Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Berkeley, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Columbia MO, Des Moines, Durham & Chapel Hill, Fredericksburgh VA, Houston, Los Angeles, Muncie IN, New York City, NYU, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond VA, San Francisco, Tucson, Twin Cities
Repost from 2/14/14 showcasing the latest greatest work being done by the global Hollaback! community:
This week, our Executive Director, Emily May, was named an Ashoka Fellow!! Such a great honor. Check out this awesome video introducing her as an Ashoka Fellow, talking about Hollaback! and our work to end street harassment. Congrats Emily!! Also, Hollaback! launched the FIRST EVER Educator’s Guide to Street Harassment. The guide is geared toward teachers, guidance counselors, parents and other educators in New York City who want to address the issue of street harassment amongst middle and high school aged students. Alongside the release, our Deputy Director, Debjani Roy, wrote an article on Huffington Post titled “When Was the First Time You Were Harassed?”.
Here’s what the HOLLAs around the world have been up to:
Hollaback! Appalachian Ohio gave four 45-minute workshops to twenty-seven 8th graders at Vinton Middle School on consent, deconstructing rape culture, gender stereotypes, and bystander intervention. Also, they will be holding a workshop today titled Geography of Street Harassment on the Female Body. Hollabackers Nancy Gomez and Priyanka Kazi will be exploring the relationship between personal experiences of street harassment and the public spaces in which these unwelcome encounters take place. Finally, today they will be distributing the empowering self-love Valentines (pictured above) that they created last week across Athens for students. Feel the HOLLA love!
Hollaback! Des Moines had a special Monthly Meetup this week where they were joined by representatives from One Iowa to discuss health care needs of LGBTQ folks in the Des Moines area. They have meetups on the second Tuesday of every month. Make sure to check out the next one in March! The will also be participating in the second annual V-Day One Billion Rising flash mob with One Billion Rising DSM and Kees Camp TODAY in the downtown skywalks!
Hollaback! Melbourne has a new home! Thanks to generous sponsorship, their office will now be located at The Electron Workshop in North Melbourne. The Electron Workshop is an inclusive and accessible co-working space in North Melbourne, with an emphasis on openness, collaboration, and building mutually beneficial relationships. They have a commitment to supporting women in business and are a welcoming and safe space. Congrats!
Hollaback! Philly has announced the presenters for their upcoming speaker series on human sex trafficking of domestic girls with various experts from across the country. Speakers include John O’Neill (a homicide prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office), Tina Frundt (survivor of human trafficking, Frederick Douglass Award winner, and founder of Courtney’s House), and Dr. Mary Anne Layden (psychotherapist and Director of Education at the Center for Cognitive Therapy at the University of PA). O’Neill’s talk, entitled ”How They Got There: dispelling myths about prostitution and sex trafficking”, will clarify the very engrained myths about prostitution and human trafficking. She will be speaking about her experiences with trafficking, both at the survivor and service provider levels. Frundt will be speaking about her experiences with trafficking, both at the survivor and service provider levels. Finally, Layden’s talk will focus on the beliefs surrounding male sexual demand and their contribution to the commercial sexual exploitation of sex trafficking in the United States. This series sounds amazing!!
Super exciting things happening in the HOLLA world! Til next week-
HOLLA and out!
- The Hollaback! Team
Sometimes, I feel like careful is unfortunately synonymous with paranoid. As well meaning as it may be to offer those three words of advice, “please, be careful”…what else specifically can one do to live safely if they can’t imagine how to be any more careful than they already are? Hazards are everywhere and sometimes the thought just makes me want to hit the snooze button and go back to burrowing for 5 more minutes! But, I can’t. I’ve got a life to live, fun to have, delicious foods to consume and service to give back to my community.
I have collected below some alarming Houston reports of assaults that were clustered around the end of 2013 and into the new year. These cases have been on my mind for a while as they literally hit close to home and the frequency really just stopped me in my tracks. Maybe for some of you too? Which, predictably allowed paranoid thoughts to flood in and a preference to just stay in. It’s been too cold anyway. The details provided in these news reports are limited, but it’s important to relate them to the work the Hollaback! community is doing.
