Page 1

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up What’s the Problem? Catcalls, sexist comments, public masturbation, groping, stalking, and assault: gender-based street harassment makes public places unfriendly and even scary for many girls, women, and LGBQT folks. What Happened? Meet Us On the Street: International Anti-Street Harassment Week is an opportunity to collectively raise awareness that street harassment happens and that it’s not okay. There were many ways to get involved and participate. We had over 100 co-sponsors from 21 countries on five continents in 2012! Read a post featuring highlights of the week. View photos of the activism that took place. Why a Week? Amazing activists and ordinary individuals around the world work hard year-round to make public places safer…but there is strength in numbers. During the third week of March, everyone joined forces to collectively raise awareness that street harassment is a global problem and work toward solutions. What Happened to International Anti-Street Harassment Day? On March 20, 2011, after only a month of planning, more than 2,000 people from at least 13 countries participated in International Anti-Street Harassment Day. Read an article by founder Holly Kearl about how it went. Due to feedback from participants, in 2012, the day of activism was expanded to run a full week. Why Hold it in March? The third week of March is the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. While street harassment occurs year-round, spring is a time when there is an increase in the harassment because of the increased daylight hours and warmer weather that brings people outside. Street harassment is often seen as an inevitable part of the change in seasons, but it shouldn’t be. Spring is no excuse for street harassment. Who are the Organizers? International Anti-Street Harassment Week is a program of Stop Street Harassment. A core team of activists led by Holly Kearl are volunteered their time to make the week possible. Art & Media Volunteers: Logo and fliers designed by Kira Hug, video created by Nuala Cabral Brainstorm/Feedback Team: Kira Hug, Nuala Cabral, Hugo Schwyzer Beckie Weinheimer, Alan Kearl, Mark Hutchens Event Leaders: See the co-sponsors page — many of the groups listed there organized events in their community. Media that Matters mailed over 100 copies of the DVD Walking Home to groups who wanted to screen it and hold a discussion.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up Translation Volunteers: Gabriel G. Rocha Belloni, Silvina Galmozzi Martinez, Derek Giroulle, Julie Brilliant, Saheem Khizar, Sasha Lola, Dalia Goldberg, Paulina Pędziwiatr, Leeza Bubnova + her mom, TBG, Engy Ghozlan, Clarissa Barbosa, Sarah Talmi, Anne Szustek, Corina Dumitrescu, Iris de Miranda, Cristina Koen, Talia, and Ghaidaa Alabsi. Social Media Volunteers (Jan. 11 – March 27, 2012): - Linda Sarsour, New York City based activist and community organizer - Marti J. Sladek, former litigator, Owner, Speaking Up & Speaking Out - Simone Dugal Webster, recent graduate of Pasadena City College and local feminist activist - Viviana Caridad Arcia, Stanford University campus leader - Claire S. Gould, Burness Communications, Communications Coordinator - Jacquelyn Joan, an MPA Non-Profit Management student at CUNY Baruch and online activist - Katie Landers, online marketing professional and feminist activist Hear why some of the activists leaders decided to get involved in the week of action:


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

International Initiatives: Street Harassment Debate in Kabul, Afghanistan Noorjahan Akbar | March 23, 2012

A group of about twenty women gathered in the new Sahar Gul Net Café created for women in Kabul city to discuss street harassment and methods of struggling against it on Friday, March 23, during the International Anti-Harassment Month. The internet café was created by Young Women for Change to provide a safe space for women in the community and this Sister Session proved that it does. The participant women shared their experiences of verbal and physical harassment in the streets of Kabul and the ways in which they have tried to stand up against it. The debate was heated when some of the women suggested using violence as self-defense when attacked physically and others called for a more peaceful method of questioning the harasser. The discussion was closed with the conclusion that there is need for more women to join these discussions and make their voices heard and women’s struggle against street harassment must be strategically and in unity. Additionally, three posters submitted for a campaign in Afghanistan were included in an art exhibit about street harassment in Washington, DC, in the USA.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Pamphlets in Buenos Aires, Argentina Hollaback Buenos Aires | March 18, 2012 Hollaback! Buenos Aires ran a stand at the Women’s Counsel (el consejo de la mujer)’s monthly fair, where they handed out information about anti-street-harassment week. On their website, they provided readers with numerous PDF handouts about street harassment to download. They also created five pamphlets for people to download and distribute:


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Reclaim the Streets Chalk Walk in Brussels, Belgium Hollaback Brussels | March 24, 2012 Morning. Saturday. 10.30 am. The sun’s slowly coming up over the rooftops. The streets of Brussels are greeting us. All 4 of us are on ‘our way’. Anxious. We meet up at ‘Ribaucourt, Molenbeek’. The place where Angelika was harassed. The streets still look quite empty, as if Brussels hasn’t fully woken up yet. We arrive cheerfully to the ‘spot’, we organise, make our DIY ‘banners’, excited. Time to start. This is Angelika’s moment. With colorful chalk she starts to write on the sidewalk. People pass by glancing quickly, trying to read what she’s writing. ‘I was harassed here. I Hollaback. I reclaim the street.’ she writes strongly. When it’s over we hug and congratulate Angelika and with our banner she goes and stands at the top of her chalk-text, reclaiming this street, this sidewalk! Next stop: Lemonnier. The place where Anna was harassed. The tram takes us there and Anna retells parts of her story. She shows us where she went and stood trying to get away from her harasser, there, in the middle of that four-lane boulevard. The ritual is the same. She starts to write, getting into the moment. People pass. Try to read. When it’s over we hug her firmly and congratulate her. She proudly and beautifully reclaims this spot. And so we continue. To the Metro/Subway ‘De Brouckere’. The place where Ingrid was harassed. She walks with us and shows us where her story happened. On the staircase leading to the subway platform. She decides to write in front of the subway entrance, on the sidewalk. It’s a busy spot. When she starts, some people actually stop to see what’s she’s writing, what’s happening. The language changes. Writing in French now. A guy comes over asks us ‘what we are doing?’ We explain, he thinks ‘this is great, he hasn’t seen anyone do this before’. 6

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up Ingrid boldly reclaims ‘De Brouckere’. We hug and congratulate her and we’re off again to our last stop: the bridge at the cemetery of Ixelles. The place where Julie was harassed. Again a busy place. Cars honk their horns at us while we’re on the bridge. What are we doing? People pass. Julie writes in beautiful French. It feels like artwork. We let her get into her moment. She writes: ‘J’ai été harcelée ici. La rue m’appartient. Hollaback’. La rue m’appartient: The street belongs to me. Such a ‘right way’ to say this. When Julie is finished, she goes and stands on the bridge and fiercely reclaims it. We hug her and cheer! And that .. concludes the first part of our day! AWESOME is not even a strong enough word to describe it! EMPOWERING comes close! What we discovered was that writing with chalk on the sidewalk, on the street, on the bridge, telling Brussels: “I was harassed here’ ‘I reclaim the street’ is a powerful, liberating ritual and an amazing hollaback !

Media Coverage: Nieuwsblad Brussels and Studio Brussel radio 7

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Women’s Safety Audit Walk in Montreal, Canada Emmanuelle Paris-Cohen | March 20, 2012 From March 18th to 24th, 2012, we celebrated the second edition of International Anti-Street Harassment week….As one of the (many!) cosponsors of this great event, Women in Cities International partnered with radio station CKUT and the 2110 Gender Advocacy Center, two Montreal-based organizations also working on special programming for Women and Girls, to organize an introductory Women’s Safety Audit walk (WSA). For our purpose, this WSA was meant to introduce participants to its methodology, while sensitizing them to women’s security and inclusion (or lack thereof) in public space. We did this by analyzing various factors of our urban environment and how they affect how each of us participates in city life. Such factors may include built infrastructure (lighting, sidewalk width, etc.) as well as user characteristics or behaviors, including women to men ratio and…. street harassment! A group of seven women took part in the WSA, around the downtown Concordia Campus area in Montreal, starting from the 2110 Gender Advocacy Center McKay office, walked along to Bishop Street via an alley way, down to de Maisonneuve and back. Participants were asked to pay attention to lighting, maintenance, accessibility of sidewalks and buildings, the absence of greenery or parks, or just opportunities to linger. Perfectly in tone with the theme of out activity, a group of male students drinking on the Reggies pub terrace, overlooking the alley we were auditing, tried to get our attention in a not so subtle way… A group of women walking through an alley appears to be cause for attention. It also happens that downtown Montreal is currently the stage for daily manifestations by disgruntled students calling on the government to cancel the planned hikes of education fees. On March 20th, students had blocked off part of de Maisonneuve with couches, were playing music, showcasing their message through banners and slogans. This new, albeit temporary use of the street, drew attention to how the re-appropriation of public space by citizens can be a powerful tool not only as a pressure tactic (as it was here), but as a way to make it safer and more inclusive, on the condition that the measures used attract a greater diversity of users. As we ended our WSA, participants asked us if we could organize another such walk on a Saturday on Crescent Street at 3a.m., when folks leave the bars and clubs and the famed Montreal street can become a very uncomfortable place for many women. Reminding us once more how street harassment is a big problem, in every city, no matter how safe, and that we need to keep calling it out and denouncing it as unacceptable.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up Also in Montreal, Canada, Women in Cities International launched their new report on gender inclusive cities at an event on March 21, 2-4 p.m. It’s called “Tackling Gender Exclusion,” based on the findings and experiences of the “Gender Inclusive Cities Program (GICP),” funded by the United Nations Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence against Women.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Bystander Workshop in Croatia Hollaback Croatia | March 23, 2012 [Google translation….see the original text below.] Last Friday, we organized a presentation of our campaign, "I’ve Got Your Back." We thank all who came and actively participated- each of your contributions and opinions matters to us - maybe it sounds corny, but the truth is, we believe that such discussions are welcome and needed! 1) After a brief introduction and discussion of the sayings that we shared, we talked about how gender harassment unnamed and unrecognized phenomenon in Croatia - still looking for the most appropriate and most comprehensive term, and you can expect more from us on this subject in the following blogs! 2) We presented preliminary data of our study (which is still ongoing, we invite you to fill out the questionnaire!) It suggests that gender harassment is widespread, with significant consequences for women: 70 - 90% of women have experienced some form of verbal harassment (eg, sexist comments, swearing, vulgar remarks, etc ...), 56% of women have experienced some form of touching in a sexual way, and 33% were physically assaulted. When asked how they feel, 52% said annoyed, 43% - angry, 34% - offended, 34% - 29% and helpless - frightened. 3) We presented the campaign "I’ve Got Your Back" - by which we try to point out that the problem can be solved only by sharing the experiences of people who have experienced harassment, but it requires involvement of all of us: all of us who have witnessed harassment, and we react. We can react in several ways: - On the spot, or helping the victim as soon as you notice disturbance (our advice on how you can read here); - What we saw, we can describe and share with others via form: let us know what you noticed and that is your attitude about it (and if you react on the spot, even better! - We shared the experience); - We can support a person who has experienced harassment - under which each story is published on our site is a green button, "I'm keeping you back" - clicking on it in a symbolic giving that person know that you're with her.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up 4) Finally, in groups we designed graphics to accompany the campaign "I’ve got your back" or to describe the problem of gender harassment in public places. Prošli petak organizirale smo predstavljanje naše kampanje “Čuvam ti leđa“. Zahvaljujemo se SVIMA koji su došli i aktivno sudjelovali u rapravama i “crtanju” (kreativne uratke možete vidjeti dolje) – svaki vaš doprinos i mišljenje nam je bitno – možda zvuči otrcano, ali istina je, vjerujemo da su ovakve rasprave dobrodošle i potrebne! A za one koji nisu bili, ukratko prenosimo što smo radili (neka vam bude žao ): 1) Nakon kratkog upoznavanja i rasprave o izrekama koje smo podijelile, pričale smo o tome kako je rodno uznemiravanje neprepoznat i neimenovan fenomen u Hrvatskoj – još uvijek tražimo najprikladniji i najrazumljiviji termin, i možete očekivati više od nas na ovu temu u sljedećim blogovima! 2) Predstavile smo preliminarne podatke našeg istraživanja (koje još uvijek traje, pozivamo vas da ispunite upitnik!) koji ukazuju na to kako je rodno uznemiravanje vrlo raširena pojava, sa znatnim posljedicama za žene: 70 – 90% žena doživjelo je neki od oblika verbalnog uznemiravanja (npr. seksistički komentari, psovke, vulgarne primjedbe i sl…), 56% žena doživjelo je neki oblik dodirivanja na seksualan način, a 33% je bilo fizički napadnuto. Na pitanje kako se osjećaju, 52% je izjavilo iživcirano, 43% – ljuto, 34% – uvrijeđeno, 34% – bespomoćno a 29% – uplašeno. 3) Predstavile smo kampanju “Čuvam ti leđa” – kojom nastojimo upozoriti na to da problem ne možemo riješiti samo uz dijeljenje iskustava osoba koje su doživjele uznemiravanje, već je potreban angažman svih nas: svih nas koji smo svjedoci uznemiravanja i možemo REAGIRATI. Možemo reagirati na više načina: - na licu mjesta, odnosno pomaganjem žrtvi čim primijetimo uznemiravanje (naše savjete o tome pročitajte ovdje); - ono što smo vidjeli možemo opisati i podijeliti s drugima putem Hollabackovog obrasca: javite nam što ste primijetili i koji je vaš stav o tome (a ukoliko ste reagirali na licu mjesta, još bolje!!! – podijelit ćemo iskustva); - možemo podržati osobu koja je doživjela uznemiravanje – ispod svake priče koja se objavi na našoj stranici nalazi se zeleni gumb “Čuvam ti leđa” – klikom na njega na simboličan dajete do znanja toj osobi da ste uz nju. 4) Na kraju smo u grupama osmišljavali kako grafički popratiti kampanju “Čuvam ti leđa” ili kako opisati problem rodnog uznemiravanja na javnim mjestima: Media coverage: Vox Feminae | Libela


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

A Photo a Day in Ottawa, Canada Hollaback Ottawa posted a photo a day featuring creative responses to street harassment on their website and Facebook page. Here are two of the photos:


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Community Outreach and Strategizing across Egypt HarassMap | March 12, 2012 During the month of March, HarassMap held many street events: 1. Harassmap community outreach day (3rd March): Volunteer went out to do street based awareness, talked to shop keepers, vendors, and general public in the street to raise anti-sexual harassment awareness, and create "safe zone" areas in their neighborhoods, volunteers went out in Cairo, Alexandria, Assiut and Minia (upper Egypt) and Mansoura. 2. International women's day (8th of March): Egyptian women marched to Parliament to denounce violence against women and apply demands for more freedoms. 3. Protesting a year after virginity tests on female protesters (9th of March) 4.

On Egyptian Women's Day (16th March) there was a big event in Abdeen Square to gather women, and celebrate the Egyptian women's struggle. Some anti sexual harassment videos were screened.

5. Harassmap community captains met on the 24th of March to put together an annual strategy for street awareness and community outreach In the USA, HarassMap Co-Founder Sawsan Gad spoke at an even t on March 19 called From DC to Cairo: A Discussion on Street Harassment, held in Washington, DC.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

ProChange Distributed 2000 Cards in Dortmond, Germany ProChange | March 18-24, 2012 [Google translation….see original German text below.] The 18 March to 24 March 2012 was the International Week Against Street Harassment. Worldwide there were events and actions. ProChange joined in and participated in it. We distributed 2000 “Red Card” against sexism, “Pink Card” against homophobia, and “Purple Card” Courage for the day. At night we shared our special coasters in pubs, bar, from clubs in Dortmund, Germany. Summary, detailed report and pictures will be published soon. Our commitment does not end with the end of the campaign week. Sexist boundary violations and sexual violence are so long on our agenda until they no longer belong to our social system, and no one is more discriminated against and degraded or have experienced even violence. ProChange stands for change. Without you, without you, without you, there will be no change and no change! A movement moves only by those who follow her. No one follows, there is no change. No matter how old, no matter what profession, no matter what school, no matter what gender. We want change for all.

_______________________________________________________________________________ Vom 18. März bis 24. März 2012 war die internationale Woche gegen Street Harassment. Weltweit fanden vielfälige Veranstaltungen und Aktionen statt. ProChange schloß sich an und beteiligte sich daran. Wir verteilten 2000 “Rote Karten” gegen Sexismus, “Pinke Karte” gegen Homophobie und “Lila Karte” für Courage tagsüber. Abends legten wir in Dortmund unsere Spezialbierdeckel in Kneipen, Bar, Clubs aus. Fazit, ausführlicher Bericht und Bilder werden in Kürze noch veröffentlicht.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up Unser Engagement endet natürlich nicht mit dem Ende der Aktionswoche. Sexistische Grenzverletzungen und sexualisierte Gewalt stehen so lange auf unserer Agenda, bis sie nicht mehr zu unserem Gesellschaftssystem gehören, bis niemand mehr diskrimiert und herabgewürdigt wird oder sogar Gewalt erfahren muß. ProChange steht für den Wandel. Ohne Dich, ohne Sie, ohne Euch, wird es keinen Wandel und keine Veränderung geben! Eine Bewegung bewegt sich erst durch die, die ihr folgen. Folgt niemand, gibt es keinen Wandel. Egal, wie alt, egal, welcher Beruf, egal, welche Schule, egal, welches Geschlecht. Wir wollen den Wandel für alle. Wie? Fan auf unseren Seiten werden, posten, Inhalte teilen und kommentieren. Freunde und Bekannte dazu einladen. Darüber sprechen im Freundeskreis, in der Schule, in der Firma usw. Karten und Bierdeckel verteilen Geschichten veröffentlichen: Fast jede Frau, jedes Mädchen hat wohl schon Belästigungen, Übergriffe erlebt. Manchmal ist man wütend, manchmal hilflos. Wir wollen das Schweigen brechen. Deshalb machen wir unsere Geschichten öffentlich und schreiben sie auf. Wir schreiben, was uns passiert ist und schweigen nicht mehr. Mitarbeit direkt: Fleißige Hände, die ab und an oder auch regelmäßig unsere Arbeit unterstützen. Einfach anfragen.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Discussions, Rallies, Photography Competitions in Delhi, India Safe Delhi Campaign Team | March 18-24, 2012 Safe Delhi Campaign co-sponsoring the event in India called for action from different partners across the city from individuals, to organizations to media houses. The intent was to involve people from different walks of life to talk about the issue and address it in their own way. Objective of the Campaign:   

To initiate dialogues and discussions among students in different colleges and universities on safety in public spaces. To spread awareness on factors of safety through advocacy materials of the campaign. To initiate and moderate discussions on social media platforms on safety in public spaces and right to the city.

