few fist pumps in the air? How about donating to show your support? Say it with $5.
Anna is just one of the people who are planning to start Hollabacks in their own communities. Help support their work by starting a page, setting a goal, and asking your friends to donate at my.ihollaback.org.
We’ll be introducing you to more of the Hollaback leaders over the coming weeks. Stay tuned, and THANK YOU for your ongoing support.
Live in France like Anna? Italy? Germany? We want to help you bring Hollaback to your country, too, but we need a little help. Give us a push, with $5.
I’ve live in NYC my whole life and I’ve experienced both sexual verbal harassment and racism almost all the time. I get unwanted stares on a daily basis, but you know what, as a woman you should learn to fight back and protect yourself. I’ve learned some ways to scare those harassers off. Do whatever you can to protect yourself, if you feel like a creep is following you, act like a psycho, start talking to yourself and w/e, cause no one wanna mess with a psycho and carry a pepper spray.
My ways of handling these situations are always having my IPOD on, so i can’t hear those whistles or catcalls, i can easily ignore them if i don’t hear it, all that’s left is them looking like idiots if you can’t hear them.
When some creep is staring at me nonstop, i’ll look back with a very angry scary looking pisst off face, like the kind u don’t wanna mess with, that’ll sure to ruin whatever fantasy they’re having, and if i have to, i’ll curse at them.
The more women act scared, the more they will harass you, you gotta teach yourself to act like you’re a demon and no one can touch you, don’t be the one who’s scared, be the one to scare!!! take good notes from those ghetto black teenage girls, there’s a reason why no one wants to deal with them.
BE STRONG LADIES, YOU’VE ONLY GOT YOURSELF AND YOUR ONE PRECIOUS LIFE, FIGHT BACK LIKE YOUR LIFE IS ON THE LINE, DON’T LOSE TO ANYONE!!!
Submitted by Cheryl
Ever stood up for yourself like Cheryl did? It feels great, right?!? Help others find the courage to do the same! You can, with $5.
I was leaving the subway station, and getting onto the escalator and i hear people shouting thigs at me like heyy mami, hey sexy, and I turn around and see about 10 guys. Annoyed, I start walking up the escalator, only to hear cheering. I turned around and see one of the guys directly behind me. I gave him a dirty look and kept walking. All of a sudden i feel a hang slap my ass. I turned around and yell in the guys face, “are you kidding me?,” and kept walking, trying to get away from them. The guys kept cheering and cat calling all the way to the street exit, at witch point they followed me out, saying, “ohh were going the same way.” I began to get nervous and called my boyfriend who was a few blocks away. As the phone was ringing, i feel another hand hitting me on the ass. I wheeled around and the guys all said heyy heyyy heyy and kept saying things to me, cat calling. I quickened my pace but a few of them followed me around the corner, and kept asking me where i was going and what my name was, as i yelled at them that i don’t speak english, at which point i thankfully saw my boyfriend who had run outside, and the guys immediately crossed the street and kept walking.
Submitted by J
There’s sometimes an unclear line between free speech and verbal harassment that makes many women hesitant to take action against their harassers. There’s no fine line between free speech and slapping a stranger on the ass, though. That’s illegal and we’re sick of it. Help us tell the city we won’t tolerate it. You can, with $5.
She could have holla’ed back! To make sure the world can keep holla’ing back, join our campaign at my.ihollaback.org.
We unfortunately can’t travel back in time to help our predecessors in the fight against street harassment, but we can improve things for our sisters and our children today and tomorrow. Start a discussion—ask your mother and your grandmother about how things were when they were growing up. And help us keep the discussion going, with $5.
Reprinted from NOW-NYC. For more information, click here.
Tuesday, November 9th, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
111 Centre Street, NYC (between Leonard & White;
6, Q, N, R, J, Z to Canal St.)
WHY THIS RALLY IS IMPORTANT:
NOW-NYC and anti-violence advocates from across the city are joining forces to ask Justice Cassandra Mullen to give confessed rapist, Tony Simmons, a sentence with jail time. Recently, the Manhattan Supreme Court Justice proposed a sentence of ten years probation with absolutely no jail time for this court-appointed juvenile counselor who pled guilty to raping one girl and sexually assaulting two others.
If Simmons, who admitted to sexually assaulting three teen girls, can get off without any jail time, what does that mean for women victims of rape across the city? We need to send a message to Justice Mullen, law enforcement, our leaders, and our community to Take Rape Seriously!
