Nonverbal Harassment, Story

Man Secretly Taking Pictures of Me Without Consent

This creep was taking pictures of me as he walked behind me. Another man came up alongside and said loudly, “That guy is taking pictures of you.” I stopped, surprised and confused, and looked back to see a man of the following profile:

Smartly dressed, navy blue suit and tie
Balding-ish–had thinning hair

with his phone up, half “hidden” behind a newspaper. He dashed behind a coffee cart to “hide,” and as the second man was saying, “You can sue for that, you know,” Creep walked back the other way. I was too surprised by the encounter to react quickly and get his photo or otherwise publicly shame him, but just to say ladies, watch out and speak up when you see this disgusting carry on happening.

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HOLLA ON THE GO: Catcalling from Construction Workers

Currently there is construction of a new building on Hanover street in Portland Maine. The men working there constantly catcall upon walking by. Ignoring gets old so have yelled out stop a few times with no luck and flipped them off a few times. Now having to take a longer route to avoid them. Would love for them to get spoken to.

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Harassed on a City Street

I was walking down a city street with my husband about a block from our house. A black Cadillac full of dudes drives by and screams “Hey, titties!” out the window at me. Apparently wearing a cross body bag across a tank top on a hot summer day is an invitation to be harassed. We ignore them and keep walking but they’re stuck in traffic. “Come on, turn around bitch!” was their follow up since I didn’t dignify their harassment the first time around. At this point my husband was enraged and started walking towards their car asking if they had a problem they wanted to get out of the car to solve. He pulled out his phone and started taping them. Miraculously, they had nothing else to say.

It’s not the first time this has happened to me and I know it won’t be the last. But nonetheless, I was filled with that hopeless anger afterward. We were at breakfast afterward and I was expressing to my husband that things like this make me feel like I need to lose as much weight as I can so I can get rid of the harassment bait attached to my body. (I’m a 36B). FWIW, I was wearing a tank top from a teenage clothing line and shorts.

I considered giving the plate number to the police, but for what? The last time I was being threatened (by a tenant of mine) they told me there was nothing they could do unless it was violent. THANKS WORLD.

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HOLLA ON THE GO: Harassed in Front of a Clinic

There were 2 lines of men (on one each side of the sidewalk) because the clinic was about to open it’s doors. There were several guys who grabbed their crotches and thrusted their pelvis at me. Most of the other men did smacking sounds with their lips or asked for my number. It was like walking through a gauntlet.

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A Week in Our Shoes

Week in Our Shoes: Events All Around the World!

Hey Hollas!


What a productive week it’s been at HQ! As always, there’s been a lot going on in and out of the office. Here’s what we’ve been up to:

This week our Executive Director, Emily May, attended an event called My Passion; My Philanthropy: Youth & Giving hosted by Women’s eNews. The focus of the event was on “funding for teen girls and the ways in which young people engage in philanthropy, nationally and internationally.” We were proud to be included in the discussion along with other speakers representing Sy Syms Foundation, She’s the First, and Afrika Tikkun USA, Inc!

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Last week, Debjani was featured on an episode of The Call with NY1. The segment focused on subway safety and Debjani gave some advice on street harassment, in response to the viral video of a woman who took a video of a man publicly masturbating on the NYC subway. Trigger warning, but for some inspiration from this brave woman, watch here.

Hollaback!’s app was also featured in a news segment from New York 4 regarding smartphone safety apps. The segment had New Yorkers test out various apps that track someone’s path to their destination, and Debjani was a part of it too!

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We’re also saying goodbye to our Development and Program intern Lan, who we’ve sent off with a staff lunch full of delicious food–thanks so much for all your hard work this summer and good luck on all your future endeavors!

Speaking of interns, we’re still looking for awesome fall interns (HeartMob Program, Communications, and Development and Program)! Please help us spread the word so we can be prepared for the upcoming season!

Here’s what is going on with our sites around the world:

Last week, Hollaback! Amsterdam (they’re making the transition to Hollaback! Netherlands) joined the Dutch Gender Platform Wo=men. Site leader Eve said that “this is exciting news for us because it will connect us with an amazing network of equality-focused organizations in the Netherlands and will increase our visibility and advocacy capacity with the Dutch government.” Keep up the good work!


Hollaback! Cuenca participated in a breakfast hosted by UN Women in order to collect suggestions about the new urban agenda (Habitat III). At this event, they “suggested that the “right of the city” concept should be seen from the perspective where spaces are public but the bodies of the people who walk on them aren’t.” You go Hollaback! Cuenca!

Last week, Hollaback! Detroit held a workshop on harassment and art activism with Girls Rock Detroit. They also distributed their first zine at Zine Fest. We’re so proud of this new site!

That’s all for this week! Awesome all around.

Holla and out!

