The launching point for Stop Street Harassment was when CNN.com featured my thesis about street harassment in a 2008 article called, “Catcalls: Creepy or a Compliment?”
“Head down, look straight ahead. Earbuds in, volume off. Walk quickly, but with purpose. Don’t make eye contact unless you need to. Look behind you every few blocks, make sure you’re not being followed. Don’t be obvious.
It’s not nighttime. You’re not in a known drug zone, or the sketchy part of town.
This is simply how many women steel themselves when walking down a city street in broad daylight, or even when boarding crowded public transportation. Why? Because many women, regardless of age, weight, or appearance, say they’ve heard something along the lines of “Hey baby, you want some of this?” or “I like what I see” or “nice ass.”
All of those statements are sexual harassment. And while some men might consider them compliments, to many women, they are a threat.”
A lot has changed in four years thanks to people around the world who are relentlessly and bravely speaking out.
Since 2008 there are now are several anti-street harassment organizations. We’ve had a city council hearing on street harassment in New York City. The United Nations launched a Safe Cities Programme in five countries. Hollaback launched their iphone app. Websites tracking street harassment popped up in dozens of countries. More than 100 groups from over 20 countries spoke out collectively in March during Meet Us on the Street: Street Harassment Awareness Week. My book came out in 2010 and since then, I’ve given 75 talks on the topic. And on and on.
In today’s CNN.com article, research is cited from a new study by Hollaback and Cornell University about street harassment in New York City. This is important data.
But we also need national data documenting the problem. Please donate today to help Stop Street Harassment undertake this important initiative. Let’s continue to move the dialogue forward with not only our stories, but also with national statistics.Share on Facebook