“I found it important to bring the issue up in the public realm. It was not an issue that had been addressed very widely, but it was certainly the case that it was an issue that needed attention. Hollaback! offered the tools and the support to create a new paradigm using digital technology, which wasn’t being used in that way here yet…” –Inti Maria
Last year, when Hollaback! Buenos Aires leader Inti Maria received a public rape threat from prominent and influential journalist Juan Terranova, Holalaback! sprang into action to respond. Terranova made his threat in reaction to Hollaback! Buenos Aires’s sudden rise in publicity surrounding an advertising campaign by Coca-Cola which encouraged piropos, a kind of street harassment. Sending a clear message that Hollaback! takes violent threats seriously, Emily May, Inti, and Hollaback! site leaders from around the globe created and circulated an online petition that gathered signatures from over 3,500 people in 75 different countries. Next, Hollaback! focused their energy on convincing advertisers to withdraw support from the magazine that printed the threat. Through brilliant use of online organizing and their global network, the united Hollaback! groups convinced advertisers Fiat and Lacoste to pull their advertisements, prompting the magazine to distance itself from Terranova. More recently, Inti has been working on building a stronger local network and volunteer community, organizing alongside feminist organisations with strong digital platforms, such as Con.textuadas, AnyBody Argentina, Especie en Riesgo de Extincion and Chicas Bondiola, in opposition to a website, Chicas Bondi, which posts photos of women on public transportation without their knowledge or permission. In her own words, Inti is most proud of “having inspired personal and professional growth in the volunteers of the chapter.” Most recently, Inti has raised the issue of street harassment at the National Annual Women’s Meeting, attended by 25,000 women. She has also singlehandledly set up a screen printing studio in her garage to make hand crafted merchandize, which helps visbilize and bring brand awarenes to the movement. Hollaback! Buenos aires has joined forces with the feminist self defense workshop to create a safe space for women to talk about strategies of self defense and street harassment, and participated this years Marcha de Las Putas Festival with an information stall, t-shirts, and a self-defense workshop.