Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Berkeley, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia MO, Columbus, Des Moines, Durham & Chapel Hill, East Lansing, Fredericksburgh VA, Houston, Los Angeles, Muncie IN, New York City, NYU, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Plattsburgh, Richmond VA, San Francisco, Tucson, Twin Cities
About 1PM I got off the bus and began to walk home with my groceries. A car with at least 2 men slowed down, and yelled that they wanted to give me a ride. I avoided eye contact, and waived them off. Offers for rides are especially upsetting, because of the implied threat: that they want to get me in a situation where I am not in control of where I go or what happens to me.
About 9AM, I crossed the street as two men crossed in the opposite direction. As they passed, I avoided eye contact. One said “good morning, sister,” and I ignored it. He said hello again. When he realized that I was not going to respond, he yelled a veiled threat: “Don’t trip on the curb.” I hate these situations because they frequently end with a threatening comment, and I’m afraid that one day I’ll be physically assaulted because they think they’ve been insulted.
Hi. My name is Melissa, I am a transsexual woman, and I wrote my story here to Hollaback! on April 16th, 2011.
I just wanted to share that my story is improving. Since I live in a large suburb, people have come to know me. I have socialized with alot of the neighbors where I walk and run, and I socialize at the places I go. I find that talking to people helps bring me out of the street harassment I was experiencing, and still experience. Yesterday I was finishing a walk and I noticed out of the corner of my eye that a vehicle was exiting its parking space very slowly. I knew it was not a conflict with me and I could tell that it was not in conflict with anyone else, so, immediately I looked inside, and there was a man driving and he was staring at me. He moved his car very slowly and watched me as I walked by. It was creepy and disappointing. So, the harassment is still there, but I feel more positive, and an experience like that, I just brush off. I have had far more scary experiences, like a man following me in his oversize, raised-wheel white pickup truck. He singled me out and followed me in my car for at least a mile to my destination, waiting in the parking lot of the place I was going, and then followed me back almost to my home. We got separated at a light, and I later used the separation to get away from him. I arrived home safely.
I experience these things less now than I did when I wrote in 2011. They are fewer and farther between. I am not sure if it is because I make smarter choices, or because I feel more positive, or if it is because the world around me has changed just enough that people don’t bother me as much. I really don’t know. I do feel better, though.
I cannot imagine living in a city. Reading some of the stories here, I would feel very uncomfortable and very vulnerable in a city. People say a place like New York City you can be whomever you want, but my guess is that the people would eat me alive.
I have had the experience, since writing, of a young man stopping me on the street and shouting at me. I just talked back. I have also had the experience of a very edgy, scary young man shouting at me from across the street. I shouted back. I never saw him again. I have also shared some of these experiences with people where I live and they have shared experiences with me that they have had over the years and so it goes..
I officially changed my name to Melissa about three weeks ago, and have completed every facet of transition that I am capable. I look better than I ever have looked, I feel better than I have felt over the past several years and I am very grateful for your website because I think it should be possible to (dare I say it) – walk down the street without getting harassed.
A few weeks ago, a car full of men followed my car for 15 minutes in stop and go traffic. I didn’t think to snap a pic, so last night when the same thing happened, I got this. This car had 3 men in it with a woman driving. They stared at me while at a red light, then started screaming at me and holding up pictures of women in lingerie or less.
A middle-age man yelled something at me while I had my headphones on walking into work. When I looked around to see who was yelling, he leaned on his cane and nodded his head creepily at me like, “Yeah, I said it.” I mentioned it to the security guard and he said they knew exactly who it was and had been having issues with him and told another guard to say something to him about not yelling at people.
A guy was laying on a table during rehearsal. As a girl walked by him, he grabbed her breast. She slapped him and asked him why he did it. He replied: “if you’re gonna put them near me, I’m going to grab them.” He also got yelled at by another girl for doing something different. He then walked by her and pushed her very aggressively.
So I was walking downtown Toronto today back from a workshop and was cat-called. But it felt like more than that. Picture this, I’m walking down the street and some guy stops his bike just in front of where I’m walking but on the road (I’m on the sidewalk) and not only catcalls me but also proceeds to whisper in a really creepy serial killer in the movies kind of way. Ugh!
I was on an expense paid trip with a school group, and as we walked back to our hotel a man approached my roommate. He started to come on to her and put his arm around her waist. When a chaperone and I yelled at him, he did not stop. He was with a group of friends that did nothing but watched as he harassed my friend. He followed us nearly all the way to the hotel until another chaperone confronted him. I was outraged by the blatant disrespect and entitlement that the guy showed.
Help young people around the world lead the way for the next generation to live without fear of harassment in public spaces.
Why we care: Street harassment–ranging from comments like “You’d look good on me” to groping, flashing and assault–is a daily, global reality for many girls and women and fuels a cultural environment that condones gender-based violence.
How we’re solving this: Uniting a network of leaders from 25 countries in New York City to establish a global strategy to end street harassment.
Hollaback! will host HOLLA::Revolution, an international conference to establish a global strategy to disrupt the normalization of street harassment, in New York City this July. The conference will bring together 250 leaders, who have been trained by Hollaback! to fight street harassment in their local communities.
Hollaback! has trained young leaders—who come from 62 cities and 25 countries—to build skills in on-the-ground activism and digital storytelling to create powerful change. Collectively, they have performed more than 25 research projects, met with 150 legislators, collected 4,000 stories, trained more than 2,500 people, held 50 rallies and walks, spoken with more than 750 media outlets, and brought the issue of street harassment into the limelight in their communities and on-line. But the power of the Internet only extends so far.
HOLLA::Revolution will have two parts:
We aim to create the next generation of feminist leaders, to develop a global agenda to end street harassment and to build the community support necessary for the movement’s long-term success. From California to Mumbai and London to South Africa, help us put an end, once and for all, to street harassment.