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My best friend and I loved getting pedicures together. It was an easy way to get to spend time together since she just had a baby and I was newly married.
We always went to Royal Essence at the St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville, FL. They had the best pedicures. It included a short massage while your nails dried, a hot stone massage and a paraffin wax treatment for a great price.
This particular day, as maybe once before, I had a male pedicurist. I didn’t think too much of it, just tried to act normal as it’s always a little awkward to have a male you don’t know rubbing your feet/legs.
What I didn’t know was that this particular pedicurist waited until a young girl came to the salon then would step up to work, otherwise, he’d just wait in the back.
while rubbing my legs with lotion (a normal part of a pedicure) I found myself trying to force my legs together (I was wearing a summer dress). He was trying to rub up to my knees and slightly more but I politely resisted, not thinking too much of it.
At the end of the pedicure I sat down to get my nails dried. Another part of the pedicure at this particular salon was a short back massage while your nails dry from your pedicurist. Something I normally enjoyed. But this time, with this particular pedicurist, it went too far. He began rubbing my shoulders, then went down my back. I was just talking to my friend sitting next to me, trying to act normal, and then he started rubbing my lower back, too low.
We left without me saying anything. My friend and I kind of laughed as if it was just an awkward situation.
The next day at work I told a co-worker about it and she encouraged me to speak up about it. I was too nervous to call the salon because I didn’t want to cause a commotion and put myself in any danger so I called my mom.
My mom called the salon, explained the situation to the owners. We found out that the guy was already reprimanded because the owner saw how low he massaged my back, and said not to do that. But it didn’t stop there. They said that they knew he would wait around in the back until a smaller/younger girl would come in.
Basically, they decided to call the cops and have them present while they fired him (he was kind of a big guy) and when they fired him he spoke some threatening words to the owners.
I had to file a police report about what happened (they called it ‘light battery’) and later received a notification that he was arrested for battery.
It was a scary situation but in the long run I’m very glad I spoke up. The cop filling my report said the same thing, mentioning that if he’s bold enough to do that in public, who knows the things he’s doing in private.
I hope my speaking up helped someone else stay safe from worse harm.
Hello Hollabackers! Hope everyone had a great International Women’s Day on Saturday!
This week, Hollaback! was featured in ASOS Magazine, London’s Evening Standard, The Guardian, The New York Times, Dalstonist, Ottawa Citizen, Wildtimes, MixMag, The Ransom Note, DJ Mag, Tribune 42, FACT Magazine, Resident Advisor, The Debrief, Dazed Digital, The Quietus, CNN (more than once!), and Buzzsaw Magazine
Here’s what HOLLAs around the world have been up to:
Hollaback! Bahamas has been standing up to their government the past couple of weeks due to a recent incident in which a Bahamian Member of Parliament decided it was appropriate to joke about beating up his girlfriend during a budget debate. When he was publicly criticized for his words, he responded with non-apologies and compared this criticism to rape. The government of the Bahamas has declined to address this conduct in their House so Hollaback! Bahamas is asking others around the world to add voices to theirs and demand accountability. If you’d like to join their efforts, you can check out their Facebook page for recent updates, follow the conversation on twitter using #NotBetterInTheBahamas and #VAW, and share their story. HB! Bahamas was also on the radio show “Global Talk” this week, discussing “Women’s Rights in The Bahamas, the Region, and the World”.
Hollaback! Bosnia and Herzegovina joined the CURE foundation in marching through Sarajevo for International Women’s Day. The purpose of the march was to remind citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina of the true values of IWD, but to also draw attention to the current discrimination of women in BiH society. Check out these awesome photos from the march here.
Hollaback! Boston presented at the Five College Queer Gender and Sexuality Conference at Hampshire College in Amherst.
Hollaback! Dublin did a workshop with students in Trinity College, Dublin as part of their International Women’s Week program. They also wrote an open letter to Chris Barry, host of FM104 Phoneshow – one of Dublin’s most talked about radio show. Barry recently made comments on the air condoning sexual harassment in the workplace in which HB! Dublin’s letter is in response to. In the letter, HB! Dublin discusses the seriousness of sexual harassment in the workplace, how Barry’s comments can have great negative consequence on their culture, and request that he make a public apology to the women of Dublin.
Hollaback! Gent held a meeting on violence against women in collaboration with other feminist organizations in Gent. The event included various workshops, with HB! Gent presenting on “Being a Bystander on the Street and a Supporter for Victims of Sexual Assault”. More information (mostly in Dutch) and visuals can be found on the event website: Doorbreek de Stilte (which translates to “Break the Silence” in Dutch).
