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It’s been an exciting week here at the HQ. This week we welcomed three new interns for the summer: April, Eunie, and Julia. The interns are excited to be helping out with Hollaback!’s communications and programs, including HeartMob.
We filmed our final two vlogs of the series this week and will be releasing them soon! We stepped outside of the office this week to visit City Hall in New York to take the 6th Annual Father’s Day Pledge to End Gender Violence. Organized by CONNECT and Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo, the participants pledged to end violence in our homes, schools and communities.
And here’s what Holla’s around the world have been up to:
We have our eye on the proposal of a new anti-catcalling law that could make street harassment punishable by fine. It’ll be interesting to see what happens. In the meantime, check out the work of Hollaback! Buenos Aires as they work to end street harassment in their city.
Hollaback! Alberta attended the first annual Women & Trans Festival at the 35th Edmonton Pride. It’s so awesome to have Hollaback! represent during such an important time for the rights of transgender people!
Hollaback! London will be co-hosting Holla::REV London in just less than two weeks! Join us on June 23rd to hear speakers and performers including Laura Bates, Emily May, representatives from Sex Worker Open University, Bisi Alimi, Susuana Antubam, Samayya Afzal, Bryony Beynon & Julia Gray, Sauna Youth and more!
Great job this week across the globe, team!
Holla and out!
–The Hollaback! Staff
saw this d-bag catcalling women as they passed by.
I was harassed by a man who followed me around Target while I was grocery shopping alone, who was trying to get my attention by following me and yelling at me in the store. He came up from behind me after following me down an aisle, grabbed my arm and tried to pull me around, and before he could do anther hunt else, I elbowed him and ran to the front of the store.
I’ve been sitting in a park, crying on a bench under a tree, for the good part of an hour. A young man a few blocks away did something that shouldn’t evoke this level of response in me. He made dog yapping noises at me. He was good, at first I thought it was actually an annoying Pomeranian. When I start to frown he said, “Come on, at least I got a smile out of you.”
I immeditately responded by telling him he didn’t, that he should never do that to anyone ever again, and how what he was doing wasn’t nice. It felt weak against his and his friends’ laughter. “Yeah but it was funny!” It was to them. “Hey babe I’m a bad boy!” – he shouted to me as I kept walking.
I was so irritated that a few moment later I walked back, to tell them how horrible it felt to have someone do that to you. I honestly didn’t think he knew. He had walked off, so I continued on a few blocks. What happened next I didn’t really understand. I began crying, stomach tense and short of breath. It was as if years of being called at and put into situations I really didn’t want to be in with my body were pouring out of me. My body, at times, had not felt like it was for me. It was for others to look at, to judge critically or to enjoy. They knew nothing of how it gave me scarlet fever once for a month, or how I was so grateful that it stayed strong as I led a rock climb for the first time in ages, just a week earlier. They didn’t know that I can dance, or hate running, or how yoga can be painful if you don’t do it regularly. They like the shape, the size, the color… These are such meaningless things to me, unless something’s out of reach.
I don’t know the best way to stop this invasive behavior. I feel very weak against it. I think slowly, personally, by responding as best I can to demoralize any street caller’s actions is the best route for me. The next time you find yourself commenting on an actresses’s weight or appearance when the situation really calls for her skill, remember the last time you were cat-called. The next time you wear something you don’t want to wear, to please others, remember to keep your own power. Your body is for you. It is for no one else.
I was coming home from college, late at night. In the subway, I felt the look of a man who was standing next to me. I choose not to care. Then, he followed me out of my usual station. I was scared so I walk faster and faster. He started screaming “are you afraid bitch ? Why are you afraid” and laughing. I keep walking without answering. Then, I enter a bar so he stopped following me. I was sweating and shaking but no one noticed.