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1) Join our rally and press conference on Tuesday, November 9th 12:30 pm and help us send a strong message! We’ll have signs available, or you can bring your own. Our key messages are: (a) Take Rape Seriously
(b) NO Getting Away With Rape (c) Simmons Should Serve
2) Sign Our Petition NOW to Justice Cassandra Mullen to demand jail time for this violent offender and justice for the victims. We will present our petition to Justice Mullen after the rally.
3) Get more signers on this petition. Send out the link to the petition widely. Forward to friends, bloggers, and post on Facebook and Twitter. URL: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/now-nyc_justiceforassaultvictims/
Street harassment is a gateway crime that creates a culture of violence against women. Sexual harassment and aggression have no place in our homes, our jobs, our classes, our streets. Show your support today, with $5.
I had come downtown to visit my partner while he was on a break from work and he and I separated after he walked me to the bus stop. It was mid-afternoon and I didn’t expect a long wait for a bus as it’s a well-trafficked stop and many routes stop there.
A group of two men jaywalked diagonally across the street and surprised me as they neared by leering at me, coming far too close into my personal space and saying, “Nice legs.”
With big grins plastered on their faces, they moved on rapidly, passing by another woman behind me and commenting, “She has nice legs too.” I watched them walk away and it was obvious that they were continuing on their running commentary with other women at stops further down the street.
Submitted by Ashley
From time to time we get hate mail, but most of the time we just get love mail. Here’s a great piece of love mail we thought you’d appreciate:
I don’t believe there are a great deal of men capable of making cat calls (most of us have at least some kind of impulse control)– but the ones who are shouldn’t be allowed to ruin somebody’s day with a few rude words. It puts too much power in the hands of those who deserve it least. As cell phone cameras get better, and as women become more emboldened by efforts like yours, I hope we can stop cat calls completely.
A frustrated dude
It’s a shame that in this day and age, taking the bus can be a bit of a scary experience. I was on my way from work and had to wait for a while at a connecting stop. A man who I noticed was on the bus earlier had walked over to my stop and sat at the bench with me. He kept his distance but I just tend to stare face forward with my mp3 player on and my phone in my pocket. Eventually he says hello. I say hello back but continue to look forward. Minutes pass and he tells me his name. Noticing he’s waiting for a response I just tell him my name is ‘Marie’. It’s not real, it was just the first random name that came to mind. It got even more uncomfortable when he would periodically ask where’s the computer lab, do I go to school here, and so on. It got worse when another bus showed up but he decided to wait for MY bus to get here. He said, “I WAS going to get on this bus, but do you mind if I get on the same bus as you?” I didn’t answer so he took it upon himself to do so. I should have just walked into one of the university buildings ages ago, but I just wanted to go home. Eventually my bus gets here and I sit near the front so I could be by the driver and he sits towards the back. He later comes to a seat just behind me and asks if I had a place for him to stay during the night and gave him a firmly toned NO. He went back to his seat but it didn’t stop me from getting off my stop and looking around to make sure he didn’t follow me. The walk home was so scary because the apartment complex I’m at seems to have no interest in getting the street lamps fixed and the entire walk was me rushed in a zig zag pattern with my hand on the number 9 on my phone. Later when my boyfriend came back, we went out to get some pepper spray and so far, I will wait for him to give me a ride, even if I have to wait for hours.
Reading the rest of these entries makes me feel more empowered, but there needs to be more! I want to do my part for this website and tell my friends about it. I also think it would be a wonderful idea to have this for all universities and public transportation systems. Thanks.
Submitted by Menia
It has become a regular occurrence for me to get cat called as I walk to work, go home, or go about doing my business. I am a 29 year old Asian American woman who graduated from Columbia University with a Masters in Urban Planning. I find it deeply demeaning and offensive for men who are ignorant to call out to me in Chinese or some other Asian dialect, as if I don’t speak English. I hate being whistled at, called baby, being asked out jokingly on the street. It is disgusting, and there have been times that I have gotten hostile (throwing my ice cream at someone, or yelling at them) because their remarks just got to me so. How can I go about doing my work, when my day is interrupted by sexual hostility? This is a real problem, especially in a city where smart successful independent women are so visible. These cat calls need to stop. Men need to be made aware that this is an issue. It is not our culture here, and they need to know that what they do is abusive, and uncivilized. It is not enough that NYC is a hard place to find a good decent man to date, but that we have to be subjected to men we aren’t even dating as well?
Submitted by Diana