Positive Thinking

Team Member Jenn: Our Exit Interview!

Our first official regular volunteer is moving away after months and months of dedicated service. Her pursuit of more love, more money, and less stress is worthwhile so we’re not too mad. Jenn was a driving force behind this years Anti-Street Harassment Day and her availability to table is the reason we were able to attend so many awesome events this year (like PRIDE!). So, if you never got to meet her, here’s a little exit interview. Read on to see her advice to those who experience street harassment, and where she’ll be taking her holla-skills in the future.



Why do you insist on making us sad by moving away?  :**(
What sparked your interest in Hollaback!? Originally it was Slutwalk Baltimore that I read about and wanted to get involved in that movement. When I learned all about Hollaback! and the rad stuff they were doing, I know I had to be a part of it!
Has your perspective on street harassment changed since you started volunteering?  Yes! I am much more aware of it now! I also feel confident that we can all DO something about it rather then accept it as a social norm.
You’ve done some great work while at Hollaback Bmore! What moments stick out in your mind as the most fun or meaningful? The mud stenciling in the Inner Harbor was a lot of fun! I also really enjoyed all the tabling we did and the diverse amount of people we met and stories that we heard about street harassment impacting them. Slutwalk Bmore was also extremely powerful marching in the street and shouting with my friends!
What do you wish you could have done differently? Had more time to devote to Hollaback! Stupid job and having to pay bills!
Even though you won’t be around to help us make them, what changes or improvements could we implement to become even more badass? Keep reaching out to EVERYONE who experiences street harassment including people of color.
Will you be taking your skills to another Hollaback!? I plan to get involved with Hollaback Richmond!
Do you know that we’ll miss you? Oh Don’t make me cry. I will miss you too!
What parting words would you like to share with all the women and lgbtq folks of Baltimore who experience street harassment? ” No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”  Street Harassment sucks and can make us feel pretty fucking shitty. But remember, this isn’t our fault, it is the Harassers fault. Shift the blame from us to THEM!
What parting words would you like to share with all the harassers in Baltimore? We are coming for you!


Jenn Gallienne, School Outreach Coordinator. August 2011 to August 2012. Although Jenn only moved to Baltimore in August of 2011, she has experienced countless forms of harassment as a woman and member of the LGBTQQIA community in her lifetime. She is a Licensed Graduate Social Worker with an emphasis on supporting survivors of sexual violence, domestic violence and harassment. Jenn has a multitude of experience organizing and participating in social justice awareness events and she proudly led a county-wide sexual assault response team in West Virginia. Jenn is super excited to be doing school outreach to help spread the message of Hollaback! She has a cat named wasabi and an intense love for cupcakes!

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Positive Thinking

Hollaback! Supports Healthy Masculinity

In the twenty-first century, no brand, company, organization, or movement is complete without some visual representation. The Healthy Masculinity Action Project is no different. Now, with the “I Support Healthy Masculinity” icon, you can promote healthy masculinity and the Healthy Masculinity Action Project.

The Healthy Masculinity Action Project (HMAP) is a two-year national movement to develop new male leadership that role models strength without violence. The Healthy Masculinity Action Project begins in October with the Healthy Masculinity Summit in Washington, DC.

Despite only four words in the statement, “I Support Healthy Masculinity,” it says so much more. Supporting healthy masculinity is supporting communities that are free from street harassment and domestic violence, and lives that are better for women, children, and men. Generating conversations about healthy masculinity is a vital step in creating healthy relationships of all kinds.

As the weeks leading up to the Healthy Masculinity Summit continue, your support of HMAP will become increasingly critical in spreading the message of healthy masculinity.

So, do you support healthy masculinity?

Show it with the “I Support Healthy Masculinity” icon!

For more information, contact: info@healthymasculinity.org

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Positive Thinking

Hollaback! Offline!

Need an excuse to get out of the chat room and actually chat with real human beings? Well, this is it!

We want to be in the same room with our volunteers, supporters, fellow awesome ladies and lgbtq folks who experience street harassment. This is a casual gathering for us to vent, share tips, swap stories, and just laugh about the ridiculousness of it all.

So, over awesome coffee/pastries/dinner let’s sit around a table and do something truly revolutionary: share our stories.

