A Week in Our Shoes

Week in Our Shoes: Bystander Superstar Edition

Hola Hollas!

Even though it’s still rather chilly, things around headquarters sure are heating up in preparation for our Annual Anti-Street Harassment Rally in NYC on April 11th! We’re kicking off International Anti-Street Harassment Week with activism, speakers, performers, and workshops! If that isn’t intense enough for you, you’ll at least need to come to see our GIANT INFLATABLE CAT (#catsagainstcatcalling)! You definitely don’t want to miss this!

The Holla Staff spent so much time traveling this week! Our ED Emily May was in the Midwest on Tuesday where she spoke at Indiana State University! Our Deputy Director Debjani Roy also went to The Urban Assembly Institute of Math & Science for Young Women on Thursday to do a training as part of our pilot program in NYC public schools.

HQ’s Program Associate Jae Cameron shared this incredible story about intervening on the subway. If you haven’t already, go ahead and check out our resources on bystander intervention so you can be just as cool as her!

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Speaking of bystander intervention, we’re super impressed with Ontario’s new bystander intervention PSA that puts you in the perspective of someone witnessing assault or harassment and asks the question #WhoWillYouHelp?


Now let’s see what our sites have been up to…


Hollaback! Berlin had their very first (offline) meeting! They invited people to come share their stories of everyday sexism, street harassment, and help them plan the Holla Revolution! On International Women’s Day, site leader Julia did a radio special on feminism and intersectionality (go Julia!) which you can listen to here.

Hollaback! Baltimore REPRESENTED at Johns Hopkins University on Wednesday for a Women’s History Month workshop on street harassment sponsored by LGBTQ Life at JHU. Check out their Twitter to see their live tweeting about the event! They’ve also partnered with Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle to host “Malcolm X Talks: Feminism and Intersectionality in the 21st Century” on March 30th! RSVP here!

Hollaback! Duke University launched their blog! They already partnered with Duke Splash to teach fifteen middle and high school girls about the importance of bystander intervention and standing up to street harassment. Check out Social Media Chair Katie Becker’s article she wrote for the Duke Chronicle and follow their Facebook and Twitter to learn more about all the great stuff they’re doing!

Hollaback! Italy gave a workshop on #StreetHarassment on Saturday! The workshop was hosted by the Palazzo Ducale in Genova and co-sponsored by the Association of LGBT Approdo Ostilia Mulas, a territorial committee of Arcigay Genova. Way to educate!

Hollaback! Nottingham earned big bucks for their campaign at their FEMSTIVAL event last Saturday! This event was hosted by The Chameleon Arts Cafe in Nottingham and presented by UoN Feminists, High Society, Punksoc, & Art Soc from Nottingham University. The all-day event featured feminist punk and indie bands, crafts, zines, cakes, and a whole lotta feminist fun! Then, on Tuesday they attended Nottingham Citizens’ pre-election event in order to demand that the Nottingham Council recognize street harassment as a gender-based hate crime.

 That’s all for this week, great work everyone! Holla ‘n out!
— The Hollaback Team

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groping, Verbal

New Story: What are you going to do about it?

Washington DC, Shaw, Florida Ave NW. We passed each other in the crosswalk and he reached out and stroked my arm. I swerved out of the way and stared at him in shock. He looked back at me like “yeah, I did that, what are you gonna do about it?”

