Such a gorgeous day and a nice lunch in the park, ruined by a group of low-lifes cat calling passers by at Waverly pl and Broadway.
BY HOLLABACK! BUENOS AIRES
This may sound strange but to celebrate International Women’s Day in Buenos Aires Hollaback! decided to talk about men. Inspired by a Hollaback Webinar on “Engaging Men”, we asked our followers to submit their street harassment essays to “Desist & resist: Ending street harassment, cues for men” with a promise to publish the top three entries nationally and internationally. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of the entries we received.
Romina Zamborain sent us a thoughtful essay exploring the nature of the “piropo” (catcall) and its expected response in the macho culture of the Buenos Aires streets. She proposes to a male audience that they rethink their assumptions by asking themselves a number of questions, starting with the fundamentals:
“¿Pero qué pasa cuando una mujer transita en el espacio público? ¿Percibe estas palabras como un halago, necesita escucharlas? ¿Con qué frecuencia le ocurre y qué tipo de cosas escucha en cada situación?”
(trans: “What happens when a woman walks through public space? Does she hear these words as compliments; does she need to hear them? How often does it happen, and what kinds of things does she hear in each situation? “)
She continues her thought experiment probing ever deeper, finally proposing a world where we make a concerted effort to see the other person’s perspective. Read the essay here.
We also received a video entry, crafted by Amelia Rébori, who made this poignant stills-video with a resonant message; Women are not objects & objectification is not OK! See the video here:
Janet wrote us in an informal style to tell us her story as a tourist in Buenos Aires aires, recalling all the positive experiences she has had meeting people on the street in Buenos Aires – and how that has differed substantially in her experience of street harassment. Read her entry here.
I’m sitting on the bus and I look up to see this older man stare at me. He did not stop looking until I zippered my jacket and covered my chest.
After parking in a parking garage, I was walking down the street to get to my destination. I purposely crossed the street to avoid walking past a group of construction workers, even though I didn’t have to. I watched as they all leered at a young woman who had been in front of me before I crossed. She chose to just break out her phone and text to avoid eye contact. At this point my blood was already boiling a bit. When I got to the building I needed to enter, I had to cross the street again. A group of 3 guys whiplashed their necks to check out that same girl as she passed them. When they got to me, I saw smiles and stares from the corner of my eye and heard “C’mon, smile baby” just as we crossed paths. I kept walking, up to the door, but said “Shut the f**k up” real loud. His friend said something like “oooh, dang” and laughed that the street harasser wasn’t enough of a player or something, instead of oh, I don’t know: apologizing for his friend, telling his friend to shut up, laughing at how idiotic street harassment really is. It took a while to calm down. I KNEW that this other young woman, nor myself, could just walk down the street on warm, sunny day in peace.
I was walking with my sister and best friend in a slightly sketchy part of Albany and some guy asked us if we wanted to have an “orgy.” Gross!
the driver of the silver car leaned out his window and made a loud juicy kissing noise at me before I crossed the street from under that bridge. Happy v day!
I broke my arm. I was at the pharmacy waiting for my pain rx to be filled. A man approached me and said “smile gorgeous, how are you” I’m thinking, well, I’m clearly not too well considering my giant cast and sling. I’m in pain, do I seriously look like I want to talk to you? And why is it my job to smile FOR YOU anytime, much less when I’m in pain and clearly busy on my phone.
BY CATHERINE FAVORITE
This year Target is selling one Valentine’s Day card that draws only the sound of crickets and tumbleweeds rather than laughter. The front of the card reads:
“Stalker is a harsh word” and the inside says: “I prefer Valentine”.
Considering that 54 percent of female murder victims reported being stalked, this is one crime that should never be equated with love. Regardless of your feelings about Valentine’s Day, it should go without saying that there is never a good time to make light of stalking, especially not on a day that is supposed to be about letting the people in your life know you care about them. Apparently, Target has not gotten the memo, yet.
By making light of what is a serious, terrifying and potentially violent crime for 1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men in the United States, Target is normalizing the message that stalking is acceptable behavior. Even worse, they are diminishing the concerns of victims of stalking and contributing to the dangerous attitude that one should not report it to the police. So Hollabackers, let’s call Target out on their insensitivity! By signing this Care2 petition, you will help send a message to Target that jokes about stalking are not edgy or humorous.
My friend L. was walking to work and from behind she heard a guy say “Hey Sweetheart”. She kept walking and never saw the guy. She brought it up at work, obviously frustrated, but didn’t see the point in “making a big deal out of it” because she has to deal with it all the time. I think that is WHY we women have to deal with it all the time, because we force ourselves to bury it away and NEVER deal with it. The more people can know that objectifying or degrading comments make us feel like crap, then maybe it will happen less. Or maybe we can have the courage to speak out when it does happen. And yeah, even “Hey sweetheart” can make you feel weird when you don’t know the person saying it & they’re behind you and you haven’t seen their face and all you wanted to do was walk to work without being reminded that society views you as a piece of meat.