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This is (a sadly very blurry) photo of a subway masturbator I took on friday night at the Carroll street station. My friend (visiting from boston) and I were heading into the city to meet up with a group for drinks and dancing. Being a friday evening I knew the train would be a while so we sat down on the bench. Across the platform this man was also lounging on a bench. He had made himself comfortable- his bags were strewn around the bench and he was slouched across two seats. Upon seeing us he yelled across the platform “hello ladies” to which I gave him a nod as it had been relatively polite. As it turns out he had bothered my friend as she left the station earlier that evening- asking her where she was going, could he come along etc.
So we ignore him, talk about our new post grad lives blah blah when I hear a rustling which caused me to look at the tracks (I am terrified of getting rabies after a whole other story involving prospect park, a rabid bat and my friends vagina) to make sure nothing is climbing out (I’m aware this is crazy). As I look I notice the man across the platform masturbating furiously! I immediately blurted out, “He’s masturbating!” At first I didn’t think my friend believed me- so she looked over and I began rummaging for my phone. Of course he had heard me, and knew we saw him but it wasn’t until I got my phone out that he covered up! “No pictures” he smirked. To which I responded “no masturbating in public!”
It took me about a minute to even find the camera setting and the pictures aren’t good, but I wanted to freak him out. I then loudly told my friend about hollaback and how useful these pictures will be to the cops when I contact them. Seeing that my pictures were so bad she pulled out her own camera, snapped a few which she intends to touch up so they are more visible.
Thinking that was over, we started talking about street harassment. How common it was in the city. Her own terrifying experiences with men in cars. Then we heard some muttering and looked across the platform to find him at it again! Looking straight at us and mumbling “I like you both… Boobs… Bubble” (couldn’t really understand him). Again we yell at him- there are more people in the station now so I am hoping we can embarrass him. No such luck. We take out our cameras. He covers himself again. Still for the next 30 minutes that we wait for the train he keeps talking to us “I love you… Bubble.. Etc”. Now the normal thing would have been to move but I imagined that as backing down so we stayed, I yelled at him a few times, pretended to have reception and called the cops etc.
The train finally comes, we get to the city and I immediately try and report him. Of course no one is picking up and I keep mysteriously being redirected. My friend is on her phone trying to find the group we were meant to hang out with. It turns out that they had had to leave, as one girl had been roofied (she was thankfully with observant friends who took care of her).
Submitted by Kate
I thought I was wearing a particularly unflattering outfit to work that day, but apparently Mr. S. didn’t agree. He was sitting on a bench on the subway platform and slapped my ass as I walked past him on the subway platform. When I yelled at him, he jumped up and started screaming at me and saying he was going to throw me in front of the next train. All the men on the platform started to surround him, one woman grabbed me and pulled me back, and other passengers got two police officers. He was chasing after me screaming about how he was going to kill me when the police approached him from behind. He told the cops I was lying – why would he touch a woman he doesn’t even know? That’s a fantastic question, Mr. S.
This man will be going to the Criminal Court of the City of New York on charges of Forcible Touching (PL130.52), Sexual Abuse in the 3rd Degree (PL130.55) and Unlawful Possession of Marijuana (PL221.05).
Green Mountain Coffee and Ashoka’s Changemakers are hosting a competition to find and help fund the most innovative ideas that improve communities in the Northeast (Maine, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, or Massachusetts). The best innovations will be awarded prizes totaling USD $50,000, and nominators are also eligible for prizes. Hollaback has applied (check out our application and leave us a comment!) and we encourage you to apply too.
Got a great idea? We’d be happy to nominate you! Just shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit http://www.changemakers.com/en-us/Revelation for all the details. You can enter or nominate innovations from now until April 21, 2010.
I had the pleasure of being on Volcalo Radio with host Molly yesterday! I talked about my very first Hollaback, why street harassment affects some women more than others, and Hollaback’s expansion. Check out the interview here.
Today is Hollaback co-founder Emily May’s birthday (that’s me!). Help me celebrate by clicking this button and voting for Hollaback. The polls close at the end of the day tomorrow. Each vote is a wish for safer streets:
Harassment and assault are on a spectrum of violence against women. Like other forms of violence against women, victims tend to stay quiet. Of our readers, 20% of you reported in our recent survey that you didn’t hollaback because you “secretly wonder if it’s your fault.”
To end of the cycle of violence, we need to break the silence. Hollaback’s newest project uses brains over brawn to fight street harassment. By giving you the ability to report and map street harassment with the touch of an iPhone button, we will let the world know that street harassment is not OK, one hollaback at a time.
To vote for Hollaback, click here. You will need to click on the blue “thumbs up” on the right, sign in, and create an account. Once you have a created an account you will need to click on the link again and vote. $25,000 will give us the funding to secure a new website and develop the iPhone application.
You are the changemaker you seek.
Check out the incredible op-ed by HOLLAheroine Holly Kearl: here. Holly starts it off:
Do you remember when it was legal for a man to make sexually explicit or sexist remarks to a woman at work? I don’t. While sexual harassment in the workplace still happens, it became illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 19 years before I was born. Do you remember when it was legal for a man to make sexually explicit or sexist remarks to a woman on the street or at a bus stop? I do. Sexual harassment in public is legal. But it shouldn’t be.
Street harassment is positioned to be the #1 feminist issue of our generation. Like workplace harassment, the first step to ending street harassment is breaking the silence. Join us and Hollaback!
Stay tuned for Holly’s Book, “Stop Street Harassment” due to be released in August of this year.
As you know, we are planning to develop a Hollaback! iPhone app and redevelop our website by this summer. To make this happen, Hollaback! is looking for talented volunteers to help move our project forward:
Interested? Know someone who could be? Email us at email@example.com.
From our friends at NOW Young Feminist Task Force:
Did you know that City University of NY (CUNY) does not have a university-wide sexual assault policy for it’s half-a-million students? YOU CAN HELP CHANGE THAT BY COMING TO THE FOLLOWING PUBLIC FORUM OR CONTACTING US ABOUT HOW ELSE TO HELP.
CUNY Central is ready to present a proposed policy to the Board of Trustees for approval in April. However, a large group of us, including elected officials* feel that the policy lacks two vital components – –
1. clearer language about mandatory education and
2. anonymous reporting. **
CUNY Board of Trustees public hearing on Monday, May 15, 4:30pm-6pm. If you wish to speak during the Staten Island borough hearing, please call the Office of the Secretary of the Board at (212) 794-5450 by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 12, 2010. However, you can just attend without having to call ahead.
Harassment doesn’t just magically go away; it takes work. If you want to make your workplace harassment-proof, check out our corporate sponsors at CalBizCentral.
When it comes to sexual harassment in the workplace, you have to know what is required of your company and your human resources department. Harassment is not a topic you can take lightly or decide to learn about at a later date. If you work in human resources for a company, it’s time to learn everything you need to know about sexual harassment. HRCalifornia will help you find information and tools to assist with training.
This man comes into the store where I work for guitar lessons every Tuesday. He waits until I’m alone to come and ask if I’ve been ‘behaving myself.’ Stay away!