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Today’s Events – April 18

anti-street harassment week | on April, 18, 2015 | by | 0 Comments

Bangladesh

It’s the last day of International Anti-Street Harassment Week! Here are some of the actions taking place.

International:

Bangladesh: AUW Speak Up Club members will go out to streets of Chittagong with flyers and message boards to raise awareness about street harassment, to ask people to share their messages, to raise their voice, and to join the campaign.

Canada (Alberta): Hollaback! Alberta is holding “Street Harassment Happens Here,” where they will be walking through the high traffic areas of Whyte avenue, stopping every 5 minutes, and providing chalk & support to those who wish to participate. Participants are welcome to use sidewalk chalk to describe their experiences and/or feelings regarding street harassment on the sidewalk. It can be specific incidences that have occurred on Whyte Ave, or they can be general statements. Chalking can be a powerful way to share your experiences, reclaim spaces that are made to feel unsafe, and support those who are silenced by street harassment. [April 18, 1-5pm on Whyte Avenue in Edmonton between Gateway Blvd and 109th Street.]

Chile: OCAC Chile will host an event in a local park with performances and art [April 18]

Colombia: OCAC Colombia is hosting a an event in Bogota: SATURDAY 18 APRIL – 7PM: We will closure the week dancing, so you are invited to a pro-fund International Week Against Street Harassment spree. See you at la Redada, Carrera 19 No 33A-26 | SÁBADO 18 DE ABRIL – 9PM. Cerraremos la semana bailando e invitándoles a una farra pro-fondos Semana Internacional Contra el Acoso Callejero. Nos vemos en el Rehuso, en la Carrera 19 No 33A-26

France: Stop Harcelement de Rue Lyon will be holding a chalk walk [April 18 - 3 pm. Location: Montée de la Grande Côte]

France: Stop Harcelement de Rue Lille is holding a wall of shame: post-its are made available for passers-by to write insults and catcalls they were subjected to. The post-its are then glued to a giant board (this is the second wall of shame as the first one took place on International Women’s Day). [April 18 - 2 pm]

Nepal: The Nepal Mahila Ekata Samaj (Nepal Women Unity Society) will be chalk writing on street and bridge - Write the slogan and demand on street and bridge inform the public and masses abou the issue. [April 18]

Romania: FILIA: Centre for Curriculum Development and Gender Studies: is hold a public action in park to raise awareness and to share fliers with information about street harassment and also write chalk messages, discussing with people and ending the activity with a flashmob about the importance of bystander intervention and avoiding victim-blaming attitudes.

Serbia: Equity Youth Association will be hosting a week long campaign to educate locals about what street harassment is. This will include flyering and handing out graphics and info across the city with information from their recently conducted survey, and hosting a chalk walk with local university students in a city park that is notorious for being  a high-harassment area [Flyering April 12-18, Chalk Walk April 17th]

Turkey: Hollaback! Izmir will be hosting several events through the week, including a street harassment forum [April 12, 2-3pm at Caffenol Bistro], a banner-making workshop [April 12, 3:30-4:30pm] and panels and street activity [April 18, 2-6pm] Find more info here. 

United Kingdom: Hollaback! York will be holding their launch event during #EndSHWeek! Join them to share stories and learn more about their new community survey. [April 18, 1:30-3pm Fishergate Room the in the Priory Street Centre]

 

USA Events:

Maryland: STREETWISE is hosting a Basics of Self Defense Class. This 4-hour hands-on workshop will give you the confidence, knowledge and strength to feel empowered in a life-threatening situation. You will learn basic defense techniques on how to recognize, react to and survive an attack! [Saturday, April 18, 2015 @ 10:00am - 2:00pm  at Fitness Craze - 223-D Brierhill Drive, Bel Air, MD 21015] INFO

NevadaHollaback! Las Vegas is hosting a Self-Defense Workshop with Israeli Martial Arts. The workshop is FREE but spaces are limited. To register, email gabrielle@RCCLV.org with the subject line “self defense workshop” [Saturday, April 18th 11am to 1pm]

New York: dianINQUE will be hosting community outreach via chalk walks and flyering on April 18 and 19.

