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HOLLA ON THE GO: #bestcomebackever

I was walking down the street to my car after one of my shifts at work, straight-faced, focused on getting to my car safely with pepper spray in hand. “Why don’t you smile?” I heard it and immediately turned red with rage. His buddies laughed. I kept my paced, looked over my shoulder, yelled “that was sexist bullshit!” and spent the rest of the night angry at him, the comment, and myself becaused I wished I would have confronted him and his buddies face to face.

 

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12+

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New submission from Ariel Boone

These clever guys in my DC neighborhood use this adorable pickup gimmick when I bike home after work: they slow their car, make comments about my body, and even stop traffic to “cheer me on” as I slowly bike uphill. What would I do without their compliments and attention each day? Street harassment is the BEST. So far, three different cars have done this – one was a group of young college-age men, and the other two have been individuals. Tonight was a man who actually pulled over to wait for me after following me side-by-side for a block as I bicycled uphill, stopping traffic and making me worried I’d get followed. Luckily, people started honking and he drove away, but I was worried he’d catch me later on in my commute. I wish him a thousand flat tires.

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15+

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Amber’s story: followed in St. Paul

I was walking back to work throught the skyway in downtown St. Paul. A man started walking close to me and making disgusting and perverted comments about my body. I gave him a stern look and he then became more aggressive. He said “how am I not supposed to say anything to you”. He followed me and continued to make comments. I then looked at him and said “you are being disrespectful. Leave me alone”. He continued to make comments and follow me for a short while, but then left. There were other people around and no one said anything. I then had to either get into an elevator or climb a set of stairs to get back to my office and I was afraid.

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13+

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HOLLA ON THE GO: Two against one.

Two men told me I smelled good.

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HOLLA ON THE GO: the “compliment”

Just the normal “compliment” not meant as a compliment. Makes me feel like shit.

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Andrea’s story: So much for security.

I passed by the hired security guards daily because their desk is directly across from the elevators at my university. One guard (who I’ve never spoken to) would make me feel uncomfortable because he would stare at me as I waited for the doors to close. I often tried to look busy so I didn’t have to make eye contact with him. I was leaving campus one day and he FOLLOWED ME through the lobby, out the door and into the parking lot. I didn’t notice until he caught up to me and stopped to ask me, “what’s your name?”… Really? A security guard was following me through the parking lot? After that, I took the stairs to 8th floor so that I didn’t have to see him. The next year I found out he was fired for harassing other female students.

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12+

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Andrea’s story: Can’t even go to grocery store without harassment.

I’m verbally harassed in public at least twice a month. The latest I can remember was when I was in the grocery store at night, alone, passing by a man who was obviously checking me out while he was on the phone asking his wife or girlfriend which kind of frozen waffles to buy. He passed by me in a different isle as he was walking to the checkout line and said, “girl, I could eat you up like chocolate”. Who says this stuff?!?! Situations like this happen to me so many times I feel like all I can do is pretend I didn’t hear them. Even then I’m called names for not engaging in conversations with them. I shouldn’t need a boyfriend with me to not be harassed at the grocery store.

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15+

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Emma’s story: It’s not OK.

I was 15 and I was on the TTC Dufferin bus when a man sat down beside me. It wasn’t very crowded, but he still sat right next to me. The man pulled his backpack over his chest and lap. After a few minutes, I felt his hand brush my side. I mumbled “excuse me”, and shuffled a bit to the side. He shuffled closer and slowly started grabbing my side. I got up quickly and rang the request stop bell, even though I was still several stops away. He muttered a soft, “sorry” and I was too scared to say anything except “It’s okay”.

I wish I’d been brave enough to tell him it’s not okay. It’s not okay to touch a woman against her will. It’s especially not okay to touch a woman against her will when you’re 20 years older and she’s a teenager.

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15+

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A Week in Our Shoes

Week in Our Shoes: Chalkers and Walkers

Dear HOLLAbackers –

I am writing you from sunny Long Beach on a layover. It’s sunny, 72, and I’m sitting outdoors. I’m pretty sure this is the best layover of my life.

We are coming up on International Anti-Street Harassment Week. This upcoming week, April 7-April 13, Hollaback! sites all over the world will be chalk walking, rallying, marching, crafting, and hosting all sorts of events. Tell what action you’re taking on twitter (@ihollaback) and we’ll retweet it to promote it!

