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My friends and I (a group of four 15 year old girls) were in the city (Perth, Australia) for literally 30 seconds before we saw a group of guys ahead leaning against pay phones staring at us and smiling in this malicious way. We got closer to them and they turned their heads to stare and smirk and made comments to each other. When they were behind us, I turned around and they were STILL staring!
The rest of the day went by without incident until we had to walk home from the train station at around 6pm. A car of men slowed down slightly as it passed us and a man said ‘heyyyyyyy’. As it drove away, i yelled ‘Yuck! Disgusting!’ loud enough for them to hear (it was a quiet street). I said to my friends ‘I hate that they do that’ and to my surprise one of my friends said ‘no, when I get a car I’m going to do that’. I was upset that she, who had only 30 seconds ago been harassed, would do this to other people. I tried to explain why it was wrong but she didn’t change her mind.
This happened today, I was walking in town to a cash point so I could get a bus home. Several men were sat outside a pub and started shouting at me to get my attention, when I ignored them they continued with “she’s fat anyway” “get to the gym love”.
Normally I can shrug these experiences off but this has gotten under my skin. My bus stop was near the pub and I didn’t want to go there because I was scared they would heckle me again. So I walked to the next bus stop because of these ignorant men.
The worst part is when I told my boyfriend about it, I pretended what they said was sexual comments so I still seemed desirable instead of “fat”.
I felt embarrassed and powerless, I knew if I responded it would have turned into a public slang match and I would have lost all dignity. The worse thing is my boyfriend said “it’s pack mentality”. Is being a man really an excuse for offensive behavior?
This guy groped me in a club around a year ago. He is vile, and the worse thing is when I got upset about it my friends said I was “over reacting” and “it’s just what he is like when he’s drunk”.
I love my friends dearly but it still upsets me even though it was a year ago. I never got an apology from him. This is everything that is wrong with out culture today.
A man on the corner of Columbia and 16 started getting very close to me and talking to me as I walked down the street.
I was returning home after work, and in the apartment hallway two young guys, maybe 18 or so, catcalled as they passed me. I turned around and told them that was rude and inappropriate, that since I had more hair under my belt than they had years under theirs they needed to show some respect. It felt good to say something, even if they laughed at me.
HOLLA::Revolution is back in NYC and it’s better than ever.
#Hollarev will be held on May 27th, 2014, from 2-5pm at the New School in New York City. Tickets are running out for this year’s HOLLA::Revolution, be sure to get yours before they’re sold out!
This year’s HOLLA::Revolution will feature 12 astounding speakers, comedians, and performers. We can barely contain our excitement at the speaker list so far, and it just keeps getting better! Speakers include Sally Kohn, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh from Stop Telling Women to Smile Soraya Chemaly, and more!
Afterwards, join us for a post-#hollarev celebration down the road at the Cubby Hole.
For more information about the event, email us at email@example.com
A man followed me up the escalator and to the bathroom. He continuously commented on my legs. He kept calling them “strong.” Though he did not touch me, he was right up on my back the entire time and speaking into my ear. He dashed off when another person walked by us and then he watched me walk into the women’s restroom. When I left, he was gone.
When I walk around in the streets of Kingston, Jamaica, I often hear men and boys say “Pssssssssssst” I usually keep walking and try not to look at them but once my friend had shouted, “Are you losing air?”
Hi Team Hollaback,
You may have read the recent news articles on CBC.CA regarding Amanda Todd, a young girl who lived in British Columbia, Canada. This 15 year old was bullied to death after an older male convinced her to flash her breasts while she was on SKYPE with him. He told her she was beautiful and she wanted his attention and approval.
After Amanda showed her breasts, the man waited a year and then attempted to black mail her. He told her he would send the picture out to all of her friends and family if she did not perform a lewd act on camera. She did not and her picture went viral. After that, the man created a face book page that used Amanda’s breast as his picture. Amanda was bullied relentlessly, moved schools a couple of times, attempted suicide a couple of times and unfortunately succeeded in killing herself at age 15.
While I am very happy that this man has been caught and is being jailed for his behaviour, I think that Canada is missing the main problem. The problem is with our Canadian society and values. We must acknowledge that the individual is only as safe as the community is harmless. In order for this single act to have led to her death our society must have decided it was a heinous act. Here is the ugly list of messages that this young girl received from our misogynistic society;
1. Good women are not sexual women
2. Displaying your breast means you are a person of low morals
3. Persons “low morals” have no right to survive and thrive in our communities
4. Canadians have a right to act as human garbage towards persons of low morals
5. Canadians have the right to marginalize, rape, and torment persons of low morals. (A boy at her second school pretended to like Amanda until he had sex with her. Then, he immediately dumped her and told his girlfriend that Amanda had sex with him. The girls then became vicious, not just mean. That is what I describe as a premeditated, well planned, rape.
6. Men and women in Canada support and embrace misogyny.
It is truly disgusting that Canadian’s do not see that their behaviour was truly barbaric in comparison to a young, 14 year old girl seeking love and attention. Amanda showed her breast to a man who was valuing her and making her feel beautiful. I cannot imagine a more harmless act. Human beings undress in front of each other daily, all 7 billion of us! So let’s get down to what is truly happening here. Male culture is criminalizing female sexuality and women are helping them do it. Amanda did not kill herself because she showed her breasts to a man. She killed herself because she became a target of the human garbage that she lived amongst on a daily basis. What conclusion must we come to? We must conclude that we are truly a heinous group of people who take a great deal of pleasure in hurting others. I can attest to the fact that people never seem to tire of hurting others in large and small ways. I also understand that there are people who do not behave in this manner. Unfortunately, they are rare in this region. So, my question is, can a few really change the nature of many? It is truly a daunting task.
Hollaback, you are a light in the middle of darkness and I am thankful for all of the work that you do. I struggle every day to feel the optimism that you have in your hearts. Being a female in Canada is similar to being a Jewish person surrounded by Nazis. As long as you are controlled and without power, they have no problem with you. The minute you act outside the acceptable range they attack. This is the ugly truth about our society. Clearly no transgression is too small to trigger the hate.
Amanda, I’ve got your back!! So very sorry it is too little too late. All I can do is share your story with people who would have helped you if they had only known about it in time.
With deep gratitude for all that you do Hollaback!!
- Linda Duff
I live in a city, and I deal with street harassment on almost a daily basis, but I recently experienced a situation worse than usual. I was walking alone downtown around midnight on a Friday night. There were no other people around. I hear yelling from behind me, “I want to f*** the s*** out of your a**!” and other similarly sexually explicit/aggressive statements. I started to freeze up and panic inside, but refused to turn around and look. I followed my typical course of action (now a reflex out of practice): Refuse eye contact and keep walking until you are a safe distance away.
This didn’t work. The yelling grew gradually closer and louder. The voices became threatening: “You need to look at me when I’m talking to you!” and “You know you want this!” followed by more yelling of what they wanted to do to me.
I finally was able to see my harassers without turning around; it was several guys in a car. They left as I approached a less deserted/more populated intersection.
This can’t be explained away as a compliment, a joke, or drunken stupidity. I can’t be accused of dressing provocatively; I was simply a young woman walking alone.