Street harassment in the media, Uncategorized

“Smile for Me, Baby” by: CECILIA WACHTER

A documentary about street harassment, created by the one and only Cecilia Wachter! Check it out:

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Article, News, Nonverbal Harassment, public masturbation, Street harassment in the media

Gawker Gets it Wrong

BY EMILY MAY AND CATHERINE FAVORITE

Today Gawker featured the story of a woman who witnessed public masturbation on the subway – and the pictures she took in response.  While we are happy to see Gawker highlighting the issue of street harassment, their analysis was off. Way off.

“Obviously, there’s no proof of lewd behavior in these pictures, just one woman’s story so, who knows, this guy could be innocent [emphasis added].

What is it with the media’s insistence that women’s reports of sexual violence are untrustworthy? It’s an old myth that stands in the way of progress. The FBI says that “unfounded” rape claims stand at 8%.  But that tiny little 8% gives the media enough ammo to question all reports of sexual violence.  Articles like Gawker’s tend to have a silencing effect on the rest of us, which is perhaps why 75-95% of rapes go unreported, making rape the “most under-reported crime” according to the American Medical Association.  But why stop at questioning the victim? Gawker also offered the victim a little advice:

Also, it’s probably wise to contact the police before reaching out to a gossip blog when a crime has occurred.

Oh, Gawker.  We know you’re DC-based so let’s fill you in on how this goes down. If you tell the NYPD, they might ignore you. If they don’t, you have to sit in front of a big black book of all the sexual offenders in the subway. If you don’t get totally freaked out and run screaming, you *might* find your guy.  And then what? It’s a long, painful court process.  No wonder victims turn to the internet for reprieve.  And no wonder we have a robust “no coulda woulda shoulda” policy. Victims of sexual violence deserve to have whatever response makes sense to them most, because after all, it wasn’t their fault.

So Gawker, next time someone shares their experience of street harassment with you, perhaps you could politely suggest that gentlemen of the world refrain from public masturbation?  It seems like good advice to us.

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Article, campaign, demonstration, News, Street harassment in the media

International Anti-Street Harassment Week, March 18-24

BY CATHERINE FAVORITE

Come “Meet Us On the Street”, for International Anti-Street Harassment week, from March 18-24, to take a stand against street harassment! Last year’s first International Anti-Street Harassment Day was so successful, with over thousands of people participating in 13 countries, that this year, the folks of Stop Street Harassment are dedicating an entire week to raising public awareness to end gender-based verbal harassment.

 

In speaking out against catcalls, sexist comments, public masturbation, groping, stalking, and assault, you will help to create a sustained dialogue surrounding how women, girls and the LGBTQ community must endure a level of verbal and physical street violence that continues to be an inevitable reality for far too many people. The widespread acceptance of gender and sexuality based street harassment has created a silent suffering that wrongfully places the burden of street harassment onto those receiving the harassment, leaving harassers free to continue. In the past, a casual acceptance of street harassment for LGBTQ individuals, women and girls has created a stigma of shame and silence. International Anti-Street Harassment Week is a way of countering this. By making this a part of the public discussion, we can change the culture of acceptance surrounding street harassment. No one should have to change the way they walk to school or work, or worry if their clothing might draw unwanted attention. This week is about calling for the right of everyone to be treated as equals in all shared public spaces. Just as sexual harassment is not tolerated in schools, work or at home, we should not accept it from strangers on the streets, either!

 

Meet Us On the Street offers many ways for how you can participate, whether by taking to the street on March 24th with your friends and community, bringing up street harassment in conversations, to tweeting about it (#NoSHWeek) and changing your Facebook photo during the third week of March. You can also organize action in your community and submit it to the map so others in your area can find out about it.

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Street harassment in the media, The Movement

Just A Smack On The Ass: A Tale Of Sexual Assault, Vengeance And Nervous Swearing

Cross-posted from the ACLU blog

By Robyn Shepherd, ACLU

Last month, the ACLU’s Louise Melling blogged about how street harassment shames and humiliates women, and is underreported because of the stigma attached to it. While that blog was making the editing rounds here at the office, I shared my own story of how I dealt with a particularly obnoxious harasser, and my esteemed colleagues suggested I share it. Since April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, after all, here it is. And there’s gonna be swearing. I’m really sorry in advance (Mom).

I was walking to work last April, listening to a friend’s CD and not thinking of much besides that I was a little late to work, and really ought to hustle to make my train. A dude passed me as I walked, and I didn’t think much of that either.

All of a sudden…WHAM! Dude WALLOPED me on the backside and ran off.

No one saw it happen. But the gentle denizens of the Upper East Side sure knewsomething happened, because I let out an unholy yell and a good, throaty “FUCK YOU!!” I turned to see the dude hustling away in his blue and tan jacket and tan backpack.

