Have you read Erin’s Story or Ursula’s Story or Kristin’s Story? Each of these stories have two major things in common: First, they’re experiences of street harassment. Second, they’re three of the many stories of people who felt very aware of what they were wearing and how it related to their experiences of harassment. In our research with Cornell we found that 66% of women change the way they dress in order to try and avoid harassment.
Our partners at ModCloth think this is absurd because they know just as well as we do, we dress for ourselves (or at least we should be able to). We love their new video campaign that hones in on this message:
In a world that perpetuates the myth that our clothes are an invitation, it is so important for us to speak up! By telling your stories you are transforming an experience that is lonely and isolating into one that is sharable. You change the power dynamic by flipping the lens off of you and onto the harasser. And you enter a worldwide community of people who’ve got your back. Your stories are inspiring legislators, journalists, academics, and the guy on the corner to take street harassment seriously and create solutions that make everyone feel safe.
So wear what makes you feel good about yourself, and join the movement to shut down street harassers who think your smile or your awesome outfit is an invitation to invade your space. We know that you dress for yourself, and we’ve got your back. Share your stories online or through our new app and participate in the conversation to help us end street harassment.
I just finished volleyball practice and I was walking to the front of the school to be picked up. I was walking past a bunch of doors the led into the school and one of them creeped open. I looked over and there was the old man just looking at me and he asked me what my name was. At first I didn’t see any harm and thought he might of had a question and just by instinct told him my name ( yes I know that was stupid). He then looks me up and down and says yourrr’e cuute. I was disgusted and gave him this dirty look and walked away as fast as I could. He is a janitor that works at a high school! I didn’t know at the time and I wish I would had reported it as soon as it happened.
Honestly, today’s experience of verbal harassment is nothing new to me. I am so tired. I was walking into my place of work (which I love and always feel safe at) when a group of five men that were by a moving truck started barking at me and said “we see what you got and we like it.” I was grabbing stuff out of my car and trying to hurry into work as they continued barking. I turned to them and just said “can you not” and they all laughed. I can’t tell if they were moving into the building next door (God I hope not) or just helping someone move. I work in the vicinity of the University of Michigan, where verbal harassment (and sexual assault) are huge issues. I feel so powerless and sad. I came into work and texted my supportive, feminist boyfriend. I am sitting at my desk trying not to cry. This happens to me weekly, at the least. I am sick of not feeling safe. My boyfriend suggested calling the non-emergency police line and reporting verbal harassment. I wasn’t even sure if I really should…will anything be done? This happens to me all the time. It’s nothing new. But that doesn’t mean that I am immune to it. I hate it, I resent it. I feel sad and helpless. I preach being a strong, independent woman. But nothing makes me feel smaller or weaker than being verbally harassed. I. a.m so. tired.
I was walking by Balcony Bar minding my own business when a creepy, dirty man (about 48-49 years old) wearing a blue bandana around his head says to me “beautiful body.” I stopped, turned around and said “please don’t say that, I don’t appreciate it.” He then went on to call me a “fuckin bitch.” Thankfully I was in a public space because this man looked like he could’ve gotten physically violent. It’s definitely something to be aware of when fighting against this verbal abuse. The man was drinking and looked like he was intoxicated, which could’ve elevated the situation.
This week at HQ we’ve been busy with lots of internal planning and celebrating. As we say goodbye, we want to say a huge thank you and good luck to our HeartMob intern Eunie. This week, we’re also welcoming Natasha as our new IREX fellow! On top of that we celebrated Program Assistant Rachel’s birthday, and we’re eagerly awaiting Program Associate Jae’s return on Monday! Looking to the future, we’re busy with strategic planning and our search for fall interns. With the
way everything’s shaping up we’re setting ourselves up for an awesome Fiscal Year.
Around the world, Hollaback! teams are staying busy and keeping up the energy…
Hollaback! Las Vegas‘ youth volunteers are coming back from summer vacation this week for their first meeting of the year. They will be breaking into committees to start working on the actions planned for the fall, including the first issue of their zine!
Hollaback! Ottawa is marching in the Dyke March and Capital Pride this weekend.
Thanks to everyone for heating up the revolution! Keep up the good work.
Holla and out.
It was a gorgeous day and I was driving to work with my windows open and stopped at an intersection. I was just eating an ice cream bar I had just purchased at 711 when a guy driving a minivan next to me yells “I wanna bite!” I yell back “f*ck off you f*cking weirdo!” and start to roll up my window. But then I think “no damn it! I was enjoying the nice weather and opened my window back down and turned up my music. I’m not going to let some creeper ruin my day!
I’m a server, at a small family owned restaurant. I love it, but the hours are so crazy sometimes. I typically get out after midnight. This night in particular I had to stop by Kroger on the way home to grab some tampons and groceries. No big deal. But as I was walking down the bread isle, some guy crosses my path and doubles back. He’s around my age. Frat guy looking. And I’m thinking “okay here we go.” So he keeps pace behind me. Doesn’t say anything. So I’m like “well maybe he’s forgotten something ahead and I’m being paranoid.” No. He follows me down several isles. He pretends to look at things as I continue to shop. He hasn’t even picked anything up. He doesn’t have a cart or a basket. So I start to get weirded out. Then I guess he musters up the courage to talk to me, so he says “having a good night, darlin?” And it’s so freaking creepy. He’s not even making eye contact with me, just staring at my body like I’m meat on the grill. So I’m like “I was, creep.” And I turn and walk away. This I guess, pisses him off. So he follows me in a huff and I can hear him muttering to him self “bitch” so I decide, ‘you know, I really need a giant box of tampons and pads.’ So I turn down the feminine hygiene isle. I guess he realizes where he is, and is disgusted, so he turns around and leaves. I made sure I had a manager walk me to my car. Thank god for tampons.
In case you missed it, Alicia Keys spoke up this week about changing the way she dresses to feel safer on the street. Executive Director Emily May appeared on WPIX to remind the public that “What’s unique about this isn’t that she changed her clothes; it’s that she’s speaking up and speaking out…” According to our research with Cornell, 66% of women changed their clothes due to fear of harassment.
Around the world, Hollaback! site leaders keep encouraging conversations:
Keep making and surfing those waves! Holla and out!
I was on the subway with my father, and a man sitting across from me kept looking back and forth between me and his phone, and when he thought i wasn’t looking i saw him fumbling with it, i think he was trying to take a picture of me, and whenever his eyes met mine he’d smirk at me. A few minutes after i first noticed his creepy behavior, i saw him out of the corner of my eye rubbing his crotch through his pants. throughout the ride i saw him staring at other women.
I’m just sitting at a red light, first car in line, minding my own business. This runner stops across the intersection from me and locks eyes with me and starts staring me down. He puts his hand in his shorts and starts masturbating, never breaking eye contact. So I took a picture, because at the very least, I have proof. But when I did that, he slowly took his hand out of his pants, raises his hands over his head, beamed from ear to ear, let out a delighted whoop, and ran off in the opposite direction. Creeper.