North Carolina: SSH campaign manager Britnae will be hosting a charity yoga class at Durham Yoga Company. Street harassment takes a toll on our mental well-being. Take some time to recenter and focus on self-love during this yoga class! We’ll be giving out SSH-themed gift bags! Class is free, but 100% of proceeds will go back to Stop Street Harassment.  [Saturday, April 18, 6-7:30pm]

Massachusetts: Guerilla Feminism Boston will be hosting Reclaim Our Spaces: A Chalk Walk for Black Women, WOC, Queer, and Trans Women. Join them while they use chalk to share our stories, tell our truths and stand in solidarity for those we have lost to street harassment & gender based violence. Allies are welcome as long as they are active in their support of the communities mentioned above. [April 18, 3:30-5:30pm at the Mass Ave T Stop on the Orange Line, Boston]

Washington, DC: SSH, CASS and Batala! will host street action at U Street and 14th Street, 2-4 p.m.[April 18]

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Hollaback! York – The Challenges and Rewards of Starting a New Group

anti-street harassment week, hollaback | on April, 18, 2015 | by | 0 Comments

Guest Blog Post for International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2015

We are launching a new branch of Hollaback in York, UK and getting set up and running has been a pretty positive experience for us so far. York is a fairly small city and isn’t really known for its activism, so we had been worried at the start that there wouldn’t be many people wanting to get involved. But the response has been really great – it just goes to show that street harassment really is something that affects almost everyone and once you start the conversation, people are always keen to join in. The two universities in York have recently launched anti-sexual harassment campaigns and zero tolerance policies, and seeing people in our community take sexual harassment seriously makes us really hopeful that things can change in York to become a much safer space for everyone.

Having said that, we have had a couple of challenges, including being denied permission from the council to do a chalk walk during International Anti-Street Harassment Week. We were really looking forward to that; chalk walks from other anti-street harassment groups are always really popular, as they are a great quick and fun way to spread awareness that prompt the public to ask questions and get involved. So we are having to get a little creative and find some alternatives instead!

Our favourite part so far has been the incredible network of support from other anti-street harassment sites and blogs all over the world, all sharing and learning from each other and working together to build our knowledge and understanding of such a complex issue. However, what we are really looking forward to is making a difference to people in York when our site is officially up and running. Street harassment can be a dangerous and humiliating experience and we are keen to get stuck in with anything we can do for our community to show some support, provide some comfort, or empower someone to speak out.

We have found out that there are plenty of ups and downs in this work, but we are definitely looking forward to more of it!

Laura Stafford is the Co-Director of Hollaback York

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Sexual Comments Belong Exactly Where Sex does: Between People Who Have Given Explicit Consent

anti-street harassment week, public harassment | on April, 17, 2015 | by | 0 Comments

Guest Blog Post for International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2015

A few months ago, I began a social experiment where I post on Facebook each time I experience street harassment as I go about my days as a working professional, graduate student, and a woman living in Washington D.C.. My goal was to see how my group of Facebook friends may react to my stories and how the interactions made me feel violated as many others who experience it do.

Most of the time, I receive an overwhelming number of ‘likes’ on my post, friends and colleagues showing their support and sometimes sharing their own stories of harassment in their own cities all over the country. But, there are also times when the comments to the posts are not as supportive. People have asked me what I was wearing during these events, if I was in a supposed “bad part of town”, and have even commented about the dangers of walking around a city. But most interesting to me, one Facebook user took this time to make a joke about how upset he was that he never gets this kind of attention when he goes about his day. Multiple people liked his comment.

I created this series as a way to share with my community just how much of an issue street harassment is in my city. But also, as a way to share my own experiences as a way to start a conversation about what effect street harassment can have on the person receiving such attention. Through my own commentary, I shared how street harassment has made me lose confidence, has made me feel over-sexualized and in many cases unsafe about what the person who is yelling at me is willing to do to me if they feel so comfortable saying such things in public about me and my body. And in just one comment, a person was able to make my entire social experiment look like I was bragging about how many people think I am pretty as I walk to work.

I named this social experiment “Cat-Call Shaming”, and I did so as a way to ground the movement in such a way that takes the shame of being cat-called and put it back on the person who is willing to draw unwanted attention to a complete stranger. Just like with other forms of sexual violence, my belief is that society promotes an injustice upon survivors of street harassment by placing the blame on the receivers of these unwanted comments as if that person is responsible for how all people act towards them. Someone who has been sexually assaulted should never be blamed for that experience, so why should a person be to blame for receiving sexual attention from a stranger on the street?

