Assault, public masturbation, Street harassment in the media

Every monkey thinks he knows which tree to climb on…

But Mario Valdivia clearly doesn’t. The 51 year old Queens subway flasher picked the wrong tree, and after footage of his illegal adventure was captured by a bystander and published to YouTube, this monkey got busted. The video went viral, and Mr. Valdivia has been charged with forcible touching, public lewdness, and sex abuse. Insert slow clap with loud, strong, rising crescendo applause and hour-long standing ovation here.

HollaHERO, hear us ROAR. This story has several heros, and let us thank them for their good work: the amazing woman, who has become a voice for all that is HollaFabulous, the quick and timely investigative work on the part of the bystanders (and the cameraman’s request to ‘hey man, let me see your penis!’), and finally and very importantly, the serious NYPD action.

We hope all instances of sexual assault and abuse such as this one won’t require a viral video and subsequent prime time television coverage in order to be taken seriously, but we can celebrate a good thing when we see it.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Enjoy the CBS report here:

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The Movement

Privilege Denying Dude weighs in on street harassment

(UPDATE: We used to have a picture here of our very favorite privileged white dude, but then we got told we were violating copyright. Who knew memes had copyright? Anyway, it said “Men shout sexual things to you as you walk down the street? I’d love it if women did that to me!”)

If you missed the privileged-denying-dude meme all over the interwebs, check out KnowYourMeme for a recount of his many insights. We’re happy to hear that he’s weighed in on street harassment. It’s a conversation we over here at Hollaback! have come to term, “What about the menz?!?”

Lucky for us, privilege-denying-dude is often drowned out by rockstar-dude that makes us swoon.  We’ve been inundated with support from men who are as fed up with street harassment as we are.  We were co-founded by men, our board is 1/3 men, 50% of our donors are men, and just last week an historically black fraternity reached us to us to do an event.

So thanks dudes, for rocking it hard.  And if you get a chance, do us all a favor and reach out to your  privilege-denying-friends and give them a crash course on being as awesome as you.  Us ladies have been working on them for decades, and we could use a little help.

*Thanks for the head’s up on this from @randomdeanna and our friends at Colorlines.

2 comments 
Verbal

I figured guys saved it for women in revealing clothing. Wrong.

I parked my car 2 blocks from Miami’s opera house.  I was walking along the street, in a knee-length dress with long sleeves.  Miami is among the worst places I’ve ever been for street harassment but I figured guys saved it for women in revealing clothing.

Wrong.

The guy on the hot-shot motorcycle revved his engine as he came up to the stoplight.  I was almost at the intersection when I heard his lecherous voice, “Hey baby, you’re looking so good tonight! What a beautiful woman!”  I looked up and was glad to see a police officer in the intersection just ten feet away, directing traffic.  He motioned me forward, holding the cars to wait while I crossed the street.  I was so relieved: here was a cop to restore my sense of safety in front of the motorcycle-creep.  I’m halfway across the street when the cop say, “Wow, you are really tall!”

And at that moment, the comment was not innocuous.  Commenting on my physical body made me feel like an object, when I’d just been objectified 30 seconds earlier. In that moment, I was something to be evaluated and assessed, something to be critiqued and hopefully fucked.

I’m going to HOLLA BACK  — both when it happens and here online — when it happens.  Because yes, I am tall and blonde and fit many stereotypical notions of “beauty,”  but that does NOT give any man the right to comment on my body.

Submitted by Tricia

3 comments 
Assault, racial discrimination, Verbal

“Go study for your SATs fucking Chinese bitch.”

My two girlfriends and I were walking toward the Hotel Rivington on Friday night. We passed by a group of three guys who were catcalling at us and one of them grabbed my arm as I walked by. I said, “Ew” and shook him off. When we walked away, one of them shouted, “Go study for your SATs fucking Chinese bitch.”

I marched up to him and his friends and told them not to call me a bitch. The one who called me a Chinese bitch, who was probably about 6’2″ and over 200 pounds (I am just over 100 pounds) shoved me two or three times – hard. I was yelling things like, “Oh, you’re going to push me? You’re going to push a girl?” He kept threatening to hit me, and he threatened to sic his professional boxer friend on me who he said would basically beat me to a pulp.

