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I just moved into a new apartment with my husband next to one of the gates that leads into a Naval Academy, a place that is supposed to produce strong, respectful trained military officers (that’s right; daddy’s money helps you skip boot camp altogether and you get to go in commanding guys who have more experience than you could ever hope to have… but I digress).
Currently there is construction going on at another gate and apparently a Naval Academy thinks that entitles them to set up a Militarized check point directly in front of my apartment giving whoever is posted at the checkpoint full view into my bedroom and bathroom (historical apartments have windows in the shower to stave off mold).
This ‘post’ violates all sorts of privacy laws just by it being there. But to add to the fuckery of it all; the 20 yr old military police officers (Or as I refer to them, Child Soldiers)know they have full view of my apartment and found it funny to attempt to ‘Peep’ in my shower while I was in it. And those antics are adding to the menacing manner in which they were responding to any private citizens questions (including asking where Non military residents were headed and demanding they produce Identification)
After a week of me pushing back as much as I could, complaining to higher ranked officers and receiving nothing in return I decided to make a few phone calls. I got in touch with the Child Soldiers superiors and was told by [FEMALE officer] “Ma’am, I’m not sure why you not having your curtains closed is our problem” and I had to respond with “Ma’am, I believe having a person posted outside my (who gives a fuck what state of closure they’re in) curtains who thinks it’s funny to look in people showers; which is against the law no matter who it is, IS your problem” I was then transferred to the head of Naval Academy security who did not answer the phone (how unexpected).
After this infuriating interaction I decided to call Annapolis City Planning and Public Works.
I had a wonderful conversation with a person in Public Works who agreed that all of their behavior was beyond out of line and that the city of Annapolis and the Mayors office would be in touch with Naval Academy Security to put pressure on them to act accordingly.
Hours after, I (finally) received a call back from the head of security and when I informed him that I’d taken care of it already he paused slightly then said “Yes, we’ve heard from both City Planning and the Mayors Office, we’ve been corresponding with both of them today” I very politely replied “So then you know all about it and there’d be no need for me to reiterate, wonderful”. He seemed a bit uneasy, said that I should keep his contact info for any future problems and hung up.
This doesn’t make me feel any better because there is still a woman who is a security officer at the Naval Academy who thinks that victim shaming is appropriate.
[The picture attached is the view from my window]
Happy Friday Hollaback!’ers,
At the Mothership, DD, Debjani Roy, hosted the first meeting of the newly launched people of color leadership pipeline with our awesome site leaders.
ED, Emily May attended and delivered a lightning talk at the ONA Conference in Chicago.
And in HB site land…
Hollaback! Boston hosted their first back-to-school Take Back The Bar Boston event, as well as the first support group meeting with a focus on post-harassment self-care. They were also featured in a CBS segment on food shaming!
Hollaback! Appalachian Ohio completed a series of 4 45-minute workshops on sexual assault prevention with 23 8th graders at Vinton Middle School.
Hollaback! Twin Cities tabled at a spoken word and music event about street harassment resulting in great conversations.
Great job this week, team!
HOLLA and out!
- The Hollaback! Staff
I’d gone to the store and found myself going out of my way for half an hour to avoid a man that had been following close behind me. He still waited until I had to walk home, then attempted to follow me there. It wasn’t until I looked him in the face and asked if I could help him that he finally stopped.
I was sort of in a rush to school I just left my apartment literally on the same block! I was turning on my iPhone to listen to music. This man that I glanced at was walking towards me, and I was on the left side of the street and he was on the right, and I noticed him sort of walking in my way, therefore I even moved more to the left side. His leg rose and he kicked my bag! With about medium strength! Hard enough that it left a mark on my bag! I was seriously in disbelief! And he kept walking. I stopped and looked back and yelled “HEY! WHAT THE HELL MAN!”
I have zero tolerance for anyone who makes overtly sexual comments to woman, especially if they don’t know them, however like most of us I guess I used to feel that bowing my head and not saying anything was helping me.
It wasn’t and it wasn’t helping them realize their idiotic ways either.
So on my usual trip home I encountered the same general comments on a section home near the local pub… no surprises there. However this time I decided to comment back…
Mid 40’s Creep: “Hey looking good, all you need now is a smile!”
Although I would have usually kept walking I turned and I said “And all you need is to loose the creepy attitude, but have a nice day…” With a gigantic smile on my face that screamed sarcasm and my middle finger raised high.
I got called a bitch after saying it… And again I turned and said “Well maybe if you weren’t such a disrespectful asshole I wouldn’t need to be. Now have a lovely lonely evening sir.” Again with the biggest smile I could.
