Hollaback! Baltimore Interviews Hollaback! Brussels

Check out Hollaback! Baltimore chatting with Hollaback Brussels about the revolution, launching and taking back the streets one story at a time.

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Hollaback! Buenos Aires, AnyBody Argentina & Adios Barbie Stand Unified in Rejecting the New Practice of Digital Harassment

By Inti Maria Tidball-Binz & Ju Santarosa  of Hollaback! Buenos Aires & Sharon Haywood of Adios Barbie & AnyBody Argentina

Read this post on Adios Barbie with an introduction from Sharon Haywood, here

Every day, as women, we walk the streets, travel to work, visit our families, go out with friends, do our shopping, always knowing there is a possibility that they’ll catcall us, lean up against us/cop a feel in the subway, or follow us. Furthermore, knowing the reality of human trafficking, many of us live with the fear of being abducted off the street. If we have children, we project these fears to our daughters, who are exposed to the same reality.

Today the possibility exists that a stranger can anonymously take a picture of us and then upload it on the Internet for anyone to measure our physical attractiveness. Chicas Bondi, an Argentine Facebook page with the motto, “without posing and without permission,” exploits images of anonymous women for self-promotion. Taken secretly on local transportation, the images of these women, who could be identified by their dress and route of travel (which is also published), are subject to the gaze of thousands. In the context of a lascivious gaze, these women are exposed to a greater risk of harassment and stalking, which can be especially problematic for women who are suffering in or trying to escape violent relationships.

Chicas Bondi promotes this practice among its fans, encouraging them to upload their own photos, creating a culture of digital harassment. The feeling of being photographed in secret, or to discover your own image on Facebook can be extremely unpleasant, as one “chica bondi” described on Facebook: “Well, when I saw that I was in a posted photo, it scared me… and then afterwards, blah! But maybe there isn’t the need to post these photos online… I feel like I’m in a catalog for rapists or other sick people. It was quite shocking…” As so often happens, the social pressure to accept what has happened is stronger than the sense of shock and fear these women may experience.

On Thursday, May 24, Hollaback! Buenos Aires along with several other feminists engaged in a long conversation with the creators of Chicas Bondi (who wish to remain anonymous) in order to discuss how their project was impacting women and society. We described the reality of how women are objectified every day in the streets, in addition to the social pressures to conform to one stereotype of beauty (young, white, thin, wealthy). We reported the page to Facebook, and encouraged our followers to do the same, in addition to having them voice their concerns directly to Chicas Bondi.

Part of the conversation between Hollaback! Buenos Aires and Chicas Bondi.


We ended up extending the following proposal: if the photographer asked women to offer up publication rights to Chicas Bondi before publication, women would then have the right to decide what is done with their own image, thus giving them autonomy over their own body. After a lengthy and indepth conversation with the owners of Chicas Bondi, they committed to asking women permission before publishing their photos, and in return, we agreed to withdraw our unified campaign against the page. We hope that they fulfill their promise and also apply the same measures in any other similar situations.








We have reached an agreement.











Chicas Bondi has promised to ask permission.

Informing our followers that reporting and criticizing the page was no longer necessary.

Prior to our negotiations, the page published a notice stating that if a woman requested her photo to be removed, Chicas Bondi would do so without issue. It’s important to highlight the difference between this measure and the act of asking permission before posting. Once a photo is in the public domain on the Net, it cannot be deleted; the moment a photo is published online, it can be easily copied and stored by anyone who wishes to save it. It is impossible to know who has a copy or where. Worth noting is that if the photos are posted on Facebook, the location and time of the photo are saved: “When you post things like photos or videos on Facebook, we may receive additional related data (or metadata), such as the time, date, and place you took the photo or video,” even though such data is not made public.

We want to stress the importance of this new measure, even though Chicas Bondi has made ​​it clear that they did not make this choice for us (“us” being Hollaback and all women), but that they have chosen to do so for themselves. Filmmakers have approached Chicas Bondi with a proposal that would require consent of the women featured in the project. Beyond their personal motivations, we do see this as a step forward. Through a joint dialogue and an exchange of ideas and perspectives we were able to achieve greater awareness of gender equality issues.

