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This type of event is always very triggering for me. Today I was out with some friends when a man grabbed me from behind and kissed my face then kept walking. It happened so fast I didn’t have time to react physically, but I yelled “Fuck you” as he walked away. He and his friend heard me and laughed.
My friend called this black guy a n*gger.
Interview conducted by Lauren Bedosky.
When did you start your holla?
In October, 2011.
Why start a HOLLA and what does Hollaback mean to you?
Street harassment is a real problem in Bogotá, and in Colombia in general. We wanted to make people aware of this problem. We thought that starting a Holla was a great first step to make change.
HOLLAfact about your city:
In Bogotá, there is a transportation system called Transmilenio, where women are harassed on a daily basis. Many people in Bogotá think that street harassment is women’s fault, that it is caused by the way women dress or behave. Many men in Colombia think that street harassment is a compliment, and that women who don’t like it are “crazy feminists who hate men.”
Say you’re Queen for the day. What would you do to end street harassment?
We would teach children (boys and girls) to respect each other and understand why street harassment is not a compliment. We would also offer training sessions for teachers and do campaigns to eradicate street harassment.
What was your first experience with street harassment?
I was on a farm playing with animals when I was eleven years old. One of the farmers was standing behind me and grabbed me all of a sudden. He fondled my breasts, which were just starting to grow. I ran away, cried, felt terrible, and pretended it never happened.
What’s your signature Hollaback?
I ask the harasser if we know each other. When he says no, I ask why he thinks it’s ok to talk to me like that. When I am not in a good mood, or am feeling sick of them, I just show them the middle finger…
My superheroine power is…
What is your proudest holla moment so far?
Several people we never met know about Hollaback and talk about it in public.
What do you do when your not holla’ng?
Marcela is a lawyer, currently completing a PhD in Law. Nathalie is a college student and vegan activist. Maria is a university professor.
If you could leave the world one piece of advice, what would it be?
Respect other people.
What inspires you?
In the year 2020, street harassment…
Will still be a problem, but hopefully people will understand it is a problem.
I moved to a new town last summer and met a boy on my swim team. Although he appeared nice at first, I was soon informed thay he was a little “off.” I soon understood what this met. Even when I told him I was busy he would not stop texting me, and although he lived fourty five minutes away from me, he even showed up at my house. I eventually stopped returning his texts, so he joined the cross country team because he thought we needed to “catch up.” Needless to say, we do not speak.
Thanks to Erin Jill for making this and sending it along to us!
A man on a bike was saying gross things to me and I ignored him. Maybe 20 seconds later he circled back again and followed me on his bike as I crossed the street. Felt threatened, he was angry I was ignoring him.
Happy International Women’s Day! I’m sending all the women and supporters-of-women much love today. I hope you are all celebrating and holla’ing with full hearts and voices on this very awesome day. Here’s what we’ve been up to this week at the mothership:
Its no secret that Hollaback! has been on a ROLL lately, with many many sites making incredible strides every week! Welp, this week was no different–another beautifully busy week for our Hollas around the world:
Thanks for all you do — and have a wonderful International Women’s Day!
HOLLA and out –
During my senior year in high school, I needed a caffeine boost while doing homework late at night, so I drove to the gas station nearest to my house. A man was standing in the parking lot when I pulled up. As soon as I turned off my car, he walked over to it, said “Hey, baby,” and reached for the door handle. Luckily, I was able to lock it in time. When he couldn’t open the door, he gave me a look as if to say, “Why you gotta be like that”. I drove to the station down the road.