I first heard about HollaBack when someone posted about it on a Xanga forum (Lovelyish). Needless to say, I’m in shock about the countless stories these women have and how closely they parallel my own stories. I’m now thinking twice about my surroundings and the sexually-charged comments that so many say to take as a ‘compliment’.
UNF is known for being a safe campus and I couldn’t agree more (there haven’t been any ‘violent’ occurrences like mugging, fights, etc.), however, when it comes to sexual harassment it’s a different story. There isn’t a day when I walk out of my dorm and get cat-called by guys that bum around on the benches in front of our building. One time, I was walking to the gym with one of my friends. I was stretching out my quads before jogging across the intersection, when a car packed with guys comes racing by, several of them make a ‘smooching’ face out the window. Just because I’m asian doesn’t mean “me love you long time” (which was a long-standing harassment phrase back in highschool).
I gave them two middle fingers (much to pride of my boyfriend).
Catcalls and harassment have become so ridiculous that my boyfriend surprised me the other day when he wanted to get me some pepper spray.
It’s worse when harassment happens in what you thought was the comfort of your own home. I live in a suburban community and my street is really quiet and hardly anyone passes by, unless you live there. I came home one weekend and was unloading my bags from the car when this older guy (must have been in his 40’s or 50’s) comes out of his truck and grins at me. My dad comes out to greet him and the guy asks my dad if “(I’m) the older one?” He starts leering, she’s a pretty thing. What school does she go to? At this point, I’m fed up and walk into the house, an obvious look of disgust on my face.
I hope my dad stood up for me.
Catcalls always escalate at work. I work for retail and there isn’t a day that I greet someone (customer service) and automatically get some leering comment. I can’t fire back and I calmly try to diffuse the situation. I usually work until 9pm and we park out back, so there’s always some sense of foreboding whenever you have to walk at night to the parking lot.
I really hope that sexual harassment laws or some form of enforcement gets passed. It’s scary to think that you can’t be safe at your school, at work, or at your own home. In the meantime, get some pepper spray and don’t walk alone when you can!
Submitted by Alyssa