I hesitated a moment. Did that really just happen? What should I do? Just go on with my day? I’m not sure I want to do that. And I’m pretty sure that if I just let this go, and act like it’s no big deal, or it was “just a smack on the ass,” I’m gonna feel pretty rotten about it for a long time to come. And my butt was really sore. He really went for it.

So I ran after the dude.

It’s possible this guy was crazy. This was something I needed to determine, and also I wanted to get a description, since by this point I had decided that if I was going to be late to work pursuing this mofo, I was damn well gonna call the police. I caught up to him as he was going into the Citibank.

“Hey asshole!” He looked up. He was about 20. Clean-cut. Like he was on his way to school. He did not look crazy. I think he was surprised. I think he figured the five-foot-tall redhead in the sundress and Mary Janes would have just said “Oh my stars!” and scampered away. He does not know this five-foot-tall redhead.

“You think that shit is funny? You like hitting women, huh? You think that’s the correct way to act? Whatsamatterwityou?” All of a sudden, I was Joe Pesci. I swear a lot when I’m nervous. It’s a terrible habit. Perhaps you’ve caught on.

“Ma’am I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“You know goddamn well what I’m talking about. YOU DON’T HIT WOMEN, ASSHOLE.” At this point I was screaming into the bank. The whole lobby was looking at me.

Dude got in my face. And this is where it gets kind of hilarious. “How dare you disrespect me in public?” he said. Oh. My. God. He. Did. Not. “I mean, call the police or something, but don’t embarrass me like that. Fuck you.”

It was now clear I was not necessarily dealing with a lunatic. But I was dealing with a moron.

“Good idea, buddy. I WILL call the police.” I called 911 and told them about the incident and the coordinates.

While I was on the phone he got in my face again. “Fuck you, bitch.”
Me: “Fuck ME? Fuck YOU!!!…

Me (to operator): “I’m sorry, ma’am it’s just he’s antagonizing me.”

Him: “You calling the police?”

Me: “Goddamn right I am.”

Him: “Fine. Fuck the police. Fuck you.”

Me: “Tell ‘em so yourself!”

He started walking away after that. The 911 lady advised me to stay put. Good call. I figured I had enough of him without backup. The police came a few minutes later, and I told them the story. I told them I knew they dealt with bigger things than this. But if it doesn’t get reported, it will keep happening. And maybe we can scare this dude enough that that will be one less guy hitting women in the street. The cops had me ride around in the car with them to see if we could find them. (Incidentally, those squad cars? Absolutely no legroom to speak of. In case you ever need extra incentive to not get arrested. Not comfy.)

We couldn’t find him, but the cops (there were four of them by the end of this) took my statement and contact info. They commended me on my description. Which is good, as that validates a lot of Law and Order viewing.

I’m realistic. I knew they were never going to arrest this guy. But here’s the thing, and the point to this whole long, profane story. I know there are a lot of people who think it wasn’t that big a deal. But the truth of the matter is, what this guy did was sexual assault. “Forcible touching and harassment,” if you want to get specific.

Sexual assault doesn’t always necessarily mean something as horrible as rape. And too often street harassment is unreported, and douchebags like this think they can get away with it because the girl is gonna be too embarrassed or too meek to do anything about it. Or they think it’s “just a slap on the ass.” And that’s not right, you guys. I don’t know how other women feel about their posteriors, but you don’t very well get to smack the hell out of it willy-nilly because you feel entitled to do so. There will be repercussions.

To the NYPD’s credit, they did follow up, and the detective told me that if I really wanted to press charges, she would help me do that, even if it meant looking through a lot of surveillance tape and looking at lineups and all that stuff. I opted not to, figuring that they had this guy’s description, and if he did it again, he’d be in a lot of trouble. But something tells me he’s not going to. I think I scared him. Or as the detective said, “So you ran up and confronted him and screamed at him in a bank.”

“Yep.”

“…Awesome.”

I know what happened to me could have been a lot, lot worse. But someone doesn’t have to be raped to be humiliated, violated and hurt. Sometimes, all it takes is a smack on the ass.

