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I have had my fair share of leering from the security guards at chelsea market. Being singled out in a crowd when I cut through the market on my way to work is always testing my patience. Being a woman of color I always wonder – is this racial stereotyping? Sometimes I cover my head with a cloth – so the reasons why people stare are multiple. When other people see the guards leering at me I feel so tiny- so humiliated like, “gee what will all these non brown people think…maybe I did something bad?”
….no, just trying to live in peace.
Today it was pretty clear I was being harassed. I was walking hand in hand with my bf. I was wearing a long shirt that covered my behind, non fitting… for those wondering. Sundays are crowded. The guard near the far entrance was lifting his head from far. I was not even checking to see if he would leer …he started to turn to me…nod his head up and down my body with those elevator eyes accompanying the head. For once, since I was not alone, I waived my finger saying “no”, he nodded his head fast “yes” and showed me his teeth attempting a “guilty smile” and looked up at my eyes and down to my butt nodding “yes”. I told my bf how it hurts that he is suppose to be protecting me- but is leering. My bf turned around and the guy was still leering.
My bf walked over and said quietly, “my gf feels uncomfortable with the way you are staring”.
He shouted at us both and said GET OUT OF HERE GET OUT IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT GET OUT.
Swear to god this is true, yes, a guard told us to get out of chelsea market if we don’t like how he’s leering at us.
I don’t have a photo but feel awful he said that to my bf. I intend on writing a letter, but to who to where? I hope there are cameras there, its all on tape no one has to “believe” me.
Well, thanks holla back at least I feel I can send this to you for now.
Submitted by Anonymous
Last night at 1:00am I was coming home on the F from a party in the LES and a nasty guy sat across from me and started touching himself! I took out the app and snapped a picture of him. It’s blurry because it’s of him getting up to run away. He went to the other end of the subway car. I kept glaring at him and he eventually walked through to another car.
I have had people make comments at me on the street, or follow me for a block, but I haven’t seen someone masturbate while looking at me on a public subway car! SO NASTY. and the look on his face while he was doing it uh! I am so grossed out.
The only good thing was that he fucking ran away when he realized I was taking a picture. the perv!
Submitted by Kina
This poem was read at our launch party by the incredibly talented Camille Theobald. This is the first ever poem written about Hollaback!
I rise ready for a morning run, man I love to feel that sun
Hear the birds out “tweet tweet”, and the light landing of my feet
Till a noise shatters the silence, with verbal violence.
A sound that unleashes hate inside, the part of me I try to hide.
But I can’t help but hear this man’s foul words in my ear.
“Hey Girl you got a fine ass.” He may think it’s a compliment but in reality it’s crass
I keep going to avoid any more, but he still thinks he’s gonna score
“What sexy you afraid of me? Ah so that’s how its gonna be”
Yeah, that’s how its gonna be! What did you think I’de do?
“Oh daddy yeah, take me home with you”
This is the real world not your sick fantasy, you need to come back to reality
Your not a rapper in some sick music video, surrounded by money, cars and hoes
You’re a just a skinny ass white boy still wearing JNCOs
And even if you were hot it wouldn’t make a difference, not when you’re coming at me such ignorance.
It’s not like I’ve never heard it before but this time I’m slamming the door
Its not enough to “ignore it and keep walking”, that never stops these perverts from talking.
Who knows if he will stop at words with his foul thoughts, for words lead to actions and physical assault.
So now it’s time to take action against street talking harassment.
People unite to keep clear of these fools these dogs that think they can bend the rules.
Blog your experience text your pics we no longer have to put up with these pricks.
This incredibly powerful poem was read at our launch party on Thursday by Dailyn. At 20 years old, she’s smart, she’s fierce, and she’s an inspiration to us all.
I am Ani Difranco
I am beyond your peripheral vision
so you might want to turn your head
cuz someday you’ll find you are starving
and eat all of the words you just said…
The other day I was walking the street in Manhattan when suddenly…
“What’s good Mami, damn you ass fine as hell, let me talk to you fo’ a minute”
…I’d really like to know the success ratings on that line.
So I turned around to the prick and said,
ok, you would like to have a conversation, shall we?”Let’s talk about how you feel about Obama recently stating that Republicans are to blame for the immigration delay –”
…we had a nice little conversation.
I wonder how many girls have fallen for that line and settled with guys just because he was interested in how beautiful or hot they are.
It makes me question, do women and girls know their worth?
Do you know your worth?
your smile, your laughter, your eyes, your opinions, emotions, they MATTER. Your voice matters. You are not your lips and your thighs. You are your mind
I just wish more people took what I’m saying seriously
I wish people could see who I truly am underneath.
