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A Week In Our Shoes: Spring’s heating up!

Hello everybody–

We are finally feeling the heat here at the Hollaback! HQ in New York City, and things seem to be shaking up for what will be an exciting summer full of actions and activities! Debjani took off for a New Media Ventures conference in San Francisco, representing our new platform to address online harassment and build virtual community, HeartMob. Don’t forget to sign up as a HeartMobber to make the internet friendlier and safer today!

And at our Hollaback! sites across the globe…

Hollaback! Bogotá released a statement on the re-victimization of  #‎RosaElviraCely‬.

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 12.59.54 PMHollaback! Croatia went to a protest for reproductive rights in Strossmayer Square, Zagreb.

Hollaback! Romania is releasing a survey about women’s experiences of street harassment in Romania for a doctoral thesis.

Hollaback! Barcelona participated in International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia!

Hollaback! London announced that they will be transitioning out of group form and assembling “a diverse new collective to help take this message to the streets.” If you know anyone in London, be sure to have them contact their Facebook site! They are looking for event support, social media volunteers, and contributors to partnerships and projects.

That’s all for now!

Holla and out!

-Hollaback!

 

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Honking Harassment

I live in a small college town, where I don’t experience harassment every day- people are generally nice to each other. Which is why I was a bit surprised today. I had just gotten off the Appalcart (our local bus system) and was walking down the sidewalk to my apartment. I heard a couple of short honks, made by some sort of truck. I look to the road to see what had happened (I was on the sidewalk) when I saw a plumbing truck from a local business, with two men leering at me, no cars near them. They passed by too quickly for me to react. I’m in summer classes at the university right now and have had a lot of late nights for homework, so I was really too tired to do anything anyway.

I wonder, what about me asked them to “catcall” (via honking)? Of course, this is a rhetorical question, the only people at fault are the perpetrators. It’s still a question that pops up in my mind, however; I run through what I was wearing (I dress conservatively, though that doesn’t even matter!), I had my backpack on, I was walking back from a long day at class… In the end, I am just at a loss as to how someone can think it is appropriate to treat another human as a zoo animal.

If you are in the area, the truck had a logo on it from Triple T plumbing. I’m halfway tempted to phone the business and report this to them, but if the management employs people like that, they probably won’t do anything about this matter.

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HOLLA ON THE GO: Harassment at the museum

Drunk vagrant men catcalling and following women out of the museum. Cops were called and never showed up.

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HOLLA ON THE GO: Business Woman Was Harassed & Followed

I was walking to school a couple months ago, and as I walked past the public library I watched a tall woman with a Bluetooth and a briefcase get verbally harassed by a man a little shorter than her. He started out by asking her if she played basketball, and continued with sexual threats while following her. She finally turned around and walked into the library to stop the creepy guy from following her any farther.

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HOLLA ON THE GO: Zoo Animal

Harassed while sitting at the bus stop, again. This time it was an “Oooooh she pretty!!” as 2 guys walked by together. It’s cool, just go ahead and comment on me like I’m a zoo animal as you walk by. Of course, none of the men or women around me said or did anything. And all I did was flip them the bird. They didn’t seem like the type who would ever take a woman defending herself seriously no matter what she said, anyway.

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Harassed by my grandfather.

This summer I was on holiday with my best friend and in my bikini around my family probably most of the time. One morning when we were walking through the field that belongs to my holiday home, we walked past my grandad who was reading a newspaper and he told us to have fun. When we had walked out of earshot my friend told me that he had been staring at my ass the entire time we were walking past! Not hers but mine! (Not that it would have been acceptable for this 70 year old man to stare at a 17 year old’s butt in such an obvious and perverted way, but it would have been different had it been her since she is not his grandchild…) And my grandma was also in the house. This happened at least three more times that she noticed on the same holiday. I now do not feel comfortable being in swimwear In my family home. I feel completely violated and disgusted, as well as disappointed that this will be what I remember of my grandfather after he passes. I am 17 and do not have a lot of memories with him since I live in the UK and he lives in Greece. I only see him for a few weeks in the summer. I just don’t understand and feel so awful about myself and can’t get the image of him looking at my butt out of my head (I caught him staring one of the times).

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HOLLA ON THE GO: Harassed in an Alley

A friend and I were walking down the street, after the bars closed, with our boyfriends not far behind us. We started walking down this alley way, our boyfriends about a block behind, and these three guys passed us. One came up, about five inches from my face, and said a very inappropriate sexual comment, which honestly I can’t think of the exact words. Luckily we had a larger group behind us, which we were both able to run back to.

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The harassment never stopped.

When I first moved to Beaumont I lived with my sister and her husband until I found a job. Their house was directly across the street from a convenience store that I would walk to. Several times I would be stopped, the front door blocked, grabbed by the arm, grabbed by the hair once, forced to listen to sexual comments about my body or what they wanted to do to me. I finally started carrying a knife and occasionally walking my dog (a large Rottweiler/German Shepherd mix) just to feel safe. The harassment never stopped. I never stopped walking across the street though. I refused to be afraid. Most of the men started to leave me alone once they realized I wasn’t afraid of them. Or at least was very good at acting unafraid.

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A M’s Story: Bystander Support!

I was on a tram and a young man, disheveled and a bit out of looking was next to me – standing up. He was swaying a bit and I had to move away so he wouldn’t lean on me. He touched a woman on the other side of him on the arm and she shrank back and said ‘don’t touch me’. I confronted him and told him off and that people don’t want to be touched. He said ‘I know, but she’s fascinating’ (!). I said, loudly and looking right at him: “no one cares about what you think stop touching people!”. I then got off. It was my stop. I wasn’t scared of him and I wanted the young woman he’d hassled to know that she had support. I’m a 51 year old woman. My 16 year old daughter gets hassled alot and it makes my blood boil!

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Dee’s Story: “I could not believe what I was hearing”

A few years ago, I was walking to my partners work to meet him before he finished and a group of guys outside the venue yelled out for me to show them my ‘privates’ (although they used much more colourful language). I could not believe what I was hearing and felt instantly disgusted and uncomfortable.

The ‘funny’ thing was, when my partner walked out with me in the end (after I told him what happened) not one of the jerks said anything. Low life scum bags. Apparently I’m only safe when accompanied by a man.

I wish this was the only encounter I had had with this breed of despicable human, but unfortunately, this has happened countless times.

It needs to stop. It’s not acceptable.

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