I had some time to kill before a practice I was heading into in south philly tonight so I decided to go get a my flurry I had with a coupon. It was 745pm and still light out. As I was walking back, a man asked me for spare change. I politely responded that I did not and apologized. As I walked past, he put his hand out and ran his hand along the side of my chest. I promptly turned around and started giving him an earful about how he should never do that to anyone ever again and that he had no right to touch me in that way. I told him I would call the cops and he started making motions for me to be quiet and I let him know I didn’t care who heard and that he violated me. He then ran away. I was shaking so hard. I tried to go have a night to forget it as much as I could, but still. I did sexual violence prevention education work professionally, so I posted up to my facebook saying what happened. So my former students would see it and know that f that ever (heaven forbid) happened to them, they knew they could say something back. I’m still upset with myself for not calling the cops, but at least I did use my voice to say no, you cannot do that now or ever again.
I was walking to class at about 8:45AM on Annie Glidden road and Stadium Drive, and a bigger man named John with dirty blondish hair, and short beard followed me to Graham Hall, and made gross comments about my body, “oh, look at that chick in the blue sweatshirt. She has some hot curves.” I started to walk faster, and then at the light near Graham, I turned around and saw him. He was the same shit stain that harassed me in Neptune dining hall a couple of times last year. He and his other shit face buddy gave me creepy looks, and John (shit stain) said, “Hello, miss. Why don’t you come with us.” Last year, I told him to leave me alone, but today, he followed me and did that. I barely know him, and I got scared… All I could say was “Why don’t you fuck off?!”, then I ran to my class. It was surprising that he remembered me. I wish I could have gotten a picture of him, but I couldn’t. A police report was filed. They said they couldn’t find him, but I could call the authorities if he bothers me again. I just hope he leaves me alone. I was wearing a blue courtoroy jacket that did not show anything, black pants, and “mom shoes”. I am 20 years old.
This week, as always, a lot has been going on at Hollaback! HQ! We were so lucky to be able to collaborate with the amazing, ModCloth who launched this awesome video, shining a spotlight on how we should be able to wear whatever the heck we want and not have to worry about being harassed! Check. It. Out.
We also had a busy week planning and celebrating. We are happy to have our Program Associate Jae back in the office from maternity leave, but so sad to see our Program Assistant, Rachel go. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors and are so grateful for all her hard work! Also, Happy Birthday to our IREX Fellow, Natasha, who also attended the unveiling of the most amazing mural in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.
The search for our fall interns is coming to an end, and with our strategic planning we are on the path to a busy and amazing Hollaback! year! Also, we’re growing the team and hope to have some exciting announcements on that front very very soon.
Hollaback! teams around the world have been busy in raising their voices this week…
Representatives from Hollaback! Bahamas participated in a group of 500 government officials, policy experts, youth-led organizations, and peacebuilders at the Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security in Amman, Jordan where the Amman Youth Declaration was adopted.
Until next week, holla and out!
Today I went to my local (mixed) gym in Brussels.
An older man came up to me while I was on a cardio bike. He asked me if he had seen me before. I told him that I didn’t remember him so probably not (staying friendly but not engaging in the conversation).
At the end of my 1 hour cardio session he comes back telling me he likes my thighs and that my shorts made me show too much leg and that I should wear something else the next time I would come to the gym. Because he could “control” himself but maybe other younger men in the gym would not be able to”control” themselves. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I told him it was not my job to dress to his “standards” (less eloquent because my french isn’t that awesome). I blocked the following of the conversation and the man left.
When I was done (ten more minutes of anger pedalling and not believing this happened. I went to the desk and asked the employee if there is another female-only gym in the neighbourhood (they have it for a reason). She replies nicely and then I explain I will not be coming back and explained what happened.
I went for my bag and the head-employee storms towards me with her sandwich steaming. She was not-amused something like that happened and wanted to know who had said such a thing. I pointed out the man by saying what machine but told her I didn’t want a confrontation.
her colleague told her to confront the men when I left (which I was about to) and she almost stormed toward him. She also confirmed me that I was in my right and that being properly dressed wasn’t up to the man to decide. the short was good enough.
So I am sad I am leaving this place though.
I went for a bike ride from the East End over to the Legislature and back. It was around 2 PM on a Saturday. I wore leggings and a tee shirt. I am 38 years old, a mother, and a busy professional. I am not used to strange men commenting on my appearance or trying to talk to me. However on this particular day I was harassed twice on the same ride. Once in Wascana Park in a crowded area, and once on the intersection of Assiniboine and University. Both times, a strange man shouted “Hey Baby.” One also asked me “how I was doing.” That I was harassed was fairly shocking as I was simply out exercising. I have recently moved to Regina and have been having a hard time liking the place – and this certainly did not help. On this particular day, the first catcall didn’t bother me because I was in a crowded area and felt safe. But regarding the second one, we were the only people on the street, and it scared me. The harasser had a bicycle and could have followed me. It was awful and I have not been out exercising since.