The first day of The Global Anti Street Harassment Week 2012 was marked by an extensive discussion on gendering of public spaces with students from the Department of Human Development of Institute of Home Economics. Students shared their personal experiences of ‘gender’ as an identity that impacts their choices and opportunities to live equally in the city. The students deliberated on gaps in emergency helpline numbers for women. They talked about service provisions like public toilets or well-lit parks and the role of larger society to create an enabling environment for all. With the remark that safety is a woman’s right to the city, the students undertook a ‘class to class campaign’, sharing with students the message against sexual harassment on streets and also sharing some. An open lawn discussion at Lady Sri Ram College for Women on ‘Reclaiming Right to Public Spaces’ was called by students from National Service Scheme on Tuesday, the 20th of March, 2012. There was an interesting discussion on the factors that attribute a place as being safe and unsafe. A street play by the college theatre society marked the beginning of the discussion. The students were shared helpline booklets, poster and other relevant material after the discussion. More than 100 students participated in the discussion. The recent weeks in the National Capital Territory of Delhi has seen an sudden increase of reported sexual assaults on women, mostly while their presence in public spaces. Following such incidences were remarks given to women to not work after 8 p.m. or to not wear “revealing clothes.”


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up The blame of these and many more incidences was left on the woman. This led to agitation not just among the civil society group of the city but also individual masses. Everybody across the city decided to stand against violence on women and say no to unsafe public spaces. The first public protest was called in Gurgaon as a response to the incident that took place outside one of the malls in the area following which remarks by police representatives on girls should stay home after 8:00 pm was called for. The protest was joined by women’s groups, youth organisations, individuals from the city and several media houses as well. Following the first protest, a Citizen Charter of Demands was drafted and a petition to state agencies to implement the same was circulated all across. Social networking pages to public campaigns to meeting individuals where ever possible, the petition was taken all across the city. The city saw a series of public protests in different places and through different forms. To mark the end of the Global Week, the students from the University of Delhi called for a candle light vigil to “Reclaim your Right to Safe and Violence free City for Women.” The vigil was held on March 24, 2012, in the evening and was participated by residents of the area, students, individuals from the city asking for a right to safe public spaces. An appeal to more men to join and for police support was constantly being made during the protest and that actually led to more people joining in the middle of the protest. More than 100 hundred people signed the petition and participated in the march.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up An online photography competition in solidarity with the Global week was hosted on the Safe Delhi Campaign Facebook page. The competition was well received and saw multiple entries. A panel of judges was formed to choose the winning photograph. Discussion around factors to make city safe was also initiated online. Here is the winning photo by Aranyaka Verma: “Can the sun ever shine bright enough to let girls laugh openly in this city?”

One of the other entries was by Saanya Khanna: “Even our monuments are not safe.The Humayun's Tomb in Delhi was poorly lit, and had no semblance of safety for women.”


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

“Be a Hero and Stop Harassment,” Delhi, India Holly Kearl | March 24, 2012 Breakthrough is a Delhi, India-based amazing, award-winning “global human rights organization that uses the power of media, pop culture, and community mobilization to inspire people to take bold action for dignity, equality, and justice.” I first learned about them because of their innovative bystander campaign around domestic violence called “Bell Bajao” or “Ring the Bell.” It encourages people to ring a neighbor’s doorbell if they hear domestic violence occurring because that can interrupt the situation, and then to call the police if it continues. I connected with a few staff at Breakthrough a few months ago (including Veronica Weis, the author of the blog post about street harassment in Delhi, India) and invited them to participate in International Anti-Street Harassment Week. I was thrilled when they accepted the invitation and created this amazing bystander poster campaign for street harassment. Please share the posters widely!


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Snap Your Fear in Chennai, India Hollaback Chennai | March 18, 2012 In Chennai, across the week, activists collected photos of the places where people have been street harassed. 1 - Image submission by Mashudha, who wrote: “Here is a pic of a narrow street used by many commuters. It connects two nice streets in Indira Gandhi Nagar, Adambakkam. This particular suburb in Chennai holds a varied population comprising different kind of Indian religions. A few migrated North east Indians also live here. This street has become a prime location for street-harassment. Bikers and cyclist go touching, pushing or hooting at women coming down by this street. First it is difficult for victims to realize what has just happened. Catching the guy / taking a snap / lodging a complaint to anywhere around is far from reality as the culprit will scoot from the spot in no time. Such incidents put the victim in huge mental trauma. Things are getting worse with wine shops functioning even in residential areas. Deputing a police constable at these narrow streets may bring down such illfated incidents. I am a working lady who wears burkha when I come out of my home and I want to say one thing, “These incidents got nothing to do with the kind of dress a girl wears”. Scanty dressing could be one of the reasons but not the only reason for sexual-harassment. Law makers should consider this menace with full seriousness and do the needful to make this place safe for women. Looking for a safe future!” 2 – Image submitted by Deepika. Photo taken at 9 a.m. at the Guindy Railway Station Stairs. She writes: “On an average, out of 100 passengers there would be around 20 female passengers only. Because of the congestion here during the peak hours (8 to 10 AM; 4.30 to 7 PM), men take advantage and harass women. Sad to say that the theft is in a high rate here too. In fact, I lost my purse today.. Had some valuable things inside it and most importantly an original license of my friend. I hope the govt takes steps to add another staircase and help the passengers. Thanks in advance!”


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up Media Coverage: The Hindu “Four months of running the Hollaback! Chennai campaign, reading and listening to stories and reports of harassment got us thinking about how gendered public spaces in the city are. For instance, go to any of Chennai's few open grounds, and you'll find it hard to spot a single girl amidst many boys playing football, cricket or basketball,� says Anupama Srinivasan, Project Director. This initiative, they hope, will have a dual purpose: firstly, to enable women to get over their fears, and hopefully, democratise public spaces in the city; secondly, to create a visual mapping of the unsafe areas in the city.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

GotStared.At in India Several activists in India launched a website called GotStared.At where people submit photos of the clothes they were wearing when they were harassed, along with the story of harassment. These are two of the submissions: 1 (right photo)- This is what I was wearing when some random boys called me Mallika Sherawat while I got down from a train. And while the train sped away beside me, with them hanging at one of the doors, one of them even threw grains of puffed rice at me. I was too taken aback to react in both cases (I didn’t expect the second part at all). So, now I can’t even travel by a train!

2 (left photo) - Seeing as it’s winter in Europe right now, this is what I have been wearing every day for the last couple of months. It is what I was wearing when I was followed and chased one month ago, and again two days ago by the same man. This is what I was wearing when followed in the street, and this is what I have been wearing while being leered at and having comments made about me.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up The activists also created numerous graphics that went viral through social media, bringing attention to the problem of victim-blaming.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Web Resource in Malaysia The Pixel Project is a global, virtual, nonprofit organization which works to raise funds and awareness to end violence against women (VAW) by delivering innovative, powerful viral campaigns across various online and virtual channels including social media. For International Anti-Street Harassment Week, they launched a web section about street harassment.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Sharing Information in Mexico Hollaback! Mexico DF distributed information about anti-street harassment week following a caberet show. They also created an online graphic to encourage people to share their stories.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

New Website in Norway In Norway, Bipper and Aksjon mot voldekt launched a new website translating some of the Stop Street Harassment site into Norwegian, including the strategies page. They also launched a blog where people can share street harassment stories (as either the target or bystander)

This is one of the stories that was shared: En av mine erfaringer: Jeg var på vei hjem fra en shoppingtur på Oslo City i Oslo, og tok t-banen. Klokken nærmet seg ti på kvelden og det var ikke mange folk i vogna. Jeg satte meg ned på en 4ér der ingen andre satt. Like bak meg kom det inn en guttegjeng. De var i alle fall seks gutter. Jeg var alene. De satte seg raskt rundt meg. Jeg hadde musikk på ørene og var sliten etter en lang dag. Gutten som satt rett overfor meg nikket (du vet, sånn som noen gjør for å hilse eller få oppmerksomhet). Først prøvde jeg å late som jeg ikke så han, men han gav seg ikke. Jeg tok ut headsettet og så på han. “Halla søta! Hva skjerá?”, sa han og smilte til kompisene sine. Så sa han noe til dem på et språk jeg ikke forsto, og alle lo. Jeg følte meg beklemt og usikker. “Jeg har det fint, men er trøtt og har ikke så lyst å prate nå,” svarte jeg. Ansiktsuttrykket hans forandret seg raskt. Hissig. “Hvem faen tror du du er? Du fortjener en skikkelig omgang, du. Din hore. Bare vent.” Kompisene lo høyt. 26

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up T-banen hadde kommet til stasjonen jeg skulle av på. Mest av alt hadde jeg lyst å klappe han ned, eller gi han en skikkelig skyllebøtte, men jeg var redd. Tenk om de fulgte etter meg? Tenk om han mente alvor med det han sa om å gi meg en omgang? Hva mener han med “omgang”? Jeg holdt kjeft og gikk av banen, kikket meg over skulderen – de kom ikke etter. Hjertet hamret. Samtidig kjente jeg på avmakten. Hva hadde jeg å stille opp med? En jente mot seks gutter, alene i en mørk gate på Tøyen? Tenk om de hadde…. Jeg gikk oppover bakken på vei hjem og tenkte på dette. Først var jeg redd, men så ble jeg sint. Sint fordi han tok seg til rette. Sint fordi hvordan kunne han tro at det var greit å oppføre seg så truende. Sint fordi de gjorde meg redd, og de syns det var gøy. Sint fordi de slapp unna. Sint fordi jeg ønsket jeg hadde handlet annerledes. Hadde jeg visst mer om trakassering og hvordan adressere det, så hadde jeg handlet annerledes. Ikke bare for min egen del, men fordi han og vennene hans trenger å møte motstand og opplysning. Oppførselen deres var ikke greit. Nå vet jeg, og jeg ønsker å dele det med flere. Derfor engasjerer jeg meg i denne saken. Mvh. Lisa Arntzen, leder av Aksjon mot voldtekt Google Translation: One of my experiences: I was on my way home from a shopping trip at Oslo City in Oslo, and took the metro. The time was approaching ten in the evening and there were not many people. I sat down on a 4ER. Just behind me there were a bunch of guys. They were at least six of them. I was alone. I had music in my ears and was tired after a long day. The boy who sat across from me was nodding (you know, like some do to greet or get attention). First I tried to pretend I did not see him, but he would not stop. I took out the headset and looked at him. "Halla cutie! What's up? "He said, smiling at his pals. Then he said something to them in a language I did not understand, and everyone laughed. I felt uneasy and uncertain. "I feel fine, but is tired and do not want to talk now," I replied. His face changed quickly. Angry. "Who the hell do you think you are? You deserve a proper place, you see. You whore. Just wait. " Buddies laughed out loud. I was afraid. What if they followed me? Imagine if he meant what he said? I gave up and went off the track, looked me over his shoulder - they were not listening. My heart was pounding. At the same time I felt the feelings of powerlessness. A girl against six boys, alone in a dark street on Toyen? Imagine if they had…. I went up the hill on the way home and thought about this. At first I was scared, but I was angry. Angry because he liked it. Angry because how could he believe that it was okay to behave in that threatening way. Angry because they made me afraid, and they thought it was fun. Angry because they got away. Angry because I wished I had acted differently. Had I known more about the harassment and how to address it, I had acted differently. Not only for my own sake, but because he and his friends have to face resistance and enlightenment. Their behavior was not okay. Now I know, and I want to share it with others. Therefore engage myself in this matter. Best regards. Lisa Arntzen, Chair of the Action against Rape 27

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Discussion and Self Defense in Pakistan In Karachi, Pakistan, students at university SZABIST hosted a “How to respond to harassment” session and self defense class with Babar Khan Jawed on March 21. The week before, a group of students at the university created a PSA about harassment. One of the students wrote: “My class group members and I selected “harassment” as a topic for our gender studies course. The reason we chose this topic was because it is a prevalent problem in Pakistan and almost everyone in the country encounters it on a daily basis. We wished to highlight the issue and create awareness. Harassment can come in different forms but the generally acceptable definition of harassment is something that disturbs one due to any form of unacceptable behavior inflicted by someone. It exists in the world that we live in and it is out there whether we acknowledge it or not. Many a times, we experience harassment and we go on leading our lives without even realizing it or doing anything to put an end to it. Harassment can happen in a variety of ways and what we aim to do is to empower people to speak up about it and fight against it but until people realize that they have been harmed, there is little that can be done about it. We have set out to create a couple of ad campaigns that would give awareness to the people about the types of harassment that exist in society and what options we have to fight against it. We seek to spread the word over the internet and in whatever ways we possibly can.”


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

The Stories Behind the Art Work from Trinidad and Tobago Tracey Chan, Stephanie Leitch | March 18, 2012 Editor’s Note: Today in Washington, DC, I’m co-curating an art exhibit on street harassment with the Deaf Abused Women’s Network. There are 35 pieces, including art work by Tracey Chan and Stephanie Leitch. They guest wrote this post about their submissions. My name is Tracey Chan and I’m a Trinidadian interdisciplinary visual artist and writer whose disciplines include drawing, illustration, and installation. I’m also involved in graphic design and art event management. In 2011, I created an illustration as part of Simona Lee’s WomenSpeak project. I created an updated version called “Eyes” for this exhibition, which examines the daily challenges women face on the street and the negative feelings that arise with harassment incidents. It also represents my feelings of insecurity, and a stigma attached to simply walking around my own neighbourhood. My latest project, with my art collective is an all women’s exhibition, Women Make Art: Home & Away (WOMA). WOMA 2011 celebrated International Women’s Day and was the first women’s art exhibition in Grenada. The current show, now in its second year, opens on 31st March in St. George’s, Grenada. My name is Stephanie Leitch and I’m a social activist and conceptual artist. My work focuses on issues of gender equality both through performance and organizing. My 2011 International Women’s Day event evolved into an ongoing space for Caribbean feminist voices, WoMantra and the place where the collaboration for this project was hatched. “Even though I got word of this project only two or three days before the deadline, it hit way too close to home for me to ignore. I have been dealing with public harassment since I was 12 years old and still in my primary school uniform. I remember a friend telling me once that she would no longer walk in the street with me because of how much attention I would get all the time. This is not a point of pride or ego booster but a sick social practice that I have had to endure for more than half my life. It has affected me deeply in many ways, from valuing it in earlier years to despising it and as a response changing aspects of my aesthetic to detract male attention. Some of these methods have stayed with me, most noticeably my decision to never wear my hair down.” The collaborative series was created when Stephanie requested help to put several of her ideas and tags into visual format for the exhibition. Tracey then designed an image using one tag, “Encourage Women to Speak Out,” using bright colours and minimalist design to attract attention with the simple, powerful message. We will develop a series of posters from the remaining tags that may be used in future events or projects.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Film Screenings in Istanbul, Turkey March 21-24, 2012 On March 21, Hollaback Istanbul held a screening of Miss Representation and then a discussion about its connection to street harassment. “Miss Representation representation was shown in cooperation with the U.S. Consulate. Pera Museum hall filled. Key speakers Nevval Sevindi (KADER founder and author), Zeynep Dereli (politician and business woman), and Nancy Rinke Ozturk (publisher) 's participation had an interview with the Turkish media after the screening.” Then they went to Galatasaray University, where they showed the film “War Zone.” They said it was very well received. They created a short film called Break the Silence. They also created several graphics using the words from stories that were submitted to the blog.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------From the Hollaback webpage: “18-24 Mart Uluslararası Sokak Tacizi Engelleme haftası idi. Sokak tacizine dikkat çekebilmek için dünyanın dört bir yanında panel söyleşileri, film gösterimleri ve eylemler yapıldı. Bizim yaptıklarımızın özeti de şu şekilde. ABD Konsolosluğu ile işbirliği yaparak Miss Representation gösterimi yaptık. Pera müzesindeki salonu doldurduk. Önemli konuşmacılar Nevval Sevindi (KADER’in kurucusu ve yazarı), Zeynep Dereli (politikacı ve iş kadını), ve Nancy Rinke Ozturk (yayıncı)’ün katılımıyla gösterimden sonra Türk medyası ile ilgili bir söyleşi yaptık. Buradan fotoğraflara bakabilirsiniz. Sonraki durağımız War Zone isimli filmin gösterimi için Galatasaray Üniversitesi idi. Bunun devamında sokak tacizinin cinsiyet değil güç dengeleri ile alakalı olmasına dair bir söyleşi yaptık. Bu sohbet çok iyi karşılandı, Galatasaray Üniversitesi’ne çok yakında geri dönmeyi planlıyoruz! Sosyal medyada da oldukça aktif olduk. Çoğu insanın karşılaştığı bir problem olan sokak tacizine dikkat çekebilmek için hikayelerimizden aldığımız anahtar kelimeler ve alıntılar ile imajlar bir araya getirip paylaştık.” Media: Today’s Zaman “The theater inside Beyoğlu's Pera Museum brimmed Tuesday night with an impressive mix of

journalists and activists, students and academics, foreigners and locals. Among the vast sea of women, even a few male faces were visible. This assorted collection had packed the stadium-seating theater on a weekday evening for İstanbul's inaugural screening of “Miss Representation,” an award-winning film that exposes how mainstream media contributes to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. But “Miss Representation” is more than a film. It is a grassroots movement. “We are uniting individuals around a common, meaningful goal to spark millions of small actions that ultimately lead to a cross-generational movement to eradicate gender stereotypes and create lasting cultural and sociological change,” according to the Miss Representation website. And it is a modern day call-to-arms. “Using social media, women and girls are speaking out, telling their stories and influencing change. Men and boys are standing up to sexism, countering hyper-masculinity and championing women as leaders. Communities are hosting screenings and discussions to shift the cultural mindset around gender and end sexism," Miss Representation explains. Gillian Morris, a volunteer for the anti-street harassment NGO Hollaback! İstanbul and organizer of Tuesday's screening, told Sunday's Zaman the film may dissect American mass media but the misrepresentation of women in the media knows no boundaries. Turkey is no exception.” 31

