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This is the third video in the “Why I Hollaback” series. “Why I Hollaback” tells the story of how and why folks decide to take the leap, speak up, and start Holla’ing back. We will release a new story every Monday and accept submissions from all over the world. So tell us your story — Why do you Hollaback?
Walking home from my car at 430pm on a Thursday, and I see these two men. Both wearing these “sweat attire” and chains that I have grown to dread, as that is usually what my street callers are wearing- or the more scary ones. The “friend” did nothing. The main guy says “what’sss upppp” as he is walking towards me (we were walking opposite directions on the sidewalk). He is like ten feet in front of me but like three feet to the side. THEN, he bee lines right for me, smiles this disgusting shit eating smile, undressing me with his eyes, and does this head jerk/kiss/bite at my face, like inches from my fucking face on the sidewalk! I usually ignore these people bc it slows my stride and forces me to engage with them if i do anything else, and its not like i think that they dont know i dont like that, i give them a pretty evil glare. but THIS! And from someone who looked like they were 18!?!?! (im 23). I screamed at him in my meanest and loudest voice “Don’t Fucking Do That!!!!!!!!” and everyone else on the street stared at him and knew what a fucking scumbag this guy was, and he gave me a very scary face that really seemed to say “watch your back”. I was thrilled I said something, but terrified at the same time too bc this guy outweighed me by over 100Ibs and if he’d bite at a strangers face, umm, what the hell else would he do?
I didnt take a picture bc it happened too quickly and he scared me. In retrospect I wish had bc i could have filed charges against him for assault.
Assault is if he puts u in imminent fear of being attacked, battery is if he attacks u.
Also, if the police laugh at u, or dont take the report, or mock u, etc… as I have read here, file a complaint against them and even sue them in small claims court. The police are not allowed to do half of the things ive read on here. In some of the stories Ive read here, I would even sue the Police Department for sexual harrasment, intentional infliction of emotion distress, … The law is actually quite pliable to the female pedestrian’s plight against street harrassers, even if the police are not.
And even though in this case I didn’t, I would strongly urge anyone who wanted to, to pursue these matters bc they dont just pick “you.” The person who “bit” at me will do the same thing to another woman, and another, and another… And the police officer who mocks you, etc…
Submitted by “Law Student”
So yesterday 03-20-10 I was coming back from the city with my friend (who is a girl) and we were sitting across from this freak. We were wrapped up in our conversation and I turned to glance who was sitting around us and I see this freak taking photos of us with his stupid phone. At first he was subtle about it… only slightly turning it to us. But give me a break it was pretty obvious when you are technologically savvy. I told my friend and she didn’t believe me. So I kept an eye on him and he would continue to angle his phone towards us…there was one point when he just did it so OBVIOUSLY! moving his phone completely towards us. I looked at him and gave him glares he then hesitated. So ladies don’t think he’s texting on the phone because he’s not. It’s all a front. It was about 11:30 at night taking the 7 to flushing. He gets off at the last stop. He’s a real creepy guy.
P.S. We switched cars and he didnt follow us so that may help some of you.
Today I was arrested for defending myself against a man who was sexually harassing me and verbally assaulting while putting my life in danger in my car. I was driving down Wilshire Blvd and there was a man who was driving a 4 Runner, driving alongside of me as I was driving my car. Intitally, he was on the left side on my passenger’s side making a pass towards me. I used my hand to indicate that I wasn’t interested and that is when he crossed lanes and got on my driver’s side and started calling me a “bitch,” and other hideous names. The whole time he was riding dangerously close to me. Feeling threatened, that is when I pulled out my mace and sprayed his car. He then proceeds to continue to stalk me as I drive through traffic. I arrive at a parking lot where I know the people and he gets out. I see him on the phone and that is when I call the cops. The cops came out after about 1 hr to 1 hr and a half minutes and the attitudes of the cops is what repulsed me even more. They tell that I shouldn’t of said or did anything, despite the fact that he was assaulting me (calling someone “bitch” is considered assault) and I really didn’t say anything. They told me that I should have called the cops even after I explained to them that in the past when I have called the cops for stuff like that, the cops would just dismiss it off as “A pretty girl complaining about a guy ‘bothering’ her,” and not take it seriously. They angrily told me that I shouldn’t of used the pepper spray and I saw them cajoling with the guy on “man stuff.” The worst thing of was when they said that, “All of this could have been avoided had I gone in another direction.” They also told me that had I cursed him out I would have been seen as the aggressor. They arrested me for it, then let me go, but not without taking my pepper spray and my camcorder. What I went through was pure horror and I didn’t deserve it. How dare a perp – who has prob gone to prison (I noticed he had prison tattoos) – have more rights over someone like myself simply because I was merely defending myself. The problem here is not me, but our society. No man or woman has the right to strike at someone simply because that person refuses to bend to their advances. Most importantly, that person shouldn’t have power to punish someone who was merely defending herself against a vicious assault on her personhood. Now I have to face the city attorney simply because I refused a man’s advances. Where did our system go wrong? I need legal counsel, information on places that deal specifically with ending street harassment and codifying it into law. The problem will persist as long as law enforcement not only turn a blind eye, but give the perps a “pass” by making it seem like it is a case of “boys will be boys,” while girls are supposed to be punished for being girls AND women. I don’t know what to do. I am pissed, but I don’t know what to do or where to go? If you have info on feminist lawyers or feminist/ anti-street harassment orgs, please forward them to me. This has got to stop. We live in America and, basically, in effect, the guy can curse me out, call me names, stalk me, etc, but the only way I can avoid issues is to not be seen nor walk out in public like women in Islamic countries. For the kicker, the man can attack me and call me any names he likes, yet, when I fight back by calling him a name or take action, it is MY fault! Funny thing was, when I had a man arrested for battery, the cops were cajoling with the perp with the male officer saying to me, “You know he can sue you for false arrest and imprisonment, right?” Basically, our judicial system is marred by a long time tradition of misogyny and anti-woman attitudes. What happened to me today; I didn’t deserve it NOR all the women victims of domestic violence who go silent since they know the cops will do nothing – as I explained to the three officers today – and will only then act when the woman decides to act in self defense all because the cops didn’t do anything!