That I’m more of a man that they’ll ever be…
and sometimes I forget to brush my teeth…
that I fucking love cursing…
and I hate shaving my legs…
that everyday I’m away from my grandmother I ache the distance…
and sometimes when I’m bored ill do impressions of novelas in my mirror…
and I think there’s no point in talking to yourself if you don’t respond…
I feel like a homeless person always asking the world for change
but I know my worth with every step I take.
We have a FANTASTIC op-ed in the Daily News right now that discusses out soon-to-be-released iPhone app!!
We are always concerned that misdemeanor crimes on the streets and subway are not taken seriously when they have such an enormous impact on the women and LGBTQ folks who experience them, but in this extremely disturbing piece of news, the Village Voice reveals that more serious forms of violence against women are being systemically downgraded to less serious charges in NYC.
Interview with the maker of the fantastic short film ‘Walking Home.’ This film is a poignant look at street harassment that has been featured on our site previously.
In a blog on Gender and Public policy, one blogger compares street harassment to being bombarded with ping pong balls whenever you walk down the street. Hilarious, apt, and it makes me want to carry around ping pong balls to throw back, although, tragically, hand-eye coordination isn’t really my thing…
Street harassment is sometimes an eco-feminist issue. This blogger in Miami notes that the threat of harassment keeps women in their cars rather than on bikes or public transport.
Thank you to the Gay Brooklyn Tip Sheet for including our party in your July calendar!
And FINALLY, OUR LAUNCH PARTY IS TODAY @ 125 5TH AVE IN BROOKLYN – COME CELEBRATE WITH US!!!!!!
In this week of “Naked in a Fishbowl” the improv group of ladies saw a man touching himself on the F train to Coney Island and Hollaback’ed! The improv show plays every Monday night at the SoHo Playhouse Off-Broadway, check ‘em out!
“I want to fuck the shit out of you.”
Where is all the shanti in the world when you need it?
Submitted by Emily
As we are always saying over here at Hollaback!, SEXUAL VIOLENCE ISN’T CULTURAL. We hear this one ALL the time, which of course forces us to collectively roll our eyes and sigh dramatically.
The anecdotal evidence that we collect on this blog shows that in NYC all kinds of men harass women and all kinds of women experience harassment. This fantastic New York Times op-ed discusses sexual violence in Congo and argues that dismissing it as cultural is demeaning and counter-productive.
While we are still working to collect accurate statistics about street harassment here in the States, this study conducted in the Netherlands states that 59% of sexual harassment incidents last year occurred in public spaces. No surprises there…
Ms. Magazine follows up with further coverage of “eve-teasers” in India and Bangladesh.
Blogger Kimberly McLeod discusses catcalling, suggests a few responses, and even gives a shout-out to Hollaback!
Finally, this is the LAST DAY TO VOTE for Hollaback! in the Revelation to Action Competition. Let’s make this happen everyone!!!
And of course we are counting down the days until our LAUNCH PARTY on July 8! See you there!
With only ten days left on our trusty pepto-bismol pink website, we’ve got two very exciting announcements.
First, 16 edits, 8 months, 356 donors later, we just submitted our iPhone application to Apple yesterday! Fingers crossed.
Second, the wonderful ladies at cozy wallet will be sponsoring our launch party! Cozy Wallet (cozywallet.com) is a gateway free stuff, discounts and giveways. Check out their website at cozywallet.com. See the event details here.
Our launch party is coming – which means the new site and iPhone app are too! Will you be there to see it all begin?
Only a little over ONE WEEK TO GO to get your VOTE in for our Changemaker’s “Action to Revelation” competition! This isn’t like the 2000 election: your vote matters here. The three groups that get the most votes win $5,000 and will be honored in front of over 200 people!
In my favorite response to ‘eve-teasing’ so far, Indian women learn how to use a dupatta, a traditional scarf that denotes modesty, for self-defense!
Mobile technology and web 2.0 media are powerful tools for social change, and they are becoming increasingly accessible. Egyptian women use ‘citizen media’ to highlight the problem of street harassment and my favorite blogger at the Economist discusses the increasing ubiquity of cell phones, even in impoverished areas.
A disproportionate number of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. LGBTQ folks already often experience harassment and violence in public spaces, and of course the risks are much greater when you are unable to retreat from those spaces.
In this shout-out to Hollaback! NYC and Hollaback! DC, Emily Hauser reminds us that street harassment is part of a continuum of violence against women and that so-called “compliments” can still be used to express dominance.