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Street harassment in the media, The Movement

Sexual Violence and Bystander Intervention

By LAUREN ZINK

“…we need to highlight the fact that most men are not violent or abusive in their relationships. To these men I would say — speak out. Let it be known among your peers that you do not support or condone abuse. This is important, because men who use violence in their relationships often assume that the men they know do too. We need to change that belief system, and it’s other men who can most effectively get that message across. In some of the gang rapes we have heard about, many people knew what was happening, but chose not to intervene or get help. I know that it is not easy for men to step forward, but it can make a real difference.” – Lynn Rosenthal, first-ever White House Advisor on Violence Against Women
 
 

Hollaback Atlanta’s Lauren Zink discusses the importance of male allies and responsible bystanders in the movement to end sexual violence: Let’s Hear it For the Boys

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campaign, Street harassment in the media, The Movement

Fiat Issues Informal Confirmation of Split with El Guardian

Bringing to two the number of advertisers who have agreed to pull funding from Argentina’s El Guardian, Fiat issued this Facebook post in response to campaign pressure:

“…we would like to make it clear that Fiat and all of its employees in any parts of the world condemn any form of violence – be it against women, children, ethnic or religious minorities, including any attitude inciting violence, as also set out in the “Pacto Global Compact”, of which Fiat is one of the signatories in Argentina. We are carefully evaluating the situation and we will keep you informed through our usual communication and conversation channels. In any case Fiat advertising campaign on El Guardian already terminated on April 7.”

El Guardian maintains innocence of wrongdoing and has refused to terminate its relationship with the journalist in question.

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Street harassment in the media, The Movement

Lacoste Terminates Relationship with El Guardian; Now We’re Looking at You, FIAT

Rape-desirist Juan Terranova’s hateful writings have just cost his publisher, Argentina’s El Guardian magazine, major advertising dollars from Lacoste:

“Lacoste disassociates itself from the El Guardian journalist’s statements and more generally from any statement offensive to women and men. As we have already indicated, these statements go against our values.

We further confirm that we do not have any future advertising plan with this magazine.”

FIAT has not yet responded. Keep the pressure on:

Petitions by Change.org|Start a Petition »

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Street harassment in the media

Lacoste Caught in Lie About Association with Racist, Homophobic, Misogynistic Magazine

Lacoste responded to our petition yesterday calling for the withdrawal of their ad dollars from Argentinian smut publication El Guardian with this well-crafted paragraph:

Thank you for sharing your comments with us on this matter. Please be aware that the petition being circulated by Change.org wrongly associates the Lacoste brand and the offensive ideas expressed by a journalist in the Argentinian El Guardian Magazine. These ideas are contrary to the values of our brand. Lacoste has no advertising plan with this magazine.

But we found this:

If Lacoste has ‘no advertising plan with this magazine’ we will call this campaign a great success. We just want to make sure our supporters don’t doubt that Lacoste did in fact advertise in this magazine at one time. So here it is on the record.

The ball is in your court, Lacoste. We can forgive the past transgression with your promise of future civic responsibility.

And FIAT has not taken the time to respond to our requests yet, so while we’re at it, we’ll get their sleaziness on the record too (and we’ll promise not to call them sleazy again if they promise to stop funding El Guardian):

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Street harassment in the media, The Movement

Lacoste Denies Advertising in El Guardian, but We Know Better

In response to consumers’ outraged posts on Lacoste’s Facebook page regarding the brand’s association with a magazine that works with would-be rapists, they issued this statement:

Thank you for sharing your comments with us on this matter. Please be aware that the petition being circulated by Change.org wrongly associates the Lacoste brand and the offensive ideas expressed by a journalist in the Argentinian El Guardian Magazine. These ideas are contrary to the values of our brand. Lacoste has no advertising plan with this magazine.

But don’t be fooled, folks. The statement’s tricky language gives the impression us crazy non-rapists are wrong but does not explicitly say that they have never advertised in the publication. We’ll take “Lacoste has no advertising plan with this magazine” as a good sign they may not for very much longer.

We’re waiting for our Buenos Aires bureau chief to send over incriminating visual evidence of their advertising in El Guardian, and we promise to publish that here as soon as we receive it.

Thank you for standing up for civil rights today and showing your support for our leaders on the ground, everyone has a right to feel safe and comfortable when they walk down the street.

Petitions by Change.org|Start a Petition »

UPDATE 4/8/11, 7:46am: Here is proof that Lacoste advertises with El Guardian. What idiots they are.

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Street harassment in the media, The Movement

FIAT and Lacoste Advertise in Argentina’s El Guardian

…and El Guardian doesn’t mind publishing stuff from a neanderthal who calls himself a journalist; that is, El Guardian publishes the hateful, B-grade writings of Juan Terranova. And Juan Terranova publishes rape threats.

Help us out. Tell Fiat and Lacoste their advertising dollars shouldn’t pay for the promotion of hateful, sexually violent scribblings, before the magazine gains any traction. Still in its infancy, El Guardian doesn’t even yet have a website. But as advertising dollars grow, so will this publication—and if they’re publishing this sort of crap now, imagine what they might publish later?

Facebook bomb FIAT and Lacoste and let them know where their advertising dollars are going, and what sorts of writings they are promoting. El Guardian might not mind doing favors for men who publish rape threats but they’ll mind when funding is cut off.

Help us choke it at its source:

Petitions by Change.org|Start a Petition »

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