demonstration

Helen’s Story: “No one deserves to be touched”

Was out for a run in the neighborhood where I grew up while visiting for a family reunion. A kid on a bicycle rode past me a couple of times. I noted that he was probably around 15 and had just gotten out of school that afternoon. The third pass he made from behind me, reached out and did what I now term the “ass slap/grab”. I had my ipod shuffle on so I did not hear him ride up from behind. It startled me and I heard myself scream, he then sped off super fast. I gathered from that, that he knew he was doing something he shouldn’t have. Later on that evening my step-mother and her daughter saw him again cycling around the area. My step-mom said she thought he was much older than what I had described. She saw him up closer than I did, they were in a car. My family was upset and sorry that something like this could have happened. I watched for him the rest of the weekend and chose to run elsewhere. I was furious. This is assault and no one deserves to be touched/slapped/hit/grabbed by a person unknown to them. I felt like I could feel the place on my buttocks for hours after it happened. It scared me. Although I was not hurt I did feel violated to some degree. I wish I had reported the incident. Thanks for letting me vent!!! Great website!!!

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demonstration

Helen’s story: I felt violated

Was out for a run in the neighborhood where I grew up while visiting for a family reunion. A kid on a bicycle rode past me a couple of times. I noted that he was probably around 15 and had just gotten out of school that afternoon. The third pass he made from behind me, reached out and did what I now term the “ass slap/grab”. I had my ipod shuffle on so I did not hear him ride up from behind. It startled me and I heard myself scream, he then sped off super fast. I gathered from that, that he knew he was doing something he shouldn’t have. Later on that evening my step-mother and her daughter saw him again cycling around the area. My step-mom said she thought he was much older than what I had described. She saw him up closer than I did, they were in a car. My family was upset and sorry that something like this could have happened. I watched for him the rest of the weekend and chose to run elsewhere. I was furious. This is assault and no one deserves to be touched/slapped/hit/grabbed by a person unknown to them. I felt like I could feel the place on my buttocks for hours after it happened. It scared me. Although I was not hurt I did feel violated to some degree. I wish I had reported the incident. Thanks for letting me vent!!! Great website!!!

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demonstration

Sarah’s Story: Harassed while reading

I was sitting on a ledge reading a book and waiting for a ride back to my home. While I was reading, I heard someone whistle, and I looked up to see where it came from and why. As I looked up, I saw a car driving by, and the man inside the car was driving slowly by me, and shaking his penis back and forth. I was shocked and didn’t think to write down his license plate or anything, but all I could do was sit there with my jaw dropped and eventually flicked him off. Shortly after he passed through, there were a few cops around, and all I could think was why weren’t they there just a few minutes earlier. I sat with my pepper spray in my hands the rest of the hour long wait, and the man never came back through.

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demonstration

KJ’s Story: “You are not entitled to my body”

Ugh I know you’re the one who should be ashamed, but instead I’m left feeling ashamed for wearing a less-than-modest dress. You may have thought you were ‘just’ complimenting me, that it was ‘no big deal’ to leer at me and yell, “Mmm mmm mmmm! Girl, you flaunt it!” And to keep yelling at me when I was clearly trying to get away from you?! I even went as far as hiding behind a wall. I’m embarrassed I didn’t just tell you to go f*ck yourself, I hope I can when a similar situation unfortunately happens again. You are not entitled to my body. No one is.

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demonstration

TR’s Story: Yuck

I was walking along the street and moved to the side to let a man pass. Instead of also moving to the side so I could pass, this man moved closer. As we passed one another on the side walk, he felt up my hip briefly. Yuck. I felt so gross after.

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demonstration

Melissa N.’s Story: “He turned it into something disgusting and cringe-worthy”

This incident occurred last Friday. I was walking home from the library and was just passing the middle school in my neighborhood. A middle aged man in a red shirt was walking on the sidewalk in the opposite direction as me. I thought nothing of it, he looked like he could be picking up his kid at the middle school. As he passed me, I heard him muttering something under his breath which sounded like “slut”. I froze for a second as he continued walking then turned around and said “what did you just say to me?” in an incredulous tone of voice. He said “‘Mamacita’. Do you know what that means?” Completely disgusted, I turned back around and shouted “Creeper!” and continued walking. I wish I had been louder; I wish I had been more confident in my confrontation of his behavior. I had worn my favorite purple polka dot miniskirt in order to feel better about my horrible day and he turned it into something disgusting and cringe-worthy.
Thanks for existing, Hollaback- I can’t even begin to tell you how much better I feel having written this knowing it will be read by people who understand.