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Blogging in the United Kingdom Black Feminists UK posted one story per day on their blog recounting an incident of street harassment in the UK, India, countries in Africa and beyond to show that street harassment is a worldwide problem for women of color.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Flirting vs. Harassment in the United Kingdom The UK Anti-Street Harassment Campaign held an online photo project that anyone could take part in. They simply had to take a photo of themselves holding a sign with the slogan, “Flirting. Harassment. Real Men Know The Difference” and then submit it. More than 60 people submitted photos.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Symposiums and Online Action in Sana’a, Yemen Via the Yemen Times: “Under the banner of the local initiative “‘Aad Shi Akhlaq” ('Are There Still Any Manners?'), a number of symposiums on harassment were held in Sana'a. A seminar and debate concerning the psychological effects of harassment on victims - as well as a symposium headed by lawyer Ahmed al-Wadi'ee on relevant legal questions – were held. The three-day event was concluded with a forum entitled, “The Society We Seek – Democratic Rights and Freedoms” and was led by Najla'a Al-Omari. The event had a considerable youth turnout, with about 180 such participants. The forums were held at both the Cognitive Cultural Forum and the al-Afif Cultural center. The main objective of the forums was to raise societal awareness of the dangers of harassment, as well as ways to confront the problem. Workshops and posters were also used to help promote these goals “‘Aad Shi Akhlaq” is a national initiative that was started in December 2011 by five young women: Amani Abdul Qader, Shahba'a Al-Kibsi, Luna Al-Wadi'ee, Ghufran Jamal and Arbeil Nasr. The five women started the initiative in response to bitter, personal encounters with on-campus harassment at Sana'a University. Their main drive was to free streets and neighborhoods from verbal and physical harassment, and to establish in such places a sense of security and respect for women. Shahba'a Al-Kibsi presented a speech at last week's event in which she said, "I hope that we can join hands in curbing this phenomenon before it spins out of control. Harassment is a crime that is punishable by law in many countries because it has negative psychological effects on the harassed. Therefore, it is everybody's obligation to put a stop to this behavior, something which has become a daily practice in our Yemen, a civilized country with manners and values.” "Harassment and molestation have taken a serious turn for the worse," said Amani Abdul Qader. "Its practice is no longer limited to young men, but has also crossed over to young women; meanwhile, there's no specific law to deter this trend. It is our role, as enlightened and educated youth, to make a change in this, a period of political change. I hope that a shift in attitude will be the initial change, one that we can work on, so that coming generations will have a better atmosphere than our current one." The forum and the initiative aim to spread the idea that harassment is neither justifiable nor excusable. They also aim to attract and recruit as many youths as possible for the campaign, while also providing support for youths affected by harassment. 34

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up Kefaia ('Enough') is another initiative working towards the same purpose. It joined the Development House media organization in launching an e-campaign that utilized articles and videos on Facebook and Twitter to call for volunteer work. The Development House is the first media organization in Yemen to specialize in online social networking. In a speech, a senior consultant for the Development House said the campaign had been planned and implemented online and that it had been received spectacularly well by young men and women who had broken the silence and committed themselves to curtailing harassment in Yemeni society. Ghaida'a Al-Absi, campaign manager of the Kefaia initiative said “our initiative is concerned about the women’s issues, and street harassment is one of the most important women’s issues that we take care of. The problem of harassment in the streets is a global problem and exists in every country. The international harassment week includes more than 70 organizations and the campaign is worldwide, with Yemen a part of it,” “We all demand with one voice: street safety and an enforced law that punishes those who practice harassment.” Information from Ghaida’a Al-Absi, the Safe Streets campaign participated by: 1- Posting stories on our site "Safe Streets" 2- Taking pictures of ladies holding boards with messages written on them to express their disapproval of sexual harassment 3- Posting 3-4 times daily in the Facebook page, and Twitter 4- Setting discussions on the Facebook page, and we got more than 200 comments during the week 5- Contacting a Yemeni TV channel to allocate one of their shows to talk about Streets Sexual harassment. They agreed to do so. They met Safe Streets Campaign's team in the TV show, and podcasted last Tuesday. Additionally, three pieces of art work submitted for an art exhibit in Yemen were included in an art exhibit about street harassment in Washington, DC, in the USA.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

USA Initiatives: Art and Discussions in Arizona March 18-24, 2012 In Arizona, the Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault’s (SACASA) Safe Streets AZ program organized the display of youth-created art opposing street harassment and sexual violence in multiple library locations across the week. Hey Baby! Art Opposing Sexual Violence was displayed at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library through April 30th, along with resources and writings. Other Hey Baby! artwork was also displayed at the Columbus-Eckstrom and Sam Lena South Tucson branches of the Pima County Public Library. Additionally several pieces of the artwork were included in an art exhibit in Washington, DC, on March 18. On March 20, Safe Streets AZ held a workshop at Rincon High School focused on bystander intervention strategies against street harassment. Amazing Arizona State University Masters of Social Work students created and hosted the workshop as part of their coursework. The students are Kelli Gacic, David Hervey, Sharon Acevedo, and Ramona Meda. By combining hands-on role-play, interactive activities including the Snowball Survey Fight, multi-media, and frank discussion, they created something that is fun and thought-provoking (Via Safe Streets AZ site.) On March 22, SACASA partnered with the Pima County Attorney’s Office to host a Community Conversation to End Street Harassment at the Ward 6 Council Offices. Guest speaker Jennifer Copenhaver-Celi, Deputy County Attorney, provided information on the legal factors surrounding street harassment and the resources available to harassed persons. Community members shared their experiences of harassment and SACASA staff facilitated a discussion about ways to safety step in to prevent it and brainstorm community solutions. 36

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up Safe Streets AZ also created Facebook graphics for people to post on their profiles during the week.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Flyer-ing in San Francisco, California March 21, 2012 From Sarah Harper: “The Meet Us on the Street San Francisco, CA, event was a success! Our crew of activists, students, and community members spoke with a variety of passersby at the 16th St. BART station on the issue of harassment. We engaged many in dialogue about the effects of harassment as a reality in many women’s daily lives. We also provided fliers for passersby (in English and Spanish) so that they may share the information with others. The fliers included quick “how to’s” for dealing with harassment in-the-moment: effective body posturing and phrases victims and witnesses may use to remain empowered while keeping themselves safe. The fliers also detailed what constitutes harassment, so that potential harassers may begin to identify and change their harassing behavior.” Additional events that happened in California: 

There was a screening of the documentary War Zone at Santa Monica College, in Santa Monica, CA, on March 22. INFO.

A Girls Forum was held in San Luis Obispo on March 24 and included a discussion on street harassment. INFO.

The Pasadena City College’s Feminist Club talked about street harassment during the week of March 26 (when they were back from spring break).

The Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center talked about street harassment during presentations with middle and high school students that week and also engaged in online activism.



International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up The California Coalition Against Sexual Assault posted about the week of action every day on their website and on the Prevent Connect website. They also published a podcast with Hollaback co-founder Emily May.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Marches and Discussions in Chicago, Illinois A Long Walk Home: “Girl/Friends teen girls [in Chicago, IL] created a youth led march in the area that they often experience street harassment, their school community. Girl/Friends made t-shirts and signs for the march. During the march the youth gave out anti-street harassment materials and created awareness on the streets about street harassment.

Brittany: “We’re doing this because it’s so epidemic that it impacts our community day by day and people just brush it off as if it’s nothing but it affects everybody…Girlfriends is doing a march on Wednesday, we’re going to carry these signs and create t-shirts and we’re going to walk to just get our message out to get people involved in our movement.” They made a video as they prepared their signs, sharing why they were participating.

Additionally, in Illinois:  The Free Spirit Media had students at North Lawndale College Prep in Chicago, IL, watch videos on street harassment and then write a reflection journal.  There was a street harassment discussion on March 22 at Western Illinois University, IL, hosted by the Interpersonal Violence Prevention Initiative. INFO.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

New Jersey 7 in Kansas City, Kansas Laura S. Logan | April 11, 2012 Laura S. Logan, a PhD candidate in Sociology Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work researches street harassment. She organized an event at Kansas State University on April 11 (her campus was on spring break during Anti-Street Harassment Week) called, "Street Harassment & the New Jersey 7 Case: Injustice at the Intersections of Race, Gender, Class and Sexuality.” During the event, they screened The Fire This Time, a documentary about the New Jersey 7 (7 young lesbian women of color who were jailed for fighting in self defense against a street harasser); and heard from the filmmaker, Blair Doroshwalther. A panel of local scholars and activists then discussed the New Jersey 7 case, and street harassment, safety, violence, and justice. The panel consisted of Doroshwalther, Simone Dorsey, senior in family studies and human services; Shireen Roshanravan, assistant professor of women’s studies; and Brandon Haddock, director of K-State’s LGBT Resource Center and graduate student in geography.

Simone Dorsey, senior in family studies and human services, sat on the panel after the screening and said watching the movie was a lot more shocking than reading about the case. "You really get to feel how unfair it is to be in my shoes — a poor, gay woman of color," Dorsey said. 41

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up Media: Kansas State Collegian “My work is concerned with social justice, race, class, gender and sexuality. It’s called being an intersectional scholar,” Logan said. “I heard about this case in 2006. The message being portrayed by the media is that if you have the misfortune of being assaulted, you may end up dead. But if you have the misfortune of being assaulted and live, you go to prison.” Logan, who has conducted extensive research on the case, said her aim is not just to give attention to this case and the larger issues that surrounds it. She said she wants to help coalition building at K-State with the multiple organizations that co-sponsored the event. These issues are not just a fight that one group has to face, she said. According to Logan, student organizations need to understand the concerns facing one group can also be faced by another and that these issues overlap. “I was excited to see that people were able to connect the case to things happening here,” Doroshwalther said. “I wanted to see it resonate with a non-urban setting of people. I wish there would have been more dialogue. A part of me wanted the dialogue between people who agreed with it and who didn’t. Sometimes I go to schools and there may be a couple people who stand up and completely disagree with what was said in the documentary.” Doroshwalther said she often starts the opening of her documentary talking about the cases of Matthew Shepard and other lesser-known cases. Shepard, who was an openly gay college student at the University of Wyoming, was tied to a fence post and beaten to death in 1998. Discussion surrounding the Shepard case set the standard for anti-LGBTQ harassment at the national level; more than 1,000 articles were written about Shepard, Doroshwalther said, whereas cases with the same criminal acts receive fewer than 12 articles nationwide. Doroshwalther said researching the New Jersey 7 case had an immense emotional impact on her. “This case became a part of me,” she said. “There wasn’t a day I didn’t think about it. This case was a matter of public concern in America.” Roshanravan said the case of the New Jersey 7 challenges societal ideas about issues of class, race, gender and sexuality, pushing people to think of the issues as intersecting. “I’m a poor, queer woman of color,” Dorsey said. “What else is it going to take to change the policy in America? Or to protect women?”


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Artwork in Baltimore, Maryland March 18-24, 2012 On March 18, Hollaback Baltimore held a mudart/side walk chalking party at 2 p.m. and wrote many empowering and anti-street harassment messages around the Inner Harbor area.

On March 21, they held a workshop at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) on street harassment. Attendees talked about what street harassment means to them, its impact, and then discussed what a safe city would look and feel like to them. Then they made stencils on that topic for street art.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up Then later in the week on Thursday and Friday March 22-23, the students used their stencils and put their messages and art work on the sidewalks!


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

“Bring Your Brother Day” Workshop, Brooklyn, New York Nefertiti Martin & Katie Bowser of GGE | March 16, 2012 On March 16, youth organizers at Girls for Gender Equity (GGE), a small nonprofit organization in Brooklyn, New York, that addresses the issue of street harassment, invited male friends and family members to a “Bring Your Brother Day” workshop about gender equity and stopping street harassment. “Bring Your Brother Day” was a day of conversation, connection and consciousness-raising in a fun and safe space.

The young women of GGE felt strongly about the importance of bringing the young men in their lives into their work to counteract sexual harassment and gender-based violence. The workshop grew out of youth organizers’ concerns that the conversation around street harassment and gender-based violence is taking place primarily among women. By reaching out to the young men in their lives, youth organizers are working to build allies and strengthen GGE’s work in promoting gender equity. GGE’s youth organizers led activities throughout the three-hour workshop that explored what gender stereotypes are, how they impact the lives of young people and how young men can be allies to young women. The young men were thoughtful, open and engaged throughout the workshop. Their comments and opinions added new depth to the conversation and reflected the positive influence of the awesome young women in their lives. The event was hosted in conjunction with International AntiStreet Harassment Week. GGE youth organizers and their brothers attended the Anti-Street Harassment Week Rally at the Judson Memorial Church in New York City on Saturday, March 24th. The young women felt very proud of the workshop and their contribution to Anti-Street Harassment Week and the movement to end gender-based violence. GGE looks forward to participating in Anti-Street Harassment Week next year!


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Discussions and Taking it to the Street, Brooklyn, New York Ms. Hassani | March 27, 2012 There is a strong connection between street harassment and violence against women.

From March 18 – 24, you may have seen men and women coming together around the world to fight street harassment. There were marches, events, discussions, panels, performances, and a wide range of innovative events online. We were honored to be a cosponsor to the worldwide event, International Anti-Street Harassment Week. We engaged in spreading awareness both on and offline, and encouraging our supporters to take action against street harassment on a daily basis. However, the most important contribution we made to this movement: discussing street harassment with the young high school women we mentor. Most women and girls around the world, approximately the 80% to experience street harassment at some point in their life, can attest to the fact that if men deem them attractive on the street, their reaction is as follows: you (an attractive woman) walk down the street, men and boys in the vicinity scan your body as you walk towards them, look you up and down as you pass, and swivel their heads around to further inspect your buttocks as you walk by. This is degrading, and it most often does not stop there. What is street harassment? Catcalls, sexually explicit comments, sexist remarks, groping, leering, stalking, public masturbation, and assault. What 10 high school girls in Brooklyn think: We brought the discussion of gender-based street harassment to the high school girls in our Young Women Rock! Mentorship Program last Wednesday, March 21, 2012. What became clear: young women in public high schools often face gender-based harassment both on the street and in school. These young women walk to class and get stared down by testosterone-filled young men, who are also waiting there when they go to their lockers, go to lunch or even while they are participating in after47

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up school programs. Our mentees defined street harassment as, “when men – young and old – shout at you on the street, follow you on your way home, or just look at you… They make you feel unsafe, and that you want to cover up (even if you are covered up). They make you feel like you are just an object.” The girls sited often being grabbed on the shoulder or arm by men on the street who want their attention. Their reaction was always to push past and keep walking without saying anything, but often the men followed them for at least one city block. YWR! taking part in International Anti-Street Harassment Week on Pennsylvania Avenue in Brooklyn, NY. We had the girls create slogans for Anti-Street Harassment Week, an activity that empowered them! It generated a heated discussion about who’s responsibility it is to fight street harassment – why are we making signs? Their conclusion: it is everyone’s responsibility. When asked if they thought there was a way men could effectively call out street harassment, they responded with a resounding, “They would just join in.” And I could not blame them. I have never once seen a man step in to stop street harassment, whether towards myself or another woman or girl. Our mentees said often there are groups of men (or boys) who will harass them on the street corner. They feel vulnerable, they feel unsafe, and they are often quite a walk away from home. This is dangerous – groups of men? This needs to stop – accepting street harassment is accepting all the necessary steps leading up to rape. “Street harassment limits people’s mobility and access to public spaces. It is a form of gender violence and it’s a human rights violation. It needs to stop.” – Stop Street Harassment Campaign Call them out! With outlets such as Hollaback! and HarassMap, you can help end street harassment by calling it out when you see it, and when you experience it. Hollaback explains, “As you catch those creeps in the act, you can submit your story to be recorded and mapped on When it comes to ending street harassment, the best response is a badass response, so start holla’ing back.” We encourage you to download the Hollaback! Android or iPhone app today! Other ways to take action Male Allies: We call on men to intervene when they see street harassment occurring. This does not have to be a confrontational response – a simple “Are you okay?” to the woman, “waddup?” to the man, asking directions or creating another distraction work to diffuse the situation. For more ways to get involved, check out Men Can Stop Rape’s Where Do You Stand campaign. Community Action: No action is too small. Some of the best ways to get involved in the anti-street harassment movement and to make real strides in ending street harassment is to speak out against it. Street harassment has become a social norm in our society – and the way to un-condition this mindset and behavior, we must show that it is unacceptable. You may choose to use art to raise awareness, post signs or stickers in public spaces, host an event that promotes safe streets, or even join an anti-street harassment organization or campaign. You can find more ideas here, here and here.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Self Defense Class in Queens, New York On March 20, in the afternoon, about 15 middle school students took a self-defense class in New York City and the event was co-sponsored by the Center for Anti-Violence Education and City Council Member Julissa Ferreras’ Office (thanks to my mom for attending and live-tweeting the event!).

