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Day 4 – Anti-Street Harassment Week Blogs

In anti-street harassment week, street harassment | on 03.21.12 | by | Comments ( 0 )

Earlier today I wrote about some of the offline events that occurred today. Here’s a quick round-up of some of the blog posts. And if you missed the twitter #SheParty chat, 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.

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 (Chennai.ihollaback.org) 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.

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.

“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…

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.”

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