For the record, Hollaback! Buenos Aires, AnyBody Argentina, and Adios Barbie reject the idea behind the project: it is an expression of sexism which, under the excuse of being artistic, presents women as “decorative bodies” in the public eye, acting as a “things” to be commented on and judged. This is the same concept behind the problem of street harassment. We reject the commodification of the female body as an object existing for the enjoyment of others, to be enjoyed without the essential element of consent. This form of sexism presents women as objects destined to satisfy men, removing autonomy over their own person and body. Why does the photographer feel he has the right to take pictures of women he does not know and share it on the Internet without their consent? What entitles him to do so?

To justify the existence of Chicas Bondi, the owners originally cited the [Argentine] law 11.723, art. 31 which says: “Portraits are free to be published as they relate to scientific, educational and overall cultural ends, or if they relate to facts or events in the public interest or have occurred in public.” Hollaback! Buenos Aires contends that a woman cannot be treated as a “thing” in the public interest. A woman is not liable to be “owned.” We need to stop endorsing the macho concept that, in public life, a woman is public property, and therefore “arguable” at the whim of an observer. Women’s image in society will not change if we ourselves don’t actively take charge of our own integrity.

In our favor, Article 1071 bis of the [Argentine] Civil Code, in seeking the protection of the right to privacy, states: “Whoever arbitrarily interferes in the lives of others by posting pictures, humiliating others by broadcasting correspondence that reveals personal habits or feelings, or in any way disturbing their privacy, and if a criminal offense has not been committed, the offending party must cease such activities, and pay fair compensation to be fixed by the judge according to circumstances; also the aggrieved may order the publication of the judgment in a journal or newspaper.”

We believe that anonymously taking pictures of women and uploading them to the Internet is a violation of one’s right to privacy, and threatens the personal integrity of women photographed. In addition, this kind of behavior reinforces a sexist and backward-thinking society in which the image isn’t just defined by its appearance, it is also defined by the connotations behind the image. The message being sent is that the woman is an object, defined by her passive role, thus leaving her to be exploited or suffer a loss of autonomy.

While the underlying issues remain–the objectification of women, the underlying sexism in this practice, and the way we normalize the violation of women’s rights–at least now, those digitally-captured Argentine women have the right to basic consent. For our part, we will make every effort to monitor the page to ensure that no further breach to the privacy of women occurs.

You can find the original Spanish version at Hollaback! Buenos Aires.





We’ve been working on the campus harassment campaign for over a year. We’ve met with over 50 college students, 20 administrators, and 10 different partners. We’ve written, and re-written our concept paper so many times we finally just had to stop and say: let’s do this. We brought it to funders, and like with everything we do, they said “that’s interesting” and “good luck” but no way are we funding that. It’s “risky” and “do people even know what campus harassment is?” Isn’t that the point, we wondered.

So we are doing what we’ve done before. We’re bringing it to you — our supporters — to let you tell us if you believe campus harassment is something worth solving. With 57% of students surveying saying that their #1 solution to this problem is an anonymous online platform, we’re guessing the answer is yes. But your donation will ultimately decide the fate of this program. So let us know what you think.

And here’s some updates:

Legislative Progress in Brussels! Our site leaders in Brussels are working with a local politician who will be meeting with the Education Minister this Friday to request a focus and investment on addressing street harassment in Brussels. We’ll keep you posted on their progress.

Bloggers, needed in Gwynedd! If you know someone, send them here! On Monday we had our first blogger team meeting at the headquarters — so expect many more exciting things to come.

In the Press! Hollaback! has popped up all over the press this week including The Poughkeepsie Journal, the Line Campaign, Duke University blog and even ESPNW.

Thanks for your support!

HOLLA and out —



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Why You Should Donate to Stop Campus Harassment


Stop Campus Harassment: Donate Today

For the past 15 years I have either volunteered at or been employed by agencies working to prevent violence against women. This work has always meant a lot to me, but my one constant source of frustration was never feeling like my colleagues and I could figure out how to leverage the power of online social networks and mobile technology to their full potentials – to engage people as successfully as other more tech-savvy causes. I knew it was possible to use these new tools to create a movement for tangible, positive change on this issue, but I couldn’t wrap my head around how to do it.

