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Developed by our friends at Blank Noise Project, in India.
This video was created by the Safe Horizon Safe Harbor Student Leaders, who, after hearing that the city was considering a public service announcement campaign about street harassment, decided they would show the city what could be most effective.
In this tight budget year, funding from the city wasn’t available for a PSA campaign, but the council was able to support an initiative that will allow the city to collect more data on street harassment and provide a real-time response to it (more details to be released in the coming months).
A special thank you goes to Councilmember Christine Quinn, Councilmember Julissa Ferraras, and Councilmember Brad Lander for their bold vision and support of Hollaback! and the movement to end street harassment! We are so proud that NYC as boldly taken on this important issue that effects our community and our city.
We’d also like to thank the Safe Horizon Safe Harbor Student Leaders for bravely speaking out about their right to feel safe on the streets (and a special thanks to Rachel Henes and Rebecca Forlenza for helping them to share their voices).
Recently, I was able to use Hollaback!’s Web site as an educational, inspirational and cross-generational tool of empowerment. And they said the Internet wouldn’t last.
The conversation in question happened between a 19-year-old college student and me, her 30-something cousin. I listened as she described street harassment she receives almost daily — at her campus, near her home, in all sorts of public spaces that should be rightfully hers.
She’s already learning that they’re not.
She was asking me how to avoid such situations. How to stave off the “catcalls” and creepers. What to wear. What NOT to wear. Where to go. How to get there. How to come back.
My young, idealistic cousin is already learning that her public world will be a maze of constant avoidance, broken by gauntlets of abuse.
Simply because she’s a woman.
And she wants to walk outside.
And it fucking breaks my heart.
I couldn’t tell my cousin not to worry, that such harassment won’t happen too much — because I know it probably will. I know by the time she’s my age — or much sooner — she might have learned to see every man on the street as a threat, lost count of the times she’s been verbally harassed or worse, and feel an extra stress every time she’s simply walking alone.
I couldn’t tell her these things wouldn’t happen. But I could tell her how to confront them. I could tell her how to HOLLABACK!
So, instead of telling my cousin to ignore street harassment — which is the advice I got at her age — I talked with her about WHY some men harass women on the street, why our culture tolerates it and ways to safely confront the behavior.
Hollaback! gave me the tools to have this conversation. I was able to reference the Web site — which my cousin now reads — as well as email her several street harassment articles I’ve found online, through Hollaback! or on my own.
I think the conversation helped her.
I hope so anyway.
I know it helped me. I know it made me feel better that I had something other to say than “Well honey you just gotta deal with that cause it’s just the lot of women, us givers of life and the heart of societies. Random strangers get to harass us on the street! ”
I think too many women were told such things in the past. They were taught to be passive, how to play defense in a never-ending game. But a new generation of women are taking the offensive, speaking up, and unafraid to fight this war.
Women like my cousin.
She called me the other night with a proud tale of how she’d silenced a harasser on the street.
Yep, that’s my girl.
Not a victim. Not an object. Not a passive, pretty little thing.
But a newly minted foot-soldier with the weapons to HOLLABACK!
To help build a world where every girl learns at a young age that they don’t just have to “take it,” donate to our “I’ve Got Your Back” campaign. Only 8 days to go!
BY NICOLA BRIGGS
It’s amazing (shocking, really), the types of things you’ll see if you observe carefully. Much of the time, when you start to become more alert to seeing things going down, you’ll be unable to do anything about it. Here’s an example: When you’re on the subway train, and you witness overtly aggressive behavior, seemingly out of the blue. A young man is shoving an older, conservatively dressed man out of his way as he exits the car. Most people look up just in time from fiddling with their smart phone, the book they’re falling asleep reading, their children pawing at them, whatever, and think “What the hell?” But what they didn’t see was the older man’s briefcase, heavy as a boulder with law briefs, knocking into this poor guy’s knees over and over again as he sat there in front of him. Each time the car swayed, whack! and not even a “sorry” for this young man that had already said, “Dude, watch your bag, you’re hitting my knees!” And what none of them on that car could possibly know was that exactly eighteen minutes before, that young man had just gotten fired from his second job in three months. So the fuse had been lit, but nobody was the wiser, until the older guy was given a shove, which later, when he took off his shirt at the end of the day, resulted in a nasty black-and-blue mark on his shoulder.
