demonstration, Verbal

Ellen’s story: from now on, I will hollaback!

I had yoga after work; it was a hot so I wore a regular tank top and work out pants. Near my studio I saw two men unloading a truck into the shop next door – they were calling out to every single woman who walked by. Immediately I felt uncomfortable and on guard; as I walked into the building I heard one man shout “hey girl with the pig tails, come back and play with me;’ I kept walking. I didn’t feel ‘sexy’ or ‘flattered’…I felt awkward, embarrassed, and mad at myself for what I was wearing. But no more. I am in my 30s now and I am tired of feeling small and meek; I am tired of wondering if my top is too tight or if I should tie a sweater around my hips…So no more. I will no longer stand for wolf whistles, cat calls, lip smacking, and all the ‘pretty lady compliments.’ I’m tired and done with it…from now on I will ‘hollaback.’

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demonstration, Verbal

Perturbed’s story: the “you look just like my daughter” fetish

I was walking home from Nob Hill to Union Square after a Halloween party. I was a small 19-year-old, just transplanted from a tiny country town, and even though I was streetsmart enough to ask friends to escort me home at 2 AM, they remarked about being very tired and wanting to go to bed. So I decided to go home anyhow, alone. Cabs were expensive so I didn’t think to take one. I had walked home from Nob Hill alone before. It was usually deathly quiet around the rich neighborhoods that late at night, which I took mistakenly as a sign that I would be safe until I got home.
I was walking up Clay street, and when I passed the Jones st intersection, I saw a 40’s-ish man in a trenchcoat standing on the sidewalk. He didn’t look hostile but he seemed slightly uncoordinated – I should have taken that as a sign and crossed to the other side of the street, or turned around, but I kept going. I figured he was just waiting for a bus.
As I got closer it was pretty apparent that he was drunk, and from his wardrobe he seemed pretty affluent, not that it makes any difference. As soon as I walked past him and he saw me, he fixated on me.
“Hey, doll, how’s it going?”
I think I mumbled “fine” and kept going. But he started walking in the same direction. He kept calling me doll and asking me questions, although he was drunk/slurring/mumbling. Although I distinctly heard him say, “You look just like my daughter, doll.” That was the last straw. I crossed the street quickly – fortune seemed to be in my favor, because I saw a cab approaching the next intersection, and furiously waved him down, and was driven home.
I was mortified and spent a few days feeling surreal and freaked out. Since then, I find it almost funny how I have never been accosted by a homeless person (not that they’re harmless either) but it’s always affluent, well-dressed, middle-aged men who are the ones who hit on me, and always in a, “you’re young enough to be my daughter and I like that” kind of way. I’m very short and young-looking (I’m 23 and I was charged 17 & under admission at the museum) and I find it disturbing that so many men that age find underage girls so appealing. Gross.
I live in a smaller town now but I never let my guard down. I have come into my own as a feminist and as a person who is aware of rape culture, and I’m glad to have found Holla.

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demonstration, groping, Stalking, Verbal

Victoria’s story: #policeFAIL

I was once going to my car to retrieve something out of it. When I was finished I turned back around to find a man standing directly behind me. I thought to myself that maybe he was there to ask for change, something that I was used to. Instead of hearing the words “Can you spare a quarter M’am?” I got “I was just tryin’ to make love to you.” Not exactly sure how to react to this I started walking away. He then proceeded to follow me and he asked me where I was going. I said, “To my boyfriends!”. That’s where he grabbed my arm and said something to the extent of “What your boyfriend got on me?”. I was able to remove his hand from my arm. Luckily he just walked off. The man seemed out of it and was possibly drunk or on something else. Not much later I saw a group of horse cops in the same alley way. I approached them and informed them that a man had just come up to me and tried to pull me away and possibly rape me and that they could please stay around to keep a look out. Not only did they barely acknowledge me, but they all road off about 5 minutes later.

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demonstration, Verbal

Georgie’s story: The good guys

A while back, I got the train at around 10pm at night. I boarded the train which was quite empty and sat down and about a minute later a man got on and sat on the opposite side of the train near me. He was making a lot of noise and mumbling a bit to himself as it was very cold, I actually laughed to myself because he was making such a fuss.

The train journey was fine and I was listening to my iPod when I heard something. I took out my earphones and listened again and heard a whistle and suddenly turned my head to see the man and he winked at me. I was in shock for a moment and just stared but managed to tell him, firmly, in my nastiest tone “Go fuck yourself.”