*We would like to make this a semi-regular event, so we will see how it goes this first time. One of the purposes of this event is to recognize that not everyone who experiences street harassment has the privilege of access to the technology that Hollaback! uses to empower folks, so we want to bring that empowerment out of the virtual world into the real world.
*For a menu of available items for sale please visit http://www.bmorebohemian.com/menu.html
We know not everyone will be able to purchase something, but it is important that we support this locally owned business in Station North for allowing us to take over the place for a couple hours.

When: This Wednesday June 13th, 7pm.

Where: Bohemian Coffee House, 1821 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21201

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Positive Thinking

New Facebook Cover Photos!

Check out these awesome designs by supporter Sarah Foye. Now you can tell the virtual world that you don’t stand for street harassment, you Hollaback! at it! Download directly from this post , our multimedia page, or see all 7 designs on our Facebook page!

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Positive Thinking, Verbal

Brussels and Baltimore in Brooklyn!

We had a chance to sit down with Anna, a native Baltimorean and current site leader for Hollaback! Brussels. Awesome! We interviewed each other about all kinds of things, including the differences in street harassment styles in our respective cities, community involvement, future projects, how an empowered individual can make a difference for many, and why Hollaback! is so awesome!

This is part one of a 3 part series. You can find Anna turning the tables on Shawna by interviewing her here and here!

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Positive Thinking

We visited Hollaback! HQ

Yep, while on a trip to NYC we stopped by the Hollaback! headquarters and had lunch with Executive Director Emily May and International Movement Coordinator Veronica Pinto. We talked about the latest campaign, an initiative to get Hollaback! onto school campuses, that is currently in fundraising mode. With statistics like this:

According to the AAUW, 62% of women and 61% of men report being sexually harassed on college campuses. 57% of students say they would like their college to offer a confidential web-based method for submitting complaints.

it should be easy to convince people that an empowering tool like Hollaback! is necessary to keep women and LGBTQIA folks feeling safe at school. Finals are hard enough, so street harassment is the last thing these young people should be worrying about.

Of course, we’re set to launch another “class” of Hollaback! sites as well so look out for a bunch of new cities around the world to holla from!

Also, you can tell Emily is the Exec. Director because she is dressed fancy, whereas I’m in punk rock casual.

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Groping, Leering, Lewd Behavior, Positive Thinking, Stalking, Verbal

Stuff People Say to Teen Girls

Yeah, girls. Not women. Girls. Girls as young as 7 have submitted stories to Hollaback! Now, we could wallow in sad facts like that, but we’d rather get out there and do something about it. Lucky for us, Hollaback! Philly feels the same way. They made this honest, funny and yeah, sad video about the things people say to young girls. Sure, this meme came and went but the message that street harassment is detrimental to the well being of over half the world still needs to be heard. So, enjoy:

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Assault, Groping, Lewd Behavior, Positive Thinking, Transphobic, Verbal

Interview: The Artists Behind FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture

By Shawna Potter

Rebecca Nagle and Hannah Brancato are organizers, artists, activists and educators working in Baltimore, MD. Hannah Brancato began working to end violence against women when she created an art advocacy program based in a domestic violence shelter. She received her MFA in Community Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), a program focused on art as a means to create social justice; and is currently an adjunct professor in MICA’s Fiber Department and Art History Department. Rebecca Nagle is an internationally exhibited and collected artist with works in the New Museum, NY and Ssamzie Art Warehouse, South Korea. Nagle organizes Baltimore’s four-day international radical Transmodern Arts Festival and its queer cabaret the Charm City Kitty Club.

I had a chance to sit down with them at Rebecca’s art studio, located in Station North Arts District.

I had a blast at your launch party for YES! Consent Is Sexy and I was hoping to share more information with all of HOLLA-World. Can you tell us more about the history of FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture?

HANNAH: It started out as an exhibition we curated at the Current Gallery in the fall of 2010 There was a huge crowd and a lot of conversation and we realized it was really important and we should do it again. So, we’re currently formulating a proposal to have the show tour several different colleges, some of them falling onto the top 10 party schools according to Playboy. Our rationale behind that is that the kind of dialogue that happened around FORCE would be really useful in the college setting, where a lot of date rape is happening.

REBECCA: In addition to our effort to upset and challenge the culture of rape, we’re also working to promote a counter culture of consent via a new underwear line called YES! Consent Is Sexy. It’s that extra reminder to check in with people with you’re in the heat of the moment.

You screened the underwear yourselves, choosing really bright, even fun, colors. Why is that?