Street harassment can be viewed as “not a big deal” or referred to sarcastically as “street harassment” (imagine bunny finger air quotes…then roll your eyes). Also, please refer to our Myths section. Also, consider the fact that Hollaback! has local chapters in 71 cities and 24 countries as of NOW. I always tell people how deeply obliged I feel to be a part of this cause knowing that women on the other side of the globe face much more widespread scrutiny and danger for speaking out about gender based violence and do it anyway. This is not a small issue. One of the many goals of Hollaback! Houston is to start conversations that get people thinking differently about the urgency to take reports of harassment seriously and ultimately lead to building a new, empathetic perspective towards those who have experienced an emotional and or physical invasion.
A common misconception to dismantle is the idea that anti-street harassment efforts are designed to keep people from engaging in casual social encounters. If I don’t know you and I am headed to work on my bike, waiting for a bus, wearing headphones, reading a book or any number of solitary activities, I’m likely not giving out signals that I’m waiting for your conversation or to give out my phone number. A setting in which I choose to be leisurely and approachable looks more like me at a music venue, potluck, social bike ride, art opening or interactive workshop…geez! But…but…how do you know if it’s okay to approach someone?!
Same vagueness I have about trusting a random stranger to not assault/rape/murder me who can’t take “NO” for an answer, follows me for blocks demanding to have a greeting reciprocated, won’t stop staring at me, thinks they’re extra special because I’m stuck interacting with them at my work and I am a kind human being who smiles and looks them in the eye when they speak and am CLEARLY NOT giving clearance to them slyly cupping my hands or touching my hair, slows down and keeps pace with me in a vehicle while I’m on my bike then asks if they can get a ride/if I wanna race, makes vulgar comments about my body or masturbates in front of me at a cafe. Sigh. All of which I have encountered and lived to tell the tale. Self control is a funny thing.
Here’s a few more thoughts from a recent Huffington Post article by Amanda Scherker while I catch my breath from all those run-ons:
Here’s what every woman wants to say to people who “holler” at them on the street:
You may be harmless. You may be dangerous. I have no idea — and that’s scary.
As the blog Brute Reason explains: “You may think that you’re a perfectly nice guy who’d never actually hurt anyone as you stand there and whistle at a woman, but she doesn’t know that, and therein lies the horror of it.” Nearly 57 percent of women have been touched or grabbed by strangers in public, and 82 percent have encountered vulgar gestures from strangers. There’s no reason for your unsolicited sexual attentions to add to those statistics.
Using “nice” words doesn’t make it okay.
Calling a woman “beautiful” may sound harmless in your head, but if you’re invading a stranger’s personal space, it’s not. Not sure if an encounter would constitute harassment? Longtime women’s rights activist Bernice Sandler recommends going through a checklist of questions, including, “Would I mind if someone treated my spouse, partner, girlfriend, mother, sister, or daughter this way?” If the answer is yes, just zip your lips and move on with your day.
Me being responsible for my own safety is me: holding a harasser accountable for disrespectful treatment by confronting and calling it out (or putting it on HBH later!), being honest about not being interested and clear that it is non-negotiable, deciding I’d rather trust my intuition and put my safety before the bummer I may inflict upon a rejected suitor (a respectable person will respect your decision), wearing my bike helmet/riding with lights at night/using hand signals/not wearing headphones while riding/carrying tools, keeping my phone charged, anticipating verbal harassment, practicing responses and sharing my story.
This list is specific to what goes through my mind on a regular basis. It is not an exhaustive list. Most of it falls under the category of being proactive. It is not for everybody and is not my prescription for ultimate safety. It is not foolproof. I am not perfect. Putting this list into practice as a routine is what brings me peace of mind and confidence.
**TRIGGER WARNING** The news reports below describe sexual assaults.
Collected Houston reports that prompt people to suggest that you be careful or more careful and things that can haunt a person’s mind when being harassed in public:
Another more general, yet important plea to take street harassment seriously from Soraya Chemaly at huffingtonpost.com. This article also contains graphic accounts of assault.
If you have read this far and still don’t believe street harassment is a problem…
…and we’ll keep working harder.
Check out what our global team has been up to lately!
Repost from Hollaback! main:
During the last weeks of 2013, Hollaback! was featured by She Rights, The Vancouver Sun, The Vancouver Straight, The Province, Ottawa Citizen, Velvet Butter Blog, Truth Out and Jezebel (plus a few others that will surely be included once the holiday break is over and the press list is updated!).
Hollaback’s DD, Debjani Roy, was chosen as one of 20 women chosen to join the 2013 Progressive Women’s Voices Class at the Women’s Media Center. Congrats!
Here’s what the HOLLAs around the world have been up to:
Hollaback! Vancouver was interviewed for their first radio spot!