Some of the feedback from the middle school students included:       

This class was very interesting and pretty informative. It was very fun. I learned a lot. I learned how to do blocks. It gave me useful information about what to do Informative, helpful, revealing The most fun thing I learned were the defense moves when you use your voice. Learning how to defend myself. I learned some blocking techniques and defense techniques

Throughout the whole week, many schools and groups that work with youth will be talking about street harassment during classes and in after-school programs. The Steps to End Family Violence had their peer educators talk about the issue in more than 60 schools throughout the city.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

“I’ve Got Your Back” Campaign, New York City & Global Emily May | March 22, 2012 Since starting to map street harassment in 2010, we’ve seen a flood of little pink dots popping up all over the world. People are holla’ing back everywhere, and our collective voices grow louder with each one. But over time the map also became a constant reminder that, despite our best efforts, street harassment is at epidemic proportions. It seems more common across cultures than access to drinking water. And with each dot, and each moment of resistance, comes another incident of violence. “The stories are amazing, but our map is a bit depressing,” I said to our volunteer, Esty. “We need to map something happy, too. We need to show people they can end this.” We brainstormed about what kinds of happiness could come from being street harassed. Not much, is the truth. But after throwing out a bunch of ideas for ways to get people involved, Esty said, “What about when people stand up for you? You know, when people have your back?” And so it was born. In most of the stories on our site where bystanders are present, they either fail to act or do something that further traumatizes the victim (i.e. “you shouldn’t have worn that”, “where is your boyfriend?”, type stuff). We wanted to build a platform where people didn’t feel like they had to strap on superhero spandex and swoop down and beat everyone up when they saw street harassment happen. We knew that the only good way to provide realtime relief to people who are harassed is to get bystanders engaged, but we also knew that bystanders wouldn’t act unless we showed them how. Our concept was this: we’d develop resources, trainings, and we’d start mapping bystander stories in green dots. Then, we’d build an ‘I’ve Got Your Back’ button which users can click to show support. At the end of each day, the person who submitted their story will get an email telling them how many people have their backs. We thought we’d map these stories in green dots, because you know, green looks good with pink (these things are important!). And then we found out there was a whole organization called Green Dot ( that trained people how to intervene, but didn’t do the mapping part. We called them, attended their training, and fell in love with them. Our plan was off to a great start. Only one snag: we needed funding to partner with them. We applied to one foundation and got turned down. So we applied to five more foundations, and got turned down again. Not liking to be told ‘no’, I did what any self-respecting executive director would do: I called them and begged. And it worked! A month later, Green Dot was on a plane to New York. We spent a week conceptualizing the project, and although some things are still on hold, pending additional support, we got a lot of pieces up and running. Thanks to Green Dot, 268 donors, and our pro-bono team of developers which include Jill Dimond, Kevin Finity, and Josephine Hall, we’ve revamped Hollaback!’s website with bystander resources and are working to train Hollaback!’s 150 sites leaders in 44 cities and 16 countries on how to do bystander workshops in their communities. Successful bystander stories are now collected through and Hollaback!’s newly rereleased iPhone and Droid apps, and the ‘I’ve Got Your Back’ button is awesome and being clicked as we speak. 50

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up This campaign is still in its infancy, but we’re pretty confident: the ‘I’ve Got Your Back’ campaign is going to put a serious dent into street harassment by shifting the culture that’s made it OK for way too long. Everyone has a role in this movement — so start intervening and share your story today at Join us at our “I’ve Got Your Back” event tonight in Brooklyn, details are here.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Window Sex Project Premiere, Harlem, New York Sydney Mosely | March 28, 2012 Friday night, March 23, 2012, we premiered The Window Sex Project, and I cannot express in words how successful the event was. From the moment our guests entered the space to see the gallery of painted and live works, to the performance itself in which the dancers had me shouting and crying up in the balcony, to the postperformance discussion which brought together divergent opinions and heated debate, it really was an out of this world event. Saturday morning my dad called me from his hotel room in Queens. [When I was young,] I never talked to women on the street because that wasn't my style, but I ran with the best of them. And now... I'm so embarrassed that I never said anything to those guys to stop them. I hadn't expected this response from my father who has supported me throughout this process, though I wasn't always sure that he understood what I was doing and why I was doing. Yet, the performance really made him think about the issue from the other side and consider his actions, non-actions and what he could do to further the work. His understanding of both the problems and solutions after being a witness and participant in The Window Sex Project is a testament to the power of dance (and art in general) as a tool of activism. The multidisciplinary performance event made men and women deeply consider these issues of harassment, public space and perception and led to fruitful conversation. I have no doubt, that each person left the theater that night and went home and discussed the work further, multiplying its reach.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up Professor L'Heureux Dumi Lewis echoed my father's sentiments in his recent post on Uptown Notes/Ebony Magazine: Interrupt Street Harassment. He begins: I remember growing up and learning how to “holler” at girls. I’ll be honest, I’ve never found it particularly natural to stand in a group of other guys and whistle, catcall, or bark compliments to women, but somehow it was supposed to be a rite of passage. In my younger days, I thought of street harassment as bad, but shrugged it off a bit because there were a lot of worse things that I could do toward women and since I didn’t catcall, I wasn’t really an offender. However, each day I see greater connections between street harassment and violence against women. I look forward to continuing this conversation about how we can interrupt and further affect change against this cultural practice. Media: Harlem World Magazine: “The Window Sex Project: World Premiere is a dance-theater work that tackles sexual harassment on the street. This performance is presented by Sydnie L. Mosley Dances, a Harlem-based contemporary dance company that seeks to actively engage the audience. Choreographer Sydnie L. Mosley’s work reflects real life experiences exploring, but not limited to, interest in black cultures and the experiences of women.”


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Rally Against Street Harassment, New York City, New York March 24, 2012 Street harassment is a HUGE problem in NYC. It's time to do something. Around 100 people attended a rally at Judson Memorial Church where a range of speakers talked about the problem and ideas for solutions. Local organizations working on this issue had tables so attendees could learn more. MC – Alan Kearl, Stop Street Harassment volunteer and lead organizer of the rally Speakers included:                 

Julissa Ferreras -- New York City Council Member Linda Sarsour -- Executive Director of the Arab American League Piel Martinez -- Sisters in Strength Youth Organizer for Girls for Gender Equity Nefertiti Martin -- Community Organizer for Girls for Gender Equity Lucia Rivieccio -- Director of Steps to End Family Violence Natalie Richman – Hollaback Alli Lindner -- Student Hunter College and member of the anti-street harassment project at Queerocracy Kathryn Stamoulis, PhD - Counselor and Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Hunter College Joe Samalin -- Lecturer and Trainer for Anti -Street Harassment topics Mindy Tom -- Researcher and student at Parson's School of Design Ileana Jimenez -- Lecturer and Feminist Teacher, Elizabeth Irwin High School Sydnie Mosley -- Choreographer and Dancer, Creator of the Window Sex Project Jasmine Burnett -- Board Member, Center for Anti-Violence Education Grace Tobin -- High School Senior, Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School Emma Stydahar -- High School Junior, Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School and Spark Summit blogger Lin Jeong -- Psychology Student at Hunter College Fran Luck – Radio show host and former member of the Street Harassment Project


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up Excerpt from rally speech: “My name is Alan Kearl and I’m a volunteer with Stop Street Harassment. As the father of two daughters, a husband, and a son, I have listened to the many harassing incidents my loved ones have faced on while going about their lives and have been horrified to realize how these incidents have made them feel fear, anger, shame, confusion, and shock. During the past several years that I have been associated with Stop Street Harassment, I have read more than 1000 posts from women all over the world who have had similar experiences and felt similar feelings. It is shocking to realize that these incidents change how they walk, where they walk, what they wear and what they do when they walk. As someone who cares deeply about the females in my life and about humanity in general, I am proud to join all of you in saying it’s time to bring this form of unnecessary interaction to an end.”

Excerpt from Alli Lindner’s rally speech: “One experience with street harassment that has impacted me more than I realized it would at the time occurred while I was waiting for the subway after a day at the beach with my girlfriend. It was one of those brutally hot days in July and we were sweating it out on an outdoor platform. As we were waiting, we heard someone talking in a pretty loud voice that quickly turned into yelling. It was that moment that all of us are familiar with—everyone starts to tense up and we all do what we can to avoid turning around to look at what’s going on. It doesn’t usually take long to figure it out, though. In this case, a white woman was yelling at a younger woman of color. She was accusing her of stealing jobs, being “illegal,” and other things we are used to hearing thrown around when people talk about immigration. Finally our train came and the younger woman got on with us, leaving her harasser behind on the platform. As the doors closed, someone finally asked the woman if she was ok. This is not the story we usually hear about street harassment, and that’s part of the reason it is so important to me. It does not fit into our simple narrative of a man sexually harassing a woman in public, but it is street harassment nonetheless.”


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Discussion in Toledo, Ohio The University of Toledo participated in Anti-Street Harassment Week by hosting a forum titled “Hey Baby, Smile: Stop Street Harassment” on Thursday, March 22, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Student Union Room 3020. Media: UT News “Despite the significant impact it has on women’s lives, street harassment is often normalized and minimized by those who perpetrate it and by society as a whole,” said Diane Docis, coordinator of the UT Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Program. “This event says that we take this issue seriously and that there’s something we can do about it.” The free, public event provided information on street harassment and addressed bystander options and global activism working to end it. The discussion portion allowed survivors of harassment to share their experiences. The forum was sponsored by UTURN: UT United for Respect and Nonviolence, Association for the Advancement of African-American Women, UT Feminist Alliance, and the UT Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Program.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Community Discussions and Rallies in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania March 18-24, 2012 “A man threw a glass bottle toward my student's head last week, after she ignored his cat calls near Lehigh and Broad [in Philadelphia, PA]. As a result, her father has discouraged her from attending our after-school program, because she has to walk to and from the train alone.” – Nuala Cabral Nuala did several interviews during the week, including with speak with 900AM Wurd and Philadelphia Weekly. On March 18, local activists hosted a free selfdefense class at 5 p.m. On March 21, they held screenings and community discussions. Description from the Facebook event page: Walking Home is an experimental piece about women ritually facing street harassment as they walk home. Shot in Brooklyn and Philadelphia, it mixes 16mm film, video, poetry, and music in an effort to honor and reclaim our voice, name, and humanity in the public sphere. Hollering Back, a documentary about women of color and street harassment. "I made this short film because the stories of people I knew who were responding to public harassment inspired me to respond in a way that left me feeling more empowered. I wanted to share some of those stories in the hope it would do the same for others.” Under Siege: The Policing of Women and Girls is a groundbreaking documentary that will present the unique voices and the intimate stories of women and girls who have experienced law enforcement violence as well as gender-and-race-based forms of police misconduct and abuse, but their cases garner virtually no national attention. DREAMS DEFERRED: THE SAKIA GUNN FILM PROJECT (TRAILER) depicts the homophobia that caused this murder and questions the lack of media coverage of the murder of a Black Gay teenager. The documentary follows the reaction of the Newark community where several rallies and vigils were held, galvanizing the community, and prompting several LGBT organizations. 58

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

This event also included: Spoken Word from Vizion (of the Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement) and the sharing of testimonies on street harassment Nuala Cabral said, “[It was a] great turnout at tonight’s event [in Philadelphia, PA]! We watched films, shared spoken word and testimonies. We discussed street harassment, gender policing, sexual identity, racial profiling, anger/love and community. It was a beautiful night.” On Friday, March 23, Permanent Wave Philly presented the 2nd SOUND WAVE, the feminist performance benefit series! This show benefitted Hollaback Philly. On Saturday, March 24, about 25 people took to the streets to bring attention to the issue of street harassment. They had two groups divided between 52nd and Market in West Philly, and Broad and Eerie in North Philly, where groups held up posters, chalked the sidewalk, and engaged in discussions with members of the community. HollabackPHILLY site leader, Rochelle, was in the West Philly group where we had a lot of meaningful discussions with women and men. A highlight was when a man driving a car campaigning for Obama pulled over and lent us his sound system! He free styled on our behalf for a while before handing off the microphone to Nuala to lead us all in a little “Two step for Street Harassment”. The activists were dancing on the sidewalk with our signs, smiles on our faces, and were able to engage the people entering and exiting 52nd street station, as well as those waiting at the bus stop.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

After a few hours at 52nd and Market, and Broad and Eerie – both teams met up at Broad and Lehigh for the final rally where we covered two street corners and a median holding up signs, passing out information, and engaging the community members walking by, exiting the subway entrances and waiting at the bus stops. We had an inspiring amount of support from male allies, who held signs, engaged their fellow men in discussions, and generally showed us their support.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Nuala’s status update the next day: “I will not be silent about gender based street harassment. And to those who try to INTIMIDATE us, SHAME us, SILENCE us for speaking out about this when more "important" issues like racial profiling hurt our men, I say: we need to challenge BOTH. I AM A BLACK WOMAN. And THIS is MY STRUGGLE TOO. Men, when will you see it as your struggle also? ( In Solidarity w/ Erin Mari MoralesWilliams, Iresha Picot, Lina Richardson, Aiyana Dyani, Denice Frohman, Chantelle Bateman, George Lawrence, Gabriel Bryant, Perry Visionpoet Divirgilio, Just Greg Corbin).” 61

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Sidewalk Chalking in Rapid City, South Dakota In honor of Meet Us On The Street: International Anti-Street Harassment Week, SOLUTIONS students in Rapid City teamed up with Project Respect.Org (an organization that works to prevent and address sexual violence among Native American youth) and local youth in honor to promote respect on Rapid City's bike path at Memorial Park through sidewalk chalk messages. Youth throughout the city showed up to participate. Thanks to everyone who helped us spread the love!


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Turning Stories into Art: Reston, Virginia Holly Kearl | March 15, 2012 Yesterday I spoke to a high school class of juniors in Virginia, near where I live. I feel pretty safe and unharassed most of the time in our area and I was devastated to hear the stories of the girls in the class. “When I was in sixth grade, I had to walk a long way home from the bus stop. A few times, men followed me. I ran to a store so they wouldn’t know where I lived,” one girls shared. As soon as she shared her story, the room flooded with tales from other girls: the sexual remarks shouted at them from cars; the man who made “humping” motions against a girl on a public bus; the “creepy men” following them in stores; the men masturbating in front of them at public swimming pools; the man who told a girl who fell off her bike to “get in the car.” For many of the girls, this was the first time talking about these experiences. For all, it was the first time doing so in front of male classmates. The girls spoke about it in a matter-of-fact way, as part of their life. The boys were stunned by what they heard; several commented on how much their awareness was raised. Sharing stories to raise awareness is what the upcoming International Anti-Street Harassment Week is all about. Street harassment can only begin to be curbed after more people are aware, first, that it happens; second, that it happens a lot; third, that it happens to most women and girls and many men in the LGBQT community; and fourth, that when it happens, it has a negative impact on the harassed people’s lives. Both the male and female students in the class created artwork at the end, to be displayed at an art exhibit I’m co-curating with the Deaf Abused Women’s Network at MOCA DC on March 18, 3-9 p.m. in Washington, DC. Read my Ms. Magazine blog post to learn more about what’s going on worldwide and how you can get involved. Help break the silence. Share your story. Listen to a story. Participate.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Washington, DC, USA March 18-24, 2012 On March 18, Collective Action for Safe Spaces hosted a screening and discussion of “Walking Home” at 11 a.m. Eight people attended and they incorporated personal healing and empowerment techniques into the conversation. Also on March 18, the Deaf Abused Women’s Network and Stop Street Harassment curated a community art exhibit at MOCA DC from 3-9 p.m. About 12 people stopped by, both people who had heard about the exhibit online and those who noticed signs on the street and made their way to courtyard off main streets in Georgetown where it took place. The art was a mixture of physical art work created by local high school students and scanned/printed art that had been submitted from as far away as Yemen, Afghanistan, Trinidad and Tobago and Philadelphia and Arizona. Media Coverage: Reston


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up From Cairo to DC: A Discussion on Street Harassment, Washington, DC, USA Holly Kearl | March 19, 2012 On March 19, 2012, five activists (including myself) talked about issues of street harassment abroad and in Washington, DC. Countries we covered included Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, and the United Kingdom. The YWCA-National Capital Area hosted the talk. There are video clips of the talks about how harassment in Iran is similar or different to harassment in the USA; what activists with HarassMap are doing to combat street harassment in Egypt; and what same-race harassment looks like in the USA. A mini self-defense class took place at the end of the talk for attendees.

On March 21, 2012, George Washington University students and faculty in the women’s studies department talked about their research on the street harassment of LGBQT individuals both on- and off-line.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up Campus groups at GWU partnered with the DC Trans Coalition to create the following bathroom posters:


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up On March 22, 2012, About 20 community members and members of the media and WMATA staff attended a forum about sexual harassment on the metro system in Washington, DC.

