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I can’t remember the twists of fate that led me to your website within the past month. I read about your work and the testimonies of many brave women in NYC and around the world.
Your message apparently sank in and yesterday evening on my way home from gamelan practice, I sat down in an S-Bahn station next to three young men who proceeded to wolf-whistle twice at women who walked by. I confronted them about their behavior — told them that women don’t appreciate such attention, that it is not a compliment (as they tried to insist), rather a burden. When they tried in their mediocre way to debate the issue, another woman stepped in and told them if they didn’t agree they were free to leave the station — she’d be happy to call the police to escort them out if they preferred.
We have allies everywhere!
Thanks for helping me to find my voice, and helping me speak out for others who aren’t in a position to do so.
Submitted by Hilary
HollabackLDN lauched today, giving London a badass response to street harassment. The project is led by Julia Gray and Sharmadean Reid, a fearless and fashion-forward duo. Sharmadean is also the founder of WAH-Nails, a self proclaimed “badass nail shop” in London that is also located in the famous TopShop. That’s a lot of badass, but what can I say — Julia and Sharmadean are pretty badass ladies.
If you crack open a history book you will see that much of the domestic violence movement happened in salons. Think about it: you are surrounded by friendly, chatty women, you go to the salon more than you go to the doctor, and it takes getting pretty up close and personal to get that perfect ‘do. Street harassment is on a spectrum of violence against women. It carries many of the same traits, and many of the same solutions. So when we heard that the street harassment movement was happening in a nail shop we thought: BEAUTIFUL.
HollabackLDN is giving the “wankers” a run for their money and showing Londoners that they have the right to feel safe, confident, and sexy (for inspiration on the sexy, check out WAH-nails beautiful nail art). When the team first hatched the idea to launch HollabackLDN, Sharmadean said in a conversation with me, “2009 I launched the nail shop, 2010 is all about the girls. I want empower girls, and get them to stop being scared of themselves.” That’s exactly what they are doing, one hollaback at a time.
Check out HollabackLDN and if you live in London, contact them to see how you can get involved!
RightRides for Women’s Safety is currently hiring for a Deputy Director position. They are seeking candidates with 2+ years experience in development and policy, with experience in social justice, community organizing and related movements. The right candidate is passionate for ending gender-based violence and also has a record of successful grant writing, coordinating coalitions, and mobilizing communities towards change. They are a small office now, but the Deputy Director will help us grow the organization and this position has ample room for growth. For more info and application instructions, click here. As an added bonus, the new Deputy Director will work with Hollaback! through our work with New Yorkers for Safe Transit!
The campaign in Wales that brought us the amazing PSA that we posted yesterday has also put together a website and a video (above). Their message to men: “To you its nothing, but it all adds up.” Well said.
Country by country, campaign by campaign, the world is working together to end street harassment. You’re a part of it, we’re a part of it, and together we’re creating a world we can only imagine.
I just saw this take place — sadly it happened too quickly for me to snap a pic.
I was walking on 11th between 1st and A, when I saw in front of me what appeared to be the start of a street brawl. These two massive dudes were screaming fighting words down the street at someone or something I couldn’t make out, whom I assumed to be another group of equally fired-up guys. “WHO THE F**K DO YOU THINK YOU ARE” and “HOLD ME BACK” and “F**K YOU” came from this one guy as his equally giant/terrifying friend sort of half-assedly tried to “hold him back.” I walked around them, trying to keep my distance but also keep an eye on the seemingly epic street fight that was about to take place. It was at exactly that moment that this guy, now red-faced and sweaty, shouted “IT WAS A F**KING COMPLIMENT!”
Something clicked. I finally see who he’s yelling at. It’s a young woman who cannot be more than 5’2″, who now has her head down and is clearly terrified. She was gone around the corner before I could fully fathom what I was seeing — a grown man screaming at a woman, who had clearly just responded negatively to his street-advances, as though he were in a bar fight in Jersey City. The very slim silver lining was that he was being theatrical (read: horrifying) enough that it attracted a lot of attention on the street. Men and women alike seemed really shocked by what was happening, so maybe, maybe someone who didn’t realize the abusive nature of street harassment which lies just under the thin veil of charm/banter learned something today. Who knows.
To that young woman, red-haired, I believe with dreadlocks, I’m sorry that happened to you, and that dude deserves to be castrated.
Submitted by Arianna
Had to email this in because it was such a ridiculous sequence of events.
Just after speaking on a panel at a HEALTHY TEEN RELATIONSHIPS conference, I walk out the door to a man who says you’re beautiful in a creepy way. I was not on my game so I stood there in disgust and he says well say thank you and walks away. Then as I’m walking to the subway another creepster (this one an old man in work clothes) whispers youre beautiful as he walks by. I clearly need to learn how to summon my reactions better but I just couldn’t believe that I left a conference that educates young people about healthy relationships—and their key feature, respect—and got harassed by two men in a row. If men knew about respect for women, we wouldn’t need conferences to teach teens how to avoid abusive partners. Sigh.
