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What’s in a name?
Words are powerful. They can educate and empower, express and encourage. Words can forge relationships and build bridges. But despite their awesome ability to strengthen, they can also dismantle and destroy when they’re used as weapons. Stick and stones can break your bones, but words will never hurt me? Tell that to anyone who’s ever been verbally bullied, abused, or harassed. There is gravity in words.
Changing the word “victim” to “accuser” until convictions are obtained in cases of rape, domestic violence, and stalking – as Rep. Bobby Franklin’s proposed House Bill 14 in Georgia seeks to do – tells survivors that not even the government believes their story. Basically, the rapists, stalkers, and abusers are innocent until proven guilty, but the survivors are on trial as soon as they report the crime. And for the record, according to the National Center for Policy Analysis, only 39% of rape survivors do report the crime – and of those, only half will result in a conviction. Those whose cases didn’t result in guilty verdict? Forget everything that can go wrong in a trial or the sphere of influence your attacker might have (Cough, cough Ben Roethlisberger) – Rep. Franklin thinks you’re just dirty, rotten liars who imagined the whole thing or are just out to ruin a perfectly good dude’s life. (In case you’re keeping a journal of Franklin’s opinions, he also considers gays to be “unrepentant drug dealers.” An elected official, ladies and gentlemen.)
A dangerous bill like this would be yet another deterrent in survivors reporting their crimes, and that results in more criminals living freely in our communities. (Makes you feel safe, doesn’t it?) It’s not just registered Georgia voters like me who feel outraged by this nonsense. A change.org petition proves that frustration is being felt from Illinois all the way to Israel. And while House Bill 14 may not pass, Rep. Franklin should know that we are not giving our consent for any attack on justice for victims that our officials might attempt to make – and we’re not lying about that.
Toronto’s Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children (METRAC) has released the results of their study on how women do and do not respond to street harassment.
127 of you took part in the study and the results will be used to develop an app with phrases and resources for responding to harassment—look for it in October.
A whooping 30.4% of you answered YES to ‘Have you ever responded to harassment in a way that you felt proud of?’
WAY TO GO, LADIES! That number doesn’t include participants who still holla’ed but who just didn’t feel good about it—because, well, street harassment sucks and sometimes nothing makes it better!
What’s your signature Hollaback? I flare my nostrils, while staring creeps down. Sometimes, it involves my middle finger. You know, it just depends on what kind of mood I’m in.
What’s your craft? Letting sexists/racists/homophobes know what the fuck is up.
My superheroine power is … I can start a revolution in a miniskirt.
Why do you HOLLA? I HOLLA because everyone has the right to feel comfortable in their own skin.
Define your style: Valley Grrrl Intelligentsia.
What was your first experience with street harassment? Street harassment is so common - my first experience was probably when I was in grade school walking to school. Unfortunately woman and LGBTQ’s have had more than one experience with this issue. BUT! Soon enough, we’ll all be talking about our last.
HOLLAfact about your city: El Paso was named one of the safest cities in the United States, alongside one of the most dangerous cities in the world.
If you could leave the world one piece of advice, what would it be? Challenge the oppressive system!
In the year 2020, street harassment … will be uncommon.
Say you’re Queen for the day, what would you do to end street harassment? Uhm.. what’s the best way to get rid of sexless toads?
What inspires you? Badass feminists who like to smash patriarchy, along with all the millions of other passionate activists fighting for a better world.
One of our holla’ers found this on Female Gazing. We’re thinking we’ll print a few and see what the harassers think. I am sure harassers love paperwork.
Here is the welcome speech that she gave at Hollaback Baltimore’s launch party! Hear Shawna talk about why street harassment matters to her, to Baltimore, and to the world. It’s pretty powerful stuff – it gave me chills!
In this study, you will watch a short, randomly selected video of an individual and make decisions and predictions about his/her behavior and emotions. The survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete and all responses are strictly anonymous.
We get inspiring emails from around the world, but this one stood out to us. It’s from a mother in Birmingham, Alabama, who is looking to start a Hollaback in Birmingham this summer. She writes:
“You are probably familiar with the iconic “southern belles” of movie lore. While this is a stereotype, it is somewhat grounded in truth. In Alabama, most women are taught that our strength lies within our ability to quietly endure whatever befalls us. We are constantly told that we can neutralize the institutional violence against our persons by putting on a friendly face. Not only does this create an unbearable cognitive dissonance (after all, we’re taught that human lives have value, but are asked to devalue our own), it is also a fallacy. Study after study has proven that this response can actually single us out as good victims to predators. I want to inspire other women to stand up for themselves. I want to create solidarity in my city, which has been so scarred by racism, classism, and sexism. It’s time for the women of this community to come together and confront these old fallacies, which have been used to silence us for too long.”
As a fellow southerner, this one gave me chills. This is a sign of good things to come from Birmingham.
Our copywriter Domenique found this while searching the internet for design-inspiration. LOVE.
If you’ve ever lived or studied abroad, you may have celebrated a holiday that we have yet to recognize widely here in the States: International Women’s Day.
In Italy, men give handfuls of flowers to the women in their lives each year on March 8.
Google changes its logo for everything, but Hollaback couldn’t help but notice no cool new logo last year for the holiday. Some internet research reveals that Google appeared to have added the female symbol to its logo back in 2005, but nothing has been done since. Apparently this is not the case for Google users abroad who report that the company has in fact been keeping up with the holiday.
What is your experience? Have you ever celebrated or been the recipient of gifts on International Women’s Day while abroad? How do people in other cultures celebrate this day, and can anyone explain Google’s reluctance to honor it?