Then he spat in my face and bolted.

My biggest regret is not getting his name or photo.

Submitted by Andrea

6 comments 
public masturbation

“I see his penis out!”

This was sent to us by one of our readers, and is an incredible story of one woman who holla’ed back on her subway ride.  Watch it, and bask in the glory of her HOLLAheroism.

55 comments 
Verbal

You are a frog. And with behavior like that you’ll never be a prince.

I was walking to the subway, down U Street NW, and a man stared at my chest and made kissy-noises at me. I was so disgusted, I lost my head.  I looked at him in disgust and said loudly, “Fuck you.”.  I’m sure everyone around us heard and he just kept walking.

Submitted by Lauren, Washington DC

one comment 
Verbal

The N- word, the F- word, and the C- word.

I was walking my lovely German Shepherd Obama with a friend of mine who is from Mexico.  We were walking along the street where I live when a man started yelling at me through the window of the house we were passing. At first his words were too muffled for me to hear, but with incredible shock I made out the n-word as well as the f-word (the homosexual one) and the c-word.  Then he began berated my friend using many racist words which I am not willing to repeat to anyone.  This man looked completely crazy and with unkempt hair and stubble.  I am not sure what to do now as I was terrified by the encounter and have not been walking my dog since then.

Submitted by S.D.

one comment 
Verbal

Incest and harassment. A scary duo.

My friend and I were walking from class to my apartment one afternoon when we experienced a disturbing case of street harassment.  We were about 50 feet from my building when a homeless man nonchalantly said, “hey girls, my daughters are 25 and 28 years old, so you can imagine I haven’t had pussy in a long time. Will you please give me some pussy!”  Not only was this sexually explicit, but the man was probably in his late sixties and hadn’t seen a shower in months.  My friend and I looked at each other in shock and quickly sought the safe haven of my building.  The man parked his ass on the dumpster next to our building, which made us hesitant to leave the rest of the evening, not knowing whether he had left the vicinity.

Submitted by A.J.

5 comments 
NYPD FAIL, public masturbation, Stalking

#NYPDfail: they didn’t even ask me for a description of the guy

I work as a waitress in the lower east side one night a week. I was leaving work around 12:30 in a neighborhood that I have grown very comfortable in over the last year. I stayed with my coworker to shut the gate and we each walked toward our train stops (mine was the Grand Street B/D).

About 30 second away from the door I saw a man looking at me as I walked toward him. Not uncommon in the lower east side I continued as he adjusted his pants. When I was about 5 feet from him I realize he had he was jerking off as he stared at me. I decided to ignore him and walk past. He lunged at me , and I quickly veered passed him and around the corner, thinking he was just some crazy guy being nasty on the side of the road.

I walked about half way down the next block when I checked over my shoulder and realized he was following me. I picked up the pace, and saw a group of two women and two men ahead of me. I thought about stopping and saying something but I was nervous about slowing down so I sped passed them and took a quick right across traffic at Grand. From there it’s about three blocks to the B/D so I got at it quick.

I looked over my shoulder after I crossed Allen and didn’t see him so relaxed a bit, but looked again before I crossed the next street and he was a lot closer to me than I thought.

I picked up the pace but realized that he was jogging while I wasn’t looking or something because he was catching up to me really fast and there weren’t really any people on the street. The last block before the subway I didn’t see any people and he seemed to be getting close so I started to run. I looked back and he was running after me which made me really scared.

I got to the subway and went the MTA ticket guy and told him what had happened. He asked if the guy was in the station and I said no as I nervously looked toward the entrance. He said to just get on the train and that he would look out for me (even though I asked to talk to a police officer). I was grateful to be safe but felt weird about evading the situation and not letting the police know.

