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)
On my way to work, I experienced street harassment as I do almost every morning. He walked up just behind me and said “I like that. You look good. Yeah, you look real good”. I said “I don’t like that”. He flew into a hot rage and said “I don’t care if you don’t like that, say thank you and shut the fuck up!” He threatened to beat me up, he said I’d better keep walking and followed me down the sidewalk. Someone came out of the same building and told him to leave me alone. I could hear him yelling things like “Go fuck yourself” “You think you’re better than everyone?!” and “Fuck you, white bitch!” for 2 blocks. This is why I so often say something. “Good morning” is great. As soon as someone starts commenting on your physical attributes, it’s not okay. All street harassment is about power and verbal harassment is on one end of a spectrum of sexual violence. It happens everywhere. It’s not a compliment. It’s dehumanizing and threatening.
This is a follow up story to the one I posted a few days ago. So, I’m at a friends house trying to get some comfort from a bad breakup and my friends male roomate is taking every opportunity to show off his penis to me without my consent or desire to see it. He had revealed himself earlier in the evening after my friend was asleep and then again a few hours later. I had went to bed, he was still awake watching TV when I came back out to the kitchen to get a glass of water, sensing another opportunity to flash his penis, he pretended he had to go to the bathroom which is located right next to the room i was staying in. As I finished getting my glass of water, I walked back to the room only to see my friends roomate standing with his penis out peeing into the toilet, door wide open. He pretended to be sorry that he had forgotten to close the door but by this point I was pissed. I went into my room, turned on my phone camera and snapped the pictures i submitted with this post. The closer up picture I snapped where he could see me. After I snapped it he got really nervous and asked what I was going to do with it, I told him I was going to post here and use it against him if he ever tried to do anything like that again. I cussed him out for about ten minutes which woke up my roomate who also cussed him out and threatened to call the police. Are all men such disgusting pigs?
A lot of people talk about how they are sexually harassed because of their beauty and how strange men want to have sex with him. But I don’t see a lot of stories about how cruel random men can be to women on the street. More than once, men have said things to me along the lines of “you couldn’t get this dick if you tried” or “damn she ugly” as I passed. Sure, there have been times where guys have said “damn girl, what’s your name? I said what’s your name?!?” And made comments about me to their friends, which is objectifying and demeaning. But there have also been times where boys I have never said a word to have destroyed my self esteem with one comment about how un appealing I looked. I don’t know which is worse.
The Mothership survived the snowpocalypse and is back in the office and back in action! In even more exciting news, we kicked off our 12th Class for new sites! It’s our biggest class of new site leaders yet!
It’s week two for our new crop of interns. Here they are on the job:
Our sites around the world have also had busy weeks:
Hollaback! Bahamas was featured in Stop Street Harassment and site leader Alicia Wallace spoke to The Tribune about her work with Hollaback! and her Queen’s Young Leaders Award. Alicia was also appointed Youth Ambassador for The Bahamas to End Sexual Violence. Could Alicia possibly be more awesome?
Hollaback! New Orleans and its impressive leaders were interviewed in Loyola University’s The Maroon. Check out their roundtable discussion on street harassment this Saturday focusing on bystander intervention!
That’s all for this week! Great work, as always. Holla out!
I’ve never had a problem being open about my sexuality, however, when I’m in public with my girlfriend, something is always said. One time we were at the mall, and someone said “I’d like to join you two dykes in bed”. We just kept walking. We’ve also been followed and people say things about needing real dicks in our lives. / I was alone, and when I said “No, I’m gay.” The guy said, “not after you suck on this dick.”
Last night I went to use the bathroom in a pharmacy across from the train station quickly before the next train came to go home. I was already anxious being a young vulnerable girl taking the train home alone at 11:40pm, so my mind slipped and I had left my keys in the bathroom due to rummaging through my purse on the sink and didn’t realize until i was about to cross the street outside of the store. Beforehand, when I walked in the store I heard and employee say “what THE fuck” and I wasn’t sure if it was towards me until I ran back into the store to get my keys I left in the bathroom. I heard him say “what THE FUCK” again and when I had come out of the bathroom going down the aisle to exit the store, he was talking shit about me with another coworker and a customer saying “oh yeah, that’s a man alright” “ew” and similar remarks. I was a bit appalled that these cashiers thought they could just treat a customer like a zoo animal. I went up to them and took their picture but I was already shaken enough so I took my phone back down too quickly and all I got was a total blur :(. However, I did catch the name of the rude bystander cashier that was with the man who was harassing me by the name of “ROXY” sadly I couldn’t catch the harasser or his instigating coworker’s name tags. To add insult to injury after taking the pictures they patronized me saying “damn HE’s got the hots for you”. I hope something is done about this I’m in the process of contacting their supervisors/managers and hopefully be taken seriously bc this is disgusting and the last thing any person, let alone a frequent customer deserves to experience on their day-to-day business.
Followed by car while walking with friends also followed in the supermarket and while walking home
I work at a building community next to a large produce market from the port. To get coffee or lunch, I often have to walk through the market while produce is being loaded, unloaded, and purchased. Nearly every time I walk through this area, I am harassed by whistles, catcalls, winks, and sometimes followed to my destination. Most of the time I ignore them, sometimes I make a point to tell someone if they should be ashamed of themselves for making women feel unsafe. Sometimes I even laugh at them really loud and make a point to make them embarrassed.
A few weeks ago, I was walking home from picking up groceries and by the time I neared my apartment building, my fingers were red from the cold and aching from carrying my heavy groceries 7 blocks. I grew impatient when a group of two men (construction workers) were walking rather slow in front of me and taking up the whole sidewalk. I said excuse me so they they started to move out of the way when one of them turned around. He stopped and said “Hey there, I’m sorry. Happy New Year, baby.”
This is the second time a strange man has infantilized me in my neighborhood in the three weeks that I’ve lived there.
I used to ride my bike almost every day, and almost every day, men would express themselves towards me as I rode. They’d shout at me from their car windows as they drove by, often incoherently, but sometimes I’d catch the word, “sexy,” or “baby.” Sometimes they’d honk their horns (not a euphemism) as well, or simply honk their horns and keep their loud mouths shut. Pretty standard stuff.
Except I was only fourteen years old.
It was my first year at a new school. I was young and innocent, and I’d only just started liking boys maybe a year or two earlier. I’d never even held a boy’s hand, let alone kissed one. But there I was, bombarded with sexual evaluations of my budding body from grown men, many of whom were likely old enough to be my father. I didn’t want that kind of attention from grown men. Not only were the sounds themselves extremely annoying, but the easily inferred intent behind those sounds was very intimidating to me at the time, and all I wanted to do was get home or to school in peace. But the truth is that I was starting to look like a woman, and those men couldn’t tell that I was just a child in passing. I know that must have been the reason, because I never got that sort of attention from grown men at that age when I was face to face with them.
So that’s something to think about: That “woman” you’re gawking at and calling “sexy” may actually be a child.
This is actually an excerpt from the blog I wrote about the video Hollaback made that went viral a few months ago. You can read the rest of the blog here: http://therightwinggeminist.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-catcalling-video-commentary.html