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A man in a pickup truck made a lewd kissing gestures at me while I was walking home from work.
Just now on campus, an older man came up behind me and said “I like how you walk” I turned around startled and he repeated “I like the way you are walking”. I muttered thanks under my breath, hoping he would walk away, but I guess he didn’t hear me because he said “say thank you” and then louder “SAY THANK YOU!” I stared him down and didn’t say a word, even though I was scared of his aggressive attitude.
A man in a pickup truck yelled to me from traffic about my appearance as I was walking to work.
We hope your week is going well. Here at headquarters we are busy bees buzzing from project to project keeping everything pollinated and growing. Executive Director Emily spent time in Spokane, Washington doing a training with the Washington Coalition for Sexual Assault Prevention. We also released episode 6 of our vlog With Love and Revolution which explores our stance on criminalization of street harassment. Speaking of videos, an amazing young filmmaker created the awesome short film STOP.
On top of all of these great projects, we took the time to stop and smell the roses this week and celebrate 2 great events. First, we met our goal for our Kickstarter campaign raising $20,989 with the amazing support of 572 backers. Second, Executive Director Emily celebrated her 5 year anniversary of founding Hollaback! as a nonprofit this week. How awesome is that!?
If this week has been as busy for you as it has been for us, make sure to take some time this weekend for self care. These kicks sites could definitely use some rest and relaxation with all the great work they’ve been doing:
Hollaback! Bahamas attended the Peace Revolution Central America and Caribbean fellowship in Guatemala.
Hollaback! Peterborough had their launch party. They had a press conference before hand & then a wonderful evening of slam poetry, musical performances & a cat costume contest. They’ve also gotten local media television & radio spots and were interviewed for CBC Radio!
Take a break this weekend so we can meet next week with a storm!
Holla and out!
I had been to the hospital and was unfamiliar with the bus route and had to wait for about an hour in central Halifax. Whilst walking towards Smiths a group of men dispersed in the crowd were watching me. At least one asked me if I had been paid for it. I was harassed for ten minutes on and off and I felt uncomfortable standing near the bus stop. I dislike smokers and found I could only waste ten minutes in the vegan cafe that I only discovered about six weeks ago. I felt very uncomfortable going to do a bit of shopping. As a staunch Christian feminist I will avoid like the plague the area as it is clearly unsafe. I try not to use public transport at all and I stopped going to Bradford due to the roaring car engines and thumping car radios.
I chose Halifax hospital due to it being nice and modern but it is too far to go if travelling by bus.
Just now my neighbour’s daughter’s boyfriend said something derogatory as I was mowing the lawn.
Julia Retzlaff, an amazing young (18 year-old!!) filmmaker created the awesome short film STOP. about street harassment. Julia has worked as a T.A. for the Bay Area Video Coalition’s (BAVC) beginning video track as well as a freelance editor and researcher for BAVC Productions. We are so excited to see young emerging artists speaking to the realities of street harassment. According to our recent study, 85% of US women report experiencing their first harassment before the age of 17.
I believe it was my senior year of high school. I had dressed up nicely that day, wearing a dress – heels and all – to promote a dance concert that was the following evening. During one of my classes I left, most likely to use the restroom, and on my way back to the classroom I was approached by a male student in the hallway. I had never met him before, he was probably in a different grade, so I continued walking past him. He started trying to get my attention by calling me “shawty”. He began following me down the hallway yelling things at me. “Damn girl, why you all dressed up?” “You look real good today.” “Why don’t you turn around so I can get a good look at ya?” I did what most women do and ignored him. He then became angry. I could hear is pace slow behind me until he stopped and shouted, “Fine. Rude bitch.”
I never said anything to this boy or school authorities (which I now realize I should have at least brought it to their attention) but it does worry me that even though his volume was so loud, in an empty hallway, with classes going on, that none of the teachers or students thought it necessary to stop harassment on school grounds. That was not the only time I was the victim of cat-calling on campus during school hours. It never even mattered what I was wearing or if I was alone or if the harasser was alone.
Street harassment shouldn’t happen anywhere, let alone the halls of a school. I would urge Eaglecrest High School to pay more attention to the way their students treat their classmates. I can assure them I was not breaking the dress code that day or any day, but it never stopped me from being the target of someone’s harassment.
STOP is a short street harassment film created and directed by Julia Retzlaff.
Julia Retzlaff is an 18 year-old filmmaker who will be attending San Francisco State University in the fall of 2015. Her films have played in youth festivals across the country. Julia has worked as a T.A. for the Bay Area Video Coalition’s (BAVC) beginning video track as well as a freelance editor and researcher for BAVC Productions. On her off time, Julia writes poetry and indulges her cinephile side. Some of her favorite films include Nowhere by Gregg Araki, La Haine, and Dark Days.
Check out the film below and look for more films on our Youtube Channel:
To save money, I ride public transportation to work. Every day something inappropriate is said about my appearance and body, but this past Friday I was genuinely afraid. I was riding the bus to the metrolink. There were not any seats left, so I stood. I did not mind standing. Then this man stood up from his seat and said “Baby, come on have my seat. Sit down, baby” and I declined the offer. He insisted and was not going to sit down. So, I accepted the seat. When I approached the seat he got in my space and turned with me and I fell into the seat and he boxed me in. Then he started talking about how sexy he thought I was. And then smelled me and said I smelled nice too. Then I tried to ignore him, but he was so close and I did not know what he was going to do. He kept talking “If I was your man, I would never let go of you, baby let me be your man” me: “No, I already have somebody and we are very happy.” bystanders laugh as this goes on. Mt eyes search for someone to care, or help. But my eyes only see smiles. One man tells him to lay off me through spurts of laughter. Then the harasser reaches in his bag and gives me a disc. The same man who told him to layoff says: “girl, do not throw that away, that is a free movie and it is money” and I continue to try my best to ignore both of them…finally it is my stop and I make my way off that bus as fast as I can and throw the damn disc away, too. I am just so tired of this happening to me. I am sick of being told it is my fault because of my body type and appearance.
One of my friends that I had known for a few months sent me a dm on Twitter. He tried to ask me out and I told him I had a boyfriend. After learning this, he persistently asked for nudes saying things like “it doesn’t have to be shirtless” and “it’s not that bad”, “can I at least get a look at your underwear drawer?”.
I told him no and I had no idea what to do.
After a week I finally told my parents. He got in trouble (not a lot) and I got grounded and interrogated on “what I said to provoke it”.
We were 15.