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I went to the movies by myself, for the first time. There was an older man sitting next to me (looked well-dressed, polished). He looked at me quite a few times, must have noticed I was alone. Five minutes into the movie he started stretching his left leg towards my side so that it slightly touched my leg. I moved my legs so that it wouldn’t touch anymore but he kept invading my space. He then crossed his legs and started moving his hand on the hand rest towards my side so that the sides of our hands were touching. The whole ordeal went on for about 15 minutes, him probably thinking that I wouldn’t notice small touches. Luckily a group who was sitting in the same row as me left the move 20 minutes in for some reason. I promptly changed my seat and went across the aisle. The man left the hall shortly after.
Although there wasn’t any groping involved, the whole situation was scary; I would have left the hall if not for the seats around me emptying up. Just the fact that someone thinks its okay to touch someone else without consent and be complacent in the belief that the girl would not create a scene or not notice small advances is deeply unsettling. I will remember to take a corner seat and buy the seat next to me the next time I go to the movies. It is troubling how certain it is for a woman to be made to feel unsafe in a public space, every single time she steps out.
My friend and I were walking home from an off-campus party. I was on the outside, near a row of parked cars dimly lit by scant street lights. As we approached a nondescript sedan, one of the windows slid down. “Hey girl, you wanna party?” a young man called out. We didn’t respond and picked up the pace. The car was just steps ahead and we could see, now, there were four men inside. They just sat there, in the dark, no engine running, no lights on. As we passed, the rear passenger door swung open. “Come here, bitch.” An arm extended from the car and latched onto mine. He yanked and pulled me toward the open door. “NO!” I screamed, realizing I was losing ground. My friend grabbed my other arm and together we wrenched me away, tug-of-war style, out of his grip. And we ran. We ran before the others could get out of the car. We ran without looking back. We ran all the way to campus, all the way into our dorm, not daring to stop until we heard the lock click behind us.
Between my best friend’s house and mine there is a building under construction. Whenever a girl passes by, the workers shout and catcall her. That happened to me a few times and so it happened to a lot of other women. We live pretty close so I normally walk there daily, and it’s also my way to class. One day I realized the men recognized me as they knew I passed by everyday generally the same time and I started getting scared. Since then, I’ve asked my best friend to pick me up when I visit him and to go to class. I was never catcalled again. My best friend is a guy. I guess they respect the man who is with you.
At Hollaback! HQ this week we started the last phases of our End of the Year campaign and got ready for the upcoming holidays–this will be our last WIOS until the new year! Metro interviewed Debjani about the increase of sex crimes on the NYC subways, and Fast Company featured Emily in a new piece.
And at Hollaback! around the world:
Hollaback! Croatia hosted a party for their Lesbian of the Year award, honoring those who contributed to the visibility of lesbians, bisexual, and trans women in the field of sports, culture, activism and generally improve the quality of life for LGBT minorities.
Hollaback Ottawa attended an International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers rally!
Hollaback Katmandu attended a ‘Feminist Film Screening’ hosted by Voices of Women Media at Women LEAD. The event showcased two short documentaries about child marriage and the lack of access to public toilets for young women. The screening was followed by a question and answer session with the director, where our LEADers discussed issues like gender discrimination and gender roles, and the impact it has on the lives of young women.
Hollaback Belfast joined the South Belfast Lantern Parade to light up South Belfast this Sunday, which will help fundraise for community events – including Reclaim the Night 2016!
Iba camino a Madrid y antes de llegar a la estación de Vicalvaro, en él cercanías, un señor cambió de asiento y se sentó delante de mí. Al poco rato se abrió la bragueta y mirándome fijamente comenzó a masturbarse. Cuando me di cuenta de que, efectivamente era eso lo que estaba haciendo y no imaginaciones mías (porque no quería mirarle fijamente, me intimidaba) me levanté para cambiarme de sitio y de vagón. Me miró ofendido y enfadado cuando lo hice. Tuve que bajarme del tren porque sufrí un episodio de ansiedad.
