Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Berkeley, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia MO, Columbus, Des Moines, Durham & Chapel Hill, East Lansing, Fredericksburgh VA, Houston, Los Angeles, Muncie IN, New York City, NYU, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Plattsburgh, Richmond VA, San Francisco, Tucson, Twin Cities
In under five minutes boarding the bus three different men made comments about my looks and hair. It was nighttime on a crowded bus, and it shook me out of my day. First I wanted to cry, then I got so mad I wanted to hit them if they hadn’t already left the bus. Yes, I realize that I have red hair. No, that doesn’t mean I want to talk to you about it, or that you get to talk to me about it, assholes.
Hollaback is a movement to end street harassment powered by a network of local activists around the world. Hollaback has teamed up with Cornell University’s ILR School professor Beth Livingston to study the experiences and impacts of street harassment internationally, through cooperation with Hollaback’s many local activism sites.
What are we doing? In October, we are launching online surveys in countries on six continents, translated into multiple languages. Links to these surveys will be tweeted, blogged, facebooked and emailed worldwide with the hope of gathering data on street harassment that can be used to better understand its impacts in an international context. Links specific to your location are provided below.
What can you do to help? Complete a survey! When your site leader sends it out—complete it and send the link on to others who may or may not be familiar with the movement. The more respondents—men and women—the better. Adults only, please.
What can you expect? The survey asks about demographics, experiences with harassment, reactions to it, and other questions. It is completely anonymous. Summary reports and press releases can be expected early in 2015.
What if I have questions? You can ask your site leader, Katie Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you want more info on the survey itself, contact Prof. Beth Livingston (BAL93@cornell.edu).
SURVEY LINK (Chicago, English): https://cornell.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0pTIQ3plBvzm33v
THANKS—and don’t forget to PASS IT ON and HOLLABACK!
I was riding the red line home from the Cermak stop at about midnight last week. The car I was in was empty except for me, an older man, and a young man. I always read my book and keep my head down to avoid unwanted attention. Three men got on the train at the Roosevelt stop. Despite the nearly empty car, two of them sat down on either side of me and one of them directly across from me. They all stared at me speaking in a language that I am not familiar with. When I stood up to move to a different seat, they started yelling and laughing in their language. At the next stop I quickly ran up to the next car while they yelled things behind me.
It’s a winter evening, so though it is not very late, it is very dark. I exit the Avondale Blue Line and start to walk home, trying to quickly pass an area under construction, the nearby busy street blocked by a large dumpster.
I hear someone shouting and the sound of feet rapidly approaching. I turn around immediately, hands clenched, not knowing what to expect. Some guy I’ve never seen before approaches me, out of breath. “I was watching you on the train and I followed you because I think you’re really attractive.”
“Thanks. Good night.” I reply shortly and turn to walk away, hoping to get to the well-lit area of the street.
“Wait, wait, you’re not going to tell me your name? I ran all the way off the train and up the stairs to talk to you!” He sounds upset, not believing that I couldn’t appreciate this gesture. He moves closer to me.
His sense of entitlement– his idea that I was obligated to be flattered by some random guy following me home in the dark– infuriated me. I wish had I yelled I DON’T OWE YOU ANYTHING. But instead I say firmly “I need to go.” and move further away from him.
He asks questions that I don’t answer, about where I’m from (“I bet you are from Europe, you have that kind of face.” No- I’m not.) and I keep repeating in a robot-flat voice that I need to go, not offering much other conversation, too scared to turn my back to him to walk away, until he finally turns to leave, seemingly reluctantly. I am so afraid that he will follow me home that I keep turning around every few blocks to look over my shoulder and I stay for over an hour at a nearby restaurant, keeping watch at the window while a sympathetic waitress listens to my story and the cook says he will call the cops if he comes by.
I was walking up the stairs to the Brown line after work (I am 28). A group of teenage boys were walking down the stairs.
I want to guess that they were between the ages of 14 and 16, and there were about 7 of them.
One of them pinched my ass as we passed each other.
I have no idea which one did it, but the whole group was in on it and they all seemed to think it was hilarious.
I can’t image what it must be like to go to school with those charmers.
I was on the red line during RUSH HOUR. Broad day light.
I was leaning up against the wall of the train there were no seats. A man, mid-40s took the open standing spot next to me.
I paid him no attention, just kept listening to music and texting until I felt something rubbing on my ass. I look down, nothing.
“It must just be a movement from the train” I think.
So I go back to texting. I feel it again. I look down, still nothing… “I am losing it.” I think to myself.
Again, I go back to my phone. AGAIN I feel it! Then the train stops, the man next to me leans in. I thought it was just to get by the other people in this crowded train.
“I love a firm ass.” he whispers in my ear.
I feel like I am going to throw up.
Was on the bus (100N) tonight when a teenager among a group told the only Asian passenger on the bus that he looked like Jackie Chan, then asked for a dollar, then repeated in exaggerated slow speech with hand movements when the passenger didn’t respond. It was almost my stop, so I walked up next to the passenger and told him that I was sorry he had to experience that. He nodded his head in acknowledgement. I asked the teenager whether he thought what he had just done was racist. His cohort started yelling about how ridiculous it was that I had suggested their actions were such, shouting me off the bus.
At least the passenger knew that he was not alone in recognizing it for what it was, and I hope those teenagers will keep talking about it the rest of the ride so it remains in their memories and hopefully prevents them from acting so egregiously in the future.
A man approached me on the subway and said “damn girl” he then reached out and grabbed my hand. I turned around and said “don’t touch me. He and his friend preceded to laugh at me.