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HOLLABACK against street harassment!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
This happened this August. It was around 1:30 in the afternoon and I had just got off work. I picked up some stuff from Kroger and I was walking through Forsyth park with groceries to grab something from Brighter Day. This old man approaches me and cat-calls me. I say “Excuse me?!” and the dude says that I “Don’t need to get an attitude.” I ignore him and keep walking.
I come out of Brighter Day and walk back the way I came through the park. The old man is sitting on a bench, waiting for me, and gets up as soon as he notices me. He starts to follow me and then cuts across the grass to approach me from the front. The whole time he's catcalling me. I'm alone and laden down with groceries and this man is trying to follow me home. Needless to say, I'm starting to become afraid of what he might do and I can't get away or get help fast enough with all the groceries.
I put down my groceries and tell him off. He pauses and starts walking towards me with, "Sweetie, I'm just having fun." I say, "You're pissing me off." and I pull out my mace. Dude backs away, holding up his hands and saying, "I'm sorry!" -- Damn, right, douche. Damn right.
Submitted by Jen on 10/19/2009
Location: Forsyth Park
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
A waiter given a £10,000 reward for helping to convict a rapist has donated the money to the victim.http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/devon/8300451.stm
Inspired by the original HollaBack NYC-
HollaBack Savannah empowers Savannah women and LGBT folks to speak out against street harassers. Whether you’re commuting, lunching, partying, dancing, walking, chilling, drinking, or sunning, you have the right to feel safe, confident, and sexy, without being the object of someone’s fantasy. So stop walkin’ on and HollaBack: send us your stories and pics of street harassers!
Capture street harassment with your words and your cellphone.
Send pictures and stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
View our anti-racism policy: http://hollabacksavannah.blogspot.com/2009/10/anti-racism-policy.html
HollaBack FAQs: http://hollabacksavannah.blogspot.com/2009/10/hollaback-faqs.html
Please check out our Education, Resources, Activism, and HollaBack Around the World links for more information and to answer your questions.
As of October 2009, this blog is just starting out so while we wait for submissions, a few recent articles relating to activism, street harassment, rape, and awareness may be posted.
HollaBack Savannah is not responsible for the accuracy of individual postings. All views and positions expressed in posted submissions are those of individual contributors only.
Question: Are you a bunch of crazed feminazis who hate men?
Answer: Actually, Holla Back is a collective comprised of men and women who believe in building communities where everyone feels comfortable, safe, and respected. Many people, particularly men, are unaware of the frequency and severity of disrespect and intimidation that numerous folks, especially women, experience in public spaces on a daily basis. Holla Back aims to expose and combat street harassment as well as provide an empowering forum in this struggle.
Question: OK, but what exactly is street harassment?
Answer: Street harassment is a form of sexual harassment that takes place in public spaces. At its core is a power dynamic that constantly reminds historically subordinated groups (women and LGBTQ folks, for example) of their vulnerability to assault in public spaces. Further, it reinforces the ubiquitous sexual objectification of these groups in everyday life.
At Holla Back, we believe that what specifically counts as street harassment is determined by those who experience it. While there is always the classic, “Hey baby, nice tits” there are so many other forms that go unnoted. If you feel like you have been harassed, HOLLA BACK!
Question: But aren’t you worried that your site will fuel the latent vindictiveness within women and LGBTQ-identified folks across the country, leading to a massive witch-hunt and rampant Soviet-style denunciations of countless innocents?
Question: I heard something about your position on anti-racism. What’s that about, and what does it have to do with street harassment?
Answer: Replacing sexism with racism is not a proper Holla Back. Due in part to prevalent stereotypes of men of color as sexual predators or predisposed to violence, Holla Back asks that contributors do not discuss the race of harassers or include other racialized commentary. If you feel that race is important to your story, please make sure its relevance is explained clearly and constructively in your post.
Question: But isn’t your idea of “street harassment” just belittling another person’s culture?
Answer: Street harassers occupy the full spectrum of class, race, and ethnicity. Sexual harassment, and street harassment specifically, is resisted around the world. To condense another’s culture into vague assumptions about who and what they are is to generalize dangerously about a wide range of experiences and perspectives.
Question: Confronting street harassers can be dangerous. What about safety issues?