Hollaback! Philly will be featured in an amazing documentary, Streets To Call Our Own! The film will cover “the emergence of the anti-street harassment movement and the current efforts of HollabackPHILLY … through the lens of Philadelphia.” Check out the trailer on the kickstater page.
Way to close out 2013 HOLLAs!!!!
-The Hollaback! Team
Just before our launch party, Hermie had an opportunity to be interviewed for Meredith Nudo’s blog, Hardcore Nudoty. Meredith is a cool person, smart writer and one of the previous founding Directors of Hollaback! Houston who now generously makes herself available for consulting with current and future HBH team members. Thanks Meredith!!! <3
Here is an excerpt from the post:
“Hollaback! Houston officially relaunched earlier last week, under the leadership of Hermie Escamilla. She has impressively thrown all her passion, enthusiasm and creativity into ensuring greater public safety for women, people of color, the LGTBQIA community, persons with disabilities, and other demographics frequently on the receiving end of verbal or physical street harassment – but, of course, stories from ones who aren’t still get accepted. To celebrate the new website and Sunday’s official launch party, Escamilla very kindly answered a few questions about her organization and what she hopes to accomplish in the years ahead…”
You can read the entire interview here:
P.S. The launch party was also AWESOME! Thanks to everyone that partied with us in that 30 degree weather! A recap will appear soon with more pics!
This past summer, July 25th, 2013 to be exact, the Hollaback! team held a conference in NYC…the HOLLA::Revolution! It was “the first ever international conference on street harassment” and brought together Hollaback! site leaders from across the globe, important speakers, supporters and even hosted workshops. You can read all about it through the link posted above or what the heck….click here too.
Hermie was one of the viewers excitedly streaming the entire event online that day! She certainly looks forward to planning attendance at next year’s conference. What an awesome combo deal of inspiring speakers, good laughs and excellent research! One item that was shared during the conference was the reading of a “Dear John” letter by the author. Hollaback! has a collaborative tumblr filled with more entries.
An empowering perspective those of you who avoid the gym for similar reasons:
You’re not working out. Literally—you’re not working out, you’re just standing there watching me workout. Your eyes scan my body, taking it in against its will. I came to the gym for me, but instead you stand there, gawking as if I’m here for your entertainment. My movements are awkward, stunted even. I hardly move because I feel like you think every bend, every twist, every stretch is for your enjoyment, as opposed to being for my own self-improvement. But what do you care?
Despite the earbuds planted firmly in my ears, you try to say something to me. The battery on my phone has died so I can hear you, but I pretend that I can’t. The words, “Damn girl, you look tight” drip with so much sexual innuendo that I fear I might be covered in it. I look past you, at my reflection in the mirror. “It’s about me. This is for me, not him,” I remind myself. You lick your lips and I still ignore you. Then you get mad. You call me a “stuck up bitch” who thinks “she’s too good” for you, because to you, my presence in public is an implicit offering of myself to the first guy willing to approach me. I shouldn’t have standards, preferences or pride. I’m here for you to pick up, and when that fails, for you to put down.
I debate whether or not I should just move to another area of the gym. Or should I just go home, cutting my me-time short? I think, “I came here to become stronger, so why do I feel so weak?” This just isn’t working out—I’m not working out.
Just as I get ready to give up and go home I see that you’ve gone back to your workout. You’re performing push-ups, your back dipping, revealing your spinelessness. Your workout, your life, your day goes on, unaffected by my presence or rejection. “Fuck this,” I think. I put my stuff back into the locker and get ready to finish my workout, because at the end of the day, my presence at this gym—really, in any public place—is for me.
So John, you may think that you’re rendering me powerless with your stares, your name-calling and your obscene gestures, but really, all you’re doing is making yourself weaker. All of that wasted effort has taken away from your “you-time”, and it shows.
Forever Not Yours,
We are so proud to be on this list of new sites today! Some of you may have been following us for a while as we are one site that is in fact re-launching. The founding launch for Hollaback! Houston was in 2011 and after a brief pause, it is back! Also, don’t forget we are celebrating soon so check out our Facebook event page and join us on December 15th.
Here’s the latest from Hollaback! HQ below about what’s going on this sunny # GivingTuesday:
This # GivingTuesday we are celebrating the launch of 14 new Hollaback! sites: Austin,Bangalore, Chapel Hill, Guyana, Houston, Iran, Mumbai, Muncie, Pittsburgh, Korea,Niagara, Tucson, University of London, and Vancouver. Celebrate #GivingTuesday and show your support for our new site leaders and for the millions of people that will be street harassed today by making a gift to Hollaback.
