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On a run in my neighborhood today, a man in a car passing me wolf whistled. As a minor, (I’m only 14!), it was my first negative experience of such a kind.
It made me feel unsafe to be running alone because I knew other people with more physical power (a man in a car) were looking at my body sexually, and I could do nothing about it, even if they chose to pursue me further.
I am also deeply disturbed to realize that even as a minor running in a family community, I can be made to feel unsafe.
I want to end street harassment because it makes me feel unsafe and unhappy, and that is no way for any person to feel!
Now, my story is probably going to be quite long.. but Ive just experienced ANOTHER form of harassment on the way home and I’m actually so angry so I need somewhere to vent. Since moving to London about 3 weeks ago I have experienced more of it on the streets of London than I ever have done in my life. Ive been on edge for a few months after an experience in Sydney, Australia when a guy approached me on the street and grabbed me, groped me and ran off and all witnesses to this never did a thing to help. So, I am not the most confident when Im out and about since that and being London hasnt helped matters. Today walking home in Stratford I was waiting at the lights and a guy approached me, I hadnt seen the green man and was still waiting and he made a joke which I laughed off.. he then continued to follow me down the road asking where I was going and if we could be friends.
I told him where to go but that didnt stop him and he walked by my side saying horrible things and making me feel so uncomfortable until I pulled my phone out and rang my mum and he walked away.
Last week I was walking home at night on the phone and a guy came up behind me which completely shocked me and put his arm around my waist and said ‘hey beautiful’ to which I replied ‘get your hands off me you’re disgusting’ and he walked away. Since Ive been here Ive been yelled at from cars, cornered by boys when Im walking down the street, disgusting things have been said to me by boys young enough to be my son and men old enough to be my grandfather and the whole time I am just thinking, what is it I am doing to attract this much unwanted attention? I dont dress provocatively (not that that would matter) and I keep my head down but still this happens to me literally every day in some shape or form and it just makes me so angry. I hate walking down the street now, I dont feel safe and its horrible that there are pathetic men in the world that can make a girl feel like this…just fuck off!
Happy Friday Hollaback!’ers!
Hollaback! sites around the world are as busy as ever. This week:
The Hollaback! Mothership held two street harassment training sessions at Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School and an all day training session for BOCES training prep in partnership with Cornell University. Our deputy director, Debjani, was interviewed for Al Jazeera America – you can check out that video here!
Hollaback! Boston successfully lobbied their mayor to sign a pledge agreeing to community safety audits! The auditing begins on September 15th. They’ve also launched their anti-street harassment ads on local transit. SO AMAZING! And finally, they just launched a campaign to take down the Dov Charney flag at a local American Apparel, citing the numerous sexual harassment lawsuits filed against him. Sign their petition here!
Also, one of their site leaders, Kate, won a One in Three Impact award. Go Kate!
Hollaback! Melbourne was represented at Slutwalk; site leader Simone was one of the speakers addressing the crowd of over 1,000 folks. HB Melbourne is a friend of Girls on Film Festival – a feminist festival launching this weekend. Check it out here!
Hollaback! Mumbai is one of the official partners of Breakthrough‘s #selfies4school campaign – a campaign that aims to send 25k girls to school. The team will be contributing towards the blogathon and providing social media promotion. Check out the campaign here.
Hollaback! Bahamas presented at the COBUS (College of the Bahamas Union of Students) Health & Safety forum on street harassment. They also participated in a series of video interviews on the Constitutional Amendment Bills for gender equality. And, to cap off the week, they attended three workshops and events hosted by the U.S Embassy on women’s empowerment and youth engagement. Whew!
Hollaback! Appalachian Ohio site leader Sarah’s art was featured in the article “Two Underground Artists gain inspiration locally while gaining wider attention” in the Athens News. It featured anti-street harassment art that you can check out here!
Hollaback! Philly is holding a cosplayer harassment panel at the J1 Anime Con on Sunday. The Con is using Hollaback! Philly’s manual to train all of their volunteers before the convention. Hooray!