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groping, youth

Anna’s Story: You’re not fair game

I dance in a Showdance group that has performances in Cologne’s Carnival-season frequently.
We’re about 14 girls of different ages from 16-30.
This year we were at an event where we would be on stage for several hours, being the background dancers for some of the bands. While we were dancing in the back, some guys showed up on one side of the stage, but because there’s always about 6 bands,we all thought they were technicians. At some point they came on stage and joined us in ‘Schunkel’n. Nothing wrong with that,if not one of the guys had put his hand on the butt of one of our youngest team members and after she told him to stop groped another time. If we all had known this was going on, we would have kicked the guy off the stage. But she later said, that she didn’t know what to do,because of all the audience (we told her: BECAUSE of the audience she should have said something) First of all: We told her, that just because she dances, doesn’t mean she’s fair game.
We tried to search the guy, but he got away to fast. Unfortunately for him: Our teammember had showed him to us from far while he was leaving PLUS the guy was stupid enough to later on post onto the facebook-page of this event (“Who were the dancers with blabla…?”)
Fun fact: One of our girls is also a police officer. She had the girl confirm that that was the guy who had groped her and she pressed charges against him.
I wonder what his facial expression must’ve looked like when he got that letter…

one comment 
groping, Verbal

Johamma’s Story: Nadie dijo ni hizo nada

Paseando en el casco antiguo de Lugo, un señor de unos sesenta y pico años, fumando un puro, vino hacia mí de frente y me empujó y apretó entre su cuerpo y la pared diciendo “guapa quieres ser mi amiga?” Me libré de él, pero media hora después me piyó mirando un escaparate y volvió a empotrarme contra la pared. No pasó de ahí, no me sujetó al intentar marchar. Pero era pleno día y la calle estaba llena. Nadie dijo ni hizo nada ante esa situación …

Walking in the old town of Lugo, a man of about sixty-odd years, smoking a cigar, came straight towards me and pushed me and squeezed between his body and the wall saying “beautiful wanna be my friend?” I got rid of him, but half an hour later I was looking at a showcase and he trapped me back against the wall. It didn’t happen there, I was grabbed when trying to leave. But it was broad daylight and the street was full. Nobody said or did anything to this situation …

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groping, Nonverbal Harassment, Stalking

Ayla’s Story: Not so Mad about Memphis

Living in Memphis is a wonderful and terrible thing sometimes. There are a lot of fantastic things about this place, but the sexist and sexually violent attitude that permeates this area disgusts me.
I’ve lived here for nearly three years, and in that time, I have been followed, hollered at, groped, cussed at, and just made to feel like I am “less than”.
This city has a SERIOUS and frighteningly blasé attitude towards sexual assault/harassment and it needs to stop.

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Marta’s Story: “El cementerio esta lleno de mujeres bonitas”

Siempre que paso por el supermercado Ahorramás de Altamirano en Madrid, sus empleados me hacen comentarios inapropiados. Después de quejarme a su superior hoy me han dicho al pasar que “el cementerio esta lleno de mujeres bonitas”. Tengo el video. Lamentable.

Whenever I pass by the Ahorramás of Altamirano supermarket in Madrid, its employees make inappropriate comments at me. After complaining to their superiors today they told me in passing that “the graveyard is full of beautiful women.” I have the video. Terrible.

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BB’s Story: Rude on the Run

A guy offered me a beer as I ran past in my running clothes. He was with a bunch of friends and looked drunk. This happened by my house.

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Amina’s Story: Enfin il est parti

Un homme m’a demndé si je sais où il y a un Resto. C’était dimanche donc il y avait pas grande chose ouverte, et personne dans la rue. Je l’ai indiqué un Resto pas loin, puis je l’ai souhaité poliment une bonne journée et je suis partie . Il a marché à côté de moi en silence pendant 5 ou 7 minutes. Je l’ai pas regardé. Enfin il est parti.

A man asked me if I knew where there was a restaurant. It was Sunday, so there wasn’t anything great open, and nobody in the street. I told him about about a restaurant nearby, then I politely wished him a good day and I left. He walked next to me in silence for about 5 or 7 minutes. I didn’t look at him. Finally, he left.

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T. T.’s Story: Ridiculous

Dude stared at me and said some ridiculous shit :/

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Kasey’s Story: Dog walking away from those dogs

I was walking my dog around the apartment couple in which I live and two men were in their car smoking. I don’t know if they live here or not. As I passed their car they called out to me saying “hey, I want to fuck you.” And when I didn’t acknowledge them and kept walking, they yelled after me in graphic detail what they wanted to do to me.

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