On March 23, there was a community workshop at American University called Direct-Action Toolkit: 30 tested, effective tactics to intervene and stop harassers -- what to do and how to do it. It was hosted by Marty Langelan, author of Back Off: How to Confront and Stop Sexual Harassment and Harassers. 67

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up Street Theater about Street Harassment by the Saartji Project, Washington, DC, USA Jessica Solomon | March 24, 2012 We are a home-grown performance ensemble made up of black women exploring and creating at the intersections of race, gender and power, intentionally and without apology. We create in community and perform on stages, at universities, in multi-purpose rooms, galleries and now …the street. We fiercely believe in the power of our narratives and those of our allies, so to co-sponsor Washington DC’s Anti-Street Harassment Week was a no-brainer (I give thanks for @mdotwrites exposing me to texts like Dr. Bernice Johnson’s Working in Coalition – it grounds me in the importance of this kind of work). It was deciding what we’d do as a co-sponsor that was the challenge. After much discussion and sisterly debate about “what” we’d do, we decided to perform somewhere we’ve known Street Harassment to take place. There is power in reclamation of spaces. We crowdsourced a performance location and Gallery Place/ Chinatown – one of the busiest areas in the District – won hands down. (Adams Morgan and Georgetown were close contenders.) Process As allies and supporters, it’s important that you understand the context of this “performance”. (Please note: I use that term loosely. Sometimes “performance” conjures up fancy notions like curtains and lights and seats and backstage.) At its essence, our performance was an output of a personal process. We sat around and asked ourselves, “Why are we doing this? Who are we doing this for? What does a world without Street Harassment look like? Feel like?” We talked about feeling safe enough to perform. “What if someone approached us? Touched us? What did we want spectators to walk away with? What would their call to action be?” We didn’t have all of the answers immediately and some came at the 11th hour, but we knew we had to know our truths, with all our guts, before we began shouting them on the corner of 7th and G Street. Holding Space We are still so grateful to the people who intentionally showed up on a rainy Saturday afternoon to witness and hold space for us on the street. Supporters who marked it in their calendar and invited their friends. We are still so grateful for those that weren’t there but were thinking about us. We are also still so grateful for those who had no idea that they’d become an important part of some bold magic happening on the street. 68

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up Some Reflections from the Saartjie Crew Shonda said, “… people stopped and shared their stories. Young women seemed to appreciate that we were speaking about our lives in public. And young men felt comfortable enough to jump in and assist! I appreciated all of the people who included themselves even if that just meant bearing witness.” Saartjie Project members experienced street harassment directly after our performance. Yup. As Farah recounted, “A man who observed our show twice walked up to me and Shonda to share what we initially thought to be feedback about our performance. Instead, he told us that we didn’t have to dress like nuns and that people might be more attentive if we showed a little breast and thigh. I felt anger rising up in me, but said “God bless you. And I pray that one day, you won’t street harass women how you’re harassing us” and walked away from him. The man continued to ramble and followed us until I made a scene and asked him to say the same thing to my husband who happened to be volunteering. I questioned if the performance was effective—a man who looked engaged still doing exactly what we had been speaking against – to us directly! But I weighed his ignorance with the positive responses we received—those from a young man who helped us pass out brochures about Street Harassment and confessed that he’s been guilty of harassing women; an older woman who said that she’s still a victim of street harassment; and the teenage girls who nodded and said that they too have experienced street harassment. I knew that I couldn’t let one person affect the importance of what we did. We started conversations and used art to address a social issue that was proven to not only be relevant and current, but personal.” So now… Anti-Street Harassment Week is over but our work isn’t. This experience/experiment taught us that we must continue to tell our stories, recognize the responsibility in being a bystander and that in the midst of fighting for justice someone who you think is a supporter may not be. And that teaching moments show up all the time…even when you’re performing on the street. Next year, I envision performances like ours happening simultaneously all over the District, perhaps all over the planet! Imagine how powerful that would be. One last thing… Some readers may be wondering about the origin of our name. Saartjie Baartman was a South African woman taken from her homeland under false pretenses and crudely displayed in Europe from 1810 – 1815. She was given the show name “Hottentot Venus”, locked in a cage for 11 hours a day, dressed in feathers and sheer clothing to “enhance” her pronounced buttocks and labeled as hypersexual and subhuman. Her silhouette became in inspiration for the Victorian bustle worn by women of that time. Upon her death her body was dissected and publicly displayed in a museum in Paris until 1974. After much international political and social discourse over where Saartjie Baartman “belonged,” her remains were flown back to her homeland in May 2002, and laid to rest almost 200 years after she was taken to Europe. Our work revolves about bringing humanity to her life and the many paradoxes and crooked rooms we live in as black women. 69

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up The evening of March 24, 2012, the DC Women’s Theater Group hosted a showcase of monologues on street harassment. There were 10 different two-minute monologues highlighting various stories of harassment and responses to it.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

By Sela Lewis 71

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Guest Blog Posts on Stop Street Harassment: Street Harassment and the Dehumanization of Sex Workers Jessie Nicole | March 19, 2012 Editor’s Note: This guest blog post is written by Jessie Nicole, the current director of Sex Workers Outreach Project – Los Angeles, a nonprofit dedicated to ending violence and stigma against everyone in the sex industry and a co-sponsor of International Anti-Street Harassment Week. She earned her BA in English Literature from Florida State University and her MA in Humanities, focusing on the literature of Social Justice, from the University of Chicago. She lives in Los Angeles with her partner and their turtle, Walter. Though I’ve experienced street harassment periodically since the time I hit puberty, one of my most memorable incidents occurred in 2009, the summer after I finished my MA. I had a cold, and was waiting in line at the bank with unkempt hair and snot dripping from my nose. An older man behind me started making small talk about the muggy Chicago weather, and despite my obvious refusal to engage in conversation, then suggested that he could increase the zeroes on my deposit slip if we came to a sort of “arrangement”. His tone and expression left little doubt what kind of arrangement he was referring to. What this man had no way of knowing was that I was working as a full time escort at the time of that encounter. I bitterly wondered if I had a neon “whore” sign above my forehead only visible to the rest of the world. Though I was working in the sex industry at the time, this was not a professional situation. In retrospect, I can’t help but wonder how he would have reacted had I brazenly informed him of my rates. But I was ill and therefore taking time off work. This was not a consensual negotiation, nor a conversation I had entered willingly. And that is what made it harassment. I did not consent to engage in any sort of sexual negotiation. Consent does not fluctuate depending on what someone does for a living (or is wearing, or has said previously, or chooses sexually). Whether or not someone works in the sex industry has no bearing on their ability to consent to sexual attention. While this incident in the bank was relatively minor, it is representative of a larger assumption about the accessibility of bodies, particularly sex workers’ bodies. There is a difference between consensual sex work and sexual assault, and it should not be difficult to distinguish between them. Jill Brennerman’s account of her experience as a sex worker and rape victim explicitly shows the line between a consensual sexual transaction and rape (trigger warning : graphic description of sexual assault). The myth that sex workers cannot be sexually harassed or assaulted is rooted in the misperception that sex workers are not fully rounded people, but rather defined solely by the industry they work in. And that perception has very real and dangerous consequences. Alana Evans, when speaking about her experience with the LAPD as a rape victim, tells how she was dismissed based on her occupation. A quick scan of the comments on the video shows that this seems to be a common perception. Because she is a sex worker, she is somehow “unrapeable.” The dehumanization of sex workers only intensifies for people of color, those participating in outdoor sex work, and trans* or queer folk. This violence and harassment is not only socially sanctioned, but institutional. A 2006 survey conducted by a DC outreach organization that focuses on outdoor sex workers revealed that “90 percent of 149 respondents had experienced violence… and almost half said that they had been treated badly when they had sought help from somewhere (not just from police.)” While the jump from street harassment to violence 72

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up against sex workers may seem extreme, the commonality of violence against sex workers should illustrate how for our community, street harassment is deeply threatening. I should not have contemplated what I had done for a man I had never met to proposition me at the bank. It shouldn’t matter to this story that I was obviously sick and wearing sweat pants and an old t-shirt. No one should have to expect to experience sexual harassment in public as I and many others do. Sometimes it is less scary than others. Sometimes I am angrier than others. But being a sex worker has given me an entirely new perspective. I’m frequently told that I have no right to that fear or anger in response to harassment. I have nothing but rage and contempt for the underlying system that labels some bodies as having more value, and the bodies of sex workers as public domain.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Sh*t Men Say to Men Who Say Sh*t to Women on the Street Bix Gabriel & Joe Samalin | March 20, 2012 Editor’s Note: Bix Gabriel and Joe Samalin are part of the NYC team that created the new video “Shit Men Say to Men who Say Shit to Women on the Street” that’s been viewed nearly 50,000 times in less than one day and was made for International Anti-Street Harassment Week.

When it’s cold, my nose turns purple. I’m self-conscious about it. To hide the offending nose, and because I was indeed cold, I wrapped half my face in a scarf as I stood in a park recently. A man walking towards me said, “Hey, girl. You pretty under that scarf?” I stared at him for a nanosecond, then looked away. He kept at me. “Show me your face.” “You pretty?” “C’mon, look at me.” My eyes stayed down, my ears pretended deafness. He passed me and I remained still. Then I breathed. And then it came: “Yeah, thought so. You ugly.” The irony: At that instant, my partner Joe and other guys were 50 feet away, filming the video “Shit Men Say To Men Who Say Shit to Women on the Street”. They were saying things on-camera that I wanted someone to 74

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up say in life. Right then. To that guy. They were things I could have said. But I didn’t. I hate admitting it but I was afraid. And I felt helpless. And the more I think about it, the madder I get. Because this is not my job. It’s not my job to be on guard every second; to defend myself constantly; to fight against every male gaze on me, wherever I am, whatever I wear. Whose job is it? I understand that ending street harassment is everyone’s problem. But committing it is not everyone’s choice. So I can’t accept this equation, where some men choosing to harass = unsafe streets for all women. This is why men who don’t harass have the job and the obligation – not to protect women (we can take care of ourselves; we have loads of practice) but to hold all men accountable…. When I hear stories like the one my partner Bix shared above, I am left feeling this pain and nausea in my gut, a shitty and sad feeling I carry with me. This feeling is a gift that I struggle to hold on to and fight tooth and nail to keep present in my mind and heart. Because otherwise I will forget, I will lose it, and it will become again that much harder for me as a straight, white, heterosexual and cisgendered guy steeped in privilege to keep the struggle necessary and constant, alive and vital. That is how privilege works – it is its very nature. I have worked to prevent violence against women for years. And yet while collaborating to create this video, I have been seeing the violence men commit against women with fresh eyes. Being 50 feet away from Bix as it happened to her brought home to me how pervasive street harassment is, and how unaware of it we as men can be. And yet this video came about the way it did because today men – straight, gay, young, old, of all races – are asking what we can do to change things. But knowing the right words means nothing without the recognition of the violence all around us and the will to challenge and stop it consistently. Not – as Bix said – to protect women, but to hold ourselves and other men accountable for our violence and our silence. That is our responsibility. I still fail way more often than I succeed. But the times I fail and get back up and try again (which isn’t always the case and isn’t always easy to do) that is the real work. This is what we as men NEED to do in order to be true allies to the women and girls around us, whether we know them or not.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

My Street, My Body, My Right Alice X | March 20, 2012 I’m fourteen, running late for Global Studies. Breakfastless, I bolt out the door to catch the six. Instead of turning right as usual at Lexington Avenue, I take the shortcut to the station. They’re sitting at the front stoops again, right where the houses end and the deli begins. It’s humid, but I’ve put on my baggiest sweatpants and a long-sleeved shirt, so maybe today they won’t say anything. I look down at my feet and try to look preoccupied, or sad, or unapproachable, or something. And I walk faster. But they turn around and stare, all of them together, and don’t move, blocking the sidewalk. They make me push through them. I can feel them, bigger, older men, looking down at me as I approach. My entire body is tensing up, dreading an unwanted touch, a crude word. I want to crawl into a hole. “Hey, come back, China doll,” one says. Something in his voice makes my stomach turn. I wish I had simply woken up on time. I’m fifteen and sweating under the June sun. The subway ride home was sweltering, and the ice cream truck beckons. Naturally, I order a vanilla milkshake. Then—a touch to my back, an ugly whisper: “you’re so sexy, baby.” I freeze. Was that someone’s breath on my ear, or just the heat? I turn around and see a fat, balding man strolling away into the crowd. As though he had done nothing wrong. My skin is crawling everywhere. Instinctively, uselessly, I am rubbing my ear, but I cannot get rid of his awful, lingering presence. He’s taking his time walking away, and I know that he knows I am watching him and that I am too scared to say anything. I hate myself for being a coward. I hate myself for being scared. Families around me chatter and laugh, enjoying the beautiful day. The ice cream truck lady leans out. “That’ll be $2.25.” I’m seventeen and plastic bags of bai cai are killing my arms. My mom and I speed-hobble downstairs at the Flushing station, only to find that the train isn’t leaving for ten minutes. Dropping our groceries in an empty car, my mom pulls out the weekend World Journal and I turn to my copy of Life of Pi. A man boards and sits across from us. He immediately begins staring at me. Intently. Willing my mom not to notice, I read. And he stares. He stares and doesn’t stop and I’m trying to muster the courage just to look him in the eye, but I’m afraid. What if that encourages him to do something else? What if my mother sees? I wish that he would just look away, even for one second. But he doesn’t. After a few minutes, I put down my book and look up at his face. He is old, older than even my father. I expect him to put his hand on his crotch, to grin obscenely, or to lick his lips, or maybe all three. Instead he just stares. Should I be relieved? People start filtering into the car. Eventually, he looks away. I’m eighteen and refreshed from an afternoon run in Central Park. I’m calling my boyfriend to let him know I’m coming over. The man walking across the street towards me is leering pointedly in my direction, but I figure he won’t say anything since I’m on the phone. I’m wrong. He makes a point of brushing past my arm and sneers: “I like the way you show off them legs.” For once, I react quickly. “No, it’s just hot.” I’m walking away as fast as I can, trying to put distance between us, when he yells, “fuck you, bitch.” I turn around. He looks angry, surprised, embarrassed. I should be angry also, but all I can feel is satisfaction, an unfamiliar and fervent satisfaction. “Say it louder!” I scream across the street. “I don’t give a fuck.” I’m aware of how stupid I look and everyone is staring at me, but it’s true. Finally, I just don’t give a fuck anymore. How many leers, how many unwanted comments and touches does it take to take away your right to walk on the same sidewalk, to ride the same subway, as anyone else? How many times must you watch the smile on a stranger’s face widen in perverse excitement at your revulsion? Once a month? A week? More? If my experiences were limited to the above encounters, perhaps I would know. 76

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up I was sexually harassed on a regular basis from the year I turned fourteen until the year I left for college. I tried so hard, every day, to ignore it. But I couldn’t. It changed me. The irrepressible nervousness when a stranger approached. Being afraid to look any man on the street in the eyes. Worrying I was being followed. Not wanting to leave my house unless I had to. Crying. Not crying until I got home, then crying. Hating myself for crying. Playing the faces of dozens of men back in my mind—I remember them all. Wondering what would have happened if I had bumped into them in a deserted area. The rape nightmares. But the worst part was how it warped my own view of myself. Maybe it was my fault, I thought. Maybe I was asking for it. It was because I was small and weak, I thought. I hated myself for my own helplessness. Hated myself every time the snappy retort, the “leave me alone,” the “stop,” bubbled up furiously in my heart only to wilt in my throat. The tiny, illogical, and unshakable fear that no matter how hard I worked, I would never amount to anything more than a body. That my feelings—my disgust, the anger and loathing written all over my face—would deter no one because they simply did not matter. That it would only get worse as I grew older. That my only worth was sexual. That I was less than human. That I was nothing. I have never shared my full experience with sexual harassment before. I didn’t tell my parents because I didn’t want to burden them. I didn’t tell my friends because I didn’t think they would understand. And I didn’t tell anyone else because I didn’t think they cared. As a result, I believed that I was alone in how I felt, that I was “overreacting” to normal, socially accepted behavior. I am sharing my personal experiences now as part of the first-ever International Anti-Street Harassment Week in the hopes that it can inspire people I know, and people of my generation as a whole. As a child, I felt completely helpless about my own situation. I hope that today, I am at least able to encourage others to treat sexual harassment in public as a serious issue, and to take action to protect themselves and those around them. If you are a woman, especially a young woman, who has had similar or worse experiences, know that you are not alone. Do not keep your problems to yourself. Reach out and talk to loved ones. There are many resources and organizations which offer better advice than I can; they are listed below. The movement to report, protest, and ultimately end sexual harassment in the public sphere is springing up all over the world. If you are someone who is unfamiliar with this subject, thank you for reading. If you support safe streets for women and children, please share this link or comment below. I’d be happy if I could reach just one person with this message.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

