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No I will not take off my shirt or show you my ass for your polaroids. Skeevy asshole. I’m so happy to go back to San Francisco and say goodbye to the Bowery’s poetry scene… Where they knowingly tolerate blatant sexual harassers in their scene.
I talked smack right back at you and played along to hear more of the bullshit. And then pointed out to you that craigslist would be a better place to find women for your polaroid exploits. Put up your ad and get the fuck out of poetry.
Dear women in the Bowery Scene and people there who aren’t misogynist fuckheads, I feel sorry for you that you have to put up with that kind of thing. Why do you?
Dear woman with the shaved head who tonight at the poetry club took off your shirt for this dude in the bathroom, did you feel all empowered when this guy went on to harass other people and show your photo in his book and to boast that he likes the authentically dykey ones the best, next to the trannies?
Dear MC dude of the Urbana slam team, nice job of laughing off sexual harassment to my face. Also thanks for letting me know that “that guy hangs out here every single day at the poetry club.” That makes it all better! I’m sure everyone just thinks he’s SO funny and such a character!
Dear guy working the door… I thought you were laughing with me and were complicit in my fool-baiting. “Thanks” for then when I confronted the dude about his fucked-upedness, then acting like you didn’t hear anything wrong… And for saying that you didn’t hear anything hostile. Because we all know that asking all the women in a cafe, or a poetry reading at a bar, to take off their clothes for a camera and if they have any “intimate” piercings or tattoos is just totally FRIENDLY… It makes women feel all appreciated and welcome and stuff…
Oh also? The tempting offer of a free copy of your poetry book in exchange for the polaroids of my naked body… not tempting at all.
Submitted by Liz Henry
Passing by the local supermarket this morning on my way to work, one of the stock guys from the market (he was wearing his smock/uniform) got altogether too close to me and called me “chula.” [HB NOTE: For you nonspanish speakers, chula means sexy or hottie]. I told him to shut up, that he should concentrate on his job instead of bothering people. He just stood there and laughed. So I got out my cell phone and aimed. This guy must have some experience dodging cameras because he immediately threw his hood over his head, covered his face with one arm, and started desperately twirling around, looking for his shopping cart, trying to get away from me with his eyes covered up, keeping his face hidden. He looked like such a fool. So, I only got a lousy shot of the back of his head, but at least I got the satisfaction of watching him run and hide, like the cockroach he is.
Submitted by Nancy
I’m only twelve, so I get grossed out pretty easy.
As I was walking home from school one day, a man A LOT older than me stops walking as I walk past. He tries to grab me but I speed up so he misses. “I love your ass!” he calls after me.
Submitted by Fiona
(A special note from the Hollaback team: GO VOTE! Let’s make this world a better place together. New Yorkers: got voting questions? Get them answered here.)
My roommate and I walked twelve blocks to a Halloween party last night, and were harassed by NINE different people. After the first three guys in the first three blocks started calling at us (despite the coats that covered up our costumes!), I remembered hearing about Holla Back and I whipped out my cell phone. These were the only pictures that came out clearly, but the
two doofy old guys were by far my favorite. I walked back to them after they called out to us, and said, “smile. I’m putting you on a website that ridicules creepy people who harrass women on the street.” So what do they do? Smile, of course! I really wish I could say “only in New York City…”
Submitted by Emily
Tom: Can I go in with you?
Me: I don’t think so dude.
Me: (shaking head) No.
Tom: I won’t look. What are you scared I’m going to see something? I won’t look. I’ll pee in the shower.
The door opens and I slip in. As the door shuts behind me he forces it back open and thrusts himself into the bathroom. Next thing I know he’s standing next to me. With reflexes that were must more impressive than my zombie costume might have suggested, I pushed him backwards as hard as I could. He fell outside of the bathroom and I locked the door.
Adrenaline still pumping, I got my boyfriend to take this picture of him. As I stood there shaken and scared, he was dancing.
Submitted by Emily
I was just taking a walk up and down my street (It’s a fairly quiet road, I started just walking there instead of around the block to avoid people harassing me) and as I turn at the end of my street to walk back towards my home, a guy leans out of his car (he’s on an adjacent street) to scream out at me “I WANT TO LICK YOUR PUSSY!”. Wow. I was wearing basketball shorts and an undershirt, but I felt so dirty after he said that. Thanks for ruining my day, jerk.