NEWS FROM THE MOTHERSHIP:

  • Utah State University and Stanford! I spoke at both this week. Next week, I’m moderating a panel at the Youth, Tech, Health conference in San Francisco.
  • Legislators! I met with staffers from Councilmembers Jackson, Lander, Lappin and Dickens offices this week about how they can address street harassment in their communities.
  • Book! I’m part of a new book called How Will You Create Positive Change! The book is by a young woman named Leah Oviedo who interviewed 16 people who are making positive changes in their communities. You can read it for FREE online,

 

NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD:

  • Hollaback Belfast, our brand new site, has its first radio interview this evening with BBC!! Hollas will talk about the launch of their new site and get the word out about Hollaback! Way to go Belfast!
  • Hollaback! Philly‘s new anti-street harassment ads went up in the SEPTA trains this week! Thanks to the team, Philadelphia commuters can learn about street harassment and their right to feel safe on their way to work.phillyads
  • Hollaback! Boston is doing some incredible work for Sexual Assault Awareness Week! This past monday, the hollas hosted an Anti-Street Harassment Workshop at BU, discussing the meaning of street harassment and how it affects LGBTQ folks and people of color. The site then lead a chalkwalk on thursday with Voices for Choice.
  • Hollaback! Berlin is still collecting music for the “Cats against Catcalling” Compilation! Hollas are working hard with Riot Grrrl to compile their 6th compilation! You can submit here.
  • Hollaback! Buenos Aires is raising awareness on their site regarding forms of sexual harassment such as stalking and non-consensual picture-taking. Hollas also recently played an important role in a Reflection Group on street harassment.
  • Hollaback! Fredericksburg is getting ready for Anti-Street Harassment Week. Hollas are kicking off the week in a big way this Sunday with their anti-street harassment chalking event!
  • Hollaback! Brussels is joining the “My Choice Not Yours” campaign! The project was started by inspirational female fashiondesigner, Rachida Aziz. Hollas have just signed the charter and are participating all the way with this project! The team is also hosting a free self-defense workshop on April 20.
  • Hollaback! Gent is organizing SIX chalk walks for Anti-Street Harassment week next week. Monday April 8, Hollas will launch a six-day marathon of chalk walks all over Gent! Stay tuned for pictures and stories!
  • Hollaback! Desmoines interviewed cartoonist Kate Leth! Kate is a webcomic artist, cartoonist, and illustrator based in Halifax, using her creative work to raise awareness about street harassment. Read the full interview here. The team is also getting ready for their chalk walk next week!
  • Hollaback! Ottawa welcomes Lisane Thirsk to the team! Lisane did her Masters research on street harassment with Hollaback! Mexico Df and will now be working as Ottawa’s new Policy & Research Officer! Welcome, Lisane! Hollaback! Ottawa is getting ready for their chalkwSELFdefenseHollaGarance2013-1alk next Monday April 8. AND, in partnership with WISE: Women’s Initiatives for Safer Environments, the team is organizing a community dialogue on public transit safety called Talking Back! The free event will take place in May. Holla’s are hoping it will be a space for people to share their stories and for the community to come together to brainstorm solutions.
  • Hollaback! Czech boldy hollas back at a longstanding Czech Easter tradition. In this week’s post titled, “No, Sweetie, You Can’t Hit Women and I Don’t Care If It’s Easter!”, the team calls attention to the widely accepted Easter tradition of whacking women in the behind as being sexist in nature. Definitely worth a read!
  • Hollaback! Sheffield is preparing an amazing series of events for International Anti-Street Harassment Week. The team will be kicking off the week with a discussion and workshop with the Sheffield Feminist Network where the group will be exploring experiences and reactions to street harassment. Hollas will then host their Craftivism workshop and a Zine-making workshop on tuesday and wednesday.
  • Hollaback! Bmore blogger Rebecca Evans has two great posts up this week. The first is an eloquent discussion of the Steubbenville trial and media coverage. The second gives us a new perspective on recent feminist critique of pop sensation Beyonce. Read away, hollas!
  • Hollaback! RVA guest blogger Afton Bradley wrote an awesome blog this week on the proposed law in Arizona which promotes discrimination of trans folks when it comes to using restrooms. An important issue for sure, definitely worth a good read.

Thanks for all your support — and keep on holla’ing back!

Emily

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HOLLA ON THE GO: transphobia

Boston university students verbally harassed me. I am a trans girl and they were making fun if my Halloween costume calling me, “he and him.” They said I looked like Gene Simmons of KISS.

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