The New Jersey 7: “It Gets Better for Whom?” Laura S. Logan | March 23, 2012 Editor’s Note: This is cross-posted with permission for International Anti-Street Harassment Week from The Public Intellectual. By Laura S. Logan, PhD Candidate, Sociology, Kansas State University Several African-American lesbians who fought back against an alleged attack spent time in jail and prison after being convicted of crimes related to the incident. Laura S. Logan looks at how press coverage of the group, dubbed the New Jersey 7, shaped a narrative about the women that portrayed them as predators rather than victims – a story at odds with how we usually think about LGBT people who’ve been harassed. In light of a recent popular campaign to end the bullying of LGBT people, Logan says, this case begs the question: It gets better for whom? Laura is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Kansas State University and managing editor of the journal Gender & Society. A few young friends, all lesbians, all African American, waited at a bus stop near Newark’s Penn Station on May 13, 2003. It was 3:30 a.m., and they were returning from a night of fun in the West Village. Two African American men approached the small group of women, which included 15-year-old Sakia Gunn. The men made sexual advances. Gunn and her friends identified themselves as lesbians and rejected them. Shortly thereafter, one of the men, Richard MuCullough, stabbed Sakia Gunn in the chest, killing her on the street. Three years later, in August 2006, another group of African American lesbians from Newark were harassed on the street, this time while they were still in the West Village. Dwayne Buckle, an African American man selling DVDs on the sidewalk, allegedly propositioned them as they walked past him. Buckle’s first remark was directed to Patreese Johnson: “Let me get some of that.” Thinking he was homeless and hungry, Johnson said, she asked if he wanted some of her friend’s soda. “No, some of that,” she recalled Buckle replying, pointing to below her waist. Several of the young women yelled at him, and told him that they were lesbians and not interested. Buckle allegedly continued his harassment, adding homophobic threats and taunts. He said would “fuck them straight,” according to reports and court testimony. He threw a cigarette at one woman and spit at another, according to the women, leading to a brief physical altercation. Afterwards, the women turned to leave; a video camera from a nearby business shows them walking away. The same film shows Buckle following them. He continued to taunt them with anti-lesbian slurs, the women said, grabbed his genitals through his clothing, made explicitly obscene remarks, and threatened them –leading quickly to a second fight. Buckle grabbed the women by the neck or hair, according to reports. They tried to defend themselves, but as they would free one woman from his grasp, Buckle grabbed another by the hair or throat, according to the women’s reports of the incident. Throughout the attack, Buckle yelled homophobic slurs and threatened them with sexual assault, they said. Much of the incident was caught on film by the nearby video surveillance camera, though a portion of the view was blocked by a pillar. At one point at least two or three male bystanders can be seen joining the fight in defense of the young women. When the incident ended, the women were hurt: three had hair pulled out of their scalps, one had a bloody lip and two suffered neck injuries. Buckle was stabbed and required surgery for a lacerated liver. He spent five days in the hospital. At trial, Buckle was unable to identify who stabbed him. The prosecutor alleged that the woman who wielded the knife was Patreese Johnson, who did indeed have a knife that night (although her knife 78

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up had no blood on it). The defense suggested that one of the bystanders stabbed Buckle. None of the bystanders, all men, were ever apprehended and none stepped forward to identify themselves. All but one of these women, dubbed the New Jersey 7, were convicted for the incident. One of them remains in prison today. The women, their advocates, family and friends, and their attorneys say that the New Jersey 7 were unfairly prosecuted and too harshly sentenced and that the women’s self-defense was criminalized. All of the New Jersey 7 either knew Sakia Gunn personally or knew that she had been murdered in a street harassment incident three years earlier. The media, they say, helped foster an environment that made it easy to mischaracterize the women’s acts of self-defense. There are obvious similarities between the Sakia Gunn murder and the New Jersey 7 incident. The big difference in the case of the New Jersey 7, however, is that the women who were allegedly harassed and attacked on the street fought back and all survived. This is how one of the 7′s prosecutors described it at trial: “They didn’t run away. They were not fearful. They were emboldened.” (NY Post 6/15/07). This case resulted in a flurry of sensational headlines, such as this one from the New York Post: “ATTACK OF THE KILLER LESBIANS: MAN ‘FELT LIKE I WAS GOING TO DIE’” (4/12/2007), and this one, also from the Post: “GIRL GANG STABS WOULD-BE ROMEO” (8/19/2006). Television media also sensationalized the case. Bill O’Reilly titled a segment about the case on his Fox News show “Violent Lesbian Gangs a Growing Problem.” The Southern Poverty Law Center noted in response that “there is no evidence the women are members of a criminal gang, and O’Reilly failed to report that the attack was prompted, according to the New York Daily News, by Buckle spitting, cursing, and flicking a cigarette at the women after one of them rebuffed his sidewalk sexual advances” (Intelligence Report, Fall 2007, Issue 127). In spite of this, the women were charged and most of them convicted of felony gang assault. Despite these mostly local lurid headlines, however, the New Jersey 7 case attracted little sustained attention from the media. Even so, the framing of the incident is disturbing. Media reports illuminate the intersecting social inequalities in this case – that is, how it matters to be Black and lesbian and from a poor/working class New Jersey neighborhood and to be harassed and attacked on the street in New York City by a Black heterosexual man. Moreover, the assault against these lesbians, the consequences they faced, and the relative public silence about the case stand in stark juxtaposition with the thriving – and largely white and middle-class – movement against the bullying of LGBT youth and the “It Gets Better” campaign – a campaign inspired in part by the suicides of several young gay men. The Angry Black Woman, Transformed I analyzed all of the thirty newspaper stories about the case from U.S. newspapers, and found that advocates for the New Jersey 7 were correct. The media did help to foster a context where reading the women’s actions as self-defense was very difficult. These stories presented the 7 as wild and animalistic, playing to our worst stereotypes about “angry black women.” The stories also had an odd and disturbing narrative arc – after their convictions and sentencing, some of them stunning in their length and severity, the media re-imagined the 7. They were transformed from rampaging beasts to weepy young girls, suggesting that in their punishment for self-defense, they were redeemed and no longer dangerous. The angry black woman, prone to impulsive acts of random violence, is a longstanding racialized stereotype. In accounts of this case, that image was hammered home again and again. In addition to characterizing the women as furious and out of control, news reports repeatedly emphasized that the New Jersey 7 were lesbians, and used 79

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up animal imagery and language to describe them and their actions. The women were referred to as “a gang of angry lesbians” (NY Daily News 4/13/07); “tough lesbians from New Jersey” (NY Daily News 4/19/07); “bloodthirsty young lesbians” (NY Post 4/12/07); “a gang of four tough-as-nails lesbians” (NY Post 4/019/07); a “gang of seven rampaging lesbians” (NY Post 6/15/07); and, “a pack of marauding lesbians” (NYT 4/14/07). One headline exclaimed, “A FURIOUS LESBIAN raged, ‘I’m a man!’” and went on to describe the incident as a “wild seven-on-one beatdown,” (NY Daily News 4/13/07). Overall, almost two-thirds of the articles characterized the women as angry lesbians in one way or another, and nearly half also used animal imagery or language. They were “wild,” a “wolf pack,” and a “she-wolf pack.” The women “pounced,” “growled,” and “roared,” they “preyed upon” the victim – and several of the articles used such terms more than once. The message is that these women were dangerously wild, masculinized monsters. Articles that focused on the women’s reactions to the verdict, however, represented the 7 as the polar opposite of the angry black woman. The killer lesbians were transformed into tearful docile girls after their convictions. The women become wounded little girls or delicate submissive waifs. They are called “crying convicts,” “sobbing friends,” and “weepy women.” Several news stories describe the women as “led sobbing or hysterical from the courtroom” (Star Newark 4/19/07). One reporter described part of the trial: “The young women sobbed and wailed ‘No-oo!’ ‘Mommy!’ and ‘I didn’t do it!’” (NYT 4/19/07). The New York Post wrote: The pint-sized ringleader of a gang of seven rampaging lesbians collapsed shrieking in a Manhattan courtroom yesterday as a judge sentenced her to 11 years in prison for the brutal beat-down and stabbing of a man who promised to turn them “straight” in Greenwich Village last summer. “Noooo!” 4-foot-11, 95-pound Patreese Johnson wailed after learning her startling sentence – the highest several defense lawyers had ever heard of for a nonfatal stabbing. “No!” she sobbed. “Please! Nooooo!” Johnson, 20, fell to the courtroom floor and was carried out kicking and screaming.(6/15/07) This is how the New York Times put it: “As they were sentenced, the young women wept and wailed, one of them crying, ‘I’m a good girl!’” (6/15/07). These media accounts are a sort of Greek tragedy with dueling choruses, one joyously chanting, “You are girls after all!” the other taunting, “You are not so tough now, are you ladies?” Another way to look at it: after passing through the criminal justice system, the wild animals are reformed, changed from bad lesbians who acted like masculine monsters to docile little girls, crying for their mothers. It gets better for whom? One of the most striking facts about this case is how little attention it received beyond a few lurid accounts. The New Jersey 7 incident and the circumstances of Sakia Gunn’s death suggest that a Black lesbian who has the misfortune of encountering sexualized street harassment be virtually ignored if she dies and will be punished if she lives. There’s a sharp contrast between reaction to these cases and attention to bullying in schools. The “It Gets Better” Project has drawn substantial public attention to this issue; there are now more than 400,000 members of the movement. While it is unquestionably important to address bullying, we must also acknowledge that it takes on different forms in different contexts. Street harassment – certainly a type of bullying – is an incredibly common experience for women across almost all social categories, but particularly affects urban women, including woman of color and those who are poor.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up It won’t get better for the New Jersey 7. The group included at least two couples, now felons who can no longer associate with any other felon, including each other. The women with felony convictions cannot vote, adding them to the growing rosters of disenfranchised African American voters in the U.S. Others lost physical custody of their children while in prison, and several must now navigate a depressed job market with a felony gang conviction on their records. All of which begs the question: It gets better for whom? We need to make sure that it gets better for people who aren’t middle class, white or male. It will get better when we address inequalities, starting with those who are the most oppressed. It could get better if we put the brakes on a voracious criminal justice system and if we stop criminalizing survival. And it will get better when a group of young African American lesbian friends can walk down the street knowing they are safe from sexual harassment and threats of violence. Suggested readings: Chesney-Lind, Meda and Nikki Jones, eds. 2010. “Fighting for Girls: New Perspectives on Gender and Violence.” SUNY Press. INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, ed. 2006. “The Color of Violence: The Incite! Anthology.” South End Press. Miller, Jody. 2008. “Getting Played: African American Girls, Urban Inequality, and Gendered Violence.” NYU Press.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Just Another Day in Delhi Veronica Weis | March 23, 2012 This past weekend, on my way to meet up with friends for an evening of food and live music, I stopped at a popular phone recharge stand in M-block market. After going through the usual motions, I waited for the confirmation text before paying the store worker. Just last week I had 100 rupees stolen this way at a different place, so I knew better than to pay and walk off. After five minutes and no message, the man called me back to the counter. I explained to him that I couldn’t pay him because the balance on my phone was still at zero. He began to yell, “Give me 100 rupees” and I knew at this point I should leave. As I stormed out of the door, he ran in front of me and began demanding the money again. I explained to him, once more, that without a confirmation text, I could not pay him because that meant the transaction had not gone through. But he did not seem to care. I pushed past him and walked onto the street. As I did, he yanked my wrist and tried to drag me back into the store. At this point, I was the one who yelled, “Do not touch me! I will call the police!” My body began to shake and I couldn’t steady my voice but I kept yelling and fighting him off. In that moment of fear, I recalled what many residents of Delhi have told me in the past: if you’re being assaulted or harassed in a public space, people will watch, a crowd will gather but no one will intervene. I panicked and struggled harder. That’s when I saw a hand, and then a body, come between us. A young woman and her friend saw what was happening and stepped in. The speed of their Hindi meant I couldn’t comprehend a word of the exchange but I knew they were scolding the man and trying to defend me. The louder their voices grew, the larger the crowd became. Within two minutes, there were thirty or so people surrounding my assaulter and just before the crowd swallowed him from view, I saw two men grabbing him by the arms. That’s when the woman who originally stepped in turned to me and in kind voice said, “Go home.” I walked home in fear trying to steady my hands. But by the time I reached my apartment, ripped off my jacket and slumped down onto the couch, the only emotion I felt was gratitude. I wish that I could tell you that this was the first traumatic incident that I’ve had in India. Two months ago in Delhi, I had an auto rickshaw driver grab me by the arm when I refused to pay him more than the price we had negotiated. Last summer, while on a train to Varanasi, I woke up to see the man in the berth opposite mine masturbating while staring at me. I screamed and the other passengers began to shame him. But this evening was different because it was the first time a man had actually placed his hands on me in such a violent and persistent way. Almost every woman I know in Delhi could rattle off a similar incident ranging from harassment to attempted abduction. If you speak to enough people, you soon begin to accept that we are in the throes of a global pandemic of violence against women. And despite taking so many precautions, it seems we still find ourselves in scarring situations. So what more can we do? After I was assaulted, all I wanted to do was stay home where I felt safe but I took a deep breath and headed to dinner. I realized that if I allow myself to fear public spaces, then violence wins. While I’m a strong proponent 82

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up of women heeding safety concerns and making smart judgments, simply saying, “avoid going out” is not the answer. I realized that if I allow myself to fear public spaces, then violence wins.As is, women are largely absent from public spaces in India. You can walk around Delhi and wonder why there are so many more men than women. What we need is for women to be brave, be outside and carry on with their lives so we become a natural part of the environment. More than that, what we really need are more people like that crowd in M-block market. If we learn to see strangers as brothers and sisters and step up to act on their behalf when they need our help, accepting what consequences may come, then we begin to assert the sense of human decency and respect this city is lacking. If perpetrators of violence see day in and day out that their actions will not be tolerated, they will be the ones who begin to feel fear. And we will reclaim our neighborhoods and finally live in the kind of place that we all deserve. The thing about activism is that it really starts with you. Brush away the overwhelming scope of the problem and you’ll realize it’s honestly that simple. If we vow as individuals to right wrong where we see it and shape our actions toward others in a compassionate, loving and considerate way, then we have already succeeded. We need parents who will raise their daughters to be strong and unwilling to accept the inequalities and restrictive norms thrust upon them from birth. We need parents, especially mothers, to raise their sons to respect women in a culture which quickly encourages them to do otherwise. I sincerely wish that I could thank that crowd, not for physically stepping in, but for preventing me from being alone in my victimization. And I hope they are not alone in their courage. I came back to Delhi this September to work at a human rights NGO because I want to dedicate my career toward building the kind of world each of us deserves to live in. Veronica Weis is an AIF President William J. Clinton fellow in Breakthrough’s Delhi office.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Teachers: Address Street Harassment Ileana Jimenez | March 27, 2012 The success of last week’s International Anti-Street Harassment Week was astonishing. Organized by leading anti-street harassment activist Holly Kearl, founder of the well-known blog Stop Street Harassment, the week featured the work of the most cutting-edge activists in the field, including dance performances by Sydnie Mosley and her Window Sex Project and a viral video featuring Joe Samalin and other male allies telling men to just stop harassing women in both English and Spanish. As part of the week’s events, two of my students, Grace and Emma, and I spoke at the Meet Us On the Street rally in New York. Grace shared a portion of the testimony that she read to last year’s New York City Council hearing on street harassment and Emma, who is also a SPARK blogger against the sexualization of girls and women in the media, shared her own vision for safer streets and communities not just for herself but also for her own sister. I spoke about the importance of engaging teachers in the global movement against street harassment as an education and health issue for schools. But the work doesn’t stop there. It’s important to show students that activism needs to be consistent, and not done in a flavor-of-the-month style. That’s why last fall, students in my high school feminism course partnered with other students at our school to create their own anti-street harassment public service announcement (PSA). Their goal: to educate their peers about the gravity of street harassment in their daily lives. As part of the background work to create the video, I invited activists from Girls for Gender Equity, Hollaback!, The Line Campaign, Men Can Stop Rape, and Right Rides to talk to my students. Activist Shelby Knox also visited to talk about her film, The Education of Shelby Knox. Each of them shared their expertise, provided students with materials, and ultimately inspired them to create their PSA. You can create your own PSA with your students too. Start, as I did, with educating your students about the issue by inviting activists to your classroom. Then have students envision a PSA that would be relevant and engaging for your school community. Screen the PSA at an upcoming assembly. Then join the revolution. See above for inspiration. Ileana Jiménez has been a leader in the field of social justice education for 15 years. A 2010-11 recipient of the Distinguished Fulbright Award in Teaching, her research in Mexico City focused on creating safe schools for Mexican LGBT youth. Currently a teacher at the Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School (LREI) in New York, she offers courses on feminism, LGBT literature, Toni Morrison, and memoir writing. In addition to teaching at LREI, Ileana is also an associate faculty member at Bard College’s Institute for Writing and Thinking.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Excerpts from some of the blogs/articles written for the week (semi-chronological): Chicago NOW: “…For some men, I think being female is enough to warrant their attention. During my same walk through Oak Park, I got “holla’d” at by a group of men that were gathered at least a block and a half away from where I was walking. A block and half. Who does that? Apparently those dudes. They couldn’t see my face to gauge my attractiveness. I was wearing a long Maxi dress, with a jacket tied around my waist, so they really couldn’t see my figure. The ability to see me from that distance and make out that I was a woman was enough to garner all types of “Hey ma! Hey ma! Yooooooo! Slow up!” from them. I lived to tell about it, but 16-year-old Adilah Gaither wasn’t so lucky. Black Woman Walking is dedicated to the memory of young Adilah, who was shot and killed in 1998 while standing at a bus stop because she wouldn’t give a boy who was trying to holla her phone number. Almost as heartbreaking as the incident itself is the fact that there is very little information about Adilah’s story on the Internet. In 1998, social media wasn’t a phrase in most people’s vocabulary, so it’s not surprising. It is still very unfortunate, nonetheless. I hope that during this 2012 observance of International Anti-Street Harassment Week (March 18-24) women and men will take time to talk candidly about street harassment and send a prayer up for Adilah and all the young girls and women like her just trying to walk through life unharmed.” Black Feminist UK: “Since puberty – not adulthood, PUBERTY- I have been routinely subject to sexual, agressive comments by men in the street, on public transport, in the workplace, day and night. Walking home from work, I run a gauntlet of barber shops, pubs, cafes, bookies, outside each one a group of men smoking, watching, staring, every day every day (please please please don’t notice me, please don’t say anything to me)… Sometimes, men have touched me around my waist, breasts, arse… often, without speaking to me (not that it makes a difference). Once, in a bar a man grabbed me between my legs – labia, everything – then laughed when I turned around: “I was only joking…you’re really fit…” NYE man also probably thought he was paying me a compliment of some sort. Or maybe he thought that because I was walking down the street (our streets!) on my own I was also up for a shag. I don’t know. Someone explain it to me please. Where are the men – the good ones, right? the ones I’m mates with, yeah? – speaking to other men and calling them out for what this is? HARASSMENT.” Makings of Me: “…So my experience last week brought me back to that place as a young 12 year old girl afraid of the leering eyes of adult men. Devising different ways to walk home to avoid the harassment. Internalizing the cat calls and blaming myself, thinking “maybe if I would not have worn those pant, he would not have said that to me”. Believing my worth lied in how I was shaped and nothing more. But above all else feeling violated, ashamed and unsafe. This cycle must end. We 85