Submitted by Angela
My dad gave my best friend and I his afternoon tickets for the 9/16 game RED SOX VS YANKEES. We sat for about ½ the game when this guy from behind us started making jokes about “southies” and how much the red sox suck (not to mention they were almost done selling beer and the Yankees were getting spanked). We ignored him for a pretty long time and hoped he would just shut up. Everyone in our section (mostly other season ticket holders) were also getting annoyed by his loud drunken stupidity. We jokingly asked him if he was from Jersey to which he answered “how did you know?” and then continued to call us nasty names. He called us everything in the book including assuming we were there “together” even though we both had our wedding rings prominently displayed. Finally when we had just about had enough he started to throw things at us. It was horrible. My friend was turning bright red. Being that we are both Scorpios you can imagine it was hard for us to sit there so long and listen to this without shouting back at him. Finally my friend turned around and told him to shut up which, admittedly, only made things worse. He screamed louder and louder and splashed beer in our direction, asking us if we liked to be humiliated. I am a military veteran with overseas time we even turned around and told him he was ruining one of my last few days before deployment (which has since been canceled) and even that didn’t shut him up. At one point in time I think he spit on us. At this point even his friends were looking pretty embarrassed but still weren’t attempting to shut him down. We got up and moved (to better seats no less) and enjoyed the rest of our day there—but since I had heard about this site on NPR, I had to snap some pictures of him. Here he is, in the white shirt with blue stripes and glasses on his head.
Submitted by Nicki and Corinne
He still couldn’t take his eyes of a woman’s rear even as my phone was in his face. He and his friend eyed her and he said, “Have a nice day, gorgeous.” But in the way that makes you feel anything but nice.
Submitted by Susan
I scored a HollaBack victory last night. I was almost home and walking down Roosevelt Ave. in Jackson Heights when I heard a guy behind me saying things that sounded like catcalls. I listened to the words and it went something like this: “Yes, your body, I can be inside your body.”
I turned around and asked him, “You talking to me?”
“Oh yes, yes.”
“Well, you better shut the fuck up, buddy, or I’ll have you arrested,” I said. I did not know how I was going to have him arrested, but that’s beside the point. “You better stop talking to me like that.”
Of course, he did not stop. Despair set in. Then, miracle of miracles! I saw a cop crossing the street. I flagged her down and told her about the harrasser. He was trying to hide behind the telephone booth but we found him. She started scolding him. I started scolding him, too — “you don’t talk to women like that.” He played dumb and denied everything, but the officer wasn’t having any of it. To add insult to his injury, every time I tried to talk to the officer the harrasser interrupted me. Which caused the officer to yell “shut up” at him over and over. It was quite fun to watch the officer put him in his place.
“See, you obviously don’t respect women because you won’t even let them talk to each other,” I said.
The officer told me she would give the guy a summons. I left them on the corner and went about my merry way.
Submitted by Lauri
After meeting with a co-founder of HollaBack I was walking home and ecstatically explaining to a friend on my cell phone how well my interview went and how excited I was to get involved in the group. While deeply engaged in this phone conversation, this guy finds it appropriate to ask, or tell me “Hey baby, come hang out with us”, ignoring the fact that I look 14 and he looks 70. While I’ve heard much more disturbing comments and usually blow this nonsense off, this guys body language was enough on its own as he tried stopping me in my tracks, literally. Quickly I said to my friend I’ll call you back, knowing that I needed to get this pigs picture. Getting my camera ready, I turned back towards this guy and his friend and politely said “Just let me take your picture” to which he happily responded with this pose. “Thanks”, I said, “HollaBack, H-o-l-l-a BACK. Check out your face on the website!” To this he sarcastically responded “Well come back so I can give you a better picture”. I kept walking and with a smile and confidence this time for I knew he was confused and nervous, most likely wondering where his face was being posted and who would see it. Living in New York for more than five years and experiencing the most disturbing acts of harassment, I always walked away pissed off with the feeling of being violated and helpless or tried blowing it off while thinking to myself, ‘don’t let this guy get to you’. Now I don’t have to! Now I can HOLLA BACK! and rightly so.
Submitted by Lisa (our newest member!)