Hollaback! London had a fantastic launch week for their Good Night Out campaign. They got a TON of press (linked up top), put up posters in supporter venues around the city, and already have some interest from more venues to get on board! Check out some of the positive feedback they’ve been getting on twitter and feel free to join the conversation at #goodnightout. HB! London also participated in the Million Women Rise march and rally on Saturday, and held a free workshop at the WOWZERS Festival on Sunday. The workshop was an informal, friendly safe space where attendees could discuss their experiences of street harassment, talk about myths, learn about the work of Hollaback!, and find out how to get involved.
Hollaback! Ottawa was a recipient of a 2014 Femmy Award for their work, a local award given to organizations or individuals who have made a difference in the fight for women’s equality in the National Capital Region. Way to go HB! Ottawa!
Hollaback! Pittsburgh created a Guest Mix for The Grey Estates, a Pittsburgh based music blog and zine. The playlist is “full of songs meant to empower and remind women (and LGBTQ folks, or anyone who is the victim of street harassment) to fight back again harassment and hollaback!”. In other words, it rules!
Hollaback! University of London Union (ULU) launched a new training guide for staff in students’ unions as part of the Good Night Out campaign. The guide aims to help clubs, venues, bars and pubs to better deal with, address and prevent the harassment of women and LGBTQ people in their spaces. You can download the ‘Good Night Out’ – Students’ Unions Staff Training Guide here.
The HOLLAs continue to rock Women’s Herstory Month! Woo! Til next week-
HOLLA and out!
- The Hollaback! Team
I was just starting my job at a popular bar/restaurant in the town I was going to college in. It was my first real experience working in a fast paced resaurant setting, and I was doing my training with one of the other girls who had worked their a long time.
After a couple days, we were scheduled to work out in the outdoor section, which gets pretty hectic when its nice out. Things were going relatively well, until this large table of middle to older aged men came out. They were loud, and extremely obnoxious. They were sticking around for multiple hours ordering drink after drink, and getting noticeably louder, and increasingly drunk.
Each time I went to the table to take drink order after drink order, they kept calling me names like sweetie, sweetheart, doll, etc. and asking me questions that made me extremely uncomfortable. As the night went on, I was getting more and more shaken. There was even one point where one of them knocked me over and I spilled a tray full of drinks all over the ground, and myself.
I tried my best not to let it get to me, until I took their order again, and then suddenly, as I was taking their order, one of the older men I was standing next to took his arm and just laid it on my shoulders. I’m a really small person, just about 5’2, and so I couldn’t get away. The girl I was training with had to pull me away from him, and she told me not to worry about it.
Not long after that experience, I left the bar, because I just couldn’t handle it. I kept blaming myself, saying,”Well I should have expected that, being so small and working around a bunch of drunk men.” But after awhile, I realized I was just supporting their god awful behavior, and that I should have never excused the way those men treated me that night. Its definitely a memory that will always stick with me.
I was pumping gas at the local Chevron station when I heard someone say “Do you work out?” Then I heard someone else say, “Yeah, she works out.” I turned around and saw two men in their 30′s I’d say, leaning out of their windows staring at me and smiling and laughing.
I said, “Are you talking to me?” they said “Yes,” and I said, “Don’t talk to women like that, it’s disrespectful,” and they said, “No, it’s not,” and I said, “I’m sorry that your socialized masculinity has robbed you of your humanity,” and they said, “We’re just being guys,” and I said “I know, that’s what I said, you’re so busy being a ‘man’ you forgot to be human,” and one of the guys ACTUALLY STARTED BARKING AT ME LIKE A DOG.
I guess the point was that I was being a “bitch” by daring to question their right to harass me freely. Or that they were lusting animals. Then the other guy said, “Were just being men and you’re a women,” and I said, “I’m just being human and you’re not.” They drove off laughing. As I type this, I’m STILL SHAKING WITH RAGE. The entitlement of these men was so insulting. Even more heartbreaking is the way they slandered all males with their “boys will be boys” excuse for their bad manners and entitlement. Males like that give “men” a bad name.
I was with my partner at the time and we were outside a grocery store. My partner was upset at the time and I was comforting her (hugging, kissing, etc.). I had noticed a car was circling the parking lot waiting for someone but they kept driving past us and after a while they kept saying, “Kiss her!” and smiling with other remarks I could not hear. It was very uncomfortable.