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demonstration

JB’s Story: “Welcome home”

I just got back to the US after spending three months abroad in South Korea and Japan. I was very excited to spend a week visiting LA for the first time before I return to my hometown on the east coast. Today is my first day back in the states, and I decided to go for a walk to check out the area. Ten minutes after I stepped out the door, a guy waiting at a red light yelled “Slut!” at me out of his car window. As I continued walking, three more cars with men in them honked at me or slowed down to leer out the window. This isn’t a bad neighborhood, but now I feel somewhat uncomfortable walking around by myself. My first reaction was surprise because I didn’t have any experiences like this while in Asia-not that sexual harassment doesn’t happen there, but I always felt very safe walking alone, even at night. Most women I spoke with there felt the same way. I had been back in my own country for less than 24 hours when this happened. It feels like this is just America’s way of saying “Welcome home.”

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demonstration

Sophie’s Story: Frightening

I was walking home from the bus stop this morning, and all day I had been stared at and honked at by men in cars, and I’d just about had enough.  I was only wearing a long sleeve top and a skirt!  Anyway, so I was walking along my street which is a main road, and this guy honked at me and shouted something out.  I thought nothing of it.  And then, just as I was about to walk into my house, the guy pulled up beside me and started speaking to me.  There was another guy in the car as well but he looked more awkward and I could tell he didn’t like what this other guy was doing.  He said I looked familiar and asked what my name was and where I went to school. I only gave him brief information, but it was still a bit confronting.  He then asked me how old I was, and I told him my real age, thinking he’d go away because I was way too young for him.  But he kept talking, and eventually asked me for my number.  That was the line. There was no way I was going to even consider handing out my phone number to this creep, he looked about 10 or 15 years older than me!  So I said no and walked off, past my house so he couldn’t follow me, and then some other guy honked at me as well!  By this time I was really fed up and upset, so I went around the corner to a park, and burst into tears.  It was one of the most confronting and upsetting moments of my life.

This sort of thing happens to me too often, and I’m so sick of it, knowing that there are horrible men out there is really frightening.

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demonstration

Casey’s Story: “You have no right to touch me”

As I wad drunkenly leaving Turtle Bay bar, this dude appears next to me, touches my leg and goes “I love you you’re beautiful.”
Dude, F*CK OFF. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO TOUCH ME. ALSO YOU HAVE ZERO CHANCE WITH ME. EVEN IF I WERE STRAIGHT. WHICH I’M NOT. I’M GAY AS F*CK. F*CK YOU VERY MUCH.

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demonstration

Cristy’s Story: Objectification

I’m a receptionist at a car dealership. I’m also a book-artist, and I often bring small-scale pieces to my job with me so that I can work on them/fiddle with them in my free time. Today I brought a nice little Coptic-stitched number which I’ve been using as a journal and sketchbook. One of my male coworkers came up to my desk and began to admire it. I allowed it. He opened it up — and asked if he could ‘write me a poem’.

I said sure. This man had made sexualized comments toward me before, in passing — but I thought, ‘surely this guy won’t have the audacity to write something inappropriate in there, while I’m at work. Surely, surely, he isn’t so stupid.’ Welp, I was wrong.

The title of his poem was “Attraction”, and here is how it went:

Attraction
Disturbing yet Alluring
Hot yet dampened by
the look of wet innocence
if only the conversation
could breathe to life into
this daydream

I wrote him a poem in return; titled it “Objectification”:

Objectification
Ain’t no daydream
for the woman
on the receiving end of it.

We hate that shit
More than anything else
in the world.

Believe it.

He was taken aback, and he said that I’d taken the poem ‘the wrong way’. I said ‘I took it like you wrote it.’ And then, we had a conversation about workplace etiquette and the objectification of women. Wasn’t an easy conversation – it made me shake with nerves! But it was EXTREMELY FULFILLING. THANK YOU, hollaback.

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