A Week in Our Shoes

Week In Our Shoes: Taking Charge Edition

Hey Hollas!

Warmer weather WAS upon us at the Hollaback! HQ and the freezing cold torture WAS over, but unfortunately Mother Nature has other plans. We’re hopeful that Spring will grace us with its presence in time for our annual Anti Street Harassment Rally taking place in Washington Square Park on April 11th as part of International Anti Street Harassment Week! If you participated in HOLLA::Rev, you won’t want to miss this event. And if you missed HOLLA::rev, don’t miss the rally!

Earlier this week, our ED Emily May was featured in an article called “You Shouldn’t Have To Have A Female Driver: Uber’s Hiring Pledge Isn’t Enough.” The article raises the question on whether or not Uber cares about the safety of women using their cab services. Read the article and you decide. (Hint: it seems like they don’t.) Emily also spoke at Nassau Community College earlier this week for their anti-harassment week festivities.


Also in street harassment news, a big wag of the finger to TGIF. The restaurant chain received major backlash from activists earlier last week after they released a parody of a viral video about street harassment. Apparently, TGIF thought it was a good idea to replace the main actress in the viral video with a mozzarella stick and a potato skin. The end result? Basically men catcalling fried carbs and TGIF making fun of someone’s trauma. Not cool TGIF. Not cool.



Let’s see what the rest of our sites around the world have been up to…

Hollaback! Halifax site leader Rebecca Faria participated in a panel about women’s cultural leadership by the Music Liberatory, and joined a panel at St. Mary’s University called Mend The Gap, about barriers to leadership faced by women and girls.

Hollaback! Appalachian Ohio presented 4 1.5 hour workshops on rape culture, street harassment, and bystander intervention for 87 9th graders at Trimble High School. They also debuted the next phase of their Body Hair Acceptance Project on International Women’s Day.

Hollaback! Bangalore hosted a screening of Girl Rising; a global campaign for girls education with a panel at the end and lead a discussion on the importance of girl’s education in India.

Hollaback! Belfast walked with a lot of righteous women to celebrate women in the Rally to City Hall on International Women’s Day. They were also excited to hear that long time hollaback supporter Ellie Drake was running to be the next NUS-USI president. Awesome!

Hollaback! Bahamas Alicia Wallace met with coordinators for a new community centre set to launch in April about programming. She guest lectured in a sociology class at College of the Bahamas on street harassment. She also participated in Bahamas Sexual Health & Rights Association’s parenting seminar on talking to children about sex. And today they will be attending an all day digital rally, sharing ideas on how #‎YouthWill end #‎StreetHarassment‬. Hollaback! Bahamas is also running a two hour tweet chat (starting at 10am EST 3/20) on how we‪ #‎ShareStories‬ to debrief, heal, examine, report, and offer support.

Hollaback! Des Moines gave a keynote presentation at St. Cloud State University. That was part of their Women on Wednesday series that was called; “Hollaback! An Exploration of Identity and Street Harassment in the Age of Online Feminism.”

That’s all for this week! Holla out!

-the Hollaback! Team


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Anna’s story: Meow?

I was walking back home from the train station and saw some construction workers installing a new window in one of the houses I was passing by. I looked at it to see what they were doing. When I had nearly passed them, one of the men ‘meowed’ at me. He literally meowed. Very loud. Like a cat. I guess that’s how ‘Catcalls’ got the meaning they have today. I didn’t react, because I had already had the worst day and knew I was going to cry and also because I was in a mixture of disgust, feeling strange and trying to figure out if that really just happened right now. Until this day I get upset about not going back and talking to the guy.

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New Story: no “Piropos”

Antes, tenía que coger un bus y un tren para llegar al trabajo.
Cada vuelta, en el corto trayecto del bus al tren, pasaba por la Avenida de Colón. El portero de un edificio estaba siempre esperando en su portal, fuera, y siempre que pasaba por delante, que era inevitable, me soltaba un par de “piropos”. Hasta que un día, que ya había soportado a unos obreros en la misma calle, me planté y le dije que dejara de opinar sobre mi aspecto. Me respondió: ¿es que no te gusta que te digan guapa?

Previously, I had to catch a bus and a train to get to work.
Each time, in the short bus ride to the train, we passed through the Avenida de Colón. The doorman of a building was always waiting in the door, outside, and whenever he passed in front, it was inevitable, he let out a couple of “compliments”. Until one day, when I had already endured some workers in the street, I stood and told him to stop commenting on my appearance. He answered: do you not like being told that you’re pretty?

