My friend and I were walking in our neighbourhood, not far from where we lived. A car came up beside us. A man probably in his late 20’s and another teenager who couldn’t have been older than 17.
The Teenager: Hey girls
Him: Where you headed?
Me: To my house
Us: Oh yeah, where you live?
Me: Oh, just around there…ish… (With my open hand waving vaguely over an area)
Him: Oh you live close then? Why don’t you girls come down to Limberlost tonight?
Him: We’ll show you a great time. See you ladies later.
During the summer vacation, my friend and I were walking through a relatively empty parking lot. As were walking, I hear a car going really fast nearby. Like – Right behind us – nearby. I looked over my shoulder and a white SUV pulled up right beside us. If I hadn’t grabbed my friend out of the way, the car might have grazed her. To our left five or six early 20’s men smiled at us. The driver said “Hey Ladies” to us and looked into our faces. Our just turned 14 year old faces. The driver sheepishly said “Oh, we thought you were someone else” and just as quickly as they appeared, they disappeared. My friend and I stood there for a few seconds. Still stunned by what happened. Eventually we laughed it off. I mean – no one got hurt and that’s just a funny story to tell at parties, we joked. But when I got home, I thought about it. They could have hit my friend. They could have easily dragged us into the car. There was no one around. That minor incident could’ve been something huge.
But of course, it’s just a story that I tell at parties.
Thanks to @rev_melissa for her thoughtful analysis of the problem, sassy style, and shout-out!
This week, March 18-24th, Hollabackers around the world are banning together to commemorate International Anti-Street Harassment week. On March 22nd, we’ll be launching our “I’ve Got Your Back” bystander campaign across our network of 44 sites. Check out some of the other events our site leaders have planned:
Hollaback! Croatia will write an op-ed and hold an event to commemorate the launch of our “I’ve Got Your Back” campaign.
Hollaback! Philly will is partnering with local organizations to host four days of events including a self-defense class, film screening, benefit show, and awareness-raising street teams.
Hollaback! Buenos Aires will have a stand at the Women’s Counsel (el consejo de la mujer)’s monthly fair, where they will hand out information about anti-street-harassment week.
Hollaback! Montreal is hosting a screening of the street harassmnet documentary “War Zone.”
Hollaback! New York City will host an “I’ve Got Your Back” launch party in Brooklyn and join other local organizations in participating in an anti-street harassment rally with Councilmember Ferraras.
Hollaback! Mexico DF will be distributing information about the week following a caberet show.
Hollaback! Ottawa is putting up posters around town and posting photographs of people with their favorite ‘holla’ each day for the week. Submit yours today!
Hollaback! Chennai is collecting photos of all the locations in Chennai, India, where people feel unsafe. The photos will be posted to their facebook page throughout the week.
Hollaback! Bmore will gather volunteers to do mud stenciling (eco-friendly public art) around Baltimore.
Hollaback! Istanbul will host a panel discussion and screening of the documentary “War Zone” at universities, as well as a meet-up where people can discuss their stories of street harassment.
For a comprehensive list of things going on in your community, check out the “Meet Us on the Street” website. And remember to keep holla’ing back!
Um, AWESOME. Thanks to meetusonthestreet.org for passing this our way!
Hey Hollaback y’alls,
So, I like this. I like this because I thought of waging my own anti-street harassment campaigns the same time you were building this website. Awesome.
I lived in San Francisco, in the deep mission. The men stared at EVERY woman under 30 who walked by. They’d visually stalk me every time I walked out the door.
I had seriously high anxiety in San Francisco because I was always being watched. Walking down the street, men would see me from a block away, and literally turn their bodies toward me while still talking to each other & stare. As I walked past them, they’d turn their bodies so they could watch me walk away.
This was a daily thing. I dreamed of putting up posters that said, ” Staring is rude.” “We think men who stare are unattractive.” Knowing they were total homophobic pigs…”Would you fuck a 68 year old man? Neither would I. Stop Staring.”
I didn’t do it, but I think I still will.
(h/t to Hollaback! Mumbai for finding and posting this! We couldn’t agree more.)
I was walking down the street and a boy tried to talk to me (he was with a group of other boys). He asked if he was “valid” (or good enough) to talk to, and I responded “no, I have a boyfriend.” He then said “[email protected] your boyfriend, what does he have to do with me, I’m not talking about him. This is why I can’t stand harlem b*tches (the boys joined in by laughing).” I asked “harlem what?” and his friend responded “harlem girls.” The boy then repeated “harlem b*tches” and went on to say, “your on my block talking, I should get you jumped. I’m about to violate you right now.” I tried to verbally defend myself, but then decided to cross the street.
Up and Coming: Today is my birthday, and I’m celebrating with the launch of our “I’ve Got Your Back” campaign next Thursday! Join me at The Branded Saloon, 603 Vanderbilt Avenue in Brooklyn on March 22 from 6pm until 10pm. You can RSVP here.
SXSW Interactive: I had the opportunity to go to SXSW Interactive this year, thanks to a scholarship from SXSW on our work at the intersection of tech and social change. It was a blast. I stayed with HollabackNYC co-founder Kaja Trejak (you know, the one who convinced us in 2005 to start calling it ‘street harassment
instead of ‘catcalling,’ despite the fact no one used the term in those days), and I got to meet with Ashoka, the Instructional Telecommunications Foundation, the Knight Foundation, Causevox, the Daily Worth, and the Ford Foundation while I was in town.
Out and About: Last week, Hollaback got to attend the Women in the World summit at New York City’s Lincoln Center. It was great to be in the presence of 2,000 inspiring women and girls who are making the world a better place to grow up as woman.
In the Press: It’s been a big week for press! The Huffington Post included me in their list of 20 powerhouse women alongside Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Rachel Maddow, Diane Sawyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and more! Earlier this week, I wrote an article for RH Reality Check on how we’re changing the way we deal with street harassment.
Around the World: Hollaback! Istanbul is teaming up with the US Consulate General to bring the award-winning documentary “Miss Representation” to Istanbul next week during International Anti-Street Harassment Week.
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