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I’ve live in NYC my whole life and I’ve experienced both sexual verbal harassment and racism almost all the time. I get unwanted stares on a daily basis, but you know what, as a woman you should learn to fight back and protect yourself. I’ve learned some ways to scare those harassers off. Do whatever you can to protect yourself, if you feel like a creep is following you, act like a psycho, start talking to yourself and w/e, cause no one wanna mess with a psycho and carry a pepper spray.
My ways of handling these situations are always having my IPOD on, so i can’t hear those whistles or catcalls, i can easily ignore them if i don’t hear it, all that’s left is them looking like idiots if you can’t hear them.
When some creep is staring at me nonstop, i’ll look back with a very angry scary looking pisst off face, like the kind u don’t wanna mess with, that’ll sure to ruin whatever fantasy they’re having, and if i have to, i’ll curse at them.
The more women act scared, the more they will harass you, you gotta teach yourself to act like you’re a demon and no one can touch you, don’t be the one who’s scared, be the one to scare!!! take good notes from those ghetto black teenage girls, there’s a reason why no one wants to deal with them.
BE STRONG LADIES, YOU’VE ONLY GOT YOURSELF AND YOUR ONE PRECIOUS LIFE, FIGHT BACK LIKE YOUR LIFE IS ON THE LINE, DON’T LOSE TO ANYONE!!!
Submitted by Cheryl
Ever stood up for yourself like Cheryl did? It feels great, right?!? Help others find the courage to do the same! You can, with $5.
She could have holla’ed back! To make sure the world can keep holla’ing back, join our campaign at my.ihollaback.org.
We unfortunately can’t travel back in time to help our predecessors in the fight against street harassment, but we can improve things for our sisters and our children today and tomorrow. Start a discussion—ask your mother and your grandmother about how things were when they were growing up. And help us keep the discussion going, with $5.
Reprinted from NOW-NYC. For more information, click here.
Tuesday, November 9th, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
111 Centre Street, NYC (between Leonard & White;
6, Q, N, R, J, Z to Canal St.)
WHY THIS RALLY IS IMPORTANT:
NOW-NYC and anti-violence advocates from across the city are joining forces to ask Justice Cassandra Mullen to give confessed rapist, Tony Simmons, a sentence with jail time. Recently, the Manhattan Supreme Court Justice proposed a sentence of ten years probation with absolutely no jail time for this court-appointed juvenile counselor who pled guilty to raping one girl and sexually assaulting two others.
If Simmons, who admitted to sexually assaulting three teen girls, can get off without any jail time, what does that mean for women victims of rape across the city? We need to send a message to Justice Mullen, law enforcement, our leaders, and our community to Take Rape Seriously!
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1) Join our rally and press conference on Tuesday, November 9th 12:30 pm and help us send a strong message! We’ll have signs available, or you can bring your own. Our key messages are: (a) Take Rape Seriously
(b) NO Getting Away With Rape (c) Simmons Should Serve
2) Sign Our Petition NOW to Justice Cassandra Mullen to demand jail time for this violent offender and justice for the victims. We will present our petition to Justice Mullen after the rally.
3) Get more signers on this petition. Send out the link to the petition widely. Forward to friends, bloggers, and post on Facebook and Twitter. URL: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/now-nyc_justiceforassaultvictims/
Street harassment is a gateway crime that creates a culture of violence against women. Sexual harassment and aggression have no place in our homes, our jobs, our classes, our streets. Show your support today, with $5.
From time to time we get hate mail, but most of the time we just get love mail. Here’s a great piece of love mail we thought you’d appreciate:
I don’t believe there are a great deal of men capable of making cat calls (most of us have at least some kind of impulse control)– but the ones who are shouldn’t be allowed to ruin somebody’s day with a few rude words. It puts too much power in the hands of those who deserve it least. As cell phone cameras get better, and as women become more emboldened by efforts like yours, I hope we can stop cat calls completely.
A frustrated dude
The description reads, “In this segment Sistah Girl and her friend Dante discuss the many reasons Black men give to justify their cat calls, profanity, physical assaults and verbal abuse of Black females on public transit and on the streets of cities across the U.S. Sistah Girl breaks down the behaviors and the sense of entitlement to women’s time, attention and bodies that Black men believe they deserve to have. From the creative mind of advice columnist Deborrah Cooper. Visit her blog at www.survivingdating.com.”
The computer voices are a little distracting, but the point that harassment hurts is well made. And although I don’t think this is the point the video is trying to make, I feel a need to point out that black men are statistically no more likely to harass than any other color or men. Like all forms of violence against women, street harassment crosses lines of race and class, and to call it a “cultural thing” minimizes the experiences of women of all colors and cultures who believe that street harassment is appalling and disgusting.
In addition to giving this testimony, Elizabeth also wrote the op-ed that inspired the hearing! Her op-ed was published in El Diario, but a reprint in English is here. Having had the pleasure of meeting Elizabeth, I can also tell you that she is a true advocate in the fight against street harassment and an incredible, gifted woman. Her leadership in this movement couldn’t come at more important time.
p.s. thanks for the link, NewBlackMan!
I met the AHAlife team at an 85broads event. At the end of her speech, their founder and CEO Shauna Mei quoted Madeline Albright who famously said: “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”
Now that’s my kinda woman.
1. For New Yorkers: contacting your city councilmember to let them know that you believe street harassment is an issue that needs to be addressed by the council; encourage them to read the testimony and support Julissa Ferreras and actually get something done. Find out who your councilmember is here.
