Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Berkeley, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Columbia MO, Des Moines, Fredericksburgh VA, Jacksonville NC, Los Angeles, New York City, NYU, Philadelphia, Palo Alto, Portland ME, Richmond VA, Rutgers University, San Francisco
According to the Huffington Post and a survey by Stop Street Harassment, 24% of American women do not exercise out of fear of being harassed or assaulted.
On Nov. 17, hundreds of people marched down the streets of Brighton in protest against harassment and to reclaim the night. The protest walk was organized by the Brighton Feminist Collective [The Argus].
Activists in Egypt are now harassing street harassers. After seeing too many men harassing women, the “vigilantes” took matters into their own hands, literally. Violence should never be used to quell violence, but it is encouraging to hear activists are protesting an issue that has been in large part ignored by the Egyptian government and police force [NYT].
Hollaback! founder Emily May was chosen as a “Next Maker” in AOL’s Makers: Women Who Make America Awards. Her story and efforts will be featured in a documentary. Congratulations Emily! It is so gratifying to see someone honored who truly deserves the recognition.
Note: I have to admit I am deeply impressed with the other volunteers and their efforts to make Hollaback! known in their city. I realize the SLO chapter has not reached its potential yet, but I am confident about 2013 and its new direction. We will be working with Cal Poly organizations to really make Hollaback! an integral part of SLO’s safety net.
On National Coming Out Day (Oct. 11), someone wrote a homophobic slur on a street sign. While we cannot express how disappointed we are of the perpetrator, fortunately, groups and individuals on campus have declared their support for the Cal Poly LGBTQIA community. Many students took to Facebook proclaiming their disgust for the vandal, President Jeffrey Armstrong sent a campus-wide e-mail and the Gender Equity Center (GEC) has provided and will keep providing LGBTQI ally training.
More information can be found at the Mustang Daily website.
The following post has been reblogged countless times on Tumblr. When I read it, I felt that I had to share it with you guys.
Concerning street harassment, one of the major issues people have to deal with is that frequently, the police force won’t help. Especially in countries where women do not have the same rights politically and/or culturally, women must often deal with the fear and trauma while realizing there isn’t a system backing them up. As far as street harassment goes, the news has seen a prevalence of comments by men and women claiming their city’s police force has shrugged their shoulders, or worse, laughed. And let’s not even get started on the security in Cairo…
According to The Daily Star, women in Lebanon have frequently commented on an increased issue with public masturbators. A member of the sexual harassment initiative, Adventures of Salwa, said public masturbation is often discussed in the organization’s workshops and meetings. Furthermore, the web forum Resistant Forum Lebanon has also seen a flurry of comments about the disgust and helplessness victims have felt when dealing with a public masturbator. According to the article, Lebanese law prohibits indecent public exposure, but there is no law to decree this behavior as sexual harassment. Women believe, as one woman tells The Daily Star, that the police will probably laugh at them since reporting it is so unheard of.
If I wanted to write down all the unresolved street/sexual harassment cases occurring in the past day, it would probably take me the entire day to do so. That is why Hollaback! is here. If we all spoke up about what’s actually going on in daily life to women (and more frequently than we think, men), and unified all our efforts, I think the Internet may become the watchdog and security necessary to finally abolishing this problem.no comments
A recent advice column in The Atlantic gave some drastic advice: women should not go to Cairo. Jeffrey Goldberg began his column by admitting his love for the city. However, within a few sentences, Goldberg said, “But I swear, if one of my daughters ever says she’s off to visit Egypt, I’ll lay myself down in front the plane.” His dramatic statement precedes a horrific story by journalist Natasha Smith, which I highly suggest anyone interested in street harassment to read. It is hard to imagine the fear and trauma that must occur on a daily basis in Cairo and even more difficult to know what the solution or solutions are. Thankfully, Natasha Smith is one woman who was able to escape the streets of Cairo, but it must be heartbreaking and terrifying for those who consider Cairo their home.
