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We’re turning two!
You can find all the details and updates on our Facebook event page. RSVP, silly!
Worried about parking, last minute schedule changes, or all the cake being gone before you get there? Then sign up for non-spammy text messages and we’ll keep you up to speed all night!
By monica stevens
I’m the one who gazed into the eyes of the person on the #13 bus
Who nudged the lady seated next to her
and whispered loudly enough for everyone to hear
“I think that’s a man!”
Summoned up all of the positive inside
Buried deep below dark caverns of negativity
Trapped in an endless moment, like a spark of light straining to escape a singularity of evil,
anger, and burning cold bitterness scattered along a road less traveled
I’m the one who summoned up all the love inside
to quench my pain and anguish
Born of a thousand embarrassments from before, before
Strength gathered from character etched into my marrow-bone
Into the psyche of my heart
By the dry-worn hands of my mama’s embrace
A freedom-fighter who stood steady against injustice
In the doorways of schools and coffee shops
city halls and halls of justice
With fingers in the chests of lawmakers
Men of influence who backed down!
I am the one who stared down sneering, jeering masses on the #13 bus
With knees that shook and eyes that refused to blink
Eyes gazing out into souls of vacant ignorance
Indifferent to knowledge and slaves to misinformation and fear
Some, too ignorant to even know about their ignorance
Truth needs no justification and freedom is its own reward!
I’m the one who looked her dead in the eye
With dignity and grace
“Well of course I am!”
“Why are you whispering about me?”
Monica Stevens runs Sistahs of the “t”, a peer-led support network for transgender women of color.no comments
Local awesome person and Hollaback! Baltimore supporter, Brittany Tiara, recently published a short list of things that might indicate you are indeed a feminist on PolicyMic. Not to get all Webster’s on you, but at the core it’s really about equality between all genders. Some might say, “Then why make a list?” but with all the famous, important, smart, and powerful people out there saying “I’m not a feminist, but….” maybe a list is necessary. It’s like figuring out if you’re an alcoholic by not actually being asked if you are one.
You can check out the full article here, but here’s our favorite list items:
5) You prefer to be recognized for your talents and not your looks.
6) You are highly offended when you are given specific tasks based on your gender.
10) You’ve thought about taking self-defense classes in order to protect yourself.
14) During this year’s election, you were able to determine which politicians had no interest in protecting women’s reproductive rights.
15) Unlike Katy Perry, you wouldn’t be afraid to call yourself a feminist.
BOOM! Then what happened? A bunch of comments missing the point, that’s what! But Brittany did not back down and in fact name-checked us (see, she does love us!) in response to a comment that really bugged her. Here’s a screen capture she posted publicly and gave us permission to use.
So, go read the whole list. Which ones do you agree with? Anything missing?no comments
Here at Hollaback! we know the importance of sharing stories. It’s how we vent, it’s how we raise awareness; it’s how we change the world. So when our friends at FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture asked if we would share their message below, we jumped at the chance. We know that street harassment is a gateway crime, leading to other more serious and dangerous forms of gender-based violence. It’s all connected. And we all have a story to tell. – Shawna
We are collecting stories from people who have experienced sexual violence that falls outside of the narrow definition of “forcible rape”. This narrow definition only covers 14% of all rapes and leave out date rape, acquaintance rape, abuse of power (like sexual violence in the military or from a teacher), rape of some one who has been drugged or has impaired judgement, male survivors, sexual abuse where the survivor is not a minor, sexual violence that didn’t involve vaginal penetration and more. The stories will be projected onto large building in the Baltimore/DC region in collaboration with Luminous Interventions to increase the visibility of the experience of survivors.
If you have had an experience and would feel empowered by sharing it for this project, we would love to honor your story. You may also share this with people who you think would be empowered by sharing their experiences. All contributors will be kept anonymous. We feel that choice and empowerment is an important part of healing from sexual violence. Therefore, we are only accepting stories from people who are choosing to share them with us. Please do not share some one else’s story. We also will only use the collected stories for the projection project. Since they will be projected, the stories should be short- under 20 words, and about 3 sentences.
I recently went on a two week vacation with my partner traveling through Barcelona, Paris, and London. As the site leader for Hollaback! Baltimore, I am entrenched in the world of street harassment. I am always talking about it, doing presentations, tabling at events, thinking of ways to gain male allies; it’s always on my brain. So the chance to relax on the beach and see some touristy sites was exciting not only for the obvious reasons, but also because the opportunity to experience and analyze street harassment within three separate foreign countries doesn’t come up every day. Yeah, I was looking forward to being street harassed. I wanted firsthand experiences I could take back to the States with me to draw upon and further my critiques of how we experience it here.
