Last night, Hollaback! interns Maya and Sarah (that’s us!) spent the evening at The Hatchery’s Women’s Leadership Summit: Empowering Women Forward. It was a night that celebrated all its title would suggest and expressed the importance of women in leadership roles and how to empower one another to reach our goals.
In conversation with the speakers before they took stage, one theme seemed to rule the conversation– the obstacles and challenges in our world that have been left untouched. As part of the movement to end “street what?” we thought that this idea certainly applied to Hollaback! There are moments when tackling street harassment does sometimes feel like a “no one else is doing it” kind of project. From our conversation last night and from the stories that you have shared with Hollaback! about your own experiences of street harassment, we were reminded that it is often those causes that seem least known that are the most important to discuss.
Fortunately for us, this “street what?” is becoming less and less common. The internet has allowed us to connect our incredibly isolating incidences in a way that holla’s back against our harassers. As Yao-Hui Huang, founder of The Hatchery, said to kick off last night’s events, “It’s time to talk about power.”
It is time to talk about the power to stand up for yourself. It is time to talk about the power to respond to your harasser. And it is time to talk about how you can take back the power by telling a story, taking a photo, or standing up for a stranger in need of bystander intervention.
These are the powers we have to combat street harassment. And damnit, we’re going to use them. You go, holla-people!
-Sarah & Maya