The next morning I worked again and was really surprised by the anxiety that I felt on the subway heading to work. I told my manager when I arrived and she urged me to call the police. I did. They came. I told them and even suggested some leads as to which businesses might have cameras outside that might lead to some kind of arrest. They not only ignored my leads but didn’t even ask me for a description of the guy. As I began to cry in front of them out of frustration they told me not to be scared. They assured me that they were working a double tonight and they would come by whenever I got out of work. THAT DOES NOT SOLVE THIS ISSUE!!
I told them no thanks if they were not going to follow up on the information that I gave them.

It seems that the community board that my job is involved with in combination with my work of mouth activism is the best defense we have in the lower east side. Please! Do not rely on the police for defense in this issue. They advised me next time to buy some pepper spray and/or ride the subway with a friend. Good luck servers of Manhattan. How many of you have a subway buddy? I certainly don’t.

I hope that all people who work on Broome will take the time to look out for themselves, and keep there phone in there pocket to get a picture of any asshole masterbating on the street so maybe the police will have some incentive to do their jobs.

Submitted by Rheanna

5 comments 
NYPD FAIL, public masturbation

#NYPDfail: “you want him to be arrested, right, well that’s not going to happen.”

Thank you for providing a forum for this.  I hope that by gathering these stories, we can not only demonstrate the problem and it’s consequences, but find creative ways to stop this kind of thing from happening, or at least make it easier to catch the perverts who do things like this.
I was on the 1 train around 11:30 PM last night.  The train was not very full and I grabbed two seats at the end of the car, sat down, and started doing crossword puzzles on my phone.  Around 135th street I noticed a man was sitting accross from me.  He was wearing button fly jeans and “adjusting” himself.  At first, I thought he was just impolite, but continued to grab at his crotch,  and he began to demanded my attention, and it became clear that this behavior was directed specifically at me.
I looked around the train and noticed that it was full of men, the closest of whom sat on the other side of the door 3 or 4 seats away.  It seemed to me like a couple of them knew what was going on, but no one paid attention or offered to help in any way.  I thought about moving, but I thought, “If I move, then he wins.  He knows he’s gotten to me, and that’s what he wants.”  So I stayed where I was and tried to seem focused on my game, but instead started snapping pictures.
The man slid over so he was directly in front of me, moved his bag to the public side of his body to shield himself from view when he pulled out his penis.  Then he started waving it around in front of me, sucking his teeth, saying, “hey, hey” under his breath, and making kissing noises at me.  I focused more intently on the screen, not giving him any attention, but clocking the subway stops until I got off the train at 191 Street.
When I got off the train, I ran one and a half cars down to the conductor, and told him about my experience and where the guy was.  I told him I had pictures, did he want to see them? He said no, and that he would deal with the man.  Feeling really pissed and disturbed, and  without recourse, I went home and talked to my roommate who encouraged me to call 311 – the New York Subway has an entire ad campaign designed to address these issues, I figured there must be a way to report this behavior.  311 connected me to 911 and a half hour later the cops showed up at my door.
The police officers wanted nothing to do with me.  They immediately started to tell me that there was nothing they could do, that even if I filed a report nothing would come of it.  They asked me what did I really want to come of this: “you want him to be arrested, right, well that’s not going to happen.”  And I could tell they just didn’t want to file the report.  I said make me a number-  I want to be counted, and I would absolutely like to file a report. They hemmed and hawed and said that they don’t really handle this kind of thing, they just do street business, and since this was underground it’s not really even in their domain.  The case would have to be transfered to the transportation division and they didn’t even know what division of the transportation division it would go to. Plus, it wasn’t even a felony – a felony would be investigated, really, this is just a misdemeanor, and “why didn’t you just move?” Essentially, they were telling me that my  case was going to get lost, no one would investigate it, no one could take my pictures – they didn’t even have the technology to do that kind of thing, the guy would never be found, this stuff happens, these guys just do stuff like this and there’s nothing they can really do about it.
I filed the report anyway.  I got the badge numbers of the cops.  I found out the division I need to follow up with.  And I’m posting all of this here.
There must be a recourse for women in my position on the subway.  Until there is, the authorities are basically condoning this behavior.  I hope someone catches this guy.  I hope the conductor did something.  As for the Police – our so called protectors?  Shame on them.
Submitted by Sevrin

5 comments 
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