This happened a few months ago, it was around 6pm and I was walking home from work. I had my headphones in and didn’t hear anyone approaching me. There wasn’t anyone else on the street as far as I could tell. Suddenly I felt someone firmly grab my ass and the a young boy, probably no older than 10 or 11 running off giggling. I cannot believe that people are teaching children that young that it is okay to grope a woman in the street like that. I was left shaking and on the verge of tears the whole way home.
I live in an apartment complex on Lawrence street and make the less than 10 minute walk down Lincoln Street to my office every day. For the past week there has been a large group of construction workers on the corner of Lawrence and South Waverly building some sort of high end townhouses. For the first few days I walked past I thought nothing of it, but now as the building site progresses there are more than a dozen men working on it. The first day I walked by i could vaguely hear yelling through my headphones and some whistling but I ignored it. When I returned that afternoon for lunch it was the same thing. The third time I walked by I turned and saw them all standing at the edge of the building staring at me and yelling and whistling at me. On my way home I took the long way around to avoid them and have done so almost every time I walk to or from work. When I don’t have the time to make the longer walk (it ends up just about doubling my commute) they do the same thing, all stoping to stare at me, whistle, and yell things that I can’t understand due to listening to music. The entire situation is affecting my day and my emotional well being and I am at the point of considering calling the building company to complain. This is not okay.
Guy on street: hey cutie
Me: excuse me?
Guy: I said hey cutie
Me: you shouldn’t talk to people that way
Guy: I’ll talk to people however I want
Me: well you shouldn’t
Guy (now across the street): if you don’t like it, you don’t have to listen!
I was walking back home from tutoring a kid across the street. This guy was sitting on the bus stop. As soon as he saw me, he started following me. I was so shocked because I never experienced this so I didn’t know what to do. He kept asking me to go with him and asking for my address. I didn’t tell him. He offered to pay if I go along. I said no and i started walking faster. He still followed. As soon as I approached my house I ran inside while panicking. I am only 14. This should not be happening to me or any other person. Ever since I was too scared to get out the house for even the corner store.
This creep was taking pictures of me as he walked behind me. Another man came up alongside and said loudly, “That guy is taking pictures of you.” I stopped, surprised and confused, and looked back to see a man of the following profile:
Smartly dressed, navy blue suit and tie
Balding-ish–had thinning hair
with his phone up, half “hidden” behind a newspaper. He dashed behind a coffee cart to “hide,” and as the second man was saying, “You can sue for that, you know,” Creep walked back the other way. I was too surprised by the encounter to react quickly and get his photo or otherwise publicly shame him, but just to say ladies, watch out and speak up when you see this disgusting carry on happening.
Currently there is construction of a new building on Hanover street in Portland Maine. The men working there constantly catcall upon walking by. Ignoring gets old so have yelled out stop a few times with no luck and flipped them off a few times. Now having to take a longer route to avoid them. Would love for them to get spoken to.
I was walking down a city street with my husband about a block from our house. A black Cadillac full of dudes drives by and screams “Hey, titties!” out the window at me. Apparently wearing a cross body bag across a tank top on a hot summer day is an invitation to be harassed. We ignore them and keep walking but they’re stuck in traffic. “Come on, turn around bitch!” was their follow up since I didn’t dignify their harassment the first time around. At this point my husband was enraged and started walking towards their car asking if they had a problem they wanted to get out of the car to solve. He pulled out his phone and started taping them. Miraculously, they had nothing else to say.
It’s not the first time this has happened to me and I know it won’t be the last. But nonetheless, I was filled with that hopeless anger afterward. We were at breakfast afterward and I was expressing to my husband that things like this make me feel like I need to lose as much weight as I can so I can get rid of the harassment bait attached to my body. (I’m a 36B). FWIW, I was wearing a tank top from a teenage clothing line and shorts.
I considered giving the plate number to the police, but for what? The last time I was being threatened (by a tenant of mine) they told me there was nothing they could do unless it was violent. THANKS WORLD.
