Today after work at the supermarket, very tired and wanting to go about my business as fast as possible, a man came up to me randomly, bumped me on the arm and said “You’re beautiful”. As he said it, he leered closely over me, making sure to keep creepy eye contact as long as possible. Unsolicited remarks like that really grind my gears, and they’re such a normalised everyday act that happens to women the world over, men invading women’s private space in public, reminding us just where we stand to them, telling us we’re nothing without men’s bodily validation. Naturally I froze, I was actually this close to saying thank you to him, it’s my natural reaction to a compliment, until I figured this was harassment and most certainly not a compliment. Well this is to you rando surpermarket creep: I know I’m beautiful. I don’t need your approval. You can f*ck right off.
I was walking down the street with my aunt when I was 12 after a 4th of July parade and it was super hot out. Not that it matters but I was wearing some jean shorts and I do have an above average butt, and a car drove by and a guy screamed “dat ass!” The worst part is it took me three years to realize that it wasn’t a compliment, but sexual harassment.
I was 12 or 13 years old shopping downtown and not that it matters but I was wearing jeans and a t shirt. Anyway next thing I see is a guy walking towards me with this creepy deep look in his eyes and says to me “I will have sex with you!” I just kept walking but felt uncomfortable for the rest of the day. This was my first form of harassment in my life. The worst part is I felt like it was my fault, I was apologetic for walking alone down the street.
I was just walking to Yoga at 8 am, talking to my Mom when a guy passed me – he was quite short, dark hair and was wearing an ochre colored winter down jacket with a hood. I turned around, because I had forgotten my Yoga mat and shortly thereafter I felt someones hands between my legs – squeezing; I turned around and saw the guy in the brown jacket already running away from me and crossing the street and turning around to see what I would do. I yelled at him but did not follow him. Disgusting!
I was walking along the road on a Sunday morning with an elderly home, school and supermarket beside it. This small, white car slowed down beside me with it’s windows rolled down and the young driver inside wasn’t wearing any pants. He was masturbating and flashed his erected penis and smiled at me at the same time. I looked at him, wasn’t shocked at all( I don’t know why), looked away and kept walking. He drove back from the roundabout and smiled at me from the opposite direction of the road. This happened in Lucerne, Switzerland.
A year ago last September I was on a freshers night out and I kissed a guy a little older than me on the dance floor. I went to the toilets on my own, he followed me into the toilets and pushed me into a cubicle and locked the door behind him. He started trying to kiss me and tried touching me. I remember crying and women comforting me in. This happened in Pop world night club in Swansea, Wales.
Since the New Year, there have been so many amazing articles written about street harassment. From the Washington Post and Cosmopolitan to Collectively and Backdrop Magazine, we are so grateful to see such engaged media attention on this issue. Here’s to 2015 being the year of in-depth street harassment reporting!
Our Hollaback! sites have been ringing in the New Year with some serious activism, including:
Hollaback! Headquarters executive director Emily May presented at a Knight Foundation conference in Pittsburgh. Deputy director Debjani signed on another NYC public school for our HOLLA 101 pilot school program! On the HR front, we’ve hired on Rachel as our part-time program assistant, and will have four new interns starting next week. And, the team met with Hollaback! New Orleans site leader Nathan for lunch. Busy week!
Hollaback! Appalachian Ohio worked with Dykes and Allies of Columbus to boycott a show with THE WORST flyer. Site leader Sarah also wrote an amazing op-ed critiquing victim-blaming culture in the reporting on a local rape case.
Hollaback! London working in collaboration with the Southwark Council to create the Women’s Safety Charter. Coming up, site leaders are speaking at an upcoming event (January 20th) in Camden focused on Challenging Violence Against Girls and Women on Public Transport.
Hollaback! Des Moines just published their monthly meet up schedule. If you’re in the area, get out and learn more about street harassment from some seriously amazing site leaders! First one’s coming up!
Great work HOLLAS!
HOLLA AND OUT,
I came early to see a Fall Out Boy concert at the Concord Pavilion. I was dressed for the concert in my cat crop top and cat tights (I’m guessing this is why there was a bit of a theme between my catcallers). We were all told that if we had parked at the nearby Safeway parking lot, we needed to repark our cars or they’d be towed. I left my friend and walked alone down to Safeway- it was only like 1 PM so I wasn’t afraid of going alone. As I was walking, I heard a whistle from a car that was sitting at a light. I’d never been catcalled before so I was surprised but didn’t respond. A minute or so later a car slowed down next to me. I didn’t notice it at first, but when I glanced up the driver yelled “Me-yow!” before flooring it and speeding away. I’m almost at Safeway when a guy in a red pick-up truck (white, male, mid-40s at least) slows down next to me, just like the other guy, and yells “Why don’t you just show me your pussy?” I picked up my pace so I could just get to Safeway and away from this street. I wasn’t looking forward to walking back.
Two of my friends and I (ages 16, 17, and 19) were in Asbury Park on a Sunday afternoon. While we were walking the two (relatively) short blocks back to where we had parked, these guys who were probably old enough to be my grandfather or much, much older father stared us down and called after us for the block and a half we had left to walk. Having anxiety, I was petrified so I posted on Facebook about how upsetting it was and I got told to “not look so adult” if I didn’t want that to happen and to “keep my feminist bullshit on Tumblr”.
At 11:52 AM today (1/14/15) in NYC, outside of Pushcart Coffee, I was harassed by a Con Edison employee through his unsolicited video taping of me. I was simply sitting outside of the coffee shop on one of the designated benches, drinking my coffee, when I noticed that the driver of the van, who was parked in front of the shop, had raised his phone up and had begun to film me. After about 30 seconds of this behavior from him, I decided to document his harassment. He not only made eye contact with me at this point, acknowledging that he KNEW I was aware of his harassment, but he continued to film me, and even turned to laugh with his partner, who was sitting in the passenger seat. I felt threatened and unsafe in a place that should have been safe for me. I emailed Con Edison with the video I took, as well as a thorough complaint. This is unacceptable and despicable behavior, and I want everyone to see it.