Nonverbal Harassment

Breast or Thigh with that?

Although this is not street harassment in the most literal sense, I thought you would find this interesting. I found the attached turd on my way to the grocery store this afternoon. Upon closer inspection I noticed that this is packaging for a phone card. A FUCKING PHONE CARD. I usually laugh at such “over the top” objectification of the female body, but this thing just made my stomach sink.

I’d much rather get cat-called on the street by some asshole than having to see this crap: at least I can yell back at a pervert (and/or send his picture to you guys). Shit like this (which displays the female body like so many breasts and thighs from a bucket of KFC) only encourages misogynist behavior.

Submitted by Miss H

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Nice Ass

Last year i used to have to walk to my highschool. Right across the street there is always a huge group guy just standing there. At first they didn’t bother me when i passed them but after my first few day they used to whistle at me and one of them even grabbed my ass. it was diguesting and i felt so violated. So i turned around and said ” Yea i know my ass is nice but that gives you no reason to teach it.” They all just stood there and stared at me.A few days later my friend who travels the same way as me but has to be in earlier told me that they had grabbed her ass a few times.sS I repoted them to the school security and we never saw them there again.

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Assaulted in Graceland

I’m a NYC resident, and was on a business trip in Memphis this weekend when I was assaulted. I wanted to send a post to Holla Back, because I feel like this will make me feel as if I’ve reclaimed some of my power. I can’t take back what happened and I can’t get it out of my head, I just need to tell the world what he did.

The story starts – I was at Graceland when it happend yesterday afternoon at around 1:30 pm yesterday with a friend. I was on a tour of the house with about 8 other people. If you havn’t been to Graceland, it is a museum of sorts. The house is pretty small and so the tour group gets herded from one room to the next. I was stopped taking a picture and leaning over a railing . That’s when I felt it. A man, about 40 years old, wearing a blue windbreaker and a buzz cut- walking past with his friend reaches UNDERNEATH ME, between my legs and grabs my ass and reaching the front of my crotch. He keeps walking. I whipped around to scream “Are you fucking kidding me?!?” and everyone in the tour was wearing those stupid tour-headsets and no one said anything. So, I walked into the next room following the guy and tapped him on the shoulder, I didn’t know what I was going to say – so I just kept tapping him on the shoulder. He pretended not to feel my tapping and hear my voice – and continued to take pictures. I asked him a few times “Are you fucking kidding me?! Did you just grab my ass??!!” and he didn’t respond.. I said it again and he responded “No, I was just taking pictures.” He turns around and looks at his child-molester looking friend behind him and asks if it was him.. and he just shrugs his shoulders. Walking around the room, I’m in fucking Elvis’s house here – mind you – and there’s a security guard right there, but I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to make a scene more than I already had -it’s this completely silent room with a dozen strangers, and my ass and crotch were just grabbed. The feeling of a complete loss of power and thought and coping skills was just overwhelming. I went and told my friend (loudly) what had just happened and we stood there, in shock, me shaking – not knowing how to feel better about this. The guy was denying anything happened, and I just wanted to cry, but didn’t want to cry in front of him. So I thought it over and decided, it would be worse if no one believed me, or if he got angrier and made me feel worse, so I kept on going and just tried to avoid him the rest of the afternoon.. I think a security guard heard me talking loudly about what had happened, and so next thing I know, I have 2 security guards following me at a distance around the grounds. This made me feel even worse – I thought the guy had told them that I had threatened him or something, and felt so dirty and disgusting and as if somehow, I had done something wrong. I eventually, an hour later – saw him again and told a security guard what had happened. The guard approached the men, who again – denied it was them – and the guard came back to tell me – they had denied it. I’m sorry. I think they should have been kicked out, but it didn’t surprise me that they didn’t do it.

Ever since the moment I was grabbed, I have been replaying the situation over and over in my head, wishing I could have done or said something better than what I did. I wish I could have just kicked him in the nuts, or started screaming and cursing and telling him what a pathetic human being he was that not only does he grab stranger’s crotches, he can’t own up to it. Tell him that because he can grab people doesn’t mean he’s got any sort of power, in fact, it shows how pathetic and powerless he is. I have taken self-defense classes before, but at that moment I was defenseless, speachless. I’ve never been one to have a good one-liner waiting in the wings, but I really wish I had just this once. I’m proud that I at least had the good sense (thanks to some amazing women I know who don’t put up with any shit) to walk up to him and confront him. Hopefully that changed the power dynamic a little bit. I’m also proud that I eventually told a security guard. I guess all I can hope is that The King, up in heaven will defend my honor, I’m almost certain Elvis doesn’t allow sexual assault in his living room. I hope that he can make sure that fuckhead got run over by a go-cart from hell on the way home last night. Hopefully, the spirit of Graceland won’t be ruined for me – or maybe it’s time to move onto another hollywood home, something more empowering, like Dollywood. The worst thing about this, was this was not the first time this has happened, nor will it be the last. This was a particularly aggressive move, but it happens every day to women who were not ‘asking for it.’ Next time, however – if its on the subway, or in a crowd, or in a museum like this was – I will scream, and I will kick and I will punch that asshole and I don’t care if I’m making a scene or not.

Thanks Hollaback for doing what you do, and for making a space for me to reclaim my power.

Submitted by J

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Pushed to my Limit

My latest incident happened on Saturday, Dec. 30th, passing by construction site on 3rd Ave. and 10th St. I felt “the leer”, and gave the worker the benefit of the doubt by simply nodding, and looking away.

