Article, Stalking, Uncategorized

“Stalker is a Harsh Word, I Prefer Valentine”

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.

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Shawna’s Story: Courage to speak

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.

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Anonymous’s Story: Victory

I was walking to the train at 6am on a Sunday. A man passed me and made a comment. I was right by a deli an didn’t feel danger so I turned around and said, are you serious? I’m a woman alone, you’re a man alone, it’s 6am, it’s dark, just think about what you’re doing, just think.  He actually seemed to hear what I said, and he apologized! Victory.

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Anonymous’s Story: Poor example

I was walking to the metro when this male (not worthy of being called a man) walking with two small children said, “ain’t that sexy” to me as I walked by. I didn’t ask for his input, and it’s infuriating to be referred to as an object, “that”. I did feel empowered, however, to be able to pull out my phone and do something about it!

It makes me sad to think of the poor example that person is setting for those two small children. But I remain hopeful that with campaigns like Hollaback, we will one day end street harassment.

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Anonymous’s Story: True vulgarity

Me and my girlfriend were stopped at a red light when a man got out of his car yelling at us calling us stupid dykes and c**ts flipping us off saying f**k equality and he served in the military continuing to call us faggots. I let him know I have my two year old child in the car he  said he didn’t care and continued screaming vulgar names until light turned green.

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Erin’s Story: Dead wrong

I was out with a big group from work, and this guy came over to talk to me. He seemed okay at first, but then he started nuzzling my neck out of nowhere and tried to put his leg around mine. I just about ran across the room to get away from him. Fortunately a friend who was still near him explained why what he did was dead wrong, but it makes it hard for me to want to go out to that place again.

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Alica’s Story: I am NOT a baby

I am a woman. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a teacher. I am a student. I am a runner. I am a dancer. I am a consumer. I am a producer. I am a worker. I am an entrepreneur. I am a knitter. I am a sewer. I am a builder. I am a photographer. I am a writer. I am a barista. I am a chef. I am a sue chef. I am a clown. I am a director. I am a friend. I am a fighter.

I am NOT a babe. From November 30, 1983 to November 29, 1984, I was a baby. However, NEVER again will I be a babe or a baby.

I am kind. I am affectionate. I am caring. I am creative. I am hopeful. I am optimistic. I am determined. I am resilient. I am relentless. I am patient. I am fun. I am entertaining. I am outgoing. I am inspiring. I am inspired.

I am sweet as honey. I am clever as a fox. I am happy as sunshine. I am cute as a button. I am sharp as a tack. I am wise as an owl.

However…

I am NOT a baby. NEVER again will I be a babe. Do NOT refer to me as such.

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Alicia’s Story: When you honk at me

When you honk at me, it doesn’t make me feel pretty. It makes me feel trashy. Yes, it makes me feel desired, but in the way a fast car or fancy golf set is desired, the lust adorned on an object, but not the genuine desire for companionship of another human being who happens to be a woman.

When you honk at me, it doesn’t make me happy. It makes me feel angry, enraged, irate. Angry, because quite frankly, you startled me. No one likes being caught off guard. I was going about my day, being me, but you came blaring in, uninvited. Enraged, because you assume your expression via a car horn will bring you positive attention, a woman looking at you? This I don’t understand. You think honking at me is something I want or need to feel worth while, so in return I will give you the affirmation you seek to feel worthwhile…wrong!

Irate, because this happens more often than a dentist filling molars. You’re not the only one honking at me. You’re not special. Yet, at the same time, I know I’m not the only one you’re honking at, so I’m not special either. Quit living in your disillusioned world that when you honk at me, you will win me. Sorry, the game doesn’t work that way….so, quit honking at me!!!

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Kent’s Story: Assaulted and hit

While walking in the crosswalk (with right-of-way with “Walk” sign still lighted) east across the north side of the intersection at 23rd Street and 6th Avenue in the Flatiron District of Manhattan, the driver of a black Chevy Suburban with blacked-out windows turned quickly northbound onto 6th Avenue directly in front of me, narrowly missing me by only three inches!

 

I then walked north on the east side of 6th Avenue.  As luck would have it, or not, when I started crossing 22nd Street, this same SUV and driver started turning east on 22nd Street and pushing his way into the crosswalk where I and others were already half-way across.  I yelled out “Hey!” loudly to warn the other pedestrians and the SUV’s driver, only to have him speed up again through the crosswalk, hitting my knee and bags as I was mid-step.  As I walked around the SUV to continue across 22nd Street, the driver stopped and jumped out of his car; a middle-aged man ran to within an inch of my face, assaulting me and yelling “Faggot” at me like a madman!

 

I simply got my cell phone out to take a picture of his license plate and car for evidence, should he do something worse to me.  He got in his car and drove about fifty feet to park his car on 22nd Street.

 

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Anonymous’s Story: “Yes, I’m a woman…get over it!”

This is not a specific story per se, but a general rant. Why do so many males in cars honk at a woman walking down the street or waiting at a bus stop? Also, why do they hang their heads out the window and stare at us when they should be paying attention to the road? It really is just as annoying as if they were to yell something out at me. I’ve already had it done twice to me just this morning within about five minutes of each other, while on my way to work. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what I have to deal with in a typical week. What really burns me is that these idiots only do this when I’m alone. Nobody bothers me when I’m with my boyfriend. Really??? So in order to be left the hell alone, I have to be accompanied by a man at all times, otherwise I’m “fair game”? All I had on was a baggy grey hoodie, purple top, grey pants and sneakers. My hair was thrown back in a sloppy bun. Not that any of this should matter. It has seriously come to the point to where I’m ready to start disguising myself as a man anytime I have to go out alone. These assholes act like they’ve never seen a female before in their pathetic lives. YES, I’M A WOMAN…GET OVER IT!!!

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