As an addendum, when I tried to call the police (I filed an internal complaint regarding that comment) at 6:55pm, the phone call was not able to go through as if it was blocked by their system. When I called from an alternate number, surprise, surprise, the call went through, yet when I told them my name, it was blocked!
Submitted by Raven
Green Mountain Coffee and Ashoka’s Changemakers are hosting a competition to find and help fund the most innovative ideas that improve communities in the Northeast (Maine, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, or Massachusetts). The best innovations will be awarded prizes totaling USD $50,000, and nominators are also eligible for prizes. Hollaback has applied (check out our application and leave us a comment!) and we encourage you to apply too.
Got a great idea? We’d be happy to nominate you! Just shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit http://www.changemakers.com/en-us/Revelation for all the details. You can enter or nominate innovations from now until April 21, 2010.
I live in a not so great part of Brooklyn AKA Canarsie. I was walking home from the hair salon since it’s only 10 blocks from my house. I’m only 2 blocks from home when I hear some creep yell “Ay!” from his car. I ignore them (I’m a professional ignorer) and continued walking. They stop at the red light and had to walk past them and heard they say ” Hey sexy!” ” Yo, she’s got a nice ass”. I never looked to see who was yelling but I’m pretty sure it was two guys in a car. Mind you, I’m wearing t-shirt,jeans and flip flops. It seems like the moment I leave my house I have some creeper yelling come-ons, undressing me with their eyes, winking at me or telling me how beautiful and lovely I am. I never power walked so fast in my entire life. I’m just glad they didn’t follow me home. Then what would of happen? Run to my neighbors house? I wish men will realize their behavior is ignorant, sexist, demeaning and guess what?–it never gets you the girl.
Submitted by pissed off in brooklyn
I was on the train home from NYC about 10 p.m. minding my own business as usual. I actually found a one person seat, which was great because it was late and I really just wanted to sit by myself. After just sitting looking out the window I happened to turn to look out the window across the aisle for whatever reason and this guy is staring at me, with this pathetic grin on his face and then he winked at me. Creeper. I gave him my usual look of disgust and then I was agitated because I don’t know how long he was glaring at me. Then I remembered this website and decided to take a picture of him, but he was already sleeping.
It made me feel better in the end.
Submitted by Danielle
Sexual Harassment can come from women too. I was walking up 7th ave directly in front of the post office near Varick. I had my head covered with a scarf to protect me from the sun and wore a dress past my knees. I walked past a group of women who were speaking spanish I did not notice them, but thought I recognized a male friend sitting on the corner, About 15 ft past them, I turned around, never making eye contact. One of them said “ho, f u and your arab people”. What struck me was that I never saw them and they were still so obsessed with me way down the street, it was only by chance I turned to see if it was my friend. I got angry and gave them the finger. They started screaming F U FU FU FU go back to your FG country.
Submitted by L.
Around 5:30p.m on Saint Patrick’s Day, I was on the 5 train to meet up with my sister after work. The train was pretty empty but had (mostly men) around 10 people spread out, sitting down. These two boys get on, I say ‘boys’ because they seemed to be around the ages 16-19, both had hoodies on, both were African American with short black hair. They sit across from me and immediately say loudly, “Why do you have green nails for?” (my nails were painted a dark green), I ignore them and mess with my phone. This obviously pissed them off because then they start saying, “Why she wearing so much makeup? That’s too much makeup.” Well then, mascara and concealer must make me a whore. At this point, my whorish self, couldn’t take it anymore and I said, “I’m not deaf and I don’t like to be disrespected.” This seemed to shut them up for about 10 seconds, that’s when the insults started pouring out. I was called a, “white bitch”, “racist”, “ugly bitch”, etc. I ignored these while trying to swallow my increasing anger. The one guy then thought it would be fun to rap about me and how I should, “suck big black dicks.” They both laughed, but one of the boys got up, walked towards me and tried to touch me. Good thing I saw this coming and was able to push him away before he laid a finger on me. This was the last straw, so I took out my phone to take a picture of them. That’s when the big, tough boys showed their true colors…they cowered behind their hoodies. While doing this they proceeded to call me a ‘bitch’ and tell me to, ‘fuck off’. I got some words in by saying, “What’s the matter? Are you scared of having your picture taken? You sure didn’t seem scared of harassing me?” Both of the boys got up, while covering their faces, to get off the train and I kept my phone pointing towards them. But, before getting off the train one of them spit at me and they both ran off. Luckily, it missed me by 10 miles.
What really upsets me about the situation is that no one on the train did or said anything. And most of the people on the train were older males. They literally just stared at me as I felt anger, sad, and humiliated. These boys didn’t know me nor did I do anything to deserve such treatment. I wanted to cry after what happened and felt so ashamed that I got off of my train so I can switch to another 5, just so the people who witnessed what happened wouldn’t see me anymore.
Submitted by Kat