What upset me most was not the person who made the comment, but the number of people both online and in person who had a similar reaction to my series. It upset me that these were educated people, individuals who sat through sexual assault awareness training at their universities just like I had. These were people who were taught to always ask first, to make sure their partners are able to consent to sex, people who I had discussions about my own stories of feeling intimidated or coerced by partners after I had already said no. Yet, these were people who didn’t seeing anything wrong with street harassment, who told me that I should feel flattered about how often it happened to me like it was a badge of honor to be harassed by strangers.

Why is it that these people understood the danger of sexual assault yet could not understand why street harassment wasn’t just as much a social issue? How can a person believe that it isn’t okay to coerce someone into having sex but thinks it is perfectly fine to make sexual comments towards strangers they are attracted they see walking down the street? One of the ways that consent is taught in colleges today is grounded in the idea that we as individuals should always respect the boundaries that other people have set for themselves because each person has the right to decide how or when they choose to engage in sex. Teaching about sexual harassment can be approached in the exact same way. It can be taught that someone’s words are just as powerful as their actions, and that when you draw unwanted sexual attention towards someone you are disregarding the boundaries that they have set up for themselves. Sexual comments belong exactly where sex does, between people who have given their explicit consent to be touched or talked to in such a way.

By teaching not to rape without teaching not to harass on the street, we are telling the next generation of adults that it is okay to objectify other people as long as you are not touching them and this completely disregards the emotional and mental negative effects that street harassment can have on the person getting yelled at near the bus stop.

Jen Stutman is a GW Alumna and Former GW Students Against Sexual Assault Member

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Today’s Events – April 17

anti-street harassment week | on April, 17, 2015 | by | 0 Comments

Posted by CoHabita DF in Mexico City

Special Global Action!

ANYONE CAN JOIN — As part of International Anti-Street Harassment Week, Stop Telling Women to Smile is organizing an international wheat pasting night on April 17, 2015. The following groups have already organized action around this:
Canada (Ottawa): Hollaback! Ottawa will be pasting the STWTS posters [3pm, Bridgehead on Bank/Gilmour] INFO
Germany (Berlin): Hollaback! Berlin will post the STWTS posters [7pm, k-fetisch] INFO
Mexico City: CoHabita/Habitajes will paste 65 #STWTS posters along 45 stations on Line 1 of the Metrobus in Mexico City throughout the week and will join the STWTS Wheat pasting night.
Illinois: Volunteers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne campus are hosting a Stop Telling Women to Smile Day.
Iowa: The Ending Street Harassment in Iowa City group will post “Stop Telling Women to Smile” posters throughout the community.
Join them!! Here are the details! [AFTERNOON/EVENING APRIL 17] 
Virtual Events:
April 17 | 12 – 1 p.m. EDT: @NOWYoungFems will host a Tweet chat to discuss street harassment across the broad spectrum of gender-based violence and discuss a holistic strategy to violence on every level.
International Events:
Colombia: OCAC Colombia is hosting HARASSMENT IS VIOLENCE. We will march with the Tremenda Revoltosa Batucada Feminista, and beat the drums against all forms of violence on our bodies. We’ll wait you since 5pm at Colpatria Tower. | VIERNES 17 DE ABRIL – 5PM. EL ACOSO ES VIOLENCIA. Marcharemos junto con la Tremenda Revoltosa batucada feminista, haremos sonar los tambores contra todo tipo de violencias sobre nuestros cuerpos. Les esperamos a partir de las 5pm frente a la Torre Colpatria, en la carrera séptima con calle 26.
France: Stop Harcelement de Rue Lille is launching the “No harassment bar”. This is an agreement reached between the collective and a bar (of which the name will be announced that night) in order to make it a “no harassment zone”. We are hoping to reach agreements with more bars later on. [nighttime]
Romania: FILIA: Centre for Curriculum Development and Gender Studies: ”Anti-street harassment evening” – Evening documentaries/ clips and a debate about street harassment with people interested in the subject.
Serbia: Equity Youth Association will be hosting a week long campaign to educate locals about what street harassment is. This will include flyering and handing out graphics and info across the city with information from their recently conducted survey, and hosting a chalk walk with local university students in a city park that is notorious for being  a high-harassment area [Flyering April 12-18, Chalk Walk April 17th]
USA Events:
Illinois: Volunteers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne campus are hosting Walk a Mile [5-6p on Main Quad] and Green Street Hug-in [6-8p on 6th & Green Streets]
Minnesota: Hollaback! Twin Cities is hosting two chalking events at the University of Minnesota [12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Location TBD.] INFO.
Missouri: The UMKC Women’s Center will be chalking around campus all week, and invites students to stop by the center to learn more! [April 13-17]
Nebraska: The sociology, queer alliance and radical notion clubs at Hastings College will be holding a talk-in to discuss street harassment experiences and solutions.
Nevada: Hollaback! Las Vegas is hosting a Chalk walk Downtown Container Park [4pm to 6pm at the Corner of Fremont and 7th]
Ohio: The People’s Justice League will be leading a chalk walk to mark problematic areas on the Ohio University campus [6pm. Meet at the bottom of Jeff Hill on campus]
Ohio: The People’s Justice League will be hosting a screening of the film Cairo 678 [8pm at Donkey Coffee, 17 West Washington St., Athens OH 45701]
Washington, DC: Nigerian LGBT activist Bisi Alimi will be speaking at the DC Center [8:30 p.m.]
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#EndSHWeek Wrap-Up: Day 5

