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
BIG NEWS: Today Hollaback! has released a new app to share and map your stories of street harassment around the world. What’s more, with the new app, you can create your own, personalized maps of street harassment and share them on social media.
Ever had someone tell you that street harassment isn’t a big deal? Now, with a click of a button, you can show them what your daily commute really looks like! And, if you’re waiting for the bus and want to quickly send some love, you can read other Hollaback! user’s stories and let them know you’ve got their back.
In a world where street harassment is too often dismissed or thought of as not a big deal, sharing our stories and supporting one another is a meaningful way to make our voices heard and create change. With this app, you can do both in under five seconds – freeing up your time to make the revolution go down!
With that goal in mind, we’re launching a story sharing campaign on the app and online with #iHollaback for the next two weeks. Stories shared during the campaign will be publicized in our storify and media outreach. Join us from September 9th – 23rd, and let’s show the world how powerful story sharing can be!
I just finished volleyball practice and I was walking to the front of the school to be picked up. I was walking past a bunch of doors the led into the school and one of them creeped open. I looked over and there was the old man just looking at me and he asked me what my name was. At first I didn’t see any harm and thought he might of had a question and just by instinct told him my name ( yes I know that was stupid). He then looks me up and down and says yourrr’e cuute. I was disgusted and gave him this dirty look and walked away as fast as I could. He is a janitor that works at a high school! I didn’t know at the time and I wish I would had reported it as soon as it happened.
whistling and jeering as I reverse park my car.
This person is stalking and harassing me.
We have three words for you: HeartMob, HeartMob, HeartMob! We could not be more excited about our new platform becoming a reality as we are gearing up to launch in just a few weeks. The most exciting news is that we have received a $516,000 grant from the Knight Foundation!!! We could not be more thrilled or grateful for this opportunity to combat online harassment.
Some other awesome news: we have a new intern at HQ! Sophie arrived from the UK a few days ago to help us with launching HeartMob. As a graduate student from Oxford, Sophie is studying the benefits and ramifications of the Internet. We are looking forward to collaborating with her!
Guess what: we are hiring a HeartMob Program Associate HQ! Spread the word to all who are determined to help us fight online harassment.
Here’s what’s up around the globe:
Alicia, the fierce director of Hollaback! Bahamas!, received the Queen’s Young Leaders Award for her outstanding work transforming the lives of others and making a difference in her community. We are so proud of Alicia’s dedication to the movement to end street harassment!
Hollaback! Pittsburgh is having a meet up this week to discuss the future of the movement to end street harassment with its community. It’s awesome to rally the allies and supporters.
Hollaback! Vancouver continues to tear up the press with Transit Tuesdays. They truly are making a difference in their community.
Hollaback! Alberta had a Chalk Walk for Change to raise awareness of street harassment. The photos of their phrases and designs look fantastic!
That’s all for now. Stay tuned…
Holla and Out!
Keep your cool. Don’t let it get to you. Maybe my shorts are too short? Why am I letting this get to me? Is this my fault?
I am walking home today. The sun is glaring down and I am solely focused on crossing the street to my apartment two blocks away. A car whizzes by just as I’m about to reach safety on the other side of the crosswalk. “Let me honk that ass.” The phantom voice exists for only five seconds — full of disregard, degradation, disrespect.
I am disgusted. I immediately tell myself it’s not my fault. But then find myself uncontrollably catching my reflection in windows I pass with shaming thoughts, “Should I not wear these shorts anymore?”
I hate that I’m left with the fall-out of someone else’s contempt for decency. I’m alone in fighting for respect. I don’t have power in this interaction.
The last time this happened was about two weeks prior. I was biking. I hear a whistle from the sidewalk and my anger instinct kicks kick in “Fuck you!” I shout in his direction. His response to me: “Bitch!”
Recounting this interaction to my boyfriend, hoping to receive some comfort, he scorns me for acting with anger. “You’ll get raped standing up for yourself like that.”
I’m at a loss right now. I’m in some hypothetical danger if I do respond; caught in a self-shaming spiral if I don’t respond.
My friend and I were at a bar by campus, playing pool. The table is right by the front windows. There were two men outside that were staring and making kissy faces at us. We ignored them, but they were outside for around 40 minutes.
I’m 16 and I was on bus route 566 going towards Auburn. A man who looked around 35 sat by me, asked invasive questions about my personal life. He then started talking about my feet and asked to see them. Out of shock I let him then quickly put my shoe back on. He took his socks and shoes off, grabbed my shoe off and started rubbing his feet on mine and started moaning despite me saying I felt uncomfortable and trying to pull my feet away. Another man stepped in and he ran off at Bellevue TC
What’s up Hollaback!?
With Emily and Debjani out of HQ this week, Rachel and the interns have been hard at work. To reward all of the fabulous HeartMob donors, the group diligently packaged thank you cards and gifts to be send around the world. The support for our new platform to combat online harassment is overwhelming. We are so excited to launch HeartMob soon!
At some of our global sites:
Hollaback! Bmore Co-director Leah Mike hit the streets of Baltimore this week to educate street harassers and pedestrians on bystander intervention. Leah, nice work conveying to men how important it is for them to be allies to street harassment victims!
Hollaback! Berlin held a chalk walk in Hamburg to empower victims of street harassment to take back the streets.
Hollaback! Duke is shaking up their campus norms by discussing with their student government the issue harassment of students on campus. They are also working to find solutions to eradicate the behavior.
Shout out to Hollaback! Italia for marching in Milano Pride this past weekend!
We’ve been killing it in the press this week with Hollaback! Vancouver’s Stacey publishing their piece on her personal accounts of street harassment in GUTS and more!
Can’t wait to keep the movement going this week…
Holla and Out!