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up must hold each other accountable. We must create sisterhoods and brotherhoods among each other where safe spaces exist.” International Planned Parenthood Federation Western Hemisphere Region: “…Based in Argentina and coordinated by Redmujer, the Cities Without Violence Against Women, Safe Cities For All project is being carried out in several urban areas throughout Latin America — such as Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Peru. “The project is based on an assessment that shows that public safety policies in Latin America do not take into account violence against women in both the public and private spheres,” said Liliana Rainero. After the assessment is complete, Redmujer will present city officials with concrete strategies on how to design safer cities. In the meantime, they are also engaged in public awareness campaigns and provide safety training for women, young people, and the police. Some local organizations involved in the project have also started neighborhood revitalization and public art projects to bring the community together to fight violence against women.” The Broken Doll House: “…Now, 16 years on, I am openly furious about street harassment. For me this has included whistling, staring, shouting, whispering and following. I’m one of the lucky ones, I have not been physically groped as far too many women have…or worse (because wolf whistling is the thin end of a much bigger, more sinister wedge). On the occasion where I have mentioned my disgust at this to others, I have on far too many times been met with ‘but you like it really don’t you?’, ‘take it as a compliment’, or ‘it’s just flattery’. (*SCREEEAAAMMMS!!!!!*) NO! NO! and NO! NO, no, no, no, no, no, no!!! I don’t like it. It is not a compliment. It is not flattering. It makes me feel intimidated. It makes me feel uncomfortable and unsafe. It is uninvited and unwelcome. It is disrespectful. It is derogatory. It is sexist. It is humiliating. It is reducing me to something for you to look at and makes me feel like a piece of meat. It is not how you’d want your mother/sister/daughter/wife/girlfriend to be treated. It intrusive. It is rude. It is power play. It makes me feel like less than I am.” What About Our Daughters: “Blogmother” writes about the street harassment-related murders of Adilah Gaither, Tanganika Stanton, Mildred Beaubrun and Sakia Gunn. This is a serious issue. The F Word Blog: “Street harassment affects women so deeply that we change our routes to school and work, avoid using public transport at night, stop going out running, feel anxious every time we walk past a group of men, and walk with our heads down and eyes averted instead of enjoying the space around us, to list just a few of the self-imposed limitations mentioned by commenters on my blog post. We’re hurt and angered by our experiences of street harassment hours, days and even years after they occur. I can’t count the number of times my day has turned sour because some wanker decided to harass me on my way home and I couldn’t think of a decent response or was too afraid to call him out. I hate how powerless that makes me feel.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up So for International Anti-Street Harassment Week, I’d quite simply like men on the street to stop. Stop with the wolf whistles, the beeping horns, the demands for attention, the sexual comments, the stares, the touching, the groping, the jokes at our expense. And for the men who don’t do those things, recognise that we can’t differentiate you from the rest of them. Move out the way, don’t block the pavement when you’re in a group, cross the road if you find yourself walking close behind a woman at night. Learn how to be an ally. Street harassment has to end.” Harlem World Magazine: “The Window Sex Project: World Premiere, is a dance-theater work that tackles sexual harassment on the street. This performance is presented by Sydnie L. Mosley Dances, a Harlem-based contemporary dance company that seeks to actively engage the audience. Choreographer Sydnie L. Mosley’s work reflects real life experiences exploring, but not limited to, interest in black cultures and the experiences of women….The performance gives voice to this human rights issue and restores agency to women by equipping them to manage street harassment and uses the body, the site of harassment, as a mode of political action. The Window Sex Project: World Premiere in Harlem will take place on Friday, March 23, 2012 7:30pm.” Dark Moon Lilith: “For years, I’ve been on my own anti-street harassment campaign. While many people have thought me crazy – both the men I confront and some women who think I’m “asking for trouble” (playing the victim role has never been a comfortable skin for me) – when I stop what I’m doing, retrace my steps and ask the Neanderthal who’s just sullied my day with a whistle, a whoop, or a “hey, baby, lookin’ good,” I believe I’m doing something good. When I call a street harasser out on his shit, that part of me that is both saddened by and rages against unkindness and injustice swells up and out of me, and I feel I’m being an active agent of change.” Black Feminist UK: “For all it’s distinctive qualities, my street harassment story is ridiculously prototypical. Men, strange men, feel and believe they have a right to your body, to attempt to own it with their whistles, stares and words. When their sense of entitlement is challenged you are made to feel as though there is something deviant about withholding the correct complying response. You become the problem. An uppity woman who thinks she is better than she actually is. It is, yet another, daily form of violence against women.” East London Lines: “[Vicky] Simister is also positive about the potential for new legislation [in the UK] to make a difference. “We have laws against sexual harassment in the workplace, but for some reason we don’t feel the need to protect people from sexual harassment on the streets. I think we need specific police training on how to handle these sorts of complaints, and local councils need to back this up. We need research into where the harassment ‘hot-spots’ are so that we can have more constables patrolling these areas – particularly at weekends.”


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up Simister and teams of volunteers will spend Anti-Street Harassment Week talking to both men and women on the streets of London, asking them to pose with the slogan, ‘Flirting. Harassment. Real men know the difference.’” London Feminist: “After #ididnotreport revealed an epidemic of non-reporting, both of street harassment and serious attack, what can we do to stop street harassment? It’s not a change to the law we necessarily need to see. We already have laws in place to deal with street harassment: following a woman down a street calling her a slut is a s.4A public order offence, for example. Without a specific intention to cause alarm, such behaviour is still a s.5 public order offence. Sexual assault is obviously an offence, and the starting point according to the Magistrates Court Sentencing Guidelines, for non-genital contact with part of a victim other than genitals (eg boobgrabbing) is a medium level community order. The laws are there. The sentencing guidelines are there. Why is it still happening, and what would you do to stop it if you were in charge?” A Bookish Beemer: “…That time, my response was anger, and it served me well. Other times, it’s embarrassed me, or made me feel like I was a piece of shit. None of those are abnormal or wrong. Street harassment comes in a variety of forms, which may or may not involve assault or a harasser following their target around. All of them are equally wrong. Like Tory said, reacting in a way that moved me away from my harasser and to safety is not an overreaction.” * PreventConnect | * RH Reality Check | * Hollaback | * Nicole Clark | * Womanifesting * Star of Davida | * Verity | * The Viral Media Lab | * Gal’s Corner Ebony: “International Anti-Street Harassment Week is necessary because street harassment is not an isolated problem. “Street harassment is not a ‘woman’s problem,’ [Nuala] Cabral says, “Men are a big part of the problem and they need to be a part of the solution. This week is about standing in solidarity with people throughout the world and sending the message that street harassment is not okay. For many of us who experience street harassment regularly, it often feels normalized because we are used to it. But street harassment is not normal and it hurts our community. I hope [International Anti-Street Harassment] week of action makes this [fact] more clear.” Clutch Magazine: “Whistles, arm-grabs, flashing, random sexual comments and insults, thrown objects, or even just what pretends to be an innocent “hollla” that turns into physical assault…the list of what young women (and for that matter old women and some men) can face while simply walking down the street is endless. It’s happened to almost everyone, and anyone who’s experienced it knows that street harassment isn’t just “boys being boys.” These interactions leave victims feeling powerless, unwelcome, and wear at feelings of safety and self-esteem over time. And it happens everywhere, every day.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up International Anti-Street Harassment Week aims to change that by setting aside March 18 – 24 to spread awareness, share stories, and ask men to join women in solidarity against the problem.” “By age 12, nearly 1 in 4 girls experience unwanted sexual comments, leers, touches, and stalking in public places by strangers. Nearly 90 percent of women have that experience by age 19. Street harassment teaches girls that public places are male territory and they are prey to male predators of all ages. The harassment restricts their access to public places and impedes gender equality. Street harassment—including scary amounts of violence—also disproportionately and negatively impacts LGBQT individuals.This is unacceptable.” Bust Magazine: “While the S**t Whoever Says meme is (thankfully) on its way out, what is interesting about this video’s approach is that it puts the responsibility to end street harassment on men, rather than the all too common victim-blaming approach that shames women for wearing the wrong clothes, walking with the wrong swagger in their hips, or being in the wrong part of town. This video, starring men talking to men, rightly places the blame on who deserves it: the perpetrators, not victims, of street harassment. “Has that ever really worked for you?” “I don’t care if you think she’s hot, that’s not okay.” “Misogyny… super sexy.” So ladies, share this video with the men in your lives and remind them that it’s not a compliment. It’s street harassment, and it’s not okay.” Gender Across Borders: “As a woman who has suffered the indignity of street harassment with a great degree of consistency for years, believe me when I say that it is infuriating. While women attempt to break through the glass ceiling, highlight the deeply rooted cultural misogyny that functions to define our culture, and simply get to work in the morning, they are constantly reminded by the strangers they seek to avoid encountering on the street, that they are living in a society run by men who are incapable of seeing them as human beings. Globally, street harassment is a social malady that persistently robs women of the chance at living lives where they can enjoy the basic freedoms to which all human beings are entitled, and which are the cornerstone of any civilized society. As we celebrate International Anti-Street Harassment week, I find myself reflecting on actions I can further take in my daily life to resist street harassment. The question remains, what will you do?” CALCASA: Podcast interview with Hollaback’s Emily May about their new bystander campaign launching on Thursday.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up Hello Giggles: “Halfway through high school, I transferred to an all-girl school and for the first six months, I refused to wear the cliché girls’ school uniform skirt and sweater. I figured that, for once, I wouldn’t get catcalled from every car that drove by on my walk home, because awkwardly fitting khaki pants and oversize grey sweaters were sure to render me invisible. Turns out, you can pretty much walk around in a giant potato sack; as long as you’re a girl, creepsters will still do their thing. Whoop-de-doo. “But it’s just harmless flattery, why do you have to be such a Feminazi about a guy trying to pay you a compliment, Julia?” Well, me, I’m glad we asked us that. It’s not flattery, actually – it’s harassment. Street harassment, to use the official term. And the thing about street harassment is that it is not meant to be a compliment, but, in fact, an aggressive assertion of male dominance by dehumanizing and hypersexualizing someone. Fun fact: street harassment is not reserved just for women! It’s now available to all members of the LGBTQ community, too! Oh, yeah, about the Feminazi thing? Me standing up for my rights and personal safety don’t warrant a label trying to arbitrarily draw a comparison between my empowerment in the face of social inequality and the German National Socialist Workers Party responsible for the largest genocide Europe has seen since the Crusades. You do sound like an idiot when you use the term, though, so thank you for identifying yourself! I can now avoid future interaction with you.” PolicyMic: “It should not be OK for anyone to be sexually harassed. Street harassment is not the same as flirting; it should not be the way you try and get your next hook-up or boyfriend. I mean, does it even work? I should not have to feel uncomfortable or automatically put my guard up when I pass a group of guys on the street and you shouldn’t want your sisters or mothers to have to go through that either — and trust me, they have on many occasions. The psychological effects of street harassment have yet to be studied. I’m sure that it would be difficult to get conclusive results anyway but I fear the negative effects street harassment can have on a young girl’s confidence or image of herself. Women should not need, and men should not assume that women need, their verbal approval on the street. Street harassment is a manifestation of our patriarchal society. It is only one of the many ways that women are sexually subjugated every single day. Movements like this bring awareness to the issues of street harassment but we need policymakers to continue the work. The path for effective anti-street harassment legislation will be a difficult one; it will be hard to set clear, distinct, and fair criteria and punishments, but I strongly believe that it is necessary to try.” BitchLit: “As I stand at the bus stop I am acutely aware of male heads turning to leer as they drive by. I wonder why they can’t keep their eyes on the road. At one point a car load of men scream and catcall out their open windows as they speed away looking for other women to harass. All at once my skirt seems too short, my legs too long and bare, my breasts too big and exposed. In an attempt to refocus, I share a disgusted look and heavily exhale with the other women at the bus stop. One woman mutters, “jerks,” under her breath. What else can we do? Welcome to Spring.”


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up Black Feminist UK: “I am a bit tired of being asked told how bad things are in India – whether it is a feminist of color in the States who could never imagine herself in a place like Bombay because all the touching would just make her so mad, or the white British guy who informed me (with a pat on my back, no less…) that I should visit Scandinavia because then I’d see that patriarchy isn’t really universal. I am frustrated at attempts to hierarchize subjugation and violence; sickened by gestures that (re)position black and brown folks, men especially, as yet awaiting some form of moral enlightenment. That is the reproduction of the colonial, and I cannot stand (for) it. It may seem odd, perhaps, that a post (by a woman) on street-harassment (primarily enacted by men) appears invested in the recuperation of the male figure. But recuperation is not the same as protection. I have no desire to ‘protect’ eve-teasers in Bombay from accusations of sexism, misogyny or patriarchy. But equally, even as I pose such critiques, I have no desire to pander to, or satisfy, a colonial/racial gaze. Thus, for me, any recuperative gesture is also, and precisely, a refusal. A thick refusal, in fact, of all that, ultimately, has been imposed upon me.” Feminaust: “It got me thinking about my own experiences of street-harassment. They’re fairly unusual but they certainly do happen. I’m hesitant to put their rarity down to my demeanour or dress choice as I know that street-harassment rarely has anything to do with what the individual actually looks like however, as I ramp up my bike time in preparation for a big bike tour I’m undertaking in May I’m starting to notice that the street-harassment aimed my way is also ramping up. Something about being a chick on a bike causes the male of the species to get very excited and assume our intention in such behaviour is to attract their attention and solicit all manner of observation muttered, hurled, crooned and chorused across the street/footpath/pedestrian crossing/from moving vehicle.” La Petite Feministe Anglaise: “Hey darling, what you reading? Good book? You shy, eh? I’m just being friendly. Are you married? Where’s your boyfriend? Don’t be so stuck-up, I just want to talk. Where you going? Oi, bitch, talk to me. Nice tits sweetheart. Get ‘em out. What you doing today? Come with me. OI, I’m trying to talk to you, slut. You just need a good shagging. She’s ugly anyway. Fucking whore. The whistling. The leering. The cat-calling. The beeping horns. The names. The gestures. The noises. The grabbing. The innuendos. The staring. The inappropriate touching. The inability to take a hint. The invasion of personal space. The following. The chasing. The fear. So many of us have been there. None of this is flattering.” Reading in Skirts: “If you hear from a ladyfriend that she’s been harassed on the street, don’t suggest to her that she take it as a compliment. That’s callous advice. What she wants to hear from you is that you will call out anyone that dares to treat her that way(Braden asked if I wanted him to you know, *gestures at throat* which made me laugh and feel a bit better). Because nothing a woman does in response to street harassment is a safe reaction: doing nothing can be just as dangerous as thrusting a middle finger in the air(which is my natural impulse to people who are driving past as they harass me).” 91

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up Higher Unlearning: “Tuval Dinner from the White Ribbon Campaign pointed out to me last year how it is so much easier for some men to engage in aggressive, violent and harassing behaviour than to face and embrace vulnerability. Reminds me of the Tupac interview clip I use in my Higher Unlearning article on Chris Brown: I explore how at 17 Tupac’s ‘game’ was to show women nothing but respect when engaging in conversation/compliments and I explore where that lead him. This topic is Urgent for us to work with men and boys on… We need to encourage men to reflect on everyday experiences for women, then reflect on whether they add, contribute, are complicit or are shifting that reality. This video does a great job helping to ‘normalize’ speaking out and calling friends on harassing behaviour…what we need to also talk about as men is the pressure we feel to ‘have game’ and ‘just know’ how to talk to women. We all need to work on helping men & boys see a video like this, engage in a conversation like this, then open up and discuss that being rejected does not mean you are less of a man. It means you are more of a man cause you roll with respect and honour for yourself and the sisters in your life.” Thieving Kittens: “Today I read another excellent article by someone named Miss Lemonade that basically lays it out for men: how to behave and how not to behave when trying to approach women. She makes excellent points and shows very clearly how something that looks harmless to men can be really scary and creepy to women. I was inspired by that post to write one of my own on this issue, and instead of talking about behavior, I’d like to talk about something a little different. Namely, these are a few questions I’d like men to ask themselves….” The Hindu: “Hollaback! Chennai is the local chapter of a global crowd-sourced movement that enables women to report incidences of street sexual harassment through web and mobile applications. It also provides a non-judgmental space ( to share stories and discuss and deliberate public spaces and how safe (or unsafe) they are. This year, for Anti-Street Sexual Harassment Week (March 18 to 24), Hollaback! Chennai has launched a photo call, “Snap your fear”. The initiative encourages anyone (not just women and girls) to send pictures of spaces (parks, roads, alleys, bus stops) where they have witnessed or encountered harassment, or generally felt unsafe.” Huffington Post: “I wasn’t in the mood to get kidnapped. It was a balmy summer’s day and I was desperate to get home, swap my crumpled suit for something more comfy and chill out in the garden. I was on my way home from attending three job interviews in three days all over the country. I was exhausted. So exhausted in fact I didn’t even try to be polite when the man next to me on the DLR started asking personal questions. Pretending I was a lesbian didn’t have the desired effect. I curtly told him to stop talking to me and we sat in awkward silence for a few minutes, punctuated by occasional blasts of tinny music from someone’s mp3 player. 92