There were 2 lines of men (on one each side of the sidewalk) because the clinic was about to open it’s doors. There were several guys who grabbed their crotches and thrusted their pelvis at me. Most of the other men did smacking sounds with their lips or asked for my number. It was like walking through a gauntlet.
What a productive week it’s been at HQ! As always, there’s been a lot going on in and out of the office. Here’s what we’ve been up to:
This week our Executive Director, Emily May, attended an event called My Passion; My Philanthropy: Youth & Giving hosted by Women’s eNews. The focus of the event was on “funding for teen girls and the ways in which young people engage in philanthropy, nationally and internationally.” We were proud to be included in the discussion along with other speakers representing Sy Syms Foundation, She’s the First, and Afrika Tikkun USA, Inc!
Last week, Debjani was featured on an episode of The Call with NY1. The segment focused on subway safety and Debjani gave some advice on street harassment, in response to the viral video of a woman who took a video of a man publicly masturbating on the NYC subway. Trigger warning, but for some inspiration from this brave woman, watch here.
Hollaback!’s app was also featured in a news segment from New York 4 regarding smartphone safety apps. The segment had New Yorkers test out various apps that track someone’s path to their destination, and Debjani was a part of it too!
We’re also saying goodbye to our Development and Program intern Lan, who we’ve sent off with a staff lunch full of delicious food–thanks so much for all your hard work this summer and good luck on all your future endeavors!
Speaking of interns, we’re still looking for awesome fall interns (HeartMob Program, Communications, and Development and Program)! Please help us spread the word so we can be prepared for the upcoming season!
Here’s what is going on with our sites around the world:
Last week, Hollaback! Amsterdam (they’re making the transition to Hollaback! Netherlands) joined the Dutch Gender Platform Wo=men. Site leader Eve said that “this is exciting news for us because it will connect us with an amazing network of equality-focused organizations in the Netherlands and will increase our visibility and advocacy capacity with the Dutch government.” Keep up the good work!
Hollaback! Cuenca participated in a breakfast hosted by UN Women in order to collect suggestions about the new urban agenda (Habitat III). At this event, they “suggested that the “right of the city” concept should be seen from the perspective where spaces are public but the bodies of the people who walk on them aren’t.” You go Hollaback! Cuenca!
That’s all for this week! Awesome all around.
Holla and out!
– the Hollaback! Team
At around 6:30 in the evening I was walking back towards the train station with a friend, and two teenagers walked around the corner towards us, one boy and one girl. After we walk past them, the boy yelled out; “fucking slut” so loudly, at first we had no idea what or who he was yelling at until we turned around and I made eye contact with the boy who was grinning as he stared at me. He continued to yell obscenities and abuse at us in such a hateful and viscous manner, my friend and I were just stunned.
What disgusted me most about the situation was the girl he was with seemed to encourage him in his verbal abuse of us. And how we were crossing a popular bridge and no one stepped in to help, just ignored the situation entirely.
After stepping off the train, heading home I got on the bus to get to my house. An older man gets on the bus and as he passes me he stares me up and down so blatantly and purposefully, he slows down and almost stops as he stares at my body. Disgusted, I just stare at him with obvious disgust on my face.
About five minutes later he moves to get of the bus, passing me again he does the same exact thing. But this time he purposefully turns around and stares at me in the middle of the bus in front of everyone. I stare back at him in disgust throwing my hand up in the air, looking around at the other passengers on the bus. But as I make eye contact with them they turn their eyes and faces away.
He steps off the bus, not before giving another two girls near the front a good look over. and turns around and stares at me purposefully and makes these lurid hand gestures at me, and only me as the bus drives away.
I wish I had more of a witty and intelligent comeback to throw out at these harassers, but I always find myself holding myself back in fear of the repercussions. I have heard of plenty of girls being attacked for doing such a thing.
A journey home turns into a deeming and scary experience. How is this okay?