anti-street harassment week | on April, 16, 2015 | by | 0 Comments

So many events today! Read about four examples of actions in the past 24 hours. See the updated photo album. Here is our media coverage (more than 50 media hits) so far.

Studies and Campaign:

* A study released today in France found that 100% of more than 600 women surveyed across the country had faced sexual harassment on the transit system. I spoke with staff at the deputy minister for women’s rights, Pascale Boistard, today by phone and they plan to roll out a comprehensive anti-harassment campaign on transit systems across France in about a month. This would include trains, buses and subways in every city. To my knowledge, this will be the first country-wide campaign!

* The Los Angeles transit authority launched an “It’s Off Limits” anti-harassment campaign on their system!

* Cornell University and Hollaback! released findings from an opt-in survey conducted through their localized sites at the end of 2014. More than 4,000 women under 40 years old took it. While it is not nationally representative nor does it look at men’s experiences or factors like race or sexual orientation (as our 2014 GfK study does), it does provide more insight into the impact street harassment has on harassed persons, which is valuable information.

Virtual Efforts:

@INBreakthrough, @FemIndProject and @PixelProject co-hosted a Tweet chat about cultural differences in harassment and reactions, #EndSH2015

* Latin American countries are super active this year. Today alone, NGOs in Chile, Argentina, Brasil, Colombia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru, Ecuador and Uruguay took photos with anti-harassment, pro-respect messages and posted them on social media. Gracias!

* In France, after a business woman tweeted that getting whistled at is nice, thousands of people shared their street harassment stories using the hashtag #plutotsympa. The hashtag trended for part of the day.

* Today was the 3rd anniversary of the UK-based international group Everyday Sexism. Founder Laura Bates said that today alone, 45,000 people tweeted about sexism, including street harassment, using the hashtag #everydaysexism.

Articles:

* Iranian women’s street harassment stories.

* Kenya: Because I Speak Out I Feel Safer

* An Afghan woman writes about how words matter

* Rhett Butler is a Jerk

* Activists Put Up “No Catcall Zone” Street Signs in NYC and Philly (my article for Feministing). More than one dozen outlets covered the catcall signs too, and cited Anti-Street Harassment Week

Video:

* Our board member Maliyka Muhammad spoke on Fox news in NYC!

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Four Examples of #EndSHWeek Efforts

anti-street harassment week | on April, 16, 2015 | by | 0 Comments

There are so many amazing efforts and campaigns happening for International Anti-Street Harassment Week! Here are four examples….

Nepal:

Activista Nepal held a street demonstration demanding safe public toilets at Sundhara, Kathmandu. Yesterday they held a youth workshop on street harassment.

