Athens GA, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia MO, Columbus, Denver, Des Moines, Duke University, NC, Durham & Chapel Hill, East Lansing, Flagstaff, AZ, Houston, Iowa City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Lubbock TX, Manhattan KS, Muncie IN, New Orleans, New York City, Oneonta, Pittsburgh, Plattsburgh, Providence, Richmond VA, San Fernando Valley, San Francisco, Twin Cities, West Georgia (University)
I’ve been grabbed full frontal in the crotch in a nightclub and at a carnival – where the men could get away quickly and disappear into the crowds afterwards. I felt so angry and powerless, but also disturbed – it was so intrusive that both times it felt like it could be a warm up for something even more sinister.
The graduation presents my father bought me and my sister when we went out on our own we’re powerful Tazers. I remember him looking at them before we left, trying to find the most practical ones. He messages each of us constantly to assure that we are carrying them, they also work as flashlights, one night I was terrified when I was pressed to use it on another individual.
A coworker of mine, we’ll say her name is Stacy, had told me about a weird man who came into our retail store one Saturday night, he came in when she was trying to close and was asking her odd questions. We didn’t think much of it and, subsequently, brushed it off. That following Wednesday, I got a call from a man who was looking to speak to her. He mentioned that he had been in that weekend and was supposed to call her back to discuss a few things.
When I brought this up to my coworker, she said that she didn’t talk to anyone at that length but the man and that they didn’t agree to speak again.
Just at that moment, with both of us looking confused at the phone, he called. I answered and attempted to prove him for information. What gave him the assumption that she wanted him to call? He simply kept insisting that they had ‘important’ things to discuss. According to Stacy, they had nothing to discuss. I hung up the phone on him and thought that would be the end of it.
The week after that, I was closing on a Saturday night by myself as we often do. I was cleaning something, in the front of the store which is just a wall of windows. It was only ten minutes before I had to lock the door when I saw a car pull slowly by my store. There was a man, driving alone in a car marked with Colorado license plates. He crept by, his eyes searching for something or someone. As he walked slowly up to the windows in the store, I didn’t have that tazer in my work apron and, even if I had, I would have felt fear-stricken regardless. He didn’t enter the store. He started from one end of the windows and slowly worked his way down to me. I knew at that point that something was going on. So, when he made eye-contact with me and smiled I felt like I was going to cry. I was absolutely paralyzed.
He looked similar in appearance to the man Stacy saw just a couple weeks before. I didn’t feel safe enough to take out my phone for a picture, however. I stood and hoped that he wouldn’t enter the store. I couldn’t lock the door either, I was afraid that it also may be someone important, like a health inspector. He man walked away from my store like he had been caught and just stood in front of the store next to mine. He stood there like he was thinking of his next plan of action.
Now, I was watching him very closely. So, when he quickly turned towards me and walked briskly to the still unlocked door, I physically jumped. The man opened the door, and spoke to me as if our whole exchange wasn’t filled with his off putting actions.
“So, where is a good place to get some food around here?” He spoke to me as if we had been talking before. I told him the first restaurant that I could think of, to get him out of there. The whole time he was looking at me, I felt violated and defensive, ready to pick up any object and defend myself. He also looked oddly disappointed. He left out the door after I gave him a recommendation. The man then proceeded to walk to his car, the only one in the parking lot, and entered through his passenger door. I continued to work. I swept and mopped and counted my drawer all in the period of which he was sitting in his car, alone. I. The seat closest to me.
When I went into our employee area to grab my things, I held my electrical flashlight in my hand, ready once again. The man’s car was not in front anymore and there seemed to be no other humans in sight. I walked frantically to my car and didn’t feel safe even when I reached my home.
I called Stacy and explained to her what the man looked like. She was positive that it was the same man, even down to his tie-die shirt labeled with a festival that happens in the area.
I told my boyfriend of my concerns about what happened. He starting asking me so many questions. “Why didn’t you call security? Why didn’t you lock the door when you saw him? Is she sure that it is the same guy?” The answer to all of his questions was silence form me. I realized that because we had no physical proof, people brushed it off on us being paranoid.