Answer: While everyone is vulnerable to stranger rape and sexual assault, studies show that those who are aware of their surroundings, walk with confidence and, if harassed, respond assertively, are less vulnerable. Nevertheless, direct confrontations with street harassers may prove extremely dangerous, particularly alone or in unpopulated spaces. While it is each individual’s right to decide when, how, and if to Holla Back, do keep issues of safety in mind. Upon deciding to photograph a harasser, you may consider doing so substantially after the initial encounter and from a distance, ensuring the harasser is unaware of your actions.
Question: I am a man who was recently sexually objectified by a woman on the street. I think this is reverse harassment. Why won’t you post my story?
Answer: While a woman making unsolicited sexual remarks to a man is certainly conceivable, the power dynamics of such an encounter are very different in a society where women comprise a historically subordinated group. Holla Back is a project dedicated to combating a particular form of violence that designates subordinated groups (such as women and LGBTQ folks, for example) as targets in public spaces or otherwise vulnerable to unsolicited, non-consensual encounters with strangers. It is thus not a forum for reporting other unpleasantries.
Question: Isn’t street harassment the price you pay for living in a city?
Answer: No, local taxes are the price you pay for living in a city. We would love to see some portion of our local taxes go towards preventing street harassment, but alas, they don’t.
In fact, street harassment is not confined to urban areas. It occurs in shopping malls, cars, parking lots, public parks, airplanes, fast-food restaurants, gas stations, churches, and numerous other public spaces.
Question: So let’s say a man sees a woman he thinks is attractive and tells her so. Are you saying that makes him a harasser?
Answer: Some do not find comments such as “Hello, beautiful” or “Hey, gorgeous” offensive. Many do. Others may find them intimidating, intrusive, or just an annoying pain in the ass. Keep in mind that many women experience unsolicited comments, as well as violent verbal assault, from men in public spaces on a regular basis. Rather than deliberating the “gray areas” of street harassment, treat everyone you encounter with respect.
Question: If you show off your boobage, shouldn’t you expect some compliments?
Answer: A compliment is not a compliment if it makes the recipient feel bad.
Question: Sure, but if “the harasser” were hot, wouldn’t you like it?
Answer: This has nothing to do with sex, and everything to do with power.
Question: You’re just a bunch of prudes, then?
Answer: Like we said, this has nothing to do with sex, and everything to do with power.
Question: Street harassment sucks, but it’s only a small part of the patriarchy. Doesn’t focusing on this specific issue detract from everything else we're up against?Answer: The violence and disrespect experienced daily by countless people in public spaces is a serious problem with real, material consequences. While Holla Back is a project dedicated to this particular issue, it is committed to a coalitional approach and situates street harassment within a larger framework of social and economic questions. Thus, the collective aims to collaborate with a diverse range of feminist, queer and anti-racist initiatives.
Holla Back Savannah is not responsible for the accuracy of individual postings. All views and positions expressed in posted submissions are those of individual contributors only.
Replacing sexism with racism is not a proper Holla Back.
Due in part to prevalent stereotypes of men of color as sexual predators or predisposed to violence, Holla Back asks that contributors do not discuss the race of harassers or include other racialized commentary.
If you feel that race is important to your story, please make sure its relevance is explained clearly and constructively in your post.
Initiatives combating various forms of sexual harassment and assault have continually struggled against the perpetuation of racist stereotypes, in particular the construction of men of color as sexual predators. There exist widespread fictions regarding who perpetrators are: the myth of racial minorities, particularly Latino and Black men, as prototypical rapists as well as more prone to violence is quite common. This stems in part from a tragic and violent history, where black men in the U.S. were commonly and unjustly accused of assaulting white women as well as lynched by mobs and “tried” in biased courts.
Because of the complexity of institutional and socially ingrained prejudices, Holla Back prioritizes resisting direct as well as unconscious and unintentional reinforcement of social hierarchies. Simultaneously, Holla Back aims to highlight the interrelations between sexism, racism, and other forms of bias and violence.
“I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group.” This is a short, accessible piece on white privilege and male privilege.
This article focuses on the experiences of black lesbians and the need for black women to hold black men accountable for upholding black patriarchy.
The author considers the intersections of racism and patriarchy, and how the experiences of women of color remain unrepresented within the discourses of both feminism and anti-racism.