We are finally feeling the heat here at the Hollaback! HQ in New York City, and things seem to be shaking up for what will be an exciting summer full of actions and activities! Debjani took off for a New Media Ventures conference in San Francisco, representing our new platform to address online harassment and build virtual community, HeartMob. Don’t forget to sign up as a HeartMobber to make the internet friendlier and safer today!
And at our Hollaback! sites across the globe…
Hollaback! Romania is releasing a survey about women’s experiences of street harassment in Romania for a doctoral thesis.
Hollaback! London announced that they will be transitioning out of group form and assembling “a diverse new collective to help take this message to the streets.” If you know anyone in London, be sure to have them contact their Facebook site! They are looking for event support, social media volunteers, and contributors to partnerships and projects.
That’s all for now!
Holla and out!
I live in a small college town, where I don’t experience harassment every day- people are generally nice to each other. Which is why I was a bit surprised today. I had just gotten off the Appalcart (our local bus system) and was walking down the sidewalk to my apartment. I heard a couple of short honks, made by some sort of truck. I look to the road to see what had happened (I was on the sidewalk) when I saw a plumbing truck from a local business, with two men leering at me, no cars near them. They passed by too quickly for me to react. I’m in summer classes at the university right now and have had a lot of late nights for homework, so I was really too tired to do anything anyway.
I wonder, what about me asked them to “catcall” (via honking)? Of course, this is a rhetorical question, the only people at fault are the perpetrators. It’s still a question that pops up in my mind, however; I run through what I was wearing (I dress conservatively, though that doesn’t even matter!), I had my backpack on, I was walking back from a long day at class… In the end, I am just at a loss as to how someone can think it is appropriate to treat another human as a zoo animal.
If you are in the area, the truck had a logo on it from Triple T plumbing. I’m halfway tempted to phone the business and report this to them, but if the management employs people like that, they probably won’t do anything about this matter.
I’ve been grabbed full frontal in the crotch in a nightclub and at a carnival – where the men could get away quickly and disappear into the crowds afterwards. I felt so angry and powerless, but also disturbed – it was so intrusive that both times it felt like it could be a warm up for something even more sinister.
Drunk vagrant men catcalling and following women out of the museum. Cops were called and never showed up.
I was walking to school a couple months ago, and as I walked past the public library I watched a tall woman with a Bluetooth and a briefcase get verbally harassed by a man a little shorter than her. He started out by asking her if she played basketball, and continued with sexual threats while following her. She finally turned around and walked into the library to stop the creepy guy from following her any farther.
Harassed while sitting at the bus stop, again. This time it was an “Oooooh she pretty!!” as 2 guys walked by together. It’s cool, just go ahead and comment on me like I’m a zoo animal as you walk by. Of course, none of the men or women around me said or did anything. And all I did was flip them the bird. They didn’t seem like the type who would ever take a woman defending herself seriously no matter what she said, anyway.
We have had a quiet and surprisingly chilly May so far at the Hollaback! HQ in New York City, but we’re getting excited for some amazing things to come in the summer! This week we said goodbye to our lovely, inspiring, and crazy brilliant interns. Rachel did stellar work assisting with the launch of HeartMob, Noelia developed some amazing resources for our legislative program, and Alexis starred as our comms intern. While we’re sad to see them go, we’re looking forward for our summer interns to join in June to make the office less lonely! Thank you Rachel, Noelia, and Alexis!
Check out what our Hollaback! sites across the world are up to:
Hollaback! Ottawa will be at Ottawa Comiccon hosting their workshop Cosplay =/= Consent and walking around the Con with supportive messaging this weekend. They will be creating a “mobile safe space”so anyone attending in Ottawa should be sure to find them!
Hollaback! Vancouver site leader Stacy Forrester had an amazing live interview on Global BC to discuss the Ghomesi case. If you haven’t already, check out our collective statement on the trial we released a while back.
See you later Hollas! We can’t wait to update you all on our summer activities!
Holla and out!
This summer I was on holiday with my best friend and in my bikini around my family probably most of the time. One morning when we were walking through the field that belongs to my holiday home, we walked past my grandad who was reading a newspaper and he told us to have fun. When we had walked out of earshot my friend told me that he had been staring at my ass the entire time we were walking past! Not hers but mine! (Not that it would have been acceptable for this 70 year old man to stare at a 17 year old’s butt in such an obvious and perverted way, but it would have been different had it been her since she is not his grandchild…) And my grandma was also in the house. This happened at least three more times that she noticed on the same holiday. I now do not feel comfortable being in swimwear In my family home. I feel completely violated and disgusted, as well as disappointed that this will be what I remember of my grandfather after he passes. I am 17 and do not have a lot of memories with him since I live in the UK and he lives in Greece. I only see him for a few weeks in the summer. I just don’t understand and feel so awful about myself and can’t get the image of him looking at my butt out of my head (I caught him staring one of the times).
It’s been another great week here at the office. Our staff has been busy with events and interviews all week.
Jae and Debjani participated in the New York Women’s Foundation annual Celebrating Women’s Breakfast. Emily attended the Love Bravery launch party.
Debjani was interviewed by CBS New York to comment on the new policy put in place by Greenland Forrest City. The construction workers working on their projects will be wearing color coded stickers that identifies which specific project they are working on. This was done in hopes that it will increase accountability and reduce harassment for pedestrians walking by the site.
And at Hollaback! sites around the world:
Hollaback! Vancouver took part in The F Word Conference: Theory To Practice, Imagining Our Feminist Futures where they held a session with Zines, painting and of course, feminism.
Hollaback! Vegas held a screening of the Hunting Ground and a organized a chalking event at the end of last week.
That’s all for this week! Stay tuned for more next week.
Holla and out!
I was harassed by a man on the street on Tuesday night. I was unlocking my bike when a man came up to me.
This is the sequence of events as I remember it – it all happened pretty fast. He got uncomfortably close and mumbled “Are you black or white?” (it should have been obvious from looking at me – and I’m only so sure that’s what he said). I said a firm “Goodbye” to him 3 times, but he ignored and just stayed and mumbled. I told him to “F** off”. He grabbed my bike handles after I refused to engage with him. I told him to “F** off”. He yanked one of my brake cables off. Thankfully, 3 guys on the other side of the street say “Hey! Hey!” and started to cross. He darted and I biked away without looking back at him.
The whole incident was unsettling, but I left feeling more angry than scared.
When I got to the bike shop to fix my brake, I called 311 to report the incident. It was almost more stressful to talk to the lady on the phone and later to the police officer who got dispatched to me than it was to get harassed by a stranger because they had this whole attitude of “what do you want?” They didn’t seem to get that I didn’t want to prosecute this guy, I just wanted to get this incident documented because it happens to way too many women way too often. In surveys, over 90% of women report having been harassed in public places. Overall, I felt more ashamed for reporting a “harmless” incident than supported in my attempt to get it recorded.