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up When we arrived at Canning Town he said very matter-of-factly, “This is my stop, you’re coming with me,” stood up and began yanking on my arm. I told him to stop touching me in a voice loud enough that people pulled their earphones out to listen to the commotion. These sorts of incidents are background noise for many women and girls. Living in London, constant aggressive attention from men was an almost daily occurence. The sounds of the city: police sirens, pigeons cooing, garbled chatter, and a man shouting “how much for a shag?” from a passing car.” The Eastern Echo: “Feminists are fighting for a united cause, but still find divisions in their community due to racial issues according to Brittney Cooper, a co-founder of Crunk Feministic Collective, Monday night in the Eastern Michigan University Student Center. “You cannot build a feminist world that is racist,” Cooper, who is also an assistant professor at the University of Alabama, said…. Cooper talked about groups that aim to increase the safety and respect of women and are more inclusive of the experiences of women of color. Cooper said International Anti-Street Harassment Week is a movement designed to stop harassment women undergo when walking through their neighborhoods that can become a prelude to rape. “This was a context in which women of color were centered because in working class communities this is how you get to work and the school—you’re walking,” Cooper said. Philadelphia Weekly: “Everyone has the right to be free from harassment in public spaces regardless of their gender, gender expression or sexuality,” says Nuala Cabral, local activist, teacher and co-founder of the national Meet Us On The Streets campaign. “It is time to stand with our girls, our community and demand change.” That’s exactly what the West Philly resident and other local activists will be doing this Saturday in honor of International Anti-Street Harassment Day. A gathering at 1 p.m. outside of the El on 52nd and Market streets will be followed by a 3 p.m. rally at Broad and Lehigh streets with one very clear message: I want to feel safe. “A man threw a glass bottle toward my student’s head last week after she ignored his cat calls near Lehigh and Broad,” says Cabral, who teaches at Dobbins High School. As a result, Cabral says, the girl’s father has discouraged her from attending the after-school media literacy/activism program Cabral oversees at the school….Right now, they’re anticipating at turnout of at least 30 people for Saturday’s rally but are hoping more will join the conversation.” The Hilltop: The Student Voice of Howard University: “Morgan Lewis, a sophomore legal communications major, says she has had problems with street harassment back home in Long Island, NY as well as D.C. 93

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up “I’ve been followed for blocks,” she said. “I’ve heard stories about girls who have been shot at because they would not turn around and speak to a man trying to talk to them.” Clinton Cuffee, a senior physical therapy major, thinks most times men don’t intend to harass. But that they just don’t know any better and even believe their actions may draw a positive response from a woman. “They might think it’s funny, they might be drunk, they might be looking to have a good time and say some crazy things,” Cuffee said. “That’s just how some men interact with women, so to some it may seem crazy, but for them that’s just how they interact with females.” UT News: “The University of Toledo is taking a stand against street harassment by participating in the first International Anti-Street Harassment Week, taking place March 18-24. The week is designed to raise awareness and call for an end to public harassment of women. A forum titled “Hey Baby, Smile: Stop Street Harassment” will take place as part of the week Thursday, March 22, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Student Union Room 3020. “Despite the significant impact it has on women’s lives, street harassment is often normalized and minimized by those who perpetrate it and by society as a whole,” said Diane Docis, coordinator of the UT Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Program. “This event says that we take this issue seriously and that there’s something we can do about it.”” Black Feminist UK: “…I put these two experiences and my countless daily others like them here, in Nigeria, in America, in South Africa, on a continuum of sexual harassment and ultimately violence. Their structural logic is that women and their bodies are always available to men, so they can come after us as they like. The logic follows that if male strangers stop you on the street with a supposedly nice remark or a whistle or a rude catcall, or even if they shadow you from the tube but soon tire of it, count yourself lucky, “nothing happened.” No. I will not accept that my peace and safety as I walk down the street are contingent on some unknown man’s approach” Nicole Clark: “…Flash forward, 10 years since my first year of college, and I still carry my whistle on my key chain. Living in New York City, I’m used to walking and taking public transportation to get from point A to point B. I’ve been in New York City for almost 4 years now, and I’m pretty much perfected my “Don’t mess with me” face while I’m out in public. Accompanying my mean mug are my earbuds for my iPhone’s music. I’ve gotten in the habit of walking everywhere, at all hours, with my earbuds in my ears (but now I take one earbud out when I’m out at night or in an unfamiliar place). Despite that, my keys, with the whistle attached, are always in my hand. Most times, my fingers are wrapped around the whistle in case I need to use it. Oftentimes, I want to blow my whistle at the men who subject me to street harassment…


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up I want to blow my whistle at the old men who approach young girls, even when they know these are very…young…girls. I want to blow my whistle at groups of men who stand by and laugh, join in, or (disappointingly) stand by and do nothing when one of their friends street harasses a woman or girl.” The Epic Adventure: “Without true freedom, women cannot move around the planet independently, and frankly I have yet to find anywhere in the world where women’s issues did not cause challenges for them within or between cultures. This is a travel blog, but unlike a lot of travel blogs, which focus on personal diary-style entries, I want to make sure travelers don’t miss some of the big issues that face us as we move around the planet. And big issues are often political issues. It’s a dirty word, political, but political is exactly what street harassment is. It is not a compliment to a woman when she is cat-called by a man, and it is even less so when she is followed, has animal noises made at her, finds herself being photographed on a public bus with no one standing up for her, or she has to defend a twelve-year-old from men who yell from their cars, “I just wanted to enjoy the view.” (Too bad all I can see from here is a jackass.)” Gwen Emmons: “When someone suggests there’s a right way to handle harassment, it feeds into a larger culture of victim blaming. It’s just as bad as suggesting a person “was asking for it” through her or his style of dress or some other variable. The “appropriate” reaction depends on a thousand different factors but comes down to one thing: the victims’ own judgment. And a note on teaching, yelling, or otherwise fighting back against harassment: It’s not our job to educate every misinformed person in the world. Particularly in settings where we don’t feel safe. Or in situations where, if something were to happen, we’d be blamed for engaging them and otherwise “asking for it.”” Sex with Timaree: “But it goes from flattery to intimidation really quickly. It can be just startling sometimes. I almost get into accidents because someone suddenly yells at me and I don’t know if it’s because there’s a car about hit me or someone just likes red hair. And my reaction is just “fuck you, you fucking fuck” for making me feel like a skittish cat. And then there are the cases that happen late at night, where someone drives right next to me, slowly, saying weird stuff out the window. I had a car with a couple dudes do that after the bars let out. They then slowed down to follow behind me (making every random turn I took) until I headed the wrong way down a one-way to ditch them. They laughed, almost cartoonishly, delighted in my freak out, like a couple of 8th grade bullies. The thing about where this cat calling happens is: there are also random crimes of violence. And I don’t know if this dude is just old-school douchebag or one of those guys who thinks it would be a thrill to rape and kill a woman. I don’t know if it’s still the case, but a few weeks ago, the number of murders in Philly in 2012 was higher than the number of days that had happened. I have personally known women who were raped and killed in this city for the crime of being alone at night.” 95

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up Women Lead Nepal: Sonu in Nepal shares her street harassment stories: “One day I was going home late because there was some urgent work I needed to finish that day. There was no public transportation around there because it was almost 8 pm so I was in hurry and afraid because there was no one besides me in the street. In the opposite side of the footpath, there was one young boy of about 20 years old standing in the street and watching me. Unexpectedly, that boy started masturbating in front of me. Oh my god! I then walked off quickly and didn’t look at him. After that incident, I stopped going that way in the evening.” Ebony: “I remember growing up and learning how to “holler” at girls. I’ll be honest, I’ve never found it particularly natural to stand in a group of other guys and whistle, catcall, or bark compliments to women, but somehow it was supposed to be a rite of passage. In my younger days, I thought of street harassment as bad, but shrugged it off a bit because there were a lot of worse things that I could do toward women and since I didn’t catcall, I wasn’t really an offender. However, each day I see greater connections between street harassment and violence against women….You may not be someone who harasses women who pass on the street, which is good. But to be someone who stops your friends and loved ones from harassing would be even better. Joe Samalin of the group Men Can Stop Rape created a hilarious and empowering video entitled, “Sh*t Men Say to Men Who Say Sh*t to Women on the Street” that gives some ways to interrupt harassment. We often tell our kids, “it takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch” but when it comes to ending street harassment and ending violence against women it could take just one good apple standing up. As men, we can start to curb the unsafe environments we create for women by losing our fear, interrupting street harassment, and engaging our brothers in honest discussion. Georgia Mae: “I hurried back to my studio apartment, took a shower, and cried. I was not crying because some jerk called me a bitch. That had happened before. I didn’t care that his punk friend thought I was square. I didn’t even cry because the sexual comments made me feel dirty. That wasn’t new either. I cried because I was angry with myself. The eyes of the men flirting with me all went straight to my thighs. If only I’d worn jeans this wouldn’t have happened, I told myself. There I was blaming myself even though if any of my friends came to me with the same story I would say, “Don’t you dare think that this is your fault.” But in the midst of my tears I also remembered that I should count my blessings. I remembered that back when I was in high school a girl in my hometown was approached by a group of guys while she was hanging out in a local park. When she blew them off the leader of the crew threw a beer bottle at her head. When she turned around and to yell at him for the assault he shot her. She was only 15.” WomenSpeak (Trinidad and Tobago): “It is so clear to me that the high rates of domestic violence and rape in this country have very much to do with the way men see themselves in relation to women. That they have the right to dominate, in any space, even in a public space, any woman whatsoever. And to challenge that entitlement is to invite increased aggression, and violence if necessary, in order to maintain the status quo. 96

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up All those people who looked at me as I confronted this man also participated in the perpetuation of this status quo. Perhaps they were as disgusted as I was. Perhaps they too wanted to say something. But, it’s simply not a part of the script. We accept that men will accost, verbally abuse, intimidate, threaten and say whatever they want to women, and women will either keep silent or face the wrath of a man who feels his entitlement is being challenged.” The Marquette Tribune: “Since summers in middle school, I’ve been weary of walking past construction sites and maledominated bus stops. Like virtually all women, I’ve seen and heard it all: whistles, minute-long stares, hip thrusts and, yes, requests to mother strangers’ children, among a list of more unspeakable pleas. I’ve never taken catcalls as compliments, but I’ve also never felt violated upon hearing them, largely because they don’t threaten me physically. At most, the attention is embarrassing, but my comfort is restored as soon as I’m out of earshot. Maybe this is why I’ve had trouble explaining to the men in my life, who claim they’d be “flattered” to be met with whistles every day, why street harassment is as terrible as it is: I don’t truly understand.” Black Feminist UK: “The walk home from school was short, and the strip of shops with the little green on the way was even shorter. But it petrified me. There was a bench just on the green, and two or three men (old men) would sit all afternoon, drink cans of beer and shout absurdities at little girls walking by. ‘Hello sweetheart’, ‘you’re beautiful’ etc etc. But it wasn’t their words, it was that feeling of being watched that upset me. The gaze searing into my skin, my back, my legs, my bum, my breasts. It weighed so heavy on me. I changed my route. But they were everywhere. Men everywhere staring at me, saying things, making me feel obliged to hide, or respond faintly, in the hope that it would just go away. I was only eight or nine years old, and it hasn’t let up since.” Feminist Teacher: “For me, stopping street harassment is a part of my work in making the lives of my students safer, just, and whole. The numbers alone should make every educator wince and take action….Given all of this sobering data about the harassment that both girls and queer youth face daily, if we want to create safe schools and safe communities for our students, then as educators, it is absolutely our moral imperative to address both the harassment occurring at school and the harassment happening on our streets….I’m honored that I can stand alongside my students and stand up for making their lives that much more safe. Will you join us tomorrow with your students?” The Independent Collegian: “Diane Docis, coordinator of the event and of the Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Program, said street harassment is anything which is degrading, including sexual comments, catcalls, leering, whistling at a girl, public masturbation or even assault.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up “It’s a form of gender violence and it’s a human rights violation and it needs to stop” Docis said. Gordon said “Hey Baby, Smile,” was created to raise awareness of street harassment and ways to stop it. “For men, I hope it makes them realize how bad it is; for girls, to speak out and not normalize harassment,” she said. “The problem is with people who stare [and] girls being unsure of intentions [of the harasser].” The main goal of the event is two-fold. The first part is to eliminate harassment on campus and in the city. The second part is to educate men and women on ways to recognize and stop harassment as it happens.” Get Loud with Rae: “Honestly, I’m not truly aware of a “correct” response to such behavior. Sometimes I lash out, sometimes I cower. Other times I run circles of intellect around their tiny little noggins. Simply, a lot of times, no matter how I react, I am fearful. Because a person who acts that way towards women does not respect women. And who am I to predict whether he will or will not attack me? If I am quiet, do I appear weak? If I respond, did I make him angry? It shouldn’t matter, but no one wants to be raped. In self-defense class I was taught to look at passer-bys and perpetrators in the eyes, because you can identify them if necessary, and in that regard you intimidate them. Why is this relevant? Well, it’s simple. It’s a slippery slope, harassment. If sexual harassment is okay, rape is okay. Violence against women is okay. And that’s not okay. Like I said, ladies, it’s not your fault. And to men who have done this, or will do this, remember, it’s inappropriate. It’s simple. No cat-calls. No friends cat-calling. How about this: act respectful and be respected in return?” Bedsider: “Ick. Last night, an older man followed me out of a drugstore near my school. For almost a block, he relentlessly questioned me about anything and everything to get a response. “Where are you from? What’s your major? Do you wanna be texting buddies?” I could’ve sworn that my body language and rapid eye rolls would keep him moving…moving away. But my non-answers motivated him even more. The creep wouldn’t stop until he almost collided with another car. The street jeers—you know, “Aye, girl!” “Excuse me, miss…” and “Lemme talk to you for a minute, sweetheart!”—are something I’ve grown used to. At first, I found them flattering. Then I found them annoying. And now I find them commonplace. A guy once told me that most males do it as a sport—the whistles and gestures are the bait. It’s up to us to decide if we want to bite. I figured that most women are used to brushing off and ignoring the lewd comments on the streets. Holly Kearl isn’t one of them…This week marks the first annual International Anti-Street Harassment Week.” Masculinity U: “Imagine that same fear that woman felt. That’s a fear that many women face every single day. Now couple that with a group of men staring, whistling, “complimenting” screaming, or following her. Our 98

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up intentions aside, we have to be aware that historically, some men have screwed up this system and now we’re all paying. We get a bad name and get judged before people even know us… and women have to live hyper-vigilant and even fearful every day when on the street. I’m certainly not saying that as men we have it “just as bad” as women, I’m just pointing out that we’d all benefit from ending street harassment.” Bad Angel Rules for Running: “Dear Catcallers of the World, Why? Why do you shout these things as I run by? Why do you feel the need to vocalize your perverted inner-monologue? Why won’t you just let me train for my next race in peace? You might say it’s a compliment or that I should be flattered. I don’t. I feel threatened. I’m proud of the body that running has given me, but when a man eyes me up and down as I jog past and says something like, “Damn, girl, work that ass,” I feel embarrassed, ashamed, uneasy, annoyed, angry. I question my outfit, my route, myself.” Awesome Women of Twitter (Rachel England): “How can there exist a culture whereby a group of men can surround a girl and make disgusting, derogatory and threatening comments, and yet she is the one told by the surrounding population to “just leave it” in the knowledge that actually yes, the police probably wouldn’t do anything? Because people are cowardly and do “just leave it”, when actually they should get in the face of the offending scum and stick up for themselves. If I hadn’t adhered to the bleats of my companions – one of which whom actually apologised to this asshole in an attempt to defuse the situation – I would have stood there in the hopes that he actually had tried to “fuck me up”, because then I could have legitimately kicked his head in – or at least tried to, which would have made me feel a Hell of a lot better. Instead, I went home shaken, furious and upset. He went home with an inflated ego and the admiration of his peers.” Awesome Women of Twitter (Rebecca Taylor): “…Then one of them said, “Come back with us. Three of us, three holes.” It just cut me dead. I was horrified, and ran back to my friends where I promptly burst into tears and sobbed all the way home, all the rest of the night, and eventually cried myself to sleep. I wouldn’t tell my friends what was said because I just couldn’t get the words out. It still makes me feel tearful now. To the credit of the guy’s friends, they were horrified too and told him angrily that he couldn’t say things like that, but I still haven’t got over it. I still feel that I was completely violated. In a way it feels like I’m overreacting because it was just words, no one touched me, and maybe I feel somehow responsible, chatting away to strange men with my boyfriend trailing behind. But it’s difficult to see those words in print, and there’s still no way I could repeat it out loud. I’m a 27 year old woman who still feels weak thinking about what one drunk man said to me years ago – how dare he make me feel like that. I’d love to see him again and tell him what he did to me – I bet he doesn’t even remember saying it. I hope that no-one else has had a similar experience to this, but I know that won’t be the case. So I’m standing up to it, telling people what happened, telling you what happened, in the hope that I can put it 99

International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up behind me and finally see that guy for the pathetic excuse for a man that he really is. But that’s not to say that it’s been easy to move on from. Street harassment is serious, it’s not just ‘banter’, it is a big deal. Let’s speak up.” A few journalists conducted interviews with me about the week too: * Washington Post | * Howard University (DC) | * Reston Patch (VA) Some quick posts about the week: Racialicious | Feministing | Men’s Anti-Violence Council | AAUW California Online Branch | UC Speac

The twitter #SheParty chat on Wednesday, March 21, 2012, was about #streetharassment. Check out the thread to see a great conversation about #streetharassment from this afternoon. And many thanks to @MoralesWilliams and @nualacabral for tweeting from the @NoStHarassWeek account during it.


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up

Select ScreenShots: UN Women recognized the week on their website!


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up


International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2012 – Wrap-Up



2012 Anti-Street Harassment Week  

Overview of the activities that took place worldwide March 18-24, 2012, to bring attention to the issue of gender-based street harassment.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you