Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Berkeley, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia MO, Columbus, Des Moines, Durham & Chapel Hill, East Lansing, Fredericksburgh VA, Houston, Los Angeles, Muncie IN, New York City, NYU, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Plattsburgh, Richmond VA, San Francisco, Tucson, Twin Cities
I was traveling in Paris, making my way to the Eiffel Tower one bright afternoon. I was looking around, trying to make sure I was going the right way, and, as a result, I made eye contact with a man that was walking past me on the sidewalk.
A few minutes later, he had turned around and caught up to me. He followed me. I was nervous, trying to be polite yet distant while he tried to engage me in conversation. On the way back to the underground, he grabbed my hand and tried to kiss me.
I moved away from him, told him to stop, but he just laughed and kept walking beside me. We were in a part of the park that was virtually empty, so, even though I told him to leave, I didn’t want to stay where I was, with no one else around, until he did.
All the way back to the underground, he continued to try to touch me. I tried to push him away, but didn’t want to strike him. The last thing I wanted was for the situation to turn violent.
Finally, I made it back to one of the main stations, walked over to the police booth and stayed there until he left. Some people have said I should have expected it, traveling alone… Like the unacceptable behavior was mine. But what makes it okay for him to harass me, touch me, stalk me? Why does walking somewhere on my own in broad daylight mean he’s not to blame?
i live in florida and go to the beach frequently. earlier this year i went with my aunt’s friend and her two children, aged 4 and 7. we were on a stretch of sand next to the highway so we could leave the spring breakers alone because it was too crowded on the beaches further down the island. some young, college aged men came driving down the highway in their car with penises drawn all over their car and honked at me and my aunt’s friend, yelling things like “nice asses” i was 15 at the time, and even then i was aware that catcalling was wrong. i wanted to say something but they drove away too quickly
I was taking a long walk for exercise one night, and was returning home on the sidewalk alongside Lick Mill Road, heading for Tasman Blvd when I noticed a car had slowed down behind me. I looked over my shoulder as the car stopped right behind me, with at least three people in it from what I could see through the windows at night.
I continued walking, at my usual brisk pace when exercising, and the car pulled out again and passed me slowly, then stopped in a driveway cutout just ahead of me. I responded by simply walking across the street (Lick Mill has a planted divider with turnouts once each hundred yards or so). The car zoomed down the street and around a curve in the road, and assuming the possibility that they would make a U-turn at the next turnout, I crossed back to my original side and sure enough, they had turned around. As they zoomed to the other turnout behind me, I crossed the street again.
When they got back to the spot where they had originally begun stalking me, they saw me across the street, and again zoomed around the curve to head for the turnout to make another U-turn. This time instead of dashing across the street, I ducked behind some bushes and watched as the car slowly crawled along where they had last seen me. Then they did what I had hoped they would do, they assumed I had gone into the walled parking lot that my hiding place was in front of.
After they drove into the parking lot, I ran around the curve and didn’t stop running until I was around the corner on Tasman. It is my sincere hope that they spent the next hour of their lives scouring that parking lot for me and hopefully getting reported for prowling. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that they had bad intentions.
The first time someone catcalled me I was 12. I always considered myself as fat and ugly, back then was no exception.
I was wearing my school’s uniform (a shapeless dress that helps my self-esteem by making me look even more fat than usual) and a big jacket. I was walking. Near my house, some guys were reconstructing one of my neighbors’ house. When I walked next to them they started to whistle and say things like “damn, can I play your guitar?” (I had a guitar with me). It was the first time anyone ever said something like that to me, I was confused because I didn’t understand why would they say that to a 12 year old and someone who looked like me, also I felt distressed, scared that they would do something to me and since I told my dad to pick me up from school.
Now this year, at the age of 14, I constantly get catcalled by old, desperate men. They disgust me, saying things like “you shouldn’t be walking alone girl, lot of bad people out there” or implying that they want to take me. The last time I directly stared at the man and said “excuse me?” with a raised eyebrow. He froze and didn’t say anything else. I’m ready to give the finger or laugh at the face of the next man who does this. Lately I miraculously haven’t been harassed, something I find great, and I hope it won’t happen again but in a world like this I can’t think it will stop.