Great job this week team!
HOLLA and out!
– The Hollaback! Staff
Two of my roommates and I went to a party in our college town. I saw one of my friends and while trying to talk to her, this guy kept dancing with her and tried to get me to join in. We were in the middle of the dance floor so I casually danced while talking to her. He kept trying to grab my hand and make me dance with him. I kept telling him no and shaking him off me. He told me I was rude and that if I didn’t want to have a good time I could just go somewhere else.
So I started talking to other friends. While hanging around and dancing I noticed that these girls were trying to talk to their friend who was pinned against a wall by this guy. I approached the friends and found that they were trying to leave and the guy wouldn’t let their friend go anywhere with anyone. I approached him and told him that I needed her to come with me. He pushed her aside and got into my face saying that he caught her trying to hook up with his cousin and that she wasn’t going anywhere without him. I grabbed the girls hand and put myself in between them. I told him that she wasn’t going to stay with him nor hang out with anyone else for that matter because she was leaving. He told me that I better keep her out. As he left I ushered her to her own friends.
At this same party while I at attempted to find my own friends, I heard yelling at the staircase. I walk up hoping not to find the same offended. But it was worse. There was a group of guys yelling at this one girl. She was crying and yelling. All sorts of names were being thrown at her. I grabbed her hand, and pulled her towards the door, amazed at what a disaster this party was and all the harassment. She sobbed that he said he had loved her “but he didn’t really mean it,” she cried, clinging to my arm. I was at a lose for words and pushed her towards the door and remember telling them to stop and that we were leaving. I hear my own friends across the house. I turn to see if I can see them, when someone grabs my arm, telling me that this girl was never allowed to come back because SHE created a scene. I turned towards the door. I can’t find this girl I just ushered out. I turn to one of the guys outside asking if he saw a girl. He “informed” me that two of his friends escorted her off the property. Luckily for me they hadn’t made it very far and I found her friends to take her home.
By this point I was over this exasperating party so I get my friends to leave. While we were walking back across town through Main street I notice there surprisingly wasn’t as many people walking about as I expected. Behind us there was a man on his phone. He was around his age and I’m talking to my friends minding my own, but then I hear him say “these asses though, bro. It’s like watching a porno.” I feel my gut drop realizing nobody else is around and this guy has been following us. I turn around.
“Excuse me?! My friends and I are walking home. We just came back from a party we are not dressed up like this for you! Don’t EVER compare anyone to a PORNO. This is my body and it’s not here for your entertainment.” At this point the guy reaches towards me as if to COMFORT ME. I push his hand away from me and tell him “And do NOT try to touch me ever again. Leave us alone” and we turn to go on our way. He stops following us though.
I think it is disgusting how girls who go out are expected to be there to entertain the men. This is not our purpose. We have our own rules to our bodies and we should not be expected to be intimidated and pushed around when we go out.
I work as an intern at a government building downtown and have class at the university downtown in the morning so I take the light rail so I don’t have to worry about parking. While walking to the light rail I was waiting at a light with some people. Some kids were walking down the street next to the light. One of them starts yelling at me “Hey white girl. You looking stupid today white girl. Hey you slut. Fucking bitch” by the end he was screaming and angry sounding. Keep in mind I’m in long work pants with a modest tank top (as it is summer), a cardigan under my arm, my book bag and my hair pulled up in a completely unattractive bun. I look more like an IRS agent than anything else. I didn’t say any thing or turn around as I didn’t want to encourage the asshat. I think the man would have followed me had there not been people around (not that these people said or did anything). I got on the light rail feeling violated and shaken. I’m a graduate student prepping for her MCATs with a book bag full of advanced chemistry books… I wish I could have thrown one at the unintelligent caveman. It’s unbelievable that as a woman we have to deal with this unwanted attention because some ignoramus never learned how to treat people with respect or common decency.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer one year ago today at 30 years old. I have been through hell including 8 months of chemo, 33 rounds of radiation and a double mastectomy. I was contemplating all of this while walking down the street when a middle aged guy said to me: “Cheer up! At least it’s not raining!” I glared at him and kept moving but it was infuriating to be told I should be happy on such a difficult day.
