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I just started to school in Honolulu, and I was sitting outside of a coffee shop near Waikiki doing my homework and minding my own business. Being that Waikiki is a huge tourist spot, I saw a ton of people come and go. Only one person decided to bother me in the three hours I sat there: he was probably twice my age, and was super greasy. He sing-sang as he danced around my table, “I’m single, looking for a girlfriend.” I gave him the coldest glare I could and replied, “I’m single, and I’m not looking. Get lost.” He proceeded to act all offended and told me he “didn’t appreciate my attitude, sugar.” Thankfully after that, he left me alone.
I called my mom immediately afterward, and she called me “the Ice Queen.” My aunt added in that I “shouldn’t have made rudeness my first reaction,” and that if I didn’t want the attention I shouldn’t have been doing my homework at a coffee shop. I don’t know which is more humiliating, the fact that I was treated like an object by the stranger, or that my own family thought that I was the one in the wrong by shutting him down.
I was crossing the street in the crosswalk when a car revved up behind me and yelled “Fucking dyke!” out the window as it sped by, narrowly missing me.
Well I wish it was just one story… I’m finally fed up after incidents every day for the past THREE days. I finally posted a Facebook status and my cousin sent me here, so hooray for this site!
First one I was leaving work late in Soho in London with a scarf wrapped around me. A guy in his 20s said, “excuse me, are your Russian?”. While walking I said, “No, Canadian.” Kept walking. He continued to engage me even though I was clearly in post-work dress (not that what you wear matters!). He kept holding my hand for what was supposed to be a handshake. Finally when I let go and cut off what he was saying with a curt “bye” he called me a bitch. Awesome.
Second one, I was walking home from the bus stop by my flat and one guy in a group of 5 on a terrace gave a “Hi sweetheart, do you have a boyfriend?” type thing. I carry a knife in my pocket for that walk and I so desperately wanted to call back, but fear still overtook me. It was dark and I was outnumbered and alone – I stayed quiet.
Thirdly was last night, and I was walking from the Thames to Trafalgar Square after playing a gig. I was carrying my guitar on my back and holding my metal stand (which, in my mind, I could wield at any moment as defence on a Saturday night). A group of guys passed me and tried to engage me. THREE TIMES, I thought. I cannot catch a f*%king break! Verbally, this came out as a loud, “Come on, really?!”.
The feelings are so sickening. Feelings of harassment, which one tries to counteract with a quick retort, but that feeling being stifled by the reality of: I. Am. Not. Safe. I just want to feel safe. I’ve considered self-defence classes. I’ve gone over and over what I wish I could say if I had more courage. I’m sick of being played with. I am not a f#%king stray cat. I am a person.
Hello I am 16 years old. I was walking with my best friend Leah around the street. In Oakdale Minnesota, we were totally chill sipping our smoothies when this guy honks at us. We laughed and were like gross! He wasn’t even attractive. Then we were walking and we saw a few men stare at us in their cars. And then as if that’s not enough some guy in a pick up truck rolls down the window and screams: “Hey! I LIKE your dress & your Shirt!” I mean this could of totally been innocent but I didn’t feel like it. Especially with the earlier harassment I wasn’t sure how to handle it. I clung to my friends arm and stated “Omigosh! Scary this is my first harassment/compliment this never happens to me.” She then said “well Kris this happens to me all the time.” I was like what! “You shouldn’t have to feel or think that it always happens to you. You should not be used to this.” It’s disappointing; why women can’t just look beautiful or hot without cat-calling and pure harassment?
Today I volunteered my time to help transport the elderly and disabled to and from the UW husky stadium and the parking lot. To transport, we used carts with about 7 seats and had certain pick up locations to pick up our passengers.
I had a great learning experience and here’s why:
1. I learned that if you ever want to be harassed and doubted about your driving skills, simply sit in a parked cart and be female. Sit in this parked cart while being female at a husky game and you will get to have multiple men question why you’re in there.
2. I learned that the whistles management gave us in lieu of the horn that’s missing from our cart should only be used by men unless you want other men to chant “blow harder” after using one.
3. I learned that when traffic directors stop you, they’re not stopping you to tell you where to go, they’re stopping you to tell you, “damn, you look fine.” Every. Single. Time you pass by.
– everyone else will also do this if you are a female in public.
4. I learned that i should never simply walk through a crowd as someone (most likely man) is most likely to grab some body part as i walk by.