I work in a small local ice cream store and during the summer I was harassed and so were my co-workers.
My experience was one I had never had before. I was working alone and it was later in the evening. Normally, I feel safe because, I have a counter between me and my costumers. But that evening, I had a slightly drunk man come in, and he had his friend and his friends wife in with him. The wife went to the bathroom. They stayed and ordered ice cream. I started up a conversation up with them. They weren’t local, and I so I asked them what they thought of Paonia. My town is small with one main street of three blocks, so I know pretty much know everyone who comes in. The friend was very courteous and polite responding that they were enjoying my small town. However the other man, responded with “I like it here, you have cute little girls.” and then he paused and added “Like you” His friend looked shocked and apologized for him. I wish I could of said something to him. Instead I just stood behind my register dumbfounded and speechless.
This is something my co-workers have experienced.
I came in one morning to work and noticed a small notecard taped behind the register giving the police chief’s information. I was a little surprised and shocked. When I asked my manager about it, she told me one of my co-workers was being stalked and the man had come in several times. She showed me a picture of the man, I had seen him before. The police were called and he has never come back.
Some guy yelled, “I like pink too!” in reference to the shirt I was wearing. And when I didn’t respond, he shouted,
“I like pusssyyy!!!!!”
I was walking around my campus between classes, waiting at a cross walk when a man yelled “nice tits” at me out the passenger window of a car turning a few feet away.
On October 15, Hollaback! is launching “Harassment Is: An exploration of identity and street harassment”. Using stories from the Hollaback! sites, the guide invites the reader to practice recognizing how people’s identities and oppressions overlap and how that can affect how they walk down the street.
As part of the “Harassment Is” campaign, we are organizing a #harassmentis tweetup on October 17th at 1pm EDT – we invite all of you to join in and contribute.
Using the hashtag #harassmentis, we encourage people to tell their stories of what street harassment can look/feel like. We believe that expanding this conversation is the first step for all of us to create solutions and responses to street harassment.
It all starts with telling your story. On October 17th, tweet what #harassmentis to you and, when you submit stories to the Hollaback! sites, tag them with #harassmentis to expand the conversation around street harassment.
This week Hollaback! was featured by the Huffington Post, Boston Magazine, Metro News, One Equal World, and Stop Street Harassment; Hollaback!’s ED, Emily May traveled to Houston to shoot a video for the Giving Library, she was interviewed for a documentary on social entrepreneurship and was featured on Bronxnet.
Here’s what the HOLLAs around the world have been up to:
Hollaback Boston, released an infographic via the data from their newly launched State of The Streets Report. They were featured on Boston Neighborhood Network TV and have gotten impressive press coverage on the report so far.
Hollaback Ottawa participated in Take Back the Night last Thursday as well! They also had a table where they got a ton of people signed up to keep informed on their work. Ottawa leader, Julie Lalonde, won “Best Volunteer in a Leading Role” award at the Volunteer Ottawa Award Gala, in large part because of her work with Holla! in her city. Congrats!
Great job, peeps!
HOLLA and out!
-The Hollaback! Team
I was a cocktail waitress in a rock and roll bar for a number of years when I was in college. The bar was always crowded and the clientele had to rely on the wait staff to deliver the drinks as the crowd around the bar was pretty impenetrable. There was one night when one of the wait staff a friend of mine had a drink poured over her head by a guy because she didn’t get it to him fast enough. So I was already pissed off. Then as I was making my way thru the crowd to take orders without a huge tray of drinks and some guy grabbed me in the crotch and gave me a “hey baby”. Really? Without much thought I turned on the asshole, channeled my inner wonder woman, grabbed him by the front of the shirt and slammed him against the wall. I remember yelling something about “don’t you ever” with my finger in his face, and I don’t know who was more surprised- him, me or his friends. Felt good, and a little bit scary.