Here are two great ways that you can support Hollaback! this season:
1) Give the gift that keeps on giving: become a monthly sustainer! With a recurring donation of as little as $10 a month, you can support long term projects, new innovations, and training for movement leaders globally. Become a recurring donor this #GivingTuesday and your gift will be matched by board member Raphi Rosenblatt.
Raphi writes, “I give because I want to live in a world where I never have to worry about being harassed for being gay. Until that day comes, I hollaback!.” Let us know why you Hollaback!. Any amount you donate today will be matched by Raphi, doubling your donation and your impact!
2) Support the movement and fill out your holiday gift list by picking up some HOLLAwear. Proceeds from HOLLAwear go directly to supporting Hollaback! and the movement to end street-harassment and they look great too! Check out The Vanity Project’s soft, stylish, and sweat-shop free Hollaback! V-neck shirts, (seen on our site leaders above). If you’re looking for some HOLLA jewelry, pick up our supporter 80/20 Jewelry’s HOLLA necklace and wear your dedication to end street harassment close to your heart. And, if someone on your list LOVES hot pink, check out supporter Gina Tron’s “Hot Pussy is No Way to Say Hello” T-shirt.
Thank you for your support. Every single action helps. Donate today!
- The Hollaback Team
A recent article in the Washington Post titled,
showcased more great ground work being done by Collective Action for Safe Spaces in the DC Metro area. A strong partner in education and support for individuals who experience street harassment, we truly aspire to foster this strong level of involvement and commitment in Houston.
Hollaback! Houston loves cyclists! Not only is our Director a daily cyclist commuter, but so are some of our volunteers and supporters! We know what it’s like to enjoy the freedom and exhilaration of self-propelled transport. We also feel stressed, scared and angry sometimes at the way cyclists tend to be treated as an “other”. An annoyance, an inconvenience or one of those lawless ne’er-do-wells. Even the success of Houston’s new Safe Passing Ordinance tends to be overshadowed by the perpetuation of an us vs. them mentality depending on the slant the story is given.
As the cycling community in Houston grows, there is potential for people who had not previously encountered harassment on a normal work commute to unfortunately begin collecting stories. So, on top of worrying about general safety, add to that dreading regular verbal harassment or intentional physical harm/intimidation and you can imagine why some people still haven’t warmed up to the idea of a regular bike/pedestrian commute. Some of us don’t have the choice or means to own a motor vehicle; whether for disability or economic reasons or we simply prefer not to for simplicity’s sake. No matter what the reason, we can all agree that opting to go out into the world does not mean we deserve or are asking for harassment and violence.
Of the many user comments that seemed to be in denial about the current state of the streets (from the Washington Post article), this assumption in particular was one that seemed to be a reoccurring sentiment:
“A lot of women face harassment by strange men, including unwelcome comments on their bodies. It has nothing whatsoever to do with bicycling or pedestrians.”
“nothing whatsoever to do with bicycling or pedestrians“
We hope this myth will not be pervasive as we reach out to our Houston communities. Statistics directly from the article reference “A CASS study in May found that 90 percent of women and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community had experienced some form of harassment while biking”.
Anyone that has ridden a bike or walked any small stretch can tell the difference one feels in exposure to ALL environmental elements compared to being in a personal motor vehicle. Street harassment = harassment on the street/ public spaces…it’s that simple. That’s not to say that motorists don’t experience their fair share of road aggression directed at them, however data collected by Hollaback! has distinctly concluded that “There are street harassment “hotspots” in most cities often centered around high pedestrian traffic areas“.
We are currently collaborating to host our own version of a workshop for Houston bike/ped commuters in the new year! Stay tuned and feel free to send us feedback as well at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark your calendars, friends!! Our day to celebrate the relaunch of Hollaback! Houston has been set. We are so excited to really get down to business after all the hours we’ve put in with preparation of this website and planning for the event. It will be a well deserved moment for us to collect on some very much needed hugs and high fives from one and all!
The event, “Holla from the Rooftop” will be all-ages and run from 5 pm – 10 pm at Khon’s rooftop (2808 Milam St.) and include an introduction to the Hollaback! Houston organization, overview of new website resources and free mobile app, guest speakers, local artists, empowering activities, a fun photobooth, partner organizations and live music!