My partner Brooks plays in a band called Office of Future Plans, who were invited to play the Sant Feliu Fest in the Catalonia region of Spain. The flights to and from Europe were taken care of, as well as a lodging. We took that opportunity to build a vacation around those three days of shows since we were already on that side of the pond.
Sant Feliu, Spain – We were often surrounded by friendly people involved in the festival and it was a small beach community that relies on tourists to keep itself going. Basically, we felt safe. People are always saying to watch out for “this kind” and “that kind” of men, including Latino men, because they “harass more” or it is “more acceptable” in their culture. I would (and do) argue that it is pretty darn acceptable here in the States, too, seeing as not many people do much to end street harassment, let alone take it seriously. Regardless, I’d heard enough stories, so my feeling of safety didn’t keep me from expecting street harassment or being on the lookout.
I noticed that the people of Sant Feliu tended to mind their own business. No one was looking around, checking anyone out. They didn’t seem to care what you were wearing or where you were going. It was nice. Also, a small but significant amount of women on the beach did not wear tops. It wasn’t everyone, but those who did seemed very comfortable, they ranged in age and size, and no one stared or seemed to care. It wasn’t shocking. My uneducated impression? These people are not repressed. So when I took a walk by myself from our hotel to a nearby warehouse show, I was surprised to hear “Guapa!” from a guy passing by on a scooter. I decided to check in with a local, originally from England, to confirm what I heard (it means beautiful and/or well dressed) and get her opinion. She said “Oh, good for you!”
My initial thoughts are that if the people of Sant Feliu aren’t sexually repressed, then perhaps their street harassment is less of a power play lashing-out. Maybe it is an innocent compliment. But does that make it OK? Would I appreciate the random yelling of compliments if there were never a threat of violence? Did I feel safer knowing he never had any intention of slowing down?
Paris, France – We rented a small flat in Montmartre, the same general area of the Sacre Coeur, where actual Parisians live and work. We mostly spent our days in the touristy spots, only coming home for a recharge around dinner time or late at night. I was constantly with my male-bodied partner. Since it was August, the month when most of Europe goes on holiday, sometimes it seemed the tourists outnumbered the locals. Again, we felt safe.
I noted that Parisians were more aware of their surroundings than the Spanish. They looked around more, watched people passing by and yeah, some men stared. It felt like home! The only obvious street harassment I witnessed was a couple young men walking past a couple young women, giving them the up and down eye and saying “Bonsoir” (“Good evening”) in the same way any American man can make “Hel-lo” seem creepy. That personal freedom I had momentarily felt in Spain had officially disappeared.
London, England – Very similar to Paris, we rented an apartment in the suburbs (near Catford Bridge), spent our days in the city surrounded by tourists. Our big worry was pickpockets. With the Olympics just ending and the Paralympics about to begin, there were a lot of people around in general. Here I saw many guys turn their heads behind them like an owl to see a woman or girls butt as she walked the opposite direction, but I heard no verbal harassment, nor did I experience anything.
Conclusion: I realize that an accurate portrayal of any city cannot be achieved in just a few days. In no way can I assume how each of these countries gender-equity issues play out for people on a day to day basis. I also know that my limited experiences overseas would look differently if I was traveling alone or if I were not an able-bodied, white, hetero- presenting cis-woman. On top of it all, I was often, purposefully, in very touristy areas where they are used to visitors. Luckily for me there were no major threats to my physical safety (as so many women face when they travel), but I am still glad to have something to compare to the bratty little country I call home.no comments
Street harassment happens everywhere. No matter what you wear, what time of day or where you are heading. This video is proof. The attendees of July’s Otakon here at the Baltimore Convention Center had plenty to say about street harassment. They were getting it from strangers back home AND from Baltimore, whether in cosplay or street clothes, and even from some other attendees (who you’d think would be happy enough to be around like-minded people that they wouldn’t ruin it for some fellow nerdy women). This video help shows that it is not the women or lgbtq folks who need to change their behavior, it is the harassers.
Thanks again to all those who volunteered to share their stories, on screen or off. You are flipping the power!
The latest mental disorder SHF (or Street Harasser Frustration) has few remedies. The cure is less street harassment in the world. Until scientists come up with the eradication cure, women, girls, and lgbtq folks are forced to administer their own treatments. Here is one such treatment, courtesy of the girls from St. Francis Community Center:
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: [email protected]
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