“We take care of each other.” – Dee’s story
I’m a (female)teacher doing research at [university], my alma mater. Walking back to my car from the library, from the media center exit. I walked by three men, two of whom who didn’t even look like students (no backpacks) as they called the female student walking in front of me disparaging names about her weight, appearance, etc., I felt I had to say something, and when I said “Hey,that’s really rude, how would you like someone calling you names, etc.” they acted like they didn’t hear me and began verbally attacking me as they walked away. I tried to call security to check these guys out, since they appeared to be just trolling campus, but was routed to campus police, so I reported the incident as best I could, especially since [university] supposedly cares so much about their campus being a “safe space”. To be fair, campus police tried to respond promptly, in their giant SUV’s, and tried to locate the group, who may or may not have left the campus, but this type of incident perhaps could have been avoided with a security foot patrol or bike patrol presence, as a preventative.
I want to say that talking back to verbal harassment is key, and so is taking pictures of the harassers. It’s really surprising to the harassers when women push back, and if you’re in a safe space like a campus in daylight, with security to back you up, by all means take back your power and Hollaback.
[University] advises students not to walk alone, which proves they know this is not a safe campus. Every time we tell predators they cannot harass us – when we fight back, taking pictures, or just verbally talking shit back to them, giving them “a dose of their own medicine” – we take care of each other.
[University] needs a Hollaback group, and an active education effort on campus.