Submitted by Karin
Ugh… lately I’ve been getting harassed so much that it’s become really tiring. Every day for the past week or two I’ve had some pervert say something gross to me or do something creepy. I’m very independent and like to be on my own a lot, but since I’m a young (20) female, I feel like that makes me a prime target for harassment. To sum up the creepiest people:
About two weeks ago I was waiting for a train in a very corporate part of the city. I was standing near another girl, and then a very professional looking man came and stood between the two of us. I wrongly assumed he wouldn’t be creepy because of the way he was dressed. He started pacing back and forth between the two of us, and I also noticed him staring at me. When we got on the train he took a seat, and the girl and I stood across from each other in opposite doorways. He was VERY obviously looking at her and when she darted her head in his direction he quickly looked away. Then she went to a different part of the train, probably because he was freaking her out. Then he turned his attention to me. Okay, whatever, he’s looking at me. Creepy, but I can deal with it. BUT THEN he whipped out his phone and REALLY OBVIOUSLY took a picture of me. I got off at the next stop. Now this creepy asshole has a picture of me and probably jerked off to it. Ugh.
A few days ago I was at Columbus Circle sitting at the fountain. For awhile I noticed that this guy was sitting next to me, not doing anything in particular. But a lot of people were sitting at the fountain so I didn’t think much of it. I was on the phone with someone for a long time, and right when I hung up he tried to start a conversation with me but I could tell he was trying something so I got up and left. As I’m walking away, listening to my music, I notice the same guy walking behind me. He was walking behind me for a few minutes and I could tell he was looking at me… I couldn’t believe he was actually following me. He started asking me questions like my name and what I’m doing in the city. I know I shouldn’t have responded to him and should have just told him to fuck off, but I made up some bullshit and then when I quickly took an unexpected turn he finally left me alone.
Finally, today I was once again at Columbus Circle at the fountain (yeah, maybe I should just stop going there) taking pictures. This guy was trying to talk to me, saying things like “hey, hey girl. Hey, hey, hey!” But I just kept ignoring him and calmly walked away like I couldn’t hear him. As I was walking away though I saw the same guy following me. I thought maybe he just happened to be walking the same direction as me, but that definitely wasn’t the case. At first I wanted to just try to ignore him but I knew it wouldn’t work. He told me something like “Hey, I want to talk to you. You look really good.” I told him twice that I didn’t want to talk to him, but then he started describing the parts of me that looked good to him… gross. Then he asked me if I was single, and even when I said no he asked if I wanted to do something sexual with him (although he didn’t put it so conservatively). I didn’t show my rage because I didn’t want him to know he was affecting me. So I just calmly told him “nope” and he turned around and walked the opposite direction.
Submitted by A.
A TV advert shows “abusive” behaviour towards a woman, including being leered at and enduring sexist comments.
Social Justice Minister Carl Sargeant said while that could seem harmless to men, women can feel threatened.
Welsh Women’s Aid said tackling “widespread social attitudes” was crucial.
The advert shows a gang of men in a van sounding their horn and gesturing at the woman in the street, a male office colleague ogling her, and two strangers in a bar making suggestive remarks as she passes.
The video ends with her being followed down a dark street by another man, with the headline One Step Too Far.
The Welsh Assembly Government said the campaign aimed to “stamp out unacceptable attitudes and behaviour towards women before it leads to more violent forms of abuse”.
It said it did this by highlighting “how seemingly innocent actions may be a step too far and lead to women feeling unsafe”.
Click here to read the full BBC article and watch the video campaign.
|Video Breakdown – Pantsed on the Train|
It happened a few years ago while I was in college. I was working as a waitress at a busy restaurant/bar in town and would usually get home around 1:30 am. One night I came home at the usual time, took a shower and went to bed. The next morning I find a business card stuck to my door from a local police officer asking me to contact him ASAP. I called the precinct, and he tells me that a man was arrested the night before for masturbating outside of my window. Apparently, some people at a party in the next building saw him from their balcony and called the police. I was listening to my iPod when I went to bed, so I never heard the cops knock on my door.
Incidentally, I always have my curtains closed, but apparently there was an opening at the bottom where they overlapped (about the size of a quarter, according to the cops who were at the scene), so he could see into my bedroom through this limited space. As the officer is telling me this, I realize that this man saw me completely naked after my shower the night before and watched me rub lotion all over myself, too, so apparently he got quite a show.
The officer tells me the guy’s name and asks if I know him. He says that the day before this “peeping” incident the man had been released from prison where he had been serving time for a sex crime. I don’t recognize the man’s name or description, but now I am panicking. This perv knows where I live, where I work (due to my waitress uniform), what kind of car I drive, and he can probably guess that at the end of the night I come home with an apron full of cash…plus he’s a convicted sex offender. I ask the officer if I can see the guy’s mug shot, to see if I recognize him from the restaurant, and so I will know who he is if I see him anywhere near me, and he says no, that he’s not allowed to show me a photo because it would be a violation of the guy’s rights! So this guy can look at my fully naked body without my knowledge or consent, but I can’t look at his face after he’s been arrested for peeping and wanking outside of my window. So glad that his rights weren’t violated!
I seriously feared for my safety after that. I felt so exposed, and not just because he had seen me naked, but because I felt that I was denied the option to protect myself. This guy was a convicted criminal with a history of sexually assaulting women! I hated not knowing if he was out there following me or watching me again– maybe I had even unknowingly waited on him? I never spent another night at that apartment and moved three weeks later. I also never heard back from the police about the case. When I called to follow up, I was told that the charges had been dropped due to a lack of “evidence”, meaning that he had not left a DNA sample at the scene. He had been interrupted by the police approaching and so he never finished, and apparently the statements from my neighbors weren’t proof enough of his crime. I hope with all my heart that I was the last woman he violated, but somehow I doubt it.
Submitted by Anne