I’m a 17 year old from Jackson, MS. There’s no reason why I cant go to the grocery store without men in their 30s and 40s undressing me with their eyes. And to make things worse they try to get my number or ask me if I am single. I let them know I’m underage & to leave me alone but there’s no end to it unless I walk off. I have to wait about 5 minutes just to go back to the area I was shopping in. It’s ridiculous.
This happened several years back, but unfortunately I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a beautiful summers day, about 2 pm – broad daylight. I had gone to the local bookstore to buy a book & then the corner store for a large fountain drink. At that point I started the mile or so walk back home.
About 1/2 way home a car full of idiots slows down & pulls along side me.
“what ya reading sexy?” I say nothing, keep walking.
“why you gotta be that way? I just want to know what you’re reading?” (um, cause it’s your business how?)
“Is it the Kama Sutra?” (um, no, not even close)
The creeps in the car are all clearly pleased with this “clever” guess.
“You don’t need no book for that, I’ll teach you mami!”
More hooting & hollering & one of them even (I kid you not) barks like a dog.
“1st thing I’d do is rip off that sundress & suck your tits”
Ok, I’m done, I turned around, darted behind the car, quickly crossed the street & started walking in the opposite direction hoping they’d just drive on.
No such luck, the car makes a U-turn & pulls alongside me again. “why you gotta leave, I’m just telling you about your book honey?” (WHAT!?!)
“yeah, he was just getting to the good parts”
& so on & so forth…. it was pretty vulgar & disgusting. I’m walking down the street & this car of assholes is literally stalking me & hurling filthy obscenities.
I still haven’t said anything at this point, but I am FURIOUS!!!! These 4 knuckle dragging pigs are having the time of their lives & NOT ONE OF THEM cared how I might have felt. I’m walking down the street minding my own business & I have to deal with this!?!
At that point something in me snapped. I took my fountain drink (which still had quite a bit in it) & threw it through the open car window as hard as I could. It hit the drivers side headrest hard, the lid came off & pop “exploded” everywhere.
It was a satisfying feeling UNTIL the string of profanities & threats came. For the 2nd time that day I turned directions & ran the other way. I heard a car door shut & assumed 1 of them had jumped out of the car. I was terrified, but as luck would have it a police car turned onto the street headed in my direction. The cops stopped & the car of creeps took off super quickly.
The cops didn’t really do anything about the guys, but they did make sure I got back ok, which I was grateful for.
To this day there are 3 things I don’t know.
1. Did someone somehow see what was happening & call the cops for me, which is why they turned down that street, or did I just luck out? I didn’t think to ask at the time & they didn’t say.
2. Why did the creeps just take off like that? W/4 of them they could have ganged up on me & said they just asked for directions & I “went Crazy” & threw the drink at them. But they didn’t. Did they know what they did was just that wrong? Or were there some sort of outstanding warrants or other reasons they didn’t want to deal with the cops?
3. What would have happened to me if the cops hadn’t of turned on that street?
The only thing I do know for sure is that I didn’t deserve ANY of that. Nobody has the right to talk to another person like that & make them feel as terrible as I did.
Je marche sur le bd Rochechouart entre Pigalle et la rue des martyrs, le long des magasins de musique. Il est midi ou 13h je ne sais plus, il fait beau, c’est septembre. Je suis en jean, basket, petit haut à fleurs. Soudain je sens le truc bizarre, le mec qui arrive en face me mate méchamment (au sens premier), mate mes seins de manière obscène et balance “salope” alors qu’on se croise. Comme ça.
I was on the tube when I noticed a man eyeing me up, he was attractive so I didn’t mind. I got off the tube and noticed him following me. Later I noticed him playing with himself from afar. I walked faster until I couldn’t see him anymore but not being familiar with the area meant that he had cornered me to say “stop teasing me.”
I heard a lady asking if I knew this man. I told her “no” and watched her expertly tell him to leave me alone and said she was not going to let him get away with this harassment and saw him run away with fear as she stood her ground.
Funnily enough I already knew of Ana Maddock. I knew she was well educated, had a career she kept private from her online life, she was friends with a semi-famous crowd. I already wanted to be like her before she saved me. She saved a complete stranger from being harassed and went on with her day to day life and I think that’s astonishing.
Thank you Ana Karina Maddock.
You did what I could only dream of doing.
Whistling harassment by staff in a coffee shop. 3rd party harassment.