We had a quiet week at Hollaback! HQ with a smaller office, but team members Desiree, CJ, and Jae kept things up and running! Desiree attended Change Making in the Digital Age which was made possible by one of our awesome funders, Ashoka and CJ volunteered at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project’s Attorneys and Advocates Awards.
At Hollaback! around the world,
Hollaback! Baltimore hosted a talk, The Intersections of Gender and Police Harassment, and a Coffee Chat. Go Baltimore!
Holla and out!
I was waiting at a crosswalk while on my bike. A male biker at the same time started asking me personal questions. Where did I live; where was I going; what was I doing tonight? I ignored him. He became angry. He yelled at me that I was a fucking bitch. I responded, tired and calmly, that I was not a bitch, but instead was tired and just wanted to go home in peace. He repeated that I was a bitch and he’d never want to fuck me anyway.
I lived in Brookings at the time. My boyfriend worked the night shift at Walmart. He called me telling me that he forgot his lunch. We only had one car (that was with him) so I had to walk to bring it to him. We lived above a bar and just as I was leaving the apartment two men and a girl left the bar. The men began catcalling me. It started with asking me how I was doing, but quickly escalated to calling out that I should go home with them, and such things. I was 3 1/2 months pregnant and I was terrified for both myself and my baby. They followed me for half a mile before turning back around to go wherever they were going. The worst part, for me, was that there was a girl with them. Not only didn’t she stop them but she giggled the whole time like my discomfort and fear was hilarious.
At about midnight a guy followed me downstairs in the train station and asked why I was walking alone. Although I did’t answer or answered pretty pissed he didn’t leave my side until I told him that I have a boyfriend.
Like many women all over the world, I have been a victim of street harassment countless times over the course of my life—starting from the age of 13. We all know that mixed feeling of anger and fear when we’re being catcalled. We assess the situation: is it safe to retaliate and say something to this person? Or should I just keep walking and avoid them?
Hollaback and others are doing amazing work to fight this type of harassment by giving victims of street harassment a way to fight back & a space to voice their experiences. And there is still more work to be done. About a year ago, after complaining to my boyfriend Joseph for the umpteenth time about harassment I had experienced that day, he said to me, “Well stop complaining and do something about it!” “Ok, but how? What can we do?” I replied. As a feminist and my partner, Joseph wanted to help stop this harassment, too. Influenced by all the recent videos that had been flooding the Internet at that time, he suggested we make our own videos that specifically speak to men about street harassment.
Thus SAFER: NYC was born! SAFER: NYC (Street Action For Equality & Respect) aims to end street harassment in a unique way: by mobilizing men to be part of the solution. We strongly believe that the issue of street harassment cannot be adequately solved without the engagement of men—being the root of the problem, their enthusiastic participation is essential to the solution. Our campaigns and messaging humanize the victims of street harassment by highlighting who—in men’s own lives—may be victims: their daughters, wives, sisters, mothers, etc. This serves as a reminder that by harassing others, they are harassing someone’s else’s family member or friend. This message personalizes the devastating impact of street harassment and will serve as a pivotal force for changing behavior.
So how do we actually engage and mobilize men? First, we created two videos that you can see here, as well as a four public service announcements that we will be premiering on New York City subways next Spring. Second, we are doing research on why men engage in street harassment, as there has never been research done on this subject. Armed with this research, we can design the most effective solutions and programs to address the root causes of street harassment.
And lastly, we will be holding community building and awareness raising events, with our first comedy show this Thursday, November 19th at La Luz in Brooklyn, NY. The show will address the topic of street harassment and will feature some of the best improv, sketch, and stand up comedy acts in NYC! The purpose of the show is to raise awareness (and a few funds!) about street harassment and engage people in a conversation about how we can stop it. Your attendance will bring us one step closer to ending street harassment, so we hope you can join us this Thursday!
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Doors open at 7pm, Show 8-10pm
@ La Luz, 135 Thames St, Brooklyn, New York 11237
Tier 1 $10/Tier 2 $15
Buy your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/safer-nycs-street-harassment-comedy-show-tickets-19270939900