Now, the next week, this week, is when I had another Saturday closing shift. I locked the door early that night when no one was in the lot, just to be safe. As I was sweeping, I heard the roar of a motorcycle. I lifted my head only to see a similar looking man creeping by my store’s giant windows. His plates were also from Colorado. He made eye contact with me again and smiled. From what I could see, the only differences in the men were his face was shaven and the other man, from the Saturday before, sported a thick beard. He turned his cycle in my direction and drifted to the curb right in front of the door. He parked his cycle in front of the door. At this point, I was done feeling so terrified. I stood in front of the door as he was trying to open it, making sure he didn’t look away from my eyes. He seemed confused when I didn’t unlock the door to let him in. I didn’t care, I stood and gazed out at him, challenging him. After several failed attempts at getting the door opened by smiling at me like we were old friends, he got on his motorcycle and left. I work in a mall setting, there are many store surrounding me but, he drove up to mine intentionally and left without seeing any other stores.
I called my father on my way out of the store, in hopes that he would help me calm down. I was so scared and exposed. Yet, I still knew that I had things to do in my personal life. I drove over to my local Wal-Mart to pick up a few things. I grabbed my purse, the home of my tazer, and started to walk in to the store. i could see the door form the place I was standing and had to stop to wait on crossing the road.
I heard a rumbling just to the left of me, I looked up. To my disbelief, the same man that had been at the store earlier, was stopped at the stop sign, waiting for me to cross. I practically ran away from him and my car as I heard some sort of whooping noise behind me, no doubt coming from the man.
I live close to that store so, I didn’t go home that night, in fear that he was following me. I am not sure where or who he is but, I am scared. I am so terrified. And, this isn’t even the first time I have felt scared because of a similar encounter. Next Saturday, I am scheduled to work again.
This evening event kindly hosted at the Amnesty International Human Rights Centre will see leading thinkers and activists in the field expand the definitions of street harassment and discuss what each of us can, and is doing, do to create real on-the-ground change in our communities.
Confirmed speakers and performers include:::
– Laura Bates from Everyday Sexism,
– Emily May, executive director of HollaBack!
– Susuana Antubam, NUS National Women’s Officer
– Hollaback! site leaders from around the world putting issues in their local context, from the Bahamas to New Orleans and beyond!
– Bryony Beynon and Julia Gray, discussing Hollaback London, our advisory work on Project Guardian and the Good Night Out Campaign
A one off special interactive musical performance from Richard Phoenix and Jennifer Calleja of Sauna Youth
+ Lots more!
Reserve your (FREE!) tickets today! Hope to see you there.
It’s been a busy week here at the mothership! We spent the week preparing for HOLLA::Revolution 2015, which will take place this Thursday, March 5th at The New School in NYC! We’re so excited for our speakers to bring conversations about street harassment, sexual assault on college campuses, online harassment, masculinity, Islamophobia, and to the world! That’s right, the world – if you’re in the area, please reserve your tickets here, and if you’re not, check out our livestream! Folks watching online can tweet their questions to the panel using the hashtag #hollarev!
It’s been Social Media Week here in NYC, and ED Emily May spoke on a panel about online harassment on Youtube along with Karen Cahn of VProud.tv, vlogger Kat Lazo, and Elizabeth Plank of Mic. Check out the ‘gram!
Deputy Director Debjani Roy spoke on a panel at the WOW Theatre and Cafe alongside Dana Edell from Spark, Kate McDonough from Girls for Gender Equity and Ileana Jimenez @feministteacher. The event was called Don’t Call Me Baby – Sexism and Youth, and it was organized by our partner school project partner and UAI, Wazina Zondon who is also a part of the Inquiry to Action Group (ItAG).
We’ve been busy, and so have our awesome sites! Check out what some of them have been up to!
Hollaback! Bahamas is offering self-defense classes for women at a discounted price for International Women’s Month. They also participated in World Thinking Day and the Bahamas Girl Guides Association’s STOP THE VIOLENCE rally this past Sunday. Rock. On.
Hollaback! Kathmandu will be participating in an International Women’s Day 5K Fun Run – join them in empowering women while getting fit if you’re in the area!
Hollaback! Baltimore site leader Brittany Oliver will be speaking on a “Black History for a Black Future” panel to discuss steps to improving the quality of life for Black people in Baltimore! Awesome!
Big week, team! Keep up the great work!
Holla and out!
Have a way with words? Want to change the world? 100 Thousand Poets for Change is an upcoming international event that celebrates poetry and advocates social, political and environmental change.
Currently, 350 cities representing 70 counties are all planning their own public events, focusing on different topics that reflect local issues. The events will all take place at the same time on September 24 and will be documented through a blog.