That was before I discovered Hollaback!. Let’s say my wife, Tara, is walking down to the coffee shop tonight and some jerk yells something at her about how he wants to “hit that.” Rather than only feel fear and have to “just deal” with it, she can also feel empowered as she activates her Hollaback! app. In just a few taps, it provides an easy way to briefly describe what just happened. Then her story gets instantly added to the repository of other Hollaback! moments for her city, and gets geo-tagged to a map. She can even take a photo of the location or the harasser if she feels safe enough to do it.

What’s the big deal about all of this? For one, when hundreds of women are able to do this, suddenly street harassment becomes more than just a bunch of disconnected incidents. Suddenly women realize that they’re not alone in having to “just deal with” this crap. And that’s a pretty big deal. What’s more, when all of these stories are collected and mapped, they become useful information for getting the attention of city governments, and can help police know where to keep an eye out. In short, Hollaback! is amazing.

Earlier this year I was asked to join the non-profit board of Hollaback!, and our goal for 2012 is to adapt and expand Hollaback! to college campuses. Earlier this week we launched a $25,000 campaign to help support this new effort. A donation from you, $10, $50, or even more would do an incredible amount of good in young people’s lives. We have the platform and expertise to implement this, but we need your help to organize the young leaders who will bring Hollaback! to their campuses.

Here’s a link to our campaign where you can also watch a video I put together about what we’re trying to do on campuses. Please consider donating today. Our past campaigns have been successful through donations of all sizes, so even a small amount can really help.

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21 Days to go: Irene’s story about campus harassment

Let’s bring Hollaback! to 10 college campuses over the next year! Take a minute to hear Irene’s campus harassment story and to donate here. We are in the second week of our campaign and have already raised $3,810 of our $25,000 goal! Donate today, every donation counts!

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Don’t Let History Repeat Itself: Stand With Tyler Clementi and Ellen Pao

Dharun Ravi

This week the news has exploded with stories of sexual harassment. On Monday, Dharun Ravi was sentenced after videotaping his college roommate Tyler Clementi having a sexual encounter with a man, and then outing him via instant messenger and twitter.

On Tuesday Ellen Pao brought a case against Kleiner Perkins and Caulfield & Buyers after facing sexual harassment and discrimination over a six year period. Both stories are testament to the fact that this behaviour is rooted deeply in the fabric of our culture, however, what is more chilling is how harassment filters from school, to college, to the workplace.

By allowing sexual harassment to persist on college campuses, we’re creating a pipeline for acceptance that bleeds into the workplace. In one case, the victim is a young gay man. In the other, the victim is a high-powered female executive. And yet neither of their experiences with sexual harassment is unique: 61% of men, like Tyler Clementi, have experienced sexual harassment on college campuses, and 25% of women experience sexual harassment in the workplace at some point in their career.

Too commonly harassment is disregarded as ‘kids being kids’ on campuses or ‘boys being boys’ in the workplace. And victims are oftentimes advised to ignore it because ‘it’s just a part of life.’ It shouldn’t take suicide or a high-powered investment firm to make society pay attention to sexual harassment. Had Clementi not killed himself, this ‘harmless childhood prank’ would most likely have been deemed ‘kids fooling around.’ And had Ellen Pao been a cashier at the grocery store, her story wouldn’t have made the headlines. Regardless, both reports demonstrate how when victims of harassment come forward to tell their stories — people listen.

The Hollaback! campaign against campus harassment is the first step to breaking the cycle of harassment. Harassment is at epidemic proportions. According to the AAUW, 51% of male students admit to harassing someone. If we do not address the culture of bullying in college then students will continue to harass throughout their lives and in the workplace and the victims will continue to accept it as ‘just a part of life.’

The good news is, there is a solution. In a survey, 57% of students said that to cope with sexual harassment, they wanted an anonymous online reporting platform with resources. At Hollaback!, that’s what we do best. But we need your help. We’re raising $25,000 to customize our platform that has been used in 50 cities in 17 countries to address campus harassment, too. If we’re successful, we’ll bring Hollaback! to 10 college campuses within the year. And that’s just a start.  Soon, students everywhere will be able to report their harassment. And we can rest easier knowing that we’re making the world just a little bit safer, and a little bit better, for everyone.