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Stalking, Verbal, youth

Anna’s Story: Uncomfortable in the situation, happy about the support

I was walking back home from the train station and noticed a man walking in front of me. It was dark already and I passed by him and saw another girl walking in front of me. I passed by her too, but slowed my pace a little, because I had a strange feeling and the girl had already turned around when I had walked behind her, so I thought: She might feel better if I don’t walk away.
As we were going on in the same direction I could here that the man started to talk to her to which the girl replied something like: “No,no,sorry…I don’t know…” repeatedly.
I could hear from 10 meters away that she was uncomfortable in this situation and just wanted the guy to go away, but as some of you might know situations like this – he kept on talking to her. I stopped on one corner to keep watching over her, but that’s when the situation ended and the man walked away. I could still see that the girl was a little confused so I went to see if everything was ok and I told her, that I had heard everything and walked slowly to make sure she wasn’t alone. She said the guy was really strange and I guess she was happy about the support.
I just regret not having turned around earlier to say something to address this!

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Verbal, youth

Mayra’s Story: I hated being scared

I’m a 17 year old girl who has never, once in her life been cat called. I’d always thought that if it were to happen, I’d be able to respond quickly and sassy. It was a sunny day in San Diego, and my family and I had just finished eating at Anthony’s Fish Grotto. I was trailing a little behind because I was taking pictures and just enjoying the day. As we walked down the street, two middle aged guys came walking towards me. I didn’t really know what to do, and I assumed they were going to ask for directions or something of the sort. Still, it felt strange. I tried to step around them, but one sort of stepped in front of me. By this point, my family was pretty far ahead and I was panicked. One of them whistled and said “Hey gorgeous! How about I be your drunk tour guide in bed?” while the other one tired to swing his arm around me. I stepped back and walked quickly towards my parents while the other one told me to “Cheer up already.” They trailed behind me for a little while and actually followed until we entered the Mid Way Museum, when they finally left.
I didn’t really mention anything, because I was so confused and uncomfortable. I felt creeped out and all of a sudden my shorts felt way to short. I wore my jacket despite the heat and kept looking over my shoulder expecting them to show up again. I felt like some sort of piece of meat, and I hated being scared. I was so mad at myself for not saying anything and for running away. We are here in San Diego for another 6 days, and honestly, I don’t want to leave the hotel. I don’t want to wear swimsuits or shorts. I feel violated in some way and I don’t know if I’m being overdramatic but I’m 17 and they were old and it just felt gross. I just do not know what to do.

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Susie’s Story: Third Time’s the Charm?

When I entered the town hall and proceeded to the waiting area, I passed a family including a guy in approximately his twenties. I didn’t get a good look but when I passed, I heard the typical clucking/chirping noise one gets from men trying to attract your attention. I tried to tell myself I was overreacting and not to judge so quickly.

When I was called up for my appointment I walked past the group again. I saw the guy approach me from the corner of my eye and he said something to me in a language I couldn’t understand. It was obviously offensive though, made so much more obvious by the fact that one of his female relatives said something to him which sounded like a shocked admonishment of what he had said (again: foreign language).

After my appointment, I had to walk past him a third time – this time already nervously anticipating another comment. He walked toward me again, however refrained from a comment this time.

I think many men probably cannot understand how frustrating even seemingly minor incidents like these are. I HATE when men say something obviously disgusting to me in a language I can’t understand. I KNOW what they most likely said, but feel like I lack the “proof” in order to be able to say something about it. Quite apart from the fact that I can never think of a good comeback fast enough.

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A Week in Our Shoes

Week in Our Shoes: Spring has sprung edition!

Hey Hollas! Spring has finally sprung in NYC, and here at the mothership we are enjoying not freezing our booties off.

We spent the week coming down off the incredible excitement of HOLLA::Rev 2015 (thanks to all who attended/watched!!) and reveling in great media coverage from Knight, Collectively, and Washington Square Journal. Be sure to check out photos of the event on our Facebook, and watch the video if you haven’t yet!

Our next event is only a month away! Join us in Washington Square Park on April 11th for our Anti-Street Harassment Rally as part of International Anti-Street Harassment Week! If awesome speakers and activists and workshops on taking action against street harassment isn’t appealing enough, our 12-foot inflatable Cat Against Catcalling will be making an appearance.