In case you can’t join us in person, you can listen online or download the mobile app, TuneIN at: http://locallivehouston.com/
***Graphic Artist Sarah Welch will be in attendance with some of her artwork. In particular be sure to chat with her about her illustrations in “Pedestrians” where she recounts some of her amusing to uncomfortable and completely relatable encounters on public transit in Chicago and Austin.
***Also meet local printer Mystic Multiples at Sarah’s table and find out about their services and see examples of their beautiful work. “We’re a full service letterpress and risography publishing service located in Houston, Texas. Begun in 2013, Mystic Multiples exists to produce challenging, new work in print for designers and artists.”
***Photo Booth will be provided by professional smile-maker and photographer, Sindy Lagunas of Photo Libre!!
***Super Duper Special Guest Partner organizations: More TBA
Meet more hard-working people in our community and learn how you can get involved in their mission as well
All of our bands will have 30 minute sets and we will have presentations in between!
If you are an artist, non-profit or writer with some words to say and you want to show your support and have a presence, email Hermie at email@example.com with questions and ideas.
CLICK HERE to go to the Facebook event page where, if you have a Facebook account, you shall promptly click “Join” and then feel giddy with anticipation for the celebration!
In the past week Hollaback! was featured by New York Observer, Stop Street Harassment, Impower You, Vitamin W, She Finds, Huffington Post, Jezebel, Yahoo, Daily Collegian, PR Daily, NewsFix, CTV Primetime, The Loop, AOL online, Total Beauty, Feminist Wednesday and The Prospect, who wrote a great piece on the normalization, embarrassment, confusion and reporting complications of public harassment.
Hollaback! started a petition requesting Burt’s Bees change its crudely written labeling. The change.org petition reached 2,000 signatures in only a few days and became a story noted across the blogosphere. We won! Burt’s Bees and Gud eventually offered a sincere apology for their offensive marketing and agreed to no longer put such offensive language on future products. Check out the storify here!
Here’s what the HOLLAs around the world have been up to:
Hollaback! Boston hosted their last Take Back The Bar event of the year and had a great turnout. They facilitated a workshop at the New England Women’s Center Conference about how story sharing contributes to the creation of safer spaces. They’re also hosting workshops at two colleges this week: Emerson College last night (Emerson also hosted a HB-themed photoshoot this weekend) and at Tufts University.
Hollaback! Appalachian Ohio delivered four lessons to the 8th graders at Vinton Middle School in McArthur Ohio. HB!AO was featured on Athens Community Television. Devin and Sarah were invited onto an interview show where they spoke on the Sexual Assault Prevention Program, Hollaback Appalachian Ohio!, the 4 D’s of self defense and Athens Rock Camp for Girls. It’s an hour long, and in two segments, the interview is available on YouTube, as well as being aired EVERY DAY for two weeks starting on Nov 30!
Hollaback Belfast was featured in The Tab and represented at the Outburst Arts Queer Arts Festival. On Sunday, Helen Mcbride of HB!B spoke on a panel discussion about activism following a showing of the movie Lesbiana. As a part of the festival, the team also published a zine!
Hollaback! Bosnia & Herzegovina also had an amazing win this week with the first case of street harassment properly reported to police and processed in a court room! A huge step for Sarajevo city!
Congratulations, everyone! Great Work!
HOLLA and out!
-The Hollaback! Team
(from ihollaback.org home page 11/23/13 )
I am not the sensitive type. In fact, I pride myself on being thick-skinned. But this morning, I’ve had it.
Not to go all “Samantha Brick” on everyone, but I’m a pretty young woman, and I often get told as much. But that doesn’t mean that I deserve to be harrassed.
Just minutes ago, I was leaving the Wal-Mart on Silber Road in Houston. The Target on Gessner was closed, and I was picking up some Easter Grass and Cadbury’s for the gift bags that I’m making for a family event in a few hours. (Yes, I’m finishing up last minute. Sorry, Mom.)
I’d never been to a Wal-Mart in Houston, so I’d even taken the liberty of googling “nicest Wal-Mart in Houston” before my trip, and finding out from Yelp! where best to do my shopping. So when a nicely dressed young man in a dark-colored Corvette was driving slowly behind me as I walked to my car, I noted it — but didn’t think twice.
It’s 9:45 in the morning on Easter Sunday, and I’m in the parking lot of a damn Wal-Mart. Like I said: didn’t think twice.