The Netherlands, via Den Haag FM:

“Dozens of men were this afternoon on the square shouted at by a group of women. These women are part of the action group Citizens Street Harassment wants to bring this behavior to the attention and wants to fining.

Anti street “What we do can not make it, but the men who do that to us can not make it. I am a random person who never asks, just as they are. How strange is it that someone in an unpleasant way interfere with you? “Said Jessica van der Pluijm, one of the protesters.

The ladies have collected signatures to eventually submit a citizens’ initiative to criminalize street harassment. MP Ahmed Marcouch (PvdA) has pledged to get started with the criminalization of street harassment.”

Italy:

NO Molestie Di Strada is posting stickers against harassment across Italy!

India, via I am in DNA of India:

“I am in dna of India, iamin.in, a hyperlocal news platform and Safe City, an NGO that provides a platform for people to share their personal stories of sexual harassment and abuse in public spaces have teamed up to bring you local and concerned voices pained by everyday street harassment.

In our research to find most unsafe zones for women in Delhi, South Delhi’s Lal Kuan area topped the list. It was not just street harassment that we found rampant there, it was a whole lot of issues surrounding it that prompted us to amplify the voices of victimized locals and bring to you their concerns through a dedicated page.

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Words Matter

anti-street harassment week | on April, 16, 2015 | by | 0 Comments

In our society, if a woman is known as being promiscuously or immoral, it is nearly impossible for her to free herself of that label.

Guest Blog Post for International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2015

When I speak about street harassment, I notice the ears of men go red. I wish it was out of shame or fear of it. Women face many different kinds of harassment and abuse in our society: physical, sexual and or mental.

I have often thought about how mental abuse and harassment can be one of the worse methods of marginalizing women. This kind of harassment cannot be seen and pointed to, but it can leave a lasting impact on people’s emotional and mental health. Unfortunately, I have also noticed that most women tolerate this kind of abuse in silence for many difference reasons. One of the reasons may be that they feel standing up to defend themselves is not effective. Especially in Afghanistan where religion and traditions have been mixed and hard to distinguish from one another, it is hard to prove to men that their behavior and the harassment they perpetuate is unjustified. In addition, these men have access to many different weapons to justify their behavior and silence anyone who objects. When it comes to shutting women up, the most efficient weapon has been character assassination.

Opinionated and educated women are more likely to be hunted down by this weapon because they are viewed as a threat to patriarchy. The men who attack these women know very well that if a woman is known as being promiscuously or immoral, it is nearly impossible for her to free herself of that label. Therefore, it is not a coincidence that usually women are attacked when they disobey the laws of our patriarchal society and stop bowing their head to misogynistic systems and structures. When women don’t submit to men’s power and desires, take ownership of their own bodies, view themselves as more than commodities and things or speak up using logic, their character is immediately assassinated.

The literature of this form of terror is simple, but specific. It is enough to call a woman certain things over and over at different settings and venues in order for her to be delegitimized. These words include but are not limited to promiscuous, immoral, prostitute, whore, infidel, man-hatter, angry, bitch…. Isn’t it fascinating that there are no male equivalents for the words bitch, whore, slut…?

If one tries to fight harassment by talking to misogynists as two fully developed human beings who are deserving of equal rights, if one decides to respect oneself and not give into this myth of female inferiority, one is immediately labeled shameless. If one uses logic, she is called infidel. If one points out to inappropriate behavior by men, she is called a man-hater.

Standing strong despite the devastating effects of these words is not easy, especially if a woman wants to have some public approval and impact. These words cause long term emotional and mental issues. They destroy women’s confidence and exhaust them. They break women’s spirits and tear them to pieces. Perhaps that is why one should learn how to gather one’s pieces and stand against the angry wave of misogyny.

By Farima Nawabi, cross-posted from the Dukhtarane Rabia (Daughters of Rabia): A blog on social justice in Afghanistan

Poster text: In our society, if a woman is known as being promiscuously or immoral, it is nearly impossible for her to free herself of that label.

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SSH will not publish any comment that is offensive or hateful and does not add to a thoughtful discussion of street harassment. Racism, homophobia, transphobia, disabalism, classism, and sexism will not be tolerated. Disclaimer: SSH may use any stories submitted to the blog in future scholarly publications on street harassment.