It was supposed to be an amazing day for me.
I went on the bus after hanging out with friends and shopping with quite a lots of clothes on my way back home around 8pm.
Just few minutes after I got off from bus and a guy in purple top ran behind me then touched my ass and pretended to get in crowd of people on the street by walking. because he didn’t excepting a girl with lots heavy bags would do anything return.
My guts make me chasing after him, and it was quit obvious that he was surprised but instead running cross the street when a lots of cars came over. I stopped after he crossed the street.
Then I called the police but they let me to stay where I was to wait until someone came. and I did but the longer I waited there was no one.
So I decided to go home and talk to my parents . but when I reached my place the police came with anger attitude during the conversation about why I didn’t show up. And he seems I was the wrong one to waste his time. and he wasn’t really serious about how terrible this things just happened on me .
It’s the common things that most of girls under the education in China , they most choose to be silence by the fear.
But I wouldn’t be the one who is too scare to make a better life for their children in the future.
I just started to school in Honolulu, and I was sitting outside of a coffee shop near Waikiki doing my homework and minding my own business. Being that Waikiki is a huge tourist spot, I saw a ton of people come and go. Only one person decided to bother me in the three hours I sat there: he was probably twice my age, and was super greasy. He sing-sang as he danced around my table, “I’m single, looking for a girlfriend.” I gave him the coldest glare I could and replied, “I’m single, and I’m not looking. Get lost.” He proceeded to act all offended and told me he “didn’t appreciate my attitude, sugar.” Thankfully after that, he left me alone.
I called my mom immediately afterward, and she called me “the Ice Queen.” My aunt added in that I “shouldn’t have made rudeness my first reaction,” and that if I didn’t want the attention I shouldn’t have been doing my homework at a coffee shop. I don’t know which is more humiliating, the fact that I was treated like an object by the stranger, or that my own family thought that I was the one in the wrong by shutting him down.
I was crossing the street in the crosswalk when a car revved up behind me and yelled “Fucking dyke!” out the window as it sped by, narrowly missing me.
Well I wish it was just one story… I’m finally fed up after incidents every day for the past THREE days. I finally posted a Facebook status and my cousin sent me here, so hooray for this site!
First one I was leaving work late in Soho in London with a scarf wrapped around me. A guy in his 20s said, “excuse me, are your Russian?”. While walking I said, “No, Canadian.” Kept walking. He continued to engage me even though I was clearly in post-work dress (not that what you wear matters!). He kept holding my hand for what was supposed to be a handshake. Finally when I let go and cut off what he was saying with a curt “bye” he called me a bitch. Awesome.
Second one, I was walking home from the bus stop by my flat and one guy in a group of 5 on a terrace gave a “Hi sweetheart, do you have a boyfriend?” type thing. I carry a knife in my pocket for that walk and I so desperately wanted to call back, but fear still overtook me. It was dark and I was outnumbered and alone – I stayed quiet.
Thirdly was last night, and I was walking from the Thames to Trafalgar Square after playing a gig. I was carrying my guitar on my back and holding my metal stand (which, in my mind, I could wield at any moment as defence on a Saturday night). A group of guys passed me and tried to engage me. THREE TIMES, I thought. I cannot catch a f*%king break! Verbally, this came out as a loud, “Come on, really?!”.
The feelings are so sickening. Feelings of harassment, which one tries to counteract with a quick retort, but that feeling being stifled by the reality of: I. Am. Not. Safe. I just want to feel safe. I’ve considered self-defence classes. I’ve gone over and over what I wish I could say if I had more courage. I’m sick of being played with. I am not a f#%king stray cat. I am a person.