About ten seconds later, he’s driving right next to me. I can tell that he’s looking at me, but, seriously — I have gift bags to fill. I’m not wearing my Easter outfit yet. My hair isn’t fixed. I have my morning Diet Coke waiting for me in the car, from which I’m not far. I have a night job (in addition to my 9-to-5 writing gig) that keeps me up until 3 AM on weekend nights. It’s so early for me, I’d even shopped in my oversized sunglasses. I even considered for a moment that it might be someone I know.
And then he spoke. Ugh, I think.
I keep walking.
“Hey there, beautiful.”
I purposefully turn my head slightly diagonal in the other direction, hoping he’ll get the hint that I’d really just like to ignore him and go back to my thoughts of bunnies and brunch.
“What are you gettin’ into today?”
Easter candy, asshole. I think. I hold my tongue.
My instincts are twofold: I’m clearly nonplussed, and clearly annoyed. I do not suffer fools well.
“You wanna hang out with me?”
Finally, a question I’m willing to answer. I’m fairly close to my car, but (I really, really hate to admit) my heart rate has risen a bit. And my D-Bag Creep Radar is out, guns a-blazin’.
“No. I don’t,” I say. Pause.
“Fuck you, dude.” I pressed the “Lock” button on my car, so that I could follow the sound and get there expressly.
I stop dead in my tracks to punctuate the remark, and he keeps on driving.
When I got to my car, I drank some Diet Coke and griped via phone to a few friends about it. I’m aware that this is not the end of the world. And it’s not that I was particularly frightened (go back to the golf course and reading Maxim, I believe, was my precise assessment to my peeps). It’s that I wanted to be thinking about something else.
I don’t deserve to have to deal with this guy just because he thinks I’m hot (or vulnerable, or a bit of parking lot harassment fun, or whatever the hell he was thinking, if anything). It’s not my job to be the source of anyone’s testosterone-fueled entertainment just because I’m doing some late errands for an event on the morning of. I was simply buying Easter grass, for Christ’s sake. (…Literally.)
And I’m posting about this instead of curling my hair because I believe it’s that important.
I recently posted about the #IDidNotReport phenomenon that @LondonFeminist began, and I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s worth reporting, and what’s not.
I accepted the position as a co-director of Hollaback! Houston because I’m a feminist (a humanist, really), and because I care deeply about everyone feeling safe. I love having fun, and I’ve been known to get rowdy my own self — but I want everyone out there to feel free to have fun, to go where they want, and to feel as secure as possible doing so. Not to mention just being able to go about our business without feeling threatened or wasting our precious time and energy dealing with assholes that have woefully immature priorities.
We live in a great city, in a great state, in a magnificent country, in a beautiful world. We should be extremely proud of this, and I believe that we should also be mindful of maintaining, at the very least, some civility.
That being said, I often have to justify Hollaback! Houston to my family and friends, of all genders and lifestyles. Most of the time, people just roll their eyes.
Sometimes they ask, “Is it really that bad?”
Most of the people that know me know that I’m far more concerned with structural sexism and pay disparities. They know that I’m not a whiny woman who wears the label of feminist but makes ill-crafted arguments and assessments about the state of things. I care about feminism academically. I care about feminism politically. I care about social and economic policy, and I live a life that relishes in and fosters the sharing of women’s narratives. I don’t really give two shits if someone whistles at me.
Also, this is Texas. Teenage cowboys in trucks are probably always gonna holler.
So this is when I always say something like, “Yes. It’s that bad. Am I going to get mad if some construction worker whistles at me while I’m on my way to work? It’s not my favorite thing in the world, but no. And do I think that male attention is bad? Absolutely not. But are there people who get groped, or feel unsafe, or flat out verbally abused sometimes? Yes. And do I think that we should all have to pay the price for that? No.”
Recently, I’ve been adding in a schpiel about #IDidNotReport. Female, male, or otherwise — we should all have a chance to share our stories. And we should always speak out when something is wrong. Should we bitch and complain? No. That’s bad for the movement, and it’s not a particularly life-giving way to conduct ourselves. But should we let people know when something bothers us? Yes. Should we warn other people if we’ve been endangered on a hyperlocal level? Absolutely. Should we do everything we can to legitimize our voice, and show would-be harassers and those that are complacent that it’s not OK, and it’s not good enough for us, and it’s not decent behavior, and it’s not acceptable? Yes. Yes. One thousand times, yes.
I am not the fun police. I am not a man-hater. And I am definitely not a prude.
But I am a director of an anti-street harassment campaign in my city, and if I don’t speak up — who will?
Sorry ’bout it, Corvette. You hassled the wrong chickie this Easter.