He didn’t know what hit him…
Proudest Moment Ever!!!! Gonna do this from now on… Smiles and Sarcasm seemed to work against these brainless creeps.
I was walking across the USC campus parking lot in the middle of the day when a middle-aged man called to me from the sidewalk. He was standing with a parking guard. He said, “Excuse me, young lady, aren’t you going to say hi to two handsome men?”, gesturing to the guard and himself. They were both smirking. I smiled and kept walking and he called after me, “That’s better, sweetheart.”
It doesn’t matter where or you are, if you are not “controlled” by men, they feel the need to establish their power. What they don’t realize is, that makes them all the more powerless.
Was walking thru Times Square after work at 11pm Saturday Sept 20, looking down texting my boyfriend (not that it should matter but I was wearing somewhat baggy jeans and a blousy three quarter length Tshirt) when an apparent comedy club ticket seller with no teeth (short guy in a black hat and suit jacket) shouted at me “Hey you should smile!” And I flipped around and told him no thank you he continued talking saying he was a comedian and wanted “me” to smile.
Then a block later on 46th and 7th a guy standing in a group of two guys and a girl at a hot dog stand, repeatedly yelled to me “hey miss! Hey miss!”. I ignored him thinking he either wasn’t talking to me and if he was I wasn’t about to entertain him. He then yelled “hey BITCH!” I stopped , turned around, glared at him and said excuse me!? He laughed in my face, as well as the other two guys and girl while he bragged to them “told you she’d turn around”. I was so angry and shocked I just continued on my way home.
Catcalled by a boy, about 8, who was congratulated by his father.
I was standing with one of my best male friends and his brother in line to get tacos at the taco truck behind a bar. A group of guys was looking me and snickering at me, but I thought nothing of it. They were obviously immature and doing nothing to hurt me in any way. Then, on of them ran over to me and slapped (groped?) my butt and ran off. The rest of that group of guys were laughing amongst themselves and at me like I was a joke. My friend got so angry at the guys that he wanted to fight them back or go off on them which I knew would only make the situation worse and embarrass me further. All he did was yelled at them, “she’s 15, that’s disgusting”. I wanted to say something to them but I was honestly afraid and embarassed-it was dark and everyone was staring at what had just happened so I just dropped it, got my burrito and left.
A tale about my evening commute home and my adventures with creepy smarmy guy and skulking threatening guy on the same bus.
I was on the bus home 22/09/14 about 6:30 this evening and this guy came up the stairs, immediately clocked me and came and sat RIGHT next to me. There were double vacant seats behind me and he was literally RIGHT UP AGAINST ME. I gave the passive agressive sort of shifting further away and he had the nerve to turn to directly face me with a creepy smile on his face and say “thank you”. (ew) I set my face to bitch resting and stared out of the window while keeping an eye on his cell phone which he was playing around with a lot. I could see him very often turning and staring at me, it was pretty scary I had no idea what this creep might try so I got my keys locked between my fingers of one hand and made it very clear by hardening my expression further that I didn’t want to be bothered.
He then suddenly leaned in close, I leapt a mile and he started whispering “do you have the time?” He was both holding a bloody phone and had the clock on the sign in plain sight. I made a snarling face and pointed to the clock and said loudly “Its 6:44.” Making people look around at us, it also made me feel slightly more in control as he then shrunk back and started grumbling into his phone.
I got off a stop early just in case he tried following me so I could run into the nearby bar if need be and so stood up waiting for him to let me past but he stretched his knees further forward and grinned at me signalling for me to step over him. Really angry by this point I barged straight into his legs taking care to rake the heels of my chunky boots hard across his shins and forcing him to spin round to the side letting me past. He made a hissing sound and I felt pretty smug and empowered about it.
BUT THEN I was going down the steps and this guy was standing in the stairwell taking up the entire space and glowering up at me from under his baseball cap, his feet stretched forward covering the whole floorspace. He made a kind of sneering face at me as I came nearer and it was clear he wasn’t going to move and I would have to clamber around him like a bloody idiot. I decided not to rock the boat, he looked like a regular at Pentonville so made to step over one outstretched leg – but purely by accident ended up losing my balance and bringing my trusty boot slamming down onto his toes. He cried out and said something like “argh, bitch!” I’m not sure, I was already hurrying out of the bus and straight into the bar, there wasn’t any need though as he didn’t seem to follow me off.
I was pretty scared and angry at the time at these two creeps who try to threaten and letch on random women but looking back at it now I’m grinning like an idiot as in my small way I was able to reclaim a bit of control and give them a gift from the karma gods. Enjoy the single life fellas!