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This past summer I worked with kids who are severely emotionally disturbed. While I dealt with a wide array of experiences on a daily basis, many extremely trying, one day I will never forget left me in tears. We took the kids to the library as we did on many days when it was too hot to be outside. I had the group of 13 year old boys that day (I was only 21 at the time) and often put up with inappropriate comments simply dismissing them as being “that” age. 3 of the boys and I were sitting in the entry way to the library as they were having issues staying quiet inside. One of them started joking that I was his girlfriend and the other took it a step further to start mentioning that “he got me pregnant” to every person walking in and out of the library. In the specific program I worked for, it was essential to keep our cool and try and re-shape behavior in a positive way. I explained several times to him that this was not appropriate behavior for a number of reasons. He continued until FINALLY the police officer working at the library came out and threatened to call security on him. It baffled me that A) probably 15 people of all different types passed by and didn’t say a word and B) that these types of behaviors are taught at such a young age. I honestly could never look at that boy the same after that and he was transferred to another group shortly after.
Around 9 pm I was waiting to cross a street. There weren’t any other pedestrians around so when a car drove by and someone screamed out “WHORE!” I knew it was directed towards me. As I stood there I couldn’t do anything but laugh since its winter here in Wisconsin and I was wearing a full length parka along with other warm, winter gear…there was nothing about me or my clothing that could have been considered “whore-ish” besides the fact that he could tell I was a woman. I felt threatened and dehumanized and was paranoid the rest of my walk home. Grow up and respect all women and pratice equality.
I live in the UK inner city. i usually dont ignore harrasment (no you not beying a bigger person if anything ignoring makes you feel like a smaller person). But this time felt scary and I was scared to shout back. I was on my own on empty street about to cross as two guys in car pulled window down saying hay ..pause….you are sh*t! Fuck you! You are really really shit!
All i did was noted the car plate number came home and dialed 999. Officer came to see me in an hour assuring this type of crime is taken very seriously.
He was traced, invited to the station, spoken to. The incident was crimed as public order offence gender motivated. He was shocked someone would report it and said this is what he usually does. He now has a criminal record.
Ladies please stop taking crap of people!
This week at the Hollaback! HQ, ED, Emily May testified at the City Council Hearing on campus sexual assault. HB’s deputy director Debjani Roy will be addressing the current status of the fight against street harassment and the importance of civic-minded social media video this Sunday (Feb. 8) at a forum hosted by the Chicago Filmmakers. Read about it here and/or RSVP through EventBrite! Both have also started taping a vlog series, with the help of Harry Potter Alliance’s super talented Lauren Bird!
And our sites around the world have been up to lots! Check it out!
Hollaback! Bahamas‘ Alicia Wallace was featured in The Eye Opener – a youth show on Guardian Talk Radio-Saturday morning to talk about street harassment.
Hollaback! Berlin director Julie Brilling talked to Deutsche Welle about the NYC viral video, how to define street harassment, and what can be done to prevent it. Check it out here! They also teamed up with the national student council to launch their #uni_SEX campaign to raise awareness of everyday sexism and harassment at universities.
Hollaback! Ottawa presented at Awesome Adventure Academy, a new indie con, and developed their anti-harassment policy!
Hollaback! Houston‘s Hermie Escamilla was interviewed by a blog correspondent in Austin, TX for Stop Street Harassment about transportation, social media, and community building.
That’s all for now! Holla and out!
HB Staff <3
He may have thought he was being “friendly” but a middle aged man grabbed me on the shoulder without my permission while commenting about how I looked and it just left me feeling extremely uncomfortable.
On my way into a restaurant, I passed an older man panhandling and he asked me for some spare change.
I ignored him and from behind me, I heard him yell a series of obscenities, i.e., “Fuck you, you fucking bitch!”
I quickly ducked into the restaurant and thankfully, he was gone by the time I left.
Walking down the sidewalk, I passed a guy who was panhandling. He said, ‘Why don’t you put a smile on that pretty face?’
I turned to him and said, ‘I don’t like it when men tell me to smile.’
He backtracked, saying, ‘I wasn’t telling you, I was just suggesting!’
We went back and forth a few times, and he eventually apologized.
I’ve seen the guy a few other times. Our interactions are now, ‘Good Morning/Have a good day.’
There was a group of kids hanging out after dark in front of the grocery store. As a woman came out of the store, one of them took a few steps towards her and asked, ‘Hey baby, do you want to come home with me?’
She didn’t say anything, but I saw her grimace as she walked away. As I passed the group, the guy said, ‘Hey baby, smile!’
I turned to face him and said, ‘Don’t call me baby.’
One of the other kids in the group, a girl, said, ‘Oh, he didn’t mean anything by it.’ We chatted for a few minutes and the guy apologized.
I was walking on Landover Road when a man in a white minivan pulled up behind me and honked.
After he saw that I had seen him, he pulled off the road, into the nearby shopping center, to pull up alongside me.
He yelled, “Where are you going?”
I yelled back, “Nowhere you’re interested in,” and didn’t stop walking.
After I had passed him, he pulled away and drove off.
On my way to work, I experienced street harassment as I do almost every morning. He walked up just behind me and said “I like that. You look good. Yeah, you look real good”. I said “I don’t like that”. He flew into a hot rage and said “I don’t care if you don’t like that, say thank you and shut the fuck up!” He threatened to beat me up, he said I’d better keep walking and followed me down the sidewalk. Someone came out of the same building and told him to leave me alone. I could hear him yelling things like “Go fuck yourself” “You think you’re better than everyone?!” and “Fuck you, white bitch!” for 2 blocks. This is why I so often say something. “Good morning” is great. As soon as someone starts commenting on your physical attributes, it’s not okay. All street harassment is about power and verbal harassment is on one end of a spectrum of sexual violence. It happens everywhere. It’s not a compliment. It’s dehumanizing and threatening.