BY EMILY MAY
I grew up on a pretty steady diet of Sesame Street. I moved to New York City from Richmond when I was 18 years old — and as I was exiting my dorm some guy said “hey baby” to me. Assuming New York City was like grown-up Sesame Street, I said “hey” back. He responded, “I want to **** the **** out of you.” The harassment continued throughout my college education, and I figured it was my fault. I didn’t look “tough” enough, and if I was really a strong woman than it wouldn’t hurt so much. But it did.
We started Hollaback! in 2005 thinking that street harassment was an urban problem. Over the past seven years I’ve talked to thousands of college students, and they’ve shown me that street harassment happens all over college campuses. It doesn’t matter how big or small the campus is, or if it’s in a rural or urban area. Studies show that 51% of college men admit to harassing their female counterparts, which of course means the reality is much, much worse.
My sister is going to college next year, and from where I’m sitting enough is enough. In a 2005 study 57% of students said that they wanted an anonymous online reporting platform to address campus harassment. It was by far and away the #1 solution voted for by students. When I called the author of the report, she said that no one ever implemented the recommendation. NO ONE. Luckily, anonymous online reporting is what Hollaback! does best.
We’re taking Hollaback! to the next level, and we need your support. Take two minutes to watch our campaign video and donate here.
This is a long fight — but we’re in it to win it. And with your support, all the baby girls rolling around in strollers today will never have to experience campus harassment the way that we have.
Today I was playing frisbee with my boyfriend at the beach. This man’s son had been stalking me in the water for about 25 minutes, but I had ignored it. When my boyfriend and I moved to play frisbee on the sand, I turned around and noticed a little girl holding a phone. Apparently, the father had sent his kids over to take photos of me without my knowledge. My boyfriend said something to him and the man said “It’s just a picture.” I felt so hurt and violated. I didn’t let my boyfriend handle the situation because I felt that I owed it to myself to take care of it. I reported them to the police. That was all I could do.
Street harassment is one of the most pervasive forms of gender-based violence and one of the least legislated against – and rarely, if ever, is it linked to masculinity. It’s time to make the connection between our experiences on the street with what society teaches boys about what it means to be a man. And it’s time to offer a positive alternative – healthy masculinity. Now, some of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations are coming together to launch the most comprehensive effort ever centered on centered on non-violent, emotionally healthy masculinity.
What is the Healthy Masculinity Action Project (HMAP)?
The Healthy Masculinity Action Project (HMAP) is a two-year national grassroots initiative to build a new generation of male leaders who will model non-violent, emotionally healthy masculinity and serve as positive change makers in society – helping to take their communities from awareness to action. Everyday men, women, and teens nationwide are all driving HMAP.
Who is behind HMAP?
Men Can Stop Rape, the project leader, is joined by HMAP’s organizing partners: the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, Men Stopping Violence, Coach for America, Women of Color Network, and A CALL TO MEN.
A number of organizations are helping by promoting HMAP to their national networks. Hollaback! is among them.
We hope you will join us in this effort. Ultimately, it will take everyone for HMAP to be a success.
The Healthy Masculinity Summit will kick off HMAP this October. Watch for more information in upcoming weeks.
It was Halloween 2011 and I was in a cat suit. It wasn’t too controversial or anything, just sleek black, not even that “sexy”. I was walking with a friend past a group of guys and my tail was tugged at and said something offensively sexual. They were all just smiling at me as if I was glad they grabbed my tail or like if I was amused.
I felt helpless and I didn’t know what else to do other then to give them a nasty stare. I think I said “no” as well.
It was a situation I keep going back to and wishing I could of done something else. I felt weak.
Not gonna lie. Hillary Clinton is a childhood hero of mine. When I was little, I only knew about three women who wanted to change the world. There was Susan B. Anthony, but she was way before my time. There was Mother Theresa, but I thought I liked boys too much for that path. And then, there was Hillary Clinton. I read “It Takes a Village” cover to cover when I was fourteen, and I’ve been watching and admiring ever since. Who knew, that I’d grow up to co-found a nonprofit that got funded by the AMAZING New York Women’s Foundation — and that I’d get to share a stage with Hillary Clinton.
Thank you all for your ongoing support that makes Hollaback! happen, and without further ado, updates!
We held our first safety audit in Queens! We want to thank Councilmember Ferreras and her team for partnering with us — it was a total success! Details are here.
We presented at the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Violence Conference! I kicked of the conference with a keynote about our work to end street harassment. It was their first conference in six years, and over 200 people were there. WOOT!
We’re expanding to address campus harassment! We met with students from NYU, Rutgers, and Western Carolina who are going to pilot our new campus harassment initiative. Our indiegogo campaign to support our work with campus harassment starts next week — stay tuned!
If you’re in New York, join us at our benefit show hosted by our friends at Permanent Wave next Tuesday (the 15th) and sign up to march with us in the Pride Parade on June 24th.
HOLLA and out!
While we don’t think that violence is any answer to street harassment, we do understand where these women are coming from. Street harassment is scary, and our studies show that speaking up and speaking out about minimizes the emotional trauma. So keep it up, ladies! We’re fighting right alongside of you.
December 6, 2011, I was traveling via Nepal Yatayat from Shantinagar to Baluwatar along with my friends. My get off at Baluwatar. I have already paid the rent. But the conductor, asked me rent again. The witnessed also supported me . But he didn’t listen and verbally abused me very badly. I tried to get on and denied to pay twice. Then he assaulted me. Meanwhile, the driver also back the bus and supported to conductor. Immediately, I took the bus number and run away from there. I talked with member of transport association and directly went to the traffic police office. I filed the case. The police arrested driver, conductor immediately.Next day, police invited me and have negotiation.they asked for forgive and released from custody.
I left my office building to cross the road to take a bus ride home. From the building in which my office is located came out a man. I saw him coming and he also looked at me. It was a usual, nothing out of the blue kind of a glance. But just as I turned to cross the road after making sure that there are no vehicles around, I felt a finger go through the whole of my ass line with a sensual touch. I could not see who it was, since it was done so quickly. Just as I turned to my side after being taken unaware, I saw that very same man passing by me.
I could not believe what he had just done in Karachi, Pakistan, in front of the whole busy lane and in an area full of traffic. By his looks, he seemed to be a thug and he could very well be amongst those people who harass women and get away with it. His ability to put his finger in my ass line and run it through so quick showed how perfectly he had mastered his skills at this. I was ashamed myself and did not want to provoke any confrontation with him in such a public place. I said nothing and went my own way to avoid any attention to what had occurred.
Tuesday, May 8 at 5:30pm on while crossing the street at Pine and 4th downtown Seattle I was verbally harassed. It was a busy intersection and I was in a hurry to get to a meeting. A middle aged man with shoulder length hair leaned in and said “Nice Nipples.” Before I fully registered what had happened he had kept walking away. If I wasn’t in a hurry I would’ve gone after him to take a picture. I was so taken off guard b/c I was dressed professionally and it was so out of the blue.
Could we have a new location for Hollaback be Seattle, WA?
This house is located in between my house and where I work as well as mine and my boyfriend’s houses. For the past 4 days, every time I pass this house after 3pm the young men sitting on it’s porch have yelled a combination of phrases involving how “illegal” my “pussy” is. It infuriates me. I think I am going to buy a cheap camcorder and ask them their name and what they said to me next time…. I’ll keep you posted!