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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
First off I’d like to state that slapping a boy who slapped my butt in high school was my only prior public incident prior to this.
So I’m in a waiting room of my daughter’s counselor’s office. I’m on my cell and I look up and their is a guy sitting on the other side, staring at me intently. I look down and he is jerking off-in public-FULL ON. This guy is stroking himself so hard and looking at him in the eyes made me enraged because he didn’t stop. He liked that I noticed it. I told my brother that I had to get off the phone. There was a receptionist that I was facing who could not see what this guy was doing. So I go to this male receptionist to complain about what this guy was doing and he acted like I was complaining about my coffee. He never moved, never did anything, nothing. As I’m complaining the sicko zips up and steps out of waiting room. Well I kept getting angrier and angrier that I was dismissed. As I’m up front, sicko comes back in and not only pretends like he just walked in but he walks in and SPEAKS TO ME! I SNAPPED!
I mean I flipped out yelling and cursing and told the security guard to call the cops for me not him. They shut the building down and all of the counselors came up front. They locked all doors. The sicko and I arguing and he denies every doing this. The cops come, and I end up in tears making my report. Then I’m told by the counseling place that they are banning him from the place. The guy is arrested. I am told to go 30 minutes away to press charges. I go and spend all night there just to find out that the cop could have done it but was too lazy. It took 3 court appearances for him finally to get sentenced to probation. They couldn’t keep the ban because he had to get treated there. I agreed to testify and miss work, and keep paying for court parking to try to prevent this creep from doing this again. All I got was no one listening and missed work. To top it all off my female boss’s response when I told her why I was heading to court was “So, haven’t you ever had that happen to you in NYC? Every woman goes through it. No big deal.” Well it was a big deal to me.
And I resent the fact that I can’t walk down the street, in heels, dressed for work or, in jeans and a t-shirt running to the store without some jerk feeling like he has the right to touch me or say something sexual towards me.
I grew up in a small town and hadn’t experienced any street harassment there until today. I am visiting my parents for a couple weeks before heading back to university. I was walking my dog this morning and as we were finishing our walk a car with two guys stopped by us and they asked if I was from here. I said yes assuming they needed directions. I was wrong. They then asked me if I would show them around town. I told them I was busy, but since it is a small town they could drive around themselves and wouldn’t get lost. They then asked if there were any parties going on, and I responded with I don’t know. The one guy introduced himself as Joe and extended his hand to shake. Being polite I shook it and he proceeded to rub my palm. I took my hand back. Joe asked if I was taken so I lied and said yes. This didn’t stop them from asking me for my number which I refused to give. So they told me theirs and said that I better memorize it and call them so they can take me to a party in a nearby city.
I’ve experience “milder” forms of street harassment in larger cities, but I never expected something as creepy as this to happen in my home town. All I can say is that I am really glad my dog was with me because I knew he would protect me if something worse were to have happened.
I was at the train station and had a weird feeling that I might be followed. Since there were so many people going around I didn’t think I was right.
So, I got to the escalator with my bag and suddenly that man started moaning right into my ear and got really close, repeating “Oh yeah, fuck me, baby!” over and over!
I then looked at him with disgust and at the people around me (who just looked away), took my bag, pushed that disgusting person away and ran up to the platform.
Looking back, I wish I had said or yelled something so that others would’ve been ‘forced’ to step in. But in that moment, I was just shocked, disgusted and felt threatened so I couldn’t really think straight.
I am on a bike trip in Southeast Asia. So far I have cycled through Malaysia and Indonesia. I have recieved a lot of harasment on and off the cycle, but the time that disturbed me most was when a man on a moped began to drive beside me as I was cycling. At first he was just shouting questions I couldn’t understand. I noticed he kept rubbing at his crotch, but I assumed he was itchy with no social graces. This went on for a few minutes – annoying, but not totally unusual. Suddenly I notice that he has his hand down his pants and is actually masturbating. I begin screaming and kicking out at him, he laughs and keeps just out of my reach. I go as fast as I possibly can, uphill with a loaded touring bicycle, to try to catch up to my boyfriend who is cycling a few hundred meters ahead. The man is laughing and masturbating. Just as I get within calling distance of my boyfriend, the man speeds off. I give him the finger. He has the audacity to honk and wave to my boyfried as he passes by. My boyfriend still doesn’t know anything is wrong; he waves back.