He proceeded to say creepily, “Oh, fuck, that’s a pretty pussy. Do you take it in the ass?” I just kept walking and shaking my head. I’ve lived in New York for 6 years, and I’m just tired. I live around the block, and now avoid the construction site. I’m angry at myself for feeling like it’s my fault, but most of all that he can get away with it.

Just found your website, and from now on, I’m going to have my phone in hand. Why do men have to be such a dissapointment sometimes? It makes me appreciate the good ones.

Submitted by S.

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Stalking, Verbal

Thanks a Hell of alot for Destroying my Sense of Safety

It was around 9:30pm last night and I walked into the lobby of my apartment building talking on the phone with one of my friends. We hung up while I was waiting for the elevator and this drunk guy who was older than my father walks over to me and makes a comment about the elevator to which I just nodded. It wasn’t unusual for someone to make a comment about the elevator since we usually had problems with it, but then out of the blue he asks me my name. I turn and stared at him in shock and asked him “Why?” to which he answered “Because you’re pretty.” I just ignored him and made a move to get in the elevator and he started to follow me, still asking my name. Still stunned and by that point – scared, I walked out of the elevator and asked him if he was getting in or out and he said he was getting out and moved out of the elevator so I walked back in. He starts to follow me and I turn to walk out again and he physically blocks my way. All the while, he’s still asking my name. I try to push past him and at that moment, one of the men who was near the front door watching the whole entire thing finally decides to do something and takes the drunk old man by the shoulder and starts to move him out of the way. This gave me a chance to slip by and lucky for me, one of my mom’s friend’s husband walks in the front door at that moment and he took the elevator up to my apartment with me. Right before the elevator door closed, the drunk man yells “since you won’t give me your name, I’ll give you one – baby doll.” 

I had my cell phone clutched in my hand the whole time, unfortunately it didn’t have a camera so I couldn’t take a picture of the jerk’s face. I’m 17 years old and even though I’ve been told I look 18 or 19, it’s still no justification to hit on someone who is thirty years younger than you. It was just plain creepy and it left me completely shaken. I ended up in tears for the two hours that followed because I was totally unnerved and I lost all sense of safety. This incident was made worse by the fact that the night before I had a group of guys shouting “I want some of that pussy” at me while I was walking down the 42 street train station stairs. I’m use to comments of “hey beautiful” and such and I’ve learned to ignore those, but the vulgarity of what those guys were shouting surprised me and left me a bit nervous. But it certainly compared nothing to how violated I felt last night.

Submitted by C.C.

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Bad Santa

I was actually not in NYC, but I feel this nasty Santa needs to be exposed! I was with the little girl I nanny for seeing Santa, and Santa insisted I sit on his lap. Since she still believes in Santa, and Santa is supposedly a good authority figure, I followed his directions. Santa then began rubbing my back, holding my waist inappropriated and was just generally nasty! What a horrible man! He needs to be exposed. It frightens me to think such men can have access to children. Yikes! Bad Santa perv!

Submitted by Sarah

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demonstration, flashing

Happy Holidays from the Q14 Bus. You expected more?

This guy kept his leg wide open the whole time on the Q14 bus tonight. He kept putting his hand between his legs and massaged the area like he’s in a porn movie. He kept eyeballing me and staring at me until I took out my camera phone and snapped this nasty pervert’s face. As soon as he got off the bus, he just stared right at me through the window and I just flipped him my middle finger. Dirty pervert.

Submitted by C.

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Do It For Your Country

So I’m walking to the dorms and talking to my mother on my cell phone, when I see this guy in military fatigues sitting in a car. He glares at me until I get close enough (where I intended to walk right past him) and he says, “Hey! I want your number! I want your number!” Creeped out, I stop, glare back, and say loudly into the phone, “Ew, mom. This gross guy I don’t know just asked for my number. Some guys are so pathetic.” Of course, he didn’t look too thrilled.

Sorry dude, I understand it’s been a while, but you really shouldn’t expect women to take “do it for your country” so literally…

Submitted by Emily

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Assault, Stalking

Billyberg Bastard

Tonight around 10 PM, on a train back to her apartment in Williamsburg, a hooded man seated next to my best friend, a 22 year old woman, whispered in her ear “I am going to follow you when you get up.” He did follow her, just a step behind, up the subway steps of her stop and out onto the street. With great clarity in a life-threatening moment, she stepped inside a bodega, while he stood outside, waiting for her, and was fortunate to find a couple who were willing to walk her the few steps from the market to her apartment door. When they exited the bodega, the hooded man was still there, waiting for his (potential) victim. Unfortunately, it took the help of two people–a woman to make her feel safe, and a man to protect her– to allow this woman to arrive home unharmed.

The most important part of this is that my friend is safe, but I feel such anger and rage that men like this, who derive such a false, disgusting sense of power from physically and sexually threatening women in public (or private), can make strong, smart, powerful women like my friend doubt their decision to live alone if they choose, to live free and independent lives, or to merely live at all. I am completely disgusted, and concerned for my friend.

Submitted by R.P.

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The Movement

Caution! Women Resisting.

“If you glare at a woman, catcall, or touch her, you have to take into account that you will be loudy ridiculed, have a glass of beer poured over you, or be punched in the face. We therefore advise you to immediatly refrain from such harrassment! Women, migrants, homeless people, transgender people, gays and lesbians are often victims of assaults. Don’t look away, intervene!”

We couldn’t resist. Neither could our friends at Feministing.

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