2. For people outside New York, call your local councilmember and let them know what happened here in NYC and suggest that they call similar hearings.
3. I’ve been noticing that a lot of the commentary in response to articles on the hearing is really negative and reactionary and sexist. I’d love for people to get on there, make positive comments about the hearing and fight back so that it’s not all obnoxious men calling us feminazis out there!!! A good place to start is here.
My name is Emily May, and I am the executive director of Hollaback!, an organization that has been working to end street harassment since 2005. I want to thank Councilmember Julissa Ferreras and the entire Committee on Women’s Issues for coordinating this hearing. While street harassment has probably existed in our city since the advent of streets, this is the first ever hearing to specifically address this pervasive issue. It’s a historic occasion, thank you.
Hollaback! is an international movement to end street harassment that started right here in New York City. It began because myself and a few friends were getting street harassed three or four times daily. When we walked on, we felt weak. When we yelled at the guys, the situation escalated, and the police didn’t care. The most common suggestion for dealing with it was to plug our heads with earphones and pretend it wasn’t happening. But something inside us told us this wasn’t enough—we wanted to share our stories, and to get our fellow New Yorker’s to share theirs. Five years later, over 1000 bold women and LGBTQ New Yorkers have told their stories of street harassment. Their stories have inspired Hollaback!s to launch in an additional 20 cities worldwide including London, Israel, Berlin, and Buenos Aires. Within the next couple of weeks we will launch an iPhone and a Droid app, making it even easier to Hollaback! and giving the public the real-time data on this pervasive problem.
At Hollaback!, we’ve heard stories of women leaving their jobs, or breaking their lease, because their commute involved too much street harassment. We’ve heard stories from girls skipping school to avoid harassment. And we’ve heard a surprising number of stories from women who moved out of New York City because they just couldn’t take it anymore. These stories come from women and girls in all five boroughs, and represent every ethnicity, from the ages of 10 to 75.
Too commonly, street harassment is believed to be the “price women pay” for living in New York City. But we’re not buying it. Taxes are the price we pay for living in this city, not street harassment.
Just this week I had the opportunity to speak with young women at Barnard and the Little Red School House. Of these 150 young women, 100% of them had experienced street harassment according to our anonymous survey tool. As frustrated as each of them was about street harassment, they were inspired to hear that the New York City Council was listening. Many of them are submitting testimony today.
We have heard from New York City’s women and girls. We know this is a problem. But who we haven’t heard from is our legislators. Until now.
We have an historic opportunity to do something about this. Street harassment is poised to be the next big women’s issue of this decade, in the same way that workplace harassment was in the 1980s. It is a gateway crime, creating a culture in our city that makes other forms of violence against women OK. And the New York City council is well placed to lead the charge, just like they have with so many battles that have come before it.
I know what you’re thinking – that this is issue is going to be tough to legislate. We could choose to ignore it—after all, this is what we have done for a very long time. But I propose an alternative–we could choose to work together and take action—and for it to work, we need to move quickly.
Our ten-year plan is to build a world where all the baby girls in strollers today will never have to experience street harassment the way that girls today have. Today, on this most historic occasion, I’d like to invite you to join us.
Here are three initial first steps:
1. We need a citywide study on the impact of street harassment on women and girls, including recommendations for next steps;
2. We need a citywide public information campaign that teaches women, girls, men, and boys that street harassment is not OK; and
3. We need to establish harassment-free zones around our schools, similar to the drug-free zones that exist today.
New York City’s women and girls deserve the freedom to walk down the streets of New York safely and confidently, without being the object of some creep’s fantasy. And you have the power to change that. You have the power to rewrite history for New York City’s tiniest.
So let’s do it. Let’s make today the day that New York City boldly decided to end street harassment. The women and girls of New York City are counting on us.
The room was standing room only, the testimonies brought us to tears, and the press was swarming. You made this happen, and this is only the beginning.
The story was picked up by 237 outlets worldwide. Why is this important? That’s millions of women, men, boys, and girls that now know that they are not the only ones frustrated by street harassment. That there are allies out there in the world that have got their backs. They are no longer alone. It helped to legitimize this issue, and ultimately, it will help us to put the pressure on legislators to make these changes happen. In short, it’s a testament to your impact.
Check it out:
The AP wire wrote this story, which was picked up by 200+ outlets nationwide, including MSNBC and the Washington Post!
We also got this great piece on Fox:
The New York Post did a story, too:
And this great piece on CBS, Channel 2! The first woman to speak, Grace, is a 16-year old from Elizabeth Irwin High School. She’s an absolute inspiration, and her testimony brought me to tears. Check it out here.
Additional press hits included:
Gothamist, Street Harassment Finally Gets City Council’s Attention
Gawker, Should New York Have ‘Harassment-Free’ Zones?
AMNY, Lawmakers review street harassment in NYC
TampaBay.com, The skinny: Women hit back against street harassment
Daily News, City Council hears plea to curb catcalls; women say it’s an ‘issue of safety’
Congratulations on all your hard work, and a special shout-out to advocates including Girls for Gender Equity, NOW-NYC, RightRides, Center for Anti-Violence Education, NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault, New Yorkers for Safe Transit, Elizabeth Mendez Berry, Holly Kearl from Stop Street Harassment.
Also thanks to the most amazing special guest ever, the Astronomical Kid. If you haven’t seen his video “Stop Looking at My Moms,” get on it. It’s amazing. An anthem for our movement. Not surprisingly, this young man is just as rad as his song. He hurried from school to testify.
You showed the world that street harassment mattered, and you showed New York City that it could be ended. CONGRATULATIONS!