I just read an article about the Hollaback organization and its founder in the NYtimes.com tonight. How timely an article it is for me. Recently, I was able to get a restraining order against a neighbor who had been harassing me off and on since the summer of 2009. It was typical street harassment. I’d walk past one of the two entrances to my building to hear him call out something in the familiar donkey bray I’d come to hate as other men with too much time on their hands stood around and watched. I (unfortunately) live in Denver now, but I am a NYC woman who has dealt with this kind of harassment for most of my life. I knew that eventually, I’d end it. When I complained to the building manager and she told me that there was nothing she could do because “it happened on the street” and not on the property. Was annoyed, but I was convinced I’d get even. Stay tuned, because I did.
Well, one day (Feb 2010), it happened on the property and in a witness-environment. So, I took the chance when I had it. I hobble-walked (I had had foot surgery and was walking assisted by a cane) over to my harasser, confronted him eyeball to eyeball and told him with much repetition that it was going to stop here and now. I told his male onlookers that they were my witnesses and I took names (they scattered like roaches under bright light).
Fast forward to September 2010. My harasser saw me in the lobby and thought he would apologize. I wasn’t having it. Long story short, he got angry and came at me. That really made me mad! I called the Police and repeated to them one of the things that this fool had said – that the “Police won’t do anything to me” . That night he got a visit from two police officers. Two days later the Sherrif served him with a temporary restraining order. Two weeks later he was standing before a judge. One month later, he was standing before that same judge breathing heavily as the judge informed him that he had stalked me and that he would have a permanent (a second for him) restraining order placed against him. Another week later he was visited by his parole officer (conviction – felony assault on an individual he drugged). Two months later, I am still trying to get him evicted.
I can’t help but wonder how strong of a correlation there is between prior criminal behavior and harassment of women. Or, if the man has no criminal history, is it a predictor of criminal behavior, although I understand that harassment is criminal in itself.
I think that this behavior will only stop when men make each other stop, but in the meantime, I will continue to hollaback as I have done for years.
I have even devised a cure for men who like to expose their penises. Dying to try it on some poor Denver fool, but have not had the chance. It will turn the table on the man so that he crawls off in total humiliation, just by hollering back.
Submitted by H.H.