That was the first, but not the last, mastrbating moped man. I am biking solo for the next few months and the frequent street harassment takes a lot of the joy out of it.
I was riding the Brooklyn bound L train when I noticed a man in his 50s got on the train at Union Square and stand unusually close to a young lady in her early twenties near the door. He started blatantly staring down her shirt and then started staring at me. So he would switch between us. After a few moments, I looked at her with a “are you OK look?” and she, wide-eyed, looked back. Then she took out her ear buds, and said, “What are you looking at?” He just kept staring down at her. Then I said, “What the f** are you staring at, Dude??!!” And he kept staring at me.
Then the guy in front of me said, “Enough, Dude, enough.” And then the train stopped at Bedford, and I acted like I was getting out so I could try and stand in between him and the girl, but he wouldn’t move. I was still like- “Stop staring at her, you’re being fucking disgusting.” And he responded and said, “I can stare at who ever I want. I’m a vet” “So am I supposed to feel bad for you because you’re a vet?” He responded, “You’re a fucking lunatic, I’m not moving!” as he pressed up against me harder.
Then another woman on the train said to him, “Be the bigger person and stop talking”- which I still can’t figure out if she was trying to help him, or me. We went back and forth and finally he got off the train at the Morgan Ave stop. When I turned around to check on the girl behind me she was visibly shaken up, but kept saying thank you. I hugged her as she broke down, and thanked the guy for stepping in … a little bit, and then hiding behind me.
I was 8 months pregnant with my baby girl, on my way to a weekly pre-natal appointment at my clinic. I would take two buses to get there. The second being on Chicago and Franklin. Although I ride the bus everyday I have to say, when I have to walk this particular street alone, even in broad daylight I get anxious. I live in the the not so nice part of South Minneapolis. So I get off the first bus and wait to cross the street, standing next to an older, (let’s say 40’s) greasy haired, fast talking man who also got off the same bus. He turns to me and starts asking the usual questions I’ve answered a million times the past 8 months, “How far along? A girl or boy?” I politely answer him with a smile… which I honestly regretted immediately after.
Yes, I regretted having common courtesy and politeness because he took it as an invitation to violate my personal boundaries that I assume everyone has, and stepped closer to me. Then he comments on my pregnant body by saying something about how I must have been “eating a lot of cornbread and collard greens.” It gets very hot during the summer months here in Minnesota and I was wearing shorts and a tank top. Not that it matters much but I got the crazy idea that maybe people wouldn’t be as interested in harassing a pregnant lady in shorter shorts, seeing as how I got even hotter than usual, carrying an extra body and more blood inside me as all.
I begin staring at the light willing it with my mind to change when he asks me “Can I touch your belly?” Without any hesitation I say “No, I do not like being touched.” Before I can even finish my sentence he reaches out and puts his big dirty hand on my belly and takes no time to move it downward.. I push his hand away and start walking across the street and he follows right next to me. Before I can take 5 steps I hear my name! I turn around, right in front of the bus, and see my friend Jessica. The greasy asshole stops too and tries to get me to keep crossing the street with him by warning me of the idle, giant bus, as if I didn’t notice it..
I walk over to her and she walks with me across the street. Funny, he lost interest in me when I was with my 5 foot 10 friend, her children and her friend. I felt angry… I’ve been raped a total of 4 times in my 21 years, assaulted many more. Why is it I don’t have a right to my own body? Why was I ignored? I felt the most beautiful and respectful of my own body being pregnant with my baby girl. To hold a life inside me, I felt gave my body and life more meaning.
Why did his actions and violation anger me more than my previous assaults? I am a Native American woman, I grew up in South Minneapolis, in modern society, without a father, brother or even cousin to protect or teach me what my mother couldn’t. I was and still am seen as vulnerable prey, my mistakes came with such a precious and great cost. I was only 15 years old when I was first raped and sexually assaulted. I was in a physically, sexually and verbally abusive relationship for 2 years. This was only a very small part of my story. I just want to be heard.
I was walking up onto Oxford St when this scruffy creepy guy tried several times to intentionally step right into my path and block my way. After sidestepping twice the third time I physically shoved past him hard with my massive shoulderbag, he shouted something unintelligent but left me alone as it was really busy about. He went on his way hopefully to take a bath.