Last week, a young woman named Kelsey (last name undisclosed) punched a man after he made a “rape joke” about a woman who rejected his advances. Afterwards, Kelsey took to her Tumblr and published a post about how she did not regret her actions and added a photo of herself grinning with a busted hand. The blog post created chaos; thousands reposted her words and hundreds were sending her messages. While Jezebel writer Katie J.M Baker deemed her a hero, Kelsey received so much negative feedback (including messages telling her that she deserved to be raped) that she posted a comment acknowledging violence as the wrong reaction, but admitted she still did not regret her actions. Kelsey explained, “I’m not telling people to go out and hit ‘everybody who offends you’ (though many of you are believing that was the point). However, I do believe that serious action needs to be taken towards rape culture.” The threats and harsh comments caused her to remove the blog and give her story to the police.
After reading a few blog reactions and comments about Kelsey, I was confused about how I felt. I was mainly disgusted by the negative commenters, who seemed to disturbingly loathe the twenty-year-old girl. I would never advocate violence from a victim or bystander, but commenters called her derogatory terms, said the man should have punched her back (if she wants life to be fair) and argued that she was just as bad as the man for reacting violently. I read several responses to Kelsey telling her to get the joke; he would have never actually raped the woman.
So here is my problem. Kelsey should not have done what she had done. Violence is never the answer ever. However, in no way is it acceptable for Internet users to victimize and degrade her for speaking out on her blog. I have to raise the question: if a man punched another man for making an obscene joke threat, would the Internet try to break him down? Would people threaten him until he felt the need to go to the police and rescind into anonymity? Kelsey acted irresponsibly, but a large amount of people decided to enact their own consequences upon her. Through bullying and harassment, they succeeded in quieting another voice. In my personal opinion, they behaved in a more dangerous manner than Kelsey did. She went to the police, admitted her crime and now she’s just hoping she’s safe. What consequences will these Internet users receive for their actions?no comments
Unfortunately, spring was a busy season for all and not enough posts were published on this website. Good thing summer is a time of rest (somewhat), and we are refreshed and motivated to continue the efforts to challenge street harassment in San Luis Obispo and support our friends nationally and internationally.
I have been noticing a recent spike in articles, blogs and speeches about street harassment, and several factors seem to be pushing for momentum. As noted in the Huffington Post, the voices of women protestors and victims during the Arab Spring charged women all over the world to speak up. More locally, the Senate deliberations on birth control has caused a flurry of (rightfully) furious Americans to start calling out all societal issues affecting women’s rights. Another factor, and maybe I’ve noticed it because I write for this website, is the gaining popularity in American grassroots movements against harassment.
As Hollaback founder Emily May notes in a recent Spin article, America has always been attracted to non-governmental leadership. Just like the protests in the sixties and seventies, Americans find strength in the voices of the people — the civilians who are tired of problems the government hasn’t solved. Hollaback is one great example of a movement emerging from the people and carried on by the people. Except instead of picket signs, Hollaback has the Internet and accessible technology to be loud and say a resounding NO to street harassment. With a smart phone, a computer or really an Internet connection of any sort, you can become another voice and change things for not just San Luis Obispo, but for every victim that needs a support system to back them up.
We have a lot of new ideas for this website and we can’t wait to start including more people in the efforts. If you need a helping hand, a sympathetic ear or a place to vent, please do not hesitate to utilize Hollaback. It is more than just a website; it is the vehicle to end a long-suffered history of danger, discomfort and abuse when a homie simply wants to walk down the street.no comments
I was standing in line at Taco Bell with my friends at about 11pm Friday night. While we were talking, an older man tapped on my shoulder and told me that he would buy my food. I politely told him no, then turned around and continued to talk with my friends. This man continued to try and engage me in conversation and would not accept no as an answer. Before long, this man was yelling about how I thought he was an asshole, and causing a scene. The entire restaurant heard and saw what was happening, and the police were called. I went to dinner late at night to enjoy being with my friends, and ended up being completely embarassed by a bunch of people. It doesn’t matter if it is regarding dinner or sex. NO MEANS NO. Period.