AtréveteDF, the Hollaback! chapter in Mexico City, is getting involved and currently accepting poem submissions on sexual harassment and discrimination in public spaces as part of the worldwide event. They will publish these on their site and use them in public action. AtréveteDF is also partnering with the collective Contra La Violencia, El Arte (Against Violence, Art). The deadline to submit is September 5.
The Hollaback Houston team will be creating a video to illustrate how street harassment is NOT a compliment – by capturing phone video footage (Hollaback! style) of street harassment victims using real comments that were used on them by harassers. These will then be edited together and contrasted with co-directors reading real comments from the internet talking about how it IS a compliment.
Please let the Houston team know if you are interested in participating! This is not limited to March 20 or Houston – contact Hollaback Houston any time before then, and if you can, even make your own clip and just send it to us [email protected].
On March 20 at noon, Hollaback Houston will have a small event at Market Square Park in downtown Houston to do some videos and talk about street harassment. Just look for representatives at the tables in front of the Niko Nikos stand!
You can also RSVP on our Facebook Event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=203926396299935
Dear Hollaback Community,
In honor of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day please help us celebrate to make this the loudest and proudest Women’s Day the globe has yet seen!
Today we are collecting 100 stories for 100 years of incredible progress! Our local leaders have put together this special video valentine especially for you, to thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to helping make the world a safer place for women and LGBTQ individuals everywhere.
If you’ve never hollabacked, never has there been a better day than today. And if you’ve shared your stories with us before, share another. Put fingers to keypad and share that one story you still haven’t told that might help another girl find her own way to hollaback tomorrow.
And most importantly, thank you for all that you do!
Here’s to the biggest, greatest International Women’s Day yet!
With love and revolution,
After being raped at gunpoint in her Harlem apartment in 2001, Jana Leo resolved to fight back not only against the rapist but against the landlord whose greed and calculated recklessness set the stage for the break-in. Encountering police disinterest, a health care system that refused to pay for a rape kit, and a beleaguered district attorney’s office, Leo sought justice for the violence of the attack, an experience that has resonated throughout her life.
The Feminist Press, along with Center for the Humanities at CUNY, RightRides, and Hollaback!, is sponsoring a series of dialogues to commemorate artist, philosopher, and architecture scholar Jana Leo’s forthcoming book Rape New York (Feminist Press, February 2011). Jana will be joined by writer and curator Gavin Browning, feminist writer and organizer Jennifer Baumgardner, architect and SUPERFRONT founder Mitch McEwen, and Michelle Anderson, Dean of CUNY Law School.
Join Hollaback! in Fort Greene on Monday, February 21 for the third discussion of the series.
Monday, February 21: Greenlight Bookstore, Fort Greene, Brooklyn, 7:30 pm
Violent Crime & the Urban Landscape with Mitch McEwen
Click here for a full calendar of events.
Sexual exploitation stemmed in gender oppression is a phenomenon that is generally hidden under a blanket of reticence due to the challenge of addressing issues of sexism under a larger context of racism.
Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration will open Sex Crimes Against Black Girls, a multimedia exhibit curated by Shantrelle P. Lewis and featuring the works of Nyoka Acevedo, Kimberly Kimabe Becoat, Frances Bradley, Delphine Fawundu Buford, Tracee Worley, Numa Perrier, Wahala Temi, Noelle Lorraine Williams, that investigates the various levels of sexual exploitation and oppression that are suffered by young Black girls across the African Diaspora.
February 5 – April 2
Skylight Gallery, 3rd Floor | 1368 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11216 | 718.636.6949 | www.restorationplaza.org
Badass subway hero Nicola Briggs is being given an award for standing up to her predator on December 16th. Briggs will receive the first “Shero” from the Professional Women of Westchester and a diamond peace sign necklace from D’Errico’s Jewelry at D’Errico Jewelry’s 25th Anniversary Celebration. Richard D’Errico, co-founder of the store, was impressed with Briggs’s bravery and wants to honor her at the celebration. Briggs, a martial arts and Tai Chi instructor in Bronxville, NY, says, “No one should feel ashamed when they are targeted by a sexual predator. The experience of shame needs to be placed squarely on the shoulders of the perpetrator, where it belongs.” Everyone is welcome to attend. The event will take place at D’Errico’s 25th Anniversary Celebration tomorrow, December 16 at 6PM at their 509 Central Avenue log cabin store in Scarsdale, NY. So, please come out and help celebrate Nicola Briggs’s victory in the fight against street harassment!
For more information, call Tony Seideman at 914-737-8776, or e-mail [email protected].