I was cat called for the first time in my life today. It was only a small incident, two men walked past me and one said “you alright beautiful” and leered at me. But when I got home I cried for 10 minutes. I felt gross, dis guested and so, so angry. I am 14. 14, and a feminist and this kind of behaviour makes me feel angry, frustrated and afraid. I said nothing, I just walked away but I wish I’d said something. I was just afraid it would escalate. This has made me want to stop wearing shorts, look less attractive etc. because I never want it to happen again. I just wish I was strong enough, physically and mentally to challenge these people.
Standing in line at the gas station a man proceed to try and get my name while telling me I’m so beautiful and inviting me to party with him. He kept this up to the point the attendant told him to leave and walked me to my car.
I was walking out of work and as I was walking towards my car a man was walking in the other direction. As we crossed paths, he said “looking good ma” as he looked me up and down.
No shit I look good. I don’t need you to tell me.
This evening event kindly hosted at the Amnesty International Human Rights Centre will see leading thinkers and activists in the field expand the definitions of street harassment and discuss what each of us can, and is doing, do to create real on-the-ground change in our communities.
Confirmed speakers and performers include:::
– Laura Bates from Everyday Sexism,
– Emily May, executive director of HollaBack!
– Susuana Antubam, NUS National Women’s Officer
– Hollaback! site leaders from around the world putting issues in their local context, from the Bahamas to New Orleans and beyond!
– Bryony Beynon and Julia Gray, discussing Hollaback London, our advisory work on Project Guardian and the Good Night Out Campaign
A one off special interactive musical performance from Richard Phoenix and Jennifer Calleja of Sauna Youth
+ Lots more!
Reserve your (FREE!) tickets today! Hope to see you there.
We’re back with our HOLLA-Who series, profiling the amazing site leaders who take on street harassment in their local communities. In the HOLLA-Who series, we learn about what street harassment is like around the world, and what activists are doing today to push back and fight for the right to equal access to public spaces.
Today we’re talking with the amazing Barbara from Hollaback! Croatia. Hollaback! Croatia launched in 2011. They’re an amazing site who’ve accomplished some huge projects in their community, including a safer spaces campaign! Today we’re chatting with Barbara about why they Hollaback! and what they’re up to.
Why did you start the Hollaback! site in Croatia in 2011 – what inspired you to join on?
“I wanted to speak about issues impacting women and LGBT people. I love Hollaback because it is so empowering – with its tools & a worldwide net of activists.“
What’s a HOLLA-fact about your city?
“The city is considered as safe and its residents are proud about this. However, gender based harassment is ignored in considerations about safety.“
Say you’re the Queen for a day. What would you do to end street harassment?
“Kids will learn from early age – in every kindergarten & school – about mutual respect.”
What was your first experience with street harassment?
“I was groped between my legs at the age of 14.“
Given that you’ve had years to perfect it, what’s your signature Hollaback!?
“Never give away your power.“
We’re all about the right to define yourself. What’s your Hollaback! on-the-ground style?
“I am deliberate, think twice before acting – but nevertheless push for ambitious projects for Hollaback!. Even if it seems that we are not ready for the projects, it turns out right “
What’s your super-heroine power?
“Patience & humor.”
Serious question time. Would you rather have a dragon or be a dragon?
“Have a dragon!“
What is your proudest HOLLA-Moment so far?
If you could leave the world one piece of advice, what would it be?
“If the idea makes sense, if something is unjust, go for it and do something about it, even if you don’t know how – you will learn during the process and come out stronger.“
What are you excited about for 2015?
“We have more volunteers than ever, they are pushing our boundaries and thanks to them we will do some things for the first time – e.g. a safety audit…“
What inspires you in this work?
“Strong women, the energy and commitment of other Hollaback! volunteers or activists.“
And finally, in the year 2020, street harassment will be…
“In the year 2020, street harassment is finally recognized as a problem, and all members of the community are involved in solving it. Boys learn to respect girls from early age…“
A big thank you to Barbara from Hollaback! Croatia!
Holla and out!