Stand with Tyler Clementi and Ellen Pao by donating today. With your support, we can give voice to countless victims of harassment.

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Campus Harassment Tales: Part 4

The Men Who Will Never Get Laid

It’s late and you’re tired. You didn’t want to go out tonight, but you lost the latest battle against peer pressure so here you are. You’re trying not to be cranky as your friend drags you down the street, rambling on about some boy that she has a crush on. It’s just past ten and you sigh, knowing that you have to stay out until at least midnight so as to not receive backlash from any of your girlfriends. You ask your friend where you’re headed.

“The frat house on the corner,” she says.

You groan and make a fuss, whining about how you are not in the mood to deal with vagina-hungry party boys.  She chuckles and rolls her eyes, mistaking your concern for humor. Nearly to the corner, you give yourself a pep-talk: just smile and stop being such a downer, this will be fi…You and some guy bump shoulders, and you’re thrown off track.  You turn around to apologize but before you can open your mouth to say anything, he looks you up and down saying,

“Damn girl, I’d lease you out for the night.”

It takes you a quick second to register what he has just said.   Your face flushes with anger, but before you have time to react, your friend yanks you away. You wonder how people can be so disrespectful. Your friends tell you to relax, that it was just some drunk guy being stupid. You tell them that, no, it’s not just some drunk guy—that it happens all the time and that you’re tired of being so passive about it and that nobody should  be able to talk to you like you’re some used up sex doll.

You realize that you’ve once again become the downer of the group; you decide not to care. Your friends pull you down the rest of the street to the house and as you’re about to walk up the stairs some guys stops you.

“Hey I’ve got some condoms in my wallet, let’s go.”

In all your sophistication and glory, you smile and politely tell him to go fuck himself.

Megan is majoring in Women and Gender Studies with a minor in Philosophy. She has a fearless passion for helping people and is dedicated to revealing the harassment that occurs on campus and on the street every day in New Brunswick.


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Article, demonstration

Maggie’s story: Reason #98234578 to fund our campaign to end campus harassment

To learn more about our efforts to address campus harassment and to join our campaign, click here.

Yesterday (5/22/12), I was waiting to cross the street around 7:30 pm. I was minding my own business, looking forward to a pleasant evening stroll on campus. Out of nowhere, this asshole in a green Toyota Tacoma drives by shouts out the window that he wants to do obscene things to my breasts. I won’t bother repeating what he said verbatim because it’s disgusting. It made me feel so angry and violated. It’s not the first time I’ve gotten stares or comments because I happen to be a big-chested girl. I wish he could have thought his actions through. I wonder what he would feel like if someone else did the same thing to his mother, sister, daughter, niece, girlfriend, etc.

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Professor Kitty sez:

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Campus Harassment Tales: Part 3

The Man Who Has No Manners


You’re walking quickly, because you’re running late for class. Past the flower shop, past the convenience store where you buy your eggs, past the shady bar on the corner that you know you’ll never go to; all these things you don’t notice, because you’re in a hurry. You’re frantic, because this will be the third time you’ve shown up late to that class and all you can think of is how you’re going to be late, going to be late, going to be so god damn late.

“Hey you!”

You look up, startled out of your trance. There’s a tall, thin man working on his car at the side of the street looking in your direction. You realize he’s talking to you. You walk by, not acknowledging his glances. He yells after you,

“Heyyo! Com’ here! Hey, hey you know I’ve fucked girls uglier than you, damn I’d totally fuck you right now. Come back here girl! C’mon, come back!”

His words are harsh and shocking against the background of the quiet street. Your heart thumps wildly inside your chest, heat rising to your face. You want to yell back, but nothing comes out when you open your mouth. Fuming, you keep walking, forcing your thoughts to fall back onto your upcoming class and inevitable tardiness.

Megan is majoring in Women and Gender Studies with a minor in Philosophy. She has a fearless passion for helping people and is dedicated to revealing the harassment that occurs on campus and on the street every day in New Brunswick.

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