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Today I was going for a walk to get some exercise and two men in a car drove past me and yelled something to me. When I kept walking and ignored them, the driver honked at me.
While walking through the downtown arts district, on my way to get a sandwich, a man started walking very close to me. He asked me if he could follow me. I ignored him. He asked if I was afraid of him and said that most girls are. He continued to follow me for a few more blocks, asking if he could touch my dimples. Ew. Finally he gave up and walked away. This is only one experience of dozens I’ve had with street harassment on this block.
Here’s what HOLLAs around the world have been up to:
Hollaback! Boston is having their Self-Care HOLLAday Party today! They’ll have a photo booth, art therapy workshop, street harassment journal-making, and more! They will also have awesome raffle prizes from LUSH Cosmetics, Ecolissa cosmetics, JP Licks, and Shannon at Liquid Hair Studios, among others. Come as you are, and bring your friends!
Hollaback! Croatia has started a Safer Spaces campaign! Stay tuned for exciting updates as their campaign takes off
Hollaback! Czech posted a video of their participation in last week’s One Billion Rising for Justice in Prague. The event in addition to their video has garnered a great deal of attention including three press pieces and was specially highlighted by V-Day.
Hollaback! Philly has announced more speakers for their upcoming speaker series on human sex trafficking of domestic girls with various experts from across the country. Lynly S. Egyes, Esq., a Senior Staff Attorney with the Sex Workers Project in New York, will be talking about victims of human trafficking with a focus on the marginalization of LGBT victims. Sarah Deer, member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, and Jennifer Gentile Long, Director of AEquitas: The Prosecutors’ Resource on Violence Against Women, will also be speaking.
Hollaback! Polska was on the national radio last Saturday for an interview about the Hollaback! organization.
Great work, HOLLAs!
HOLLA and out!
- The Hollaback Team
I’ve been in Morocco for 3.5 days now, traveling with my 60-year-old godparents and usually a Moroccan guide walking through these cities. Even with this group around me, I could not possibly count the number of times men have blatantly (and creepily) stared at me, called me “beautiful,” muttered “nice” under their breath as I walked past, yelled from a passing motorcycle, etc. One man standing outside a restaurant called over to me as I got out of a car, “I was born for you!” Today in Meknes a guy outside a restaurant whispered to me “ich liebe dich,” which means “I love you” in German. This one, like many of them, was a restaurant worker trying to get customers to come in and eat and I’d like to think my refusing them service is an act of fighting back, but it’s not much. At least I’m not positively reinforcing their behavior. I wish I could single-handedly change the culture of street harassment in Morocco, but I guess I’ll settle for trying to at least make the occasional man feel uncomfortable after harassing me. I just have to start trying to say something when it happens.
Men along the sidewalk lined up, drinking in public. Said obnoxious things- compliments meant to intimidate, not flatter.
This week, our Executive Director, Emily May, was named an Ashoka Fellow!! Such a great honor. Check out this awesome video introducing her as an Ashoka Fellow, talking about Hollaback! and our work to end street harassment. Congrats Emily!! Also, Hollaback! launched the FIRST EVER Educator’s Guide to Street Harassment. The guide is geared toward teachers, guidance counselors, parents and other educators in New York City who want to address the issue of street harassment amongst middle and high school aged students. Alongside the release, our Deputy Director, Debjani Roy, wrote an article on Huffington Post titled “When Was the First Time You Were Harassed?”.
Here’s what the HOLLAs around the world have been up to:
Hollaback! Appalachian Ohio gave four 45-minute workshops to twenty-seven 8th graders at Vinton Middle School on consent, deconstructing rape culture, gender stereotypes, and bystander intervention. Also, they will be holding a workshop today titled Geography of Street Harassment on the Female Body. Hollabackers Nancy Gomez and Priyanka Kazi will be exploring the relationship between personal experiences of street harassment and the public spaces in which these unwelcome encounters take place. Finally, today they will be distributing the empowering self-love Valentines (pictured above) that they created last week across Athens for students. Feel the HOLLA love!
Hollaback! Des Moines had a special Monthly Meetup this week where they were joined by representatives from One Iowa to discuss health care needs of LGBTQ folks in the Des Moines area. They have meetups on the second Tuesday of every month. Make sure to check out the next one in March! The will also be participating in the second annual V-Day One Billion Rising flash mob with One Billion Rising DSM and Kees Camp TODAY in the downtown skywalks!
Hollaback! Melbourne has a new home! Thanks to generous sponsorship, their office will now be located at The Electron Workshop in North Melbourne. The Electron Workshop is an inclusive and accessible co-working space in North Melbourne, with an emphasis on openness, collaboration, and building mutually beneficial relationships. They have a commitment to supporting women in business and are a welcoming and safe space. Congrats!
Hollaback! Philly has announced the presenters for their upcoming speaker series on human sex trafficking of domestic girls with various experts from across the country. Speakers include John O’Neill (a homicide prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office), Tina Frundt (survivor of human trafficking, Frederick Douglass Award winner, and founder of Courtney’s House), and Dr. Mary Anne Layden (psychotherapist and Director of Education at the Center for Cognitive Therapy at the University of PA). O’Neill’s talk, entitled ”How They Got There: dispelling myths about prostitution and sex trafficking”, will clarify the very engrained myths about prostitution and human trafficking. She will be speaking about her experiences with trafficking, both at the survivor and service provider levels. Frundt will be speaking about her experiences with trafficking, both at the survivor and service provider levels. Finally, Layden’s talk will focus on the beliefs surrounding male sexual demand and their contribution to the commercial sexual exploitation of sex trafficking in the United States. This series sounds amazing!!
Super exciting things happening in the HOLLA world! Til next week-
HOLLA and out!
- The Hollaback! Team
Harassment also happens to older women who walk. This has happened more than once in Rockville. I have been out walking because I do not drive and I choose not to take the bus. People driving by yell at me because I am walking (and wearing a hat). They yell “hey, I like your hat” and the like. It makes me angry because I am just going about my business. Once it even happened right by my workplace. I don’t know what to do.
When I was thirteen, I was taking the city’s metro back home. A man, far older than me, came and sat by me. He started to talk to me and told me I was too “sexy” to be that young. As I stood up to get off at my stop, he tried to block my path and trap me in the seat. Another passenger pulled him out of my way. I was so scared I ran all the way home, and didn’t tell my parents because I blamed myself for dressing a certain way. Without that man pulling him out of my way, who knows what could have happened?
The first time I was harassed, I was seven, sitting in a movie theater, watching a kids’ movie. A man came and sat-down next to me. He put his hand on my seat and spread his fingers open, trying to touch me as I squeezed over as far to my left as I could get without leaving my seat. (Changing seats never occurred to me; I was a shy child.) Maybe the creepiest part of the whole creepy thing is that as he left, he dropped three dollars into my popcorn, which was quite a bit for a kid in 1958. I was so innocent, I was totally bewildered.
An interesting footnote is that I was groped again in a movie theater, in Denver, CO, when I was in my late twenties. The man behind me put his hand through the space between the chairs and touched me on the breast. I chased him out of the theater but gave it up when he ran out the door.
I was fourteen, waiting with a friend by the school crossing. The streets were not so crowded, and there were other students from my high school there. A man came up to me, grabbed my hand and tried to kiss me. He was a stranger, and old and I was so embarrassed. Needless to say, I just shoved him and ran like there was no tomorrow. The worst part about it though, was that I felt like it had been my fault. I was standing in the wrong place, at the wrong time. That maybe, I should’ve just gone home instead of talk to my friend.
I’m happy I don’t feel like that any more.