As you can imagine he was quite taken aback by a teenage girl being so forthright, he said what? and I told him he knew what, and that I didn’t appreciate any disgusting advances from a pervert like him and turned back in my seat. He started to defend himself but I kept interrupting him telling him I KNEW he did it and to leave me alone. He denied it so much I started to doubt whether it had happened at all.
He started to get quite loud “don’t flatter yourself, don’t flatter yourself” at which point two men which were on the train further down asked if everything was alright and came over. The man started swearing about me but the men knew what had gone on and seriously, SHOUTED at him. The train conductor asked how I was when he came to check tickets as the men told him what had gone on. Needless to say the man tried to deny it and swore about me on the phone as he walked out of the station calling someone as he didn’t want to walk home on his own!!

It turns out HE was the one that would walk home scared tonight and not me. There are good people out there who will help too and from now on I will ALWAYS HOLLABACK!!!

2 comments 
demonstration, Verbal

Amanda’s story: iPod protection

A group of builders have been working on a restaurant close to where I work in Hanway Street, London for the past five or six months. I’d say that at least once a day I hear them say something to me or another girl who is walking past at the same time.

I used to walk different routes just to get to a shop around the corner because it annoyed me so much. Now I make sure I always have my iPod with me so I can ignore what they say. I don’t know how much longer they will be working on the restaurant but it’s frustrating to feel that they can get away with it.

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demonstration, Verbal

Camilla’s story: “Maybe next time”

I was outside of a house waiting for my friend to arrive so we could go inside to the party at the same time. It was around 3pm in the afternoon and I had been standing in the same spot for about 5 minutes when an 80 year old man (or so I think) came up to me and started talking.

He asked what I was doing and I said I was waiting for a friend to go to a party. He asked me where the party was and I lied and said I wasn’t sure. Then he said ” I would really like to make love to you”. I was so shocked, what seemed like a grandfatherly interaction had now turned into a perverted creep and even though I felt like screaming, all I could do at the time was turn away from him in silence. He then said “Maybe next time” and walked off.

My friend arrived shortly after and we went to the party, needless to say it made me feel like I need to be chaperoned to be in public.

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demonstration, racial discrimination, Verbal

Laron’s story: WHY DO YOU DO THAT?

i get harassed repeatably almost to the point I hate going outside.. I’m from New Orleans i just thought maybe it was this city that guys are like that but when i got to new york it got worst, guys stopping their cars in traffic and blowing and yelling until i say something, being called “black bitch” and “ho” for not saying more than hi, and worst of all BEING GRABBED and having to RUN …its like WHY DO YOU DO THAT, where do you get that from…closet full of nice clothes I’m afraid to wear because i know that i will be severely harassed, thing is it doesn’t matter what I look like it or wear —it happens EVERY TIME, I almost go out my way to look as bad a possible not to be shouted/cursed/grabbed… I fear walking down the street, catching the subway, doing anything .. daily.

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Verbal

Jade Samantha’s Story: “No wonder the hotel is taking years and years to get finished.”

Whenever I walk past these builders working on a new hotel, they whistle and shout to me to try and get my attention.¬† Shouldn’t they be more focused on working and be looking at what they are doing high up on scaffolding than looking at me and larking about? Idiots. Repeat offenders, no wonder the hotel is taking years and years to get finished if this is all they do all day!

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Verbal

Eve’s Story: Coward troll creates fake account to harass

I had a strange experience just now…

I found the riot grrl harassment pamphlets to be really awesome, so I posted all of them on my Facebook account, with the “Excuse me, hi, I just wanted to let you know…” one as my profile picture.

I posted these flyers as an act of solidarity with others who have experienced verbal sexual abuse. I think it’s pretty obvious that they are not directed at all men, just those who choose to be sexist assholes.

I received this Facebook Message:

“I had to make this fake account just to let you know how incredibly offensive your profile pictures are. My respect for you as a dancer and as a person have been severely retarded.

I don’t know whether you got hurt by some asshole guy or something else, but there’s no need to be offensive to guys who do not behave that way.

Get off your high and might fucking horse.

Oh sorry forgot to mention this, don’t bother replying as I’ve obviously blocked you.”

At first I was shocked, then angry, then thought maybe he was right that it was offensive for me to post this. But…people use Facebook for lots of purposes- including championing various causes dealing with sexism, racism, homophobia, etc. The real kicker is that he made an anonymous account. What a jerk.

3 comments 
Verbal

Katie’s Story: No one needs their confidence destroyed

I am only 14, but yesterday I experienced two harassers in the same day. Both were when a car drove past with men inside. The first car just wolf whistled at me but the second time the men shouted at me and my friend ‘Gorgeous arses on you two’. I feel this is unacceptable for a person of my age. It made my friend feel very self-conscious walking down the street for the rest of that day.

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