Have you read Erin’s Story or Ursula’s Story or Kristin’s Story? Each of these stories have two major things in common: First, they’re experiences of street harassment. Second, they’re three of the many stories of people who felt very aware of what they were wearing and how it related to their experiences of harassment. In our research with Cornell we found that 66% of women change the way they dress in order to try and avoid harassment.
Our partners at ModCloth think this is absurd because they know just as well as we do, we dress for ourselves (or at least we should be able to). We love their new video campaign that hones in on this message:
In a world that perpetuates the myth that our clothes are an invitation, it is so important for us to speak up! By telling your stories you are transforming an experience that is lonely and isolating into one that is sharable. You change the power dynamic by flipping the lens off of you and onto the harasser. And you enter a worldwide community of people who’ve got your back. Your stories are inspiring legislators, journalists, academics, and the guy on the corner to take street harassment seriously and create solutions that make everyone feel safe.
So wear what makes you feel good about yourself, and join the movement to shut down street harassers who think your smile or your awesome outfit is an invitation to invade your space. We know that you dress for yourself, and we’ve got your back. Share your stories online or through our new app and participate in the conversation to help us end street harassment.
I just finished volleyball practice and I was walking to the front of the school to be picked up. I was walking past a bunch of doors the led into the school and one of them creeped open. I looked over and there was the old man just looking at me and he asked me what my name was. At first I didn’t see any harm and thought he might of had a question and just by instinct told him my name ( yes I know that was stupid). He then looks me up and down and says yourrr’e cuute. I was disgusted and gave him this dirty look and walked away as fast as I could. He is a janitor that works at a high school! I didn’t know at the time and I wish I would had reported it as soon as it happened.
Honestly, today’s experience of verbal harassment is nothing new to me. I am so tired. I was walking into my place of work (which I love and always feel safe at) when a group of five men that were by a moving truck started barking at me and said “we see what you got and we like it.” I was grabbing stuff out of my car and trying to hurry into work as they continued barking. I turned to them and just said “can you not” and they all laughed. I can’t tell if they were moving into the building next door (God I hope not) or just helping someone move. I work in the vicinity of the University of Michigan, where verbal harassment (and sexual assault) are huge issues. I feel so powerless and sad. I came into work and texted my supportive, feminist boyfriend. I am sitting at my desk trying not to cry. This happens to me weekly, at the least. I am sick of not feeling safe. My boyfriend suggested calling the non-emergency police line and reporting verbal harassment. I wasn’t even sure if I really should…will anything be done? This happens to me all the time. It’s nothing new. But that doesn’t mean that I am immune to it. I hate it, I resent it. I feel sad and helpless. I preach being a strong, independent woman. But nothing makes me feel smaller or weaker than being verbally harassed. I. a.m so. tired.
I was walking by Balcony Bar minding my own business when a creepy, dirty man (about 48-49 years old) wearing a blue bandana around his head says to me “beautiful body.” I stopped, turned around and said “please don’t say that, I don’t appreciate it.” He then went on to call me a “fuckin bitch.” Thankfully I was in a public space because this man looked like he could’ve gotten physically violent. It’s definitely something to be aware of when fighting against this verbal abuse. The man was drinking and looked like he was intoxicated, which could’ve elevated the situation.
This week at HQ we’ve been busy with lots of internal planning and celebrating. As we say goodbye, we want to say a huge thank you and good luck to our HeartMob intern Eunie. This week, we’re also welcoming Natasha as our new IREX fellow! On top of that we celebrated Program Assistant Rachel’s birthday, and we’re eagerly awaiting Program Associate Jae’s return on Monday! Looking to the future, we’re busy with strategic planning and our search for fall interns. With the
way everything’s shaping up we’re setting ourselves up for an awesome Fiscal Year.
Around the world, Hollaback! teams are staying busy and keeping up the energy…
Hollaback! Las Vegas‘ youth volunteers are coming back from summer vacation this week for their first meeting of the year. They will be breaking into committees to start working on the actions planned for the fall, including the first issue of their zine!
Hollaback! Ottawa is marching in the Dyke March and Capital Pride this weekend.
Thanks to everyone for heating up the revolution! Keep up the good work.
Holla and out.