So that’s an example of an unpremeditated violent situation, which could have been avoided. Not to say the older man deserved what he got, because there really isn’t an excuse for reacting to behavior which was not intentional in a violent manner, not in a civilized society. The younger man probably should have (a) realized he was in an emotionally impaired state, and checked himself, and (b) gotten up and changed seats, realizing that the other man wasn’t going to stop his insensitive behavior. And of course, if the man hadn’t used his briefcase as a meat tenderizer, the whole thing wouldn’t have happened anyway. But the point is that, much of the time, we may actually be able to “see it coming” so to speak, and stop the train wreck before it happens. Next week, we’ll take a look at the more malevolent expression of violence, the predator-prey relationship. Until then, be safe out there! You never know what is going on in the lives of people standing or sitting right next to you in public.
BY CLAIRE LIGHT, cross posted from her blog.
Up front I’m telling you that this is about Hollaback’s “I’ve Got Your Back” campaign, to create an online and offline movement to end street harassment. I’ve donated and I hope you’ll consider doing the same.
Boy, it’s been a long time since I posted. Actually, the last time I posted was right around the time that I moved back to San Francisco. And I’m so glad to be back.
But I don’t tell people that one of the reasons I’m so glad to be back in the city is that the amount of harassment I encounter has gone waaaaaay down. The main reason I don’t mention it is that the reactions of many people break my heart. Too many people, upon being told in general that I get a lot of harassment, act uncomfortable — with me! — and don’t offer me any sympathy, much less engage in any discussion. I’m talking about abstract conversations here, where there’s no immediate danger, and all I’m doing is communicating.
It’s so much worse, then, when the harassment happens in front of your friends or social circle and they do nothing or act uncomfortable with you, as if you were the one who had done something wrong. I know that those situations can be sometimes scary or emotionally heightened. But think about the general emotional orientation of someone who doesn’t, when the scary moment is over, automatically offer help and sympathy to a friend who has just been verbally assaulted.
I mean, c’mon, people! How hard is it to say to your friend who was just harassed, “I’m sorry you had to deal with that,” or ask her “are you alright?”
It’s those simple offerings that can make the difference between you being part of the problem, and you being part of the solution. Either you kick a friend who’s just been kicked, or you blow on her bruise and offer her salve. Why is that such a hard choice?
The immediate sympathy and help is key, but what’s an even greater act of friendship is listening, discussing, and helping your friend to process the harassment, to understand it, contextualize it, and help render it less powerful. Treating your friend as a thinking, feeling adult who is capable of understanding what has happened to her, and capable of insight, is a really important part of being an empowered woman in a society that often treats us as meat.
And the greatest act of friendship — and righteousness — of all is intervening on the spot, and standing up to the harasser for and with your friend.
This last one — standing up for your friends — should be automatic. If it isn’t, maybe it’s time to think long and hard about how you were raised, and what choices you learned to make to survive. Yeah, I was a bullied kid and I threw other outcasts under the bus if it would save me … when I was in grade school. But now I’m an adult, and every failure of mine to protect and support my friends when they are attacked is my failure, not theirs. And yes, as an adult I’ve failed many times, or been weak or stupid in my support. But I’m glad to say that there have also been times when I was mindful enough to succeed in supporting and backing up my friends. And I strive to be that person every day.
I’m thankful for those fierce friends of mine who have done all of these things: Jaime, Patty, Cyndie, Robynn, and others whom I’m forgetting right now. (There have been so many incidents over the years, and when I was younger I deliberately forgot about it when friends failed to support me, so I managed to also forget when they did support me.)
And I’m also remembering people who shall remain nameless — some of them people I greatly respected — who stood by and did nothing. And, though I forgive quickly, I’ll never forget. As MLK said:
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
You’re not alone — in being harassed, in feeling helpless, in not knowing what to do. But tackling street harassment as it happens in front of you is your responsibility, as it is the responsibility of every citizen of a free state.
Please donate to the Hollaback “I’ve Got Your Back” campaign, and start (or continue) to get everyone’s back on this.
Check out the CNN.com article called “Mobile Tech Fights Sexual Harassment!” The article profiles our campaign – and why it is so important. But without your full support, the campaign won’t happen. The end of our campaign is a little more than a week away, so if you haven’t donated yet, please do it now!
BY EMILY MAY
Here’s a short video I made with my mom and my aunts this weekend in support of Saudi Women’s driving rights (and yes, I was raised by a pack of women):
Hollaback is partnering with “Honk for Saudi Women” and we encourage to to show your support by making a short video! Here’s how it works:
Videos take minutes to make:
1.) Just say you support Saudi Women’s Driving Rights
2.) Honk (if you can’t film in a car, just say “beep-beep”)
Upload to YouTube, send video link to [email protected] and put http://chn.ge/HonkForSaudiWomen in the video description.