Legislative advocacy season is underway, and we are working to show our council members how prevalent street harassment is in their districts. ED Emily May spoke at New York City Council’s Women’s Caucus about Hollaback!’s Legislative Agenda. Trigger warning: On their way home from the meeting, Emily and Hollaback! intern Kate were in a subway car with a public masturbator, and obviously they shared their story.

Finally, ED Emily May spoke about online harassment on a SXSW panel in Austin on Friday called “Sex, Lies, and the Internet.” 


Hollaback! Nottingham chalk walks for International Women’s Day

Check out what some of our amazing sites around the world have been up to!

Hollaback! Mumbai and Hollaback! Delhi were featured in the Epoch Times for their amazing work in honor of International Women’s Day!

Hollaback! Nottingham hosted a chalk walk for International Women’s Day and were covered here.

Hollaback! Alberta,  Hollaback! Halifax, Hollaback! Hamilton, Hollaback! Montreal, Hollaback! Ottawa, Hollaback! Toronto, Hollaback! Vancouver, and Hollaback! Victoria have joined the Up for Debate alliance, a campaign urging federal political party leaders to hold a debate about women’s issues in the upcoming fall election in Canada. Sign their change.org petition!

Hollaback! Baltimore‘s new site director Brittany Oliver will be speaking at a film screening of “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” on March 19th at the Creative Alliance!

Hollaback! Edinburgh was featured on Didja blog for their amazing work. They also will be participating in an anti-racism rally this weekend. Great stuff!

Hollaback! York will be celebrating the official launch of their site on April 18th! Congrats!

Hollaback! Italy will be holding an educational workshop on harassment on March 21st! Check it out if you’re in Genoa!

Hollaback! Manhattan Kansas site leader Jessica Munoz will be teaching a free six-week course on consent called “Yes Means Yes” at Kansas State University starting in a few weeks!

That’s all for now, folks! Thanks for all your great work. Holla and out!

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Story, Verbal

Rose’s Story: Not a “Nasty Girl”

I was loading groceries into the back of my car at 7:30 at night in the dark. Two men came up to me, asking me if I was a “nasty girl” because I looked like a “nasty girl” who would “be out on the town tonight.” I was wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and sandals. I ignored them and shoved the groceries into the back of my car as quickly as possible. With the key in hand, I turned and faced them dead on, shoved my shopping cart at them, and jumped in my car just in time to hear one say, “That was rude, you dumb bitch.” Then I drove away as quickly as possible. I realize this was relatively “harmless,” but the fact that I was alone in the dark in a parking lot actually made it quite terrifying. How can a person know when a comment is going to go from just words to actions? Very scary.

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Check out Rebecca Sive’s new book, Every Day is Election Day!


Every Day Is Election Day

 It’s time to give two snaps for Girl Power, because Rebecca Sive’s new book, Every Day Is Election Day, encourages women to go after leadership roles. Rebecca’s book is an easy-to read guide…to just keep rising up.  Danica Davidson for MTV ACT

Every Day Is Election Day is the Lean In of the political world.” —The Hon. Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General

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Phoebe’s Story: Just A Nasty Creep

It was a hot day and I was walking from the university campus back to my car. A man in a pickup truck drove by me slowly on one street. I cut through a parking lot to the next street where my car was, and as I got into my car, the pickup truck approached from the opposite direction. The man leaned out of the window and asked for directions to a nearby street. I pointed straight ahead, rather vaguely, and he didn’t look. He just leaned out of the window and said, “Do you want to fuck?” I said, “Go away!” and then rolled up my window, locked my door, and drove away. Fortunately, I was already in the car when he said that, so I didn’t panic; I could just hit the lock and turn the key. At the time, I thought about a rash of rapes that had happened in that neighborhood, and I remembered hearing on the news that the rapist had been caught. I felt silly for thinking of a serial rapist, just because a man had said, “Do you want to fuck?” but he was really creepy, I was very young, and I didn’t know what to think about it.For years afterward, when I recalled that day, the detail that stuck in my mind was that I wasn’t wearing a bra. Now I wonder if by remembering that detail, I was thinking maybe it was my fault. It was just such an automatic response to wonder if I’d done something to provoke it. So stupid. He was just a nasty creep and I happened to cross his path.

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