– the Hollaback! Team

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Experiencing Harassment Twice in One Night

At around 6:30 in the evening I was walking back towards the train station with a friend, and two teenagers walked around the corner towards us, one boy and one girl. After we walk past them, the boy yelled out; “fucking slut” so loudly, at first we had no idea what or who he was yelling at until we turned around and I made eye contact with the boy who was grinning as he stared at me. He continued to yell obscenities and abuse at us in such a hateful and viscous manner, my friend and I were just stunned.

What disgusted me most about the situation was the girl he was with seemed to encourage him in his verbal abuse of us. And how we were crossing a popular bridge and no one stepped in to help, just ignored the situation entirely.

After stepping off the train, heading home I got on the bus to get to my house. An older man gets on the bus and as he passes me he stares me up and down so blatantly and purposefully, he slows down and almost stops as he stares at my body. Disgusted, I just stare at him with obvious disgust on my face.

About five minutes later he moves to get of the bus, passing me again he does the same exact thing. But this time he purposefully turns around and stares at me in the middle of the bus in front of everyone. I stare back at him in disgust throwing my hand up in the air, looking around at the other passengers on the bus. But as I make eye contact with them they turn their eyes and faces away.

He steps off the bus, not before giving another two girls near the front a good look over. and turns around and stares at me purposefully and makes these lurid hand gestures at me, and only me as the bus drives away.

I wish I had more of a witty and intelligent comeback to throw out at these harassers, but I always find myself holding myself back in fear of the repercussions. I have heard of plenty of girls being attacked for doing such a thing.

A journey home turns into a deeming and scary experience. How is this okay?

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HOLLA ON THE GO: “Cutie Pie”

Was walking to the subway when a group of 20-something year old men were on the corner, probably waiting for a bus. One of them shouted “Hey cutie pie!” And made kissing noises. I stopped in front of the group and asked if he really thought it was ok say that to someone, and he said “Yes I do”. I informed him that it was not ok, and when trying to make my case he repeatedly said “ok cutie pie, ok cutie pie” repeatedly over me. I raised my voice and began yelling to make him try to listen, he kept repeating “ok cutie pie” and his friends began to walk away when they saw how angry I was getting, clearly embarrassed that I was causing a scene. I walked away and told them they needed to find new friends.

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transphobic, Verbal

Behind My Back

I was standing alone in the cue in front of Berghain. Behind me were two men who started to talk about how ugly and disgusting lesbians and especially trans guys are. How ridiculous it is to them that they bind their chest and that “women should look like “normal” women” and style themselves feminine. I`m a trans guy and it was quite obvious that they enjoyed talking like that behind me. I felt too tired, sad and exhausted to say something. After about 20 minutes of this kind of harrassment behind my back I decided to leave. I felt disappointed by myself, angry and sad that I wasn`t able to defend myself in that situation.

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HOLLA ON THE GO: Harassment on the Train Platform

57b7ac7e686f731f5c010000.jpegI was on the phone figuring out where my ride was going to pick me up and a man started following me and screaming at me to go away. I had been standing on the platform about 15 seconds. He claimed this (the train platform) was not my home and I needed to go back to where I came from. I pulled up my phone to take a picture of him and he tried to grab it from my hand. I said if he touched me again, I would hit him. He said he would beat me up. He said I would be arrested. I took his picture and went to the other side of the train platform, and waited for my ride elsewhere. I noticed while we drove away that he had left. He must have been afraid of me having his picture. This is the first time I have tried to stand up for myself. I am tired of being bullied.

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A Week in Our Shoes

Week in Our Shoes: Multiple Meetings and a Few Features

Hey Hollas!

We’ve had another busy week here at HQ–the weather has been cooling down a bit in NYC but we’re getting fired up by planning and preparing for a very busy fall of advancing the movement to end street and online harassment! This past weekend we had a very successful board and staff strategic planning meeting and can’t wait to share everything we came up with!


Speaking of fall, we are excited to announce that we’re looking for interns! We have several internships available (Communications, HeartMob Program, and Development and Program Internship) at our office in Brooklyn. Please help us spread the word and help us expand our team in order to prep for our exciting future!

This week our executive director, Emily May, went to a convening at Civic Hall organized by Imagine Better where the focus was on building narrative change. We were proud to be a part of the conversation along with other organizations like Greenpeace and The Family Dinner Project!

Here’s what is going on with our sites around the world:


Last week, Hollaback! Detroit was featured in Ioby! Site founders Brooke and Brea were interviewed about the creation of this new site and their fundraising efforts. Brooke was quoted “We’re trying to point out that no, just because a woman’s walking down the street doesn’t mean she has to stop and talk to you, and just because she doesn’t stop and talk to you doesn’t mean she’s a bitch.” We’re excited to see the amazing things Hollaback! Detroit will do!


Hollaback! Ottawa was interviewed by CBC News about the near one-year old initiative of an online tool to report street harassment. Site founder Julie stated “People are reporting more incidents than before. People are feeling more comfortable talking about their experiences. So we’re feeling really good a year into this project.” You go Hollaback! Ottawa!

That’s all for this week!

Holla and out!

the Hollaback! Team

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