US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has publicly expressed her support for “Honk for Saudi Women.” Saudi Princess Ahmeerah wants to drive; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly backs Saudi Women’s Driving Rights; and over 1500 people have asked Oprah to make a “Honk for Saudi Women” video .
Beep, beep! Let’s make a world where everyone has the right to walk or drive safely and confidently!
Help us reach our goal by spreading the word! Here are some suggested emails and tweets. And as always, thank you so much for your support! We couldn’t do it without you.
Email: A personal email from you is the most effective strategy. Here’s an example of what you could send:
Dear friends and family-
As you may already know – I’m a huge fan and supporter of Hollaback!. Hollaback! is an international movement to end street harassment (sexual harassment in public space). Over the past year the organization grown like wildfire to 24 cities in 10 countries, and it seems that this is only the beginning.
They just launched this new campaign called “I’ve Got Your Back.” The campaign is designed to get bystanders to intervene when they see someone being harassed. “I’ve Got Your Back” takes Hollaback!’s work to the next level by providing a real-time response to those who are harassed. How it works:
I’m really excited about this new campaign, and I think it has the ability to change the way we experience public space. Street harassment can be incredibly scary, and it disproportionately impacts young folks, women, and LGBTQ individuals. By having each other’s backs – we aren’t just providing real-time relief to people who are harassed – we are strengthening our community.
I hope you’ll donate. With every donation made to this campaign, Hollaback!’s Board of Directors will match it 1:1, so if you donate $25, it’s really $50.
Thanks so much in advance —
You and your awesome self!
Suggested tweets and status updates: Autoschedule a tweet a day to make sure your followers get the message, and don’t forget to tag us so we can retweet and thank you! Here are some suggestions:
Twitter: It’s gonna take all of us to end street harassment. Invest in it with @ihollaback’s “I’ve got your back” campaign: http://bit.ly/m7spul
Twitter or Facebook: I donated to @iHollaback’s “I’ve got your back” campaign and you should too!
Facebook: What if street harassment happened you weren’t alone? What if that guy at the other end of the train, or down the street, had your back? @hollaback!’s new “I’ve got your back” campaign is going to make this happen, but they need your help. Link: http://bit.ly/m7spul
Thank you so much for all your ongoing support and to all of you who have already donated! We’re gonna win this, and it’s going to be because of you.
Reposted from Hollaback Philly
Pride and street harassment against the LGBTQ community have been weighing most heavily on my mind this weekend, especially since I got a text from a friend on her way to Pride that read “Just crossed the NJ/NY line in the tunnel and couldn’t help but think how fucking strange it is that equality exists on one side of the line and not the other”. So, suffice it to say I was ecstatic when I saw a lesbian street harassment scene on my beloved show, True Blood, tonight!!
Which one makes me more of a nerd – that I’m obsessed with HBO’s True Blood, or that I paused the episode when I saw the street harassment scene so I could quickly transcribe it and post it for you all? No need to answer that question.
Scene: Tara is outside the backdoor of a venue (no one else is there) after winning a boxing match. The girl who lost the match comes out to where Tara is smoking a celebratory cigarette. They start kissing and a few seconds into their kiss, a drunk man approaches and starts staring, moans and interrupts them.
Man: “Don’t mind me. I don’t want to distract from the show.”
Girl: Looks at the man, and says “Go on, fuck off.”
Man: He walks toward them from behind the fence. “You taking requests? I’ll give you ten if you eat each other out, that’s what, umm, five each.”
Girl: -I couldn’t make out the first bit, but the last bit she says “I don’t take requests, but I can crush your spine so bad you’ll be sucking your own dick”.
Tara: holds the girl back, “It doesn’t matter, he won’t remember any of this tomorrow.”
Man: “I will if i get me some of that chocolate banana swirl how about 20 dollars
Girl: “That’s it, pervert, we’re not fucking prostitutes.”
Man: “Come on, everyone’s got a price.”
Girl: (angrily heads toward the man) “That’s it!” (Tara holds her back).
Tara: Walks right up to the man, and calmly says “I’m sad for you buddy. Sad that you gotta hassle women on the street, sad that you gotta make a asshole of yourself for the attention, sad that you gotta offer money cuz there ain’t nothing else about you that’s worth loving.” Takes the $50 bill. “That’s for me not reporting you for solicitation”.
If only she would have whipped out her cell phone, taken a picture of the drunken asshole, and Holla’d back to us!! Bravo HBO!