5. I learned that saying no to someone several times does not actually mean “no”. It’s actually just a word females sometimes say to make noises and doesn’t actually mean anything at all apparently.
Lastly, i learned that if ever i want to feel the rage of a thousand suns, i should be a female at a husky game.
I was walking through busy Main street. This kid ( I can only describe him as a kid he was probably in his late teens or early twenties) was coming in the opposite direction. We were trying to move out of eachother’s way..all of a sudden he throws his fist up near my face as if to try to scare me. Like a fake out punch. A complete douchebag. I wish I said something more than “seriously?” He didn’t even notice how I responded.
I can’t believe some people feel so entitled in this world that they feel they can act however they want and treat people however they want without any regards to peoples feelings. I hope this kid gets a lesson learning…really soon.
Today a man took advantage of a crowded MUNI streetcar to grope a young woman. She was able to move away from him, and spent the rest of the trip separated from her friends in the back. I saw what happened and asked if she was ok (she looked shaken, but nodded yeah). I told him that he couldn’t treat women like that but he pretended not to hear me. So I took his picture and am sharing it now so others can look out for this predator.
i was on my way to class and i was already in a cruddy mood because i was late and my humanities professor could be really snotty especially if you were late to her class i was on the elevator to the second floor where my class was located and there were two 40 something year old guys on the elevator and i remember already feeling an uncomfortable vibe so i was relieved to get off when one of them addressed me with ” hey sweetie you’re on the wrong floor” and i was confused until he grabbed me by the wrist and said “just kidding i wanted to holler at you do you have a man ?”
i wasn’t in the mood for some guy old enough to be my dad grabbing on me so i said the first thing i could think of and i told him i was in a relationship then i ran off as fast as i could and you would have thought it would of ended there but the other guy followed me and started on about how i “didn’t have to be a snobby bitch and blow his friend off” but the most upsetting part was there was a lot of people around when this exchange happened but no one stepped in
I was walking home this morning from running errands downtown when a man walked up to me while waiting at an intersection. He proceeded to blatantly lick his lips and look me up and down numerous times. I briefly glared at him then proceeded to ignore and avoid eye contact with him. He then continued to stare at me and speak to me in Spanish. He continued to follow me down the street walking right next to me, blatantly checking me out and saying things I couldn’t understand and laughing to himself. Walking as fast as I could, I could not get away from him. Finally, when I could make out that he was asking if I was going to the library, (which was just ahead), I said, “Are you talking to me?!” to which he replied with something in Spanish. “I don’t speak Spanish!” to which he just laughed and continued to give lewd looks. Finally I was able to walk quickly away from him! I’m used to street harassment and can’t stand it. I generally just avoid eye contact and speak up when I need to. He made me feel extremely uncomfortable and violated. Plus the fact he continued to walk with me and be so blatantly inappropriate made me feel scared! No one should put up with street harassment—we are not things to be gawked at!
Happy Friday Hollas!
This week has seen a fair amount of press, including the Thompson Reuters Foundation, Columbia Spectator, Yale Daily News, and the Huffington Post. And, in case you missed it, the Daily Show had an amazing segment on street harassment – check it out!
Hollaback! sites around the world have been busier than ever:
Hollaback! Bahamas was on The Not So Late Show on Wednesday night. The team met with the College of The Bahamas’ Pro Society president about upcoming events and partnership opportunities. They presented to College of The Bahamas Union of Students on Hollaback! and street harassment and agreed on a date for educational ambassador training on the Constitutional Amendment Bills for gender equality. And finally, they spoke with Equality Now about gender inequality in The Bahamas for their upcoming report re: Beijing +20. Whew!
Hollaback! Baltimore held their amazing Proclaim No Shame event. The group gathered to, in their words, “fight unrealistic beauty standards, body-shaming media, and socialized politeness.” Go Baltimore! You can read a write up of the event, including a poem by Tyler Vile here.
Hollaback! Boston‘s MBTA ads (alongside Mass. NOW) go up in their local transit this week – keep your eyes open for them and, if you run across them, take a photo @iHollaback!
the Hollaback! Ottawa team co-wrote this amazing response to a classist street harassment article. Key quote? “To think that an educated man is somehow above engaging in street harassment simply because he is educated is malarkey.”
Great job this week Hollas!
HOLLA and Out!
– The Hollaback! Team