REBECCA: We’re riffing off of Victoria’s Secret PINK line, targeted specifically towards high school and college age girls. This fall they came out underwear with these flirty statements like “unwrap me” or “jealous”, but a few of them struck a chord with us because we felt they reinforced this idea that “no” means “yes”. One of them says “NO” in big letters, and underneath in small letters it says, “peeking”. Another says, “STOP staring” and the other that is really disturbing is “Give a little, get a lot”. So it is this young, liberated sexuality, but it is reinforcing these ideas that “No” and “Stop” are not ways for young women to set boundaries, but are ways for them to flirt, and that is not OK.

Your underwear has statements like “Yes”, “No, “Maybe” and “Ask First”, which your website says helps to “celebrate our belief that good communication creates good sex”, but some might ask: is it too late to emphasize communication when the pants are already off?

REBECCA: No! (laughs) I feel like that is the most important time to emphasize communication. I think that the whole consent conversation isn’t just whether or not you want someone in your bed. Sex is so complicated and varied, as are people’s personal boundaries, and a lot of unwanted sexual experiences come from assumptions. Someone assuming that because you’ve given the green light for this, you’ve given them the green light for this, that, and the other. I think our culture has this idea that rape is a very clear situation of someone physically overpowering someone else. The reality of a lot of sexual violence and coercion, the way that people are actually experiencing it, is a lot more confusing. I think the only way to combat that holistically is to promote an alternative, to promote consent and communication.

What about the times when gaining consent is not a priority, when there is a clear-cut perpetrator and victim?

HANNAH: We realize that rape is used as a weapon of war and that it can be perpetrated by strangers, and that there are a lot of issues besides this one part we are tackling. We are fully aware of that. But this is one of the ways in which a lot of people are experiencing rape and it is one of the ways that we feel that we can do something about it. We feel that we can actually change some of those perceptions. If this exhibition is successful, we can start to create some of those connections and solidarity with those people who are working towards ending gender-based violence at all levels. We know this is not the only way rape is happening, but it is one of the ways that rape is not being recognized for what it is, and that is the biggest issue. (more…)

Positive Thinking, Verbal

“Heeeey, Legs” ran away! – Ellyn’s story

I was walking to my building when I crossed the street and passed an older man standing on the corner. He had been staring at me from across the street, so I just didn’t look at him as I passed by. As I passed I could see him look me up and down, and then I heard him say, “Heeeey, legs!” as I was walking away. Usually, I just keep walking and try to brush it off. Not today though–I turned around, gave him a disgusted look and said, “That is COMPLETELY inappropriate, you don’t say that to people!”

I must have startled him because he immediately ran the other way and didn’t look back.

That is the first time I’ve ever said anything to someone harassing me on the street, and it felt good!

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Positive Thinking

Street Harassment: A Human Rights Issue?


By using the Universal Declaration of Human Rights there may be no confusion as to whether Street Harassment is a Human Rights issue. Article 1 states:

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

By telling a woman she has “ a great rack”, calling a gay man a “fucking faggot”, or removing one’s penis from its appropriate abode in public is not behaving in the “spirit of brotherhood”, not by any stretch of the imagination. Street Harassment is a Human Rights issue.

Article 2:

“Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”

“Everyone” includes women and LGBTQ individuals, everyone has the right to express themselves freely in public spaces without fear of abuse from strangers. A transgender person has the right to identify his or herself in the way that feels natural to them, as a woman has the right to dress as she pleases without threat or aggravation. Street Harassment is a Human Rights issue.

Article 3:

“Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”

Women and LGBTQ individuals have the right to live and express themselves in public spaces without worry of being badgered, stalked, flashed, groped, abused, whistled at, masturbated at or raped. Street Harassment is a Human Rights issue.

Article 5:

“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

Calling a transgender person ‘it’ a ‘tranny’ or a ‘heshe’ is inhumane, degrading, torturous and cruel. Physically attacking a gay person because of their sexual orientation is inhumane, degrading, torturous and cruel. Putting your hand up a woman’s skirt on the subway is inhumane, degrading, torturous and cruel. Street Harassment is a Human Rights issue.

Perpetrators of Street Harassment may argue that it is their human right to express themselves freely, but at this point it is relevant to refer to the ‘spirit of brotherhood’ cited in Article 1, as connotations of brotherhood do not include any form of abuse be it physical or verbal. Street Harassment is unquestionably a Human Rights issue.

Question answered. Revolution Started.


Originally posted on iHollaback.org January 6th, 2012.

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