Blog

New Opportunities to Join Us!

SSH programs, street harassment | on August, 17, 2014 | by | 0 Comments

Do you want to do something about street harassment? Here are several ways you can join up with us in the mission to document and end gender-based street harassment.

1. Apply for our September – November 2014 Blog Correspondents Cohort. Apps due August 29, 2014. It’s an unpaid, volunteer position. 

2. Apply to join our Board of Directors for the 2014-16 term. Apps due September 8, 2014. It’s an unpaid, volunteer position.

3 & 4. — We’re looking for new dedicated volunteers! To apply, please send your resume/CV and a cover letter to Holly Kearl, HKearl@StopStreetHarassment.org.

3. SSH Social Media Manager:

SSH needs help managing the Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts. The position will entail a little bit of work on the Facebook page, too. Applicants must have experience with each platform and be able to devote around three hours per week to managing these accounts.

The person must be able to manage these accounts through at least the end of 2014, ideally through the end of Spring 2015.

This is an unpaid volunteer position.

Apply by September 13, 2014

4. International Anti-Street Harassment Week Manager:

International Anti-Street Harassment Week will be held April 12-18, 2015. It will be the fifth year of activism.

Leading up to the week (Dec – early April): We need someone who can help manage the #EndSHWeek social media-specific accounts, reach out to groups and people to invite them to participate, follow-up with past participants, update the website, develop new flyers for 2015, work with translation volunteers to translate materials, find media contacts and outlets to pitch, and other duties as relevant. You will have weekly check-ins with SSH Founder Holly Kearl.

During the week: We need someone who can help dedicate time every day to searching online for photos and articles about activism happening by participants (they are often slow to send links or never do – so SSH has to do a lot of searching) and then sharing them on the SSH blog, photo album, and social media accounts, help manage the daily tweet chats, and also, ideally the person will hold or participate in an offline event.

After the week (late April): Following up with participants to hear about their events. Continuing to look online for actions that took place. Compiling links.

This position will require about 5-10 hours/week leading up to April. During April it could be up to 15-20 hours per week.

The position would begin in December 2014 and run until the end of April 2015 (5 months). This position will pay a small stipend of $500/month ($2,500 total).

Apply by October 1, 2014.

Share on Facebook

Post to Twitter

Share

“Girl.. you have the finest ass I have ever seen.”

Stories, street harassment | on August, 17, 2014 | by | 0 Comments

I was walking to the subway in NYC to run work errands when a guy told me, “Girl.. you have the finest ass I have ever seen.” I was annoyed but honestly- I have heard this before on the street and kept walking.

When I came back from the errand I saw the same guy and he yells, “Twice in one day! I am so lucky.”

Now I am feeling like I am trapped seeing this man. It was almost like we had a relationship somehow the way he talked to me.. like he knew me and we were friends.

I had to deal with the fear that I was going to constantly have to see him and keep hearing from him. Three days later he drove by and stopped at the light near me. I had a moment when we saw each other. I waited .. knowing if he was going to say something he would have to yell it across the street where many people would hear it. I was ready to be humiliated. He yells, “I like your dress!” and I felt relieved that my ass stayed out of the subject.

Optional: What’s one way you think we can make public places safer for everyone?

Change cultural norms.

- EE

Location: NYC, Meatpacking District

Share your street harassment story for the blog.
See the book 50 Stories about Stopping Street Harassers for more idea

Share on Facebook

Post to Twitter

Share

“It is exhausting to fear for one’s safety”

Stories, street harassment | on August, 16, 2014 | by | 0 Comments

This story does not involve physical harassment, but I know that what happened on this particular occasion could have escalated very quickly if I had not been able to get away as swiftly.

Recently I was walking down the street in Lausanne, Switzerland, where I currently live, re-tying my hair into a ponytail, as I noticed three young men walking ahead of me. At first, I saw them glance back at me a few times but ignored it, thinking (and hoping) that maybe they were just looking in my direction. They were talking to a bus driver halted at a stop and just briefly glanced sideways at me, so I chose to ignore it. Then, as I kept walking (more slowly now), still tying my hair, they glanced back at me multiple times, each time turning back to each other and smirking, then continuing on their way. Because we had made our way onto the narrow sidewalk of a bridge by this point, and I was in a rush to get to where I was heading (and because I’m just sick and angry of feeling that *I* always have to compromise *myself* just to be safe on the streets), I kept walking behind them, although I felt very uncomfortable.

As we neared the end of the bridge and made our separate ways to the crosswalk at an intersection, with them still trailing just ahead of me, I began to feel more and more nervous. They eventually slowed down and continued to glance at me, more and more frequently. Then, as I tried to veer to the side, they stopped altogether right beside me and each began staring. I tried not to look at them as I attempted to pass (afraid of feeding into their feelings of male entitlement by “enticing” them perhaps), but one of the young men came right up to me, smiling, and said, “Bonjour”, nodding a little too intentionally. It was obvious what he wanted. I responded, “Bonjour”, and kept walking. I knew they were staring at me as I walked away and I was terrified they would all follow me. I was especially terrified because there were three of them. Luckily the streets were very busy and I quickly walked away from the area.

I am stared at and sexualized almost every day by men on the streets, and I am incredibly lucky to have avoided being physically harassed thus far. However, I have been touched inappropriately by men in other settings (such as by patients and coworkers at the hospital where I work) and I am so very tired of living in a patriarchal society where misogyny and rape culture is perceived as NORMAL or NON-EXISTANT. It is exhausting to fear for one’s safety and space simply when one walks out the door. The fact that so many people (usually men, usually people reinforcing this culture) actually don’t UNDERSTAND this and BLAME us, the people affected, is beyond exhausting and disgusting.

I’m happy to be able to share this story.

Optional: What’s one way you think we can make public places safer for everyone?

Human beings deserve respect. Men, especially, need to begin reassessing the way they view and understand women and their relationships with women. Within the gender binary, we (again, I’m referring directly to men) need to STOP sexualizing others and, especially, need to realize that NOBODY IS ENTITLED TO ANOTHER HUMAN BEING, whether sexually or not. We are not objects! We are people! All of us.

If this phenomenon were reversed, even for a day, and men experienced even a fraction of what women experience ALL THE TIME, PERHAPS they would finally BEGIN to get it. Although, really, we should never need to reverse situations of harassment, discrimination, harm or prejudice in order for the oppressors to understand the harm they are doing.

- Laura Karlberg

Location: Lausanne, Switzerland

Share your street harassment story for the blog.
See the book 50 Stories about Stopping Street Harassers for more idea

Share on Facebook

Post to Twitter

Share

“All I want is some tight pussy”

Stories, street harassment | on August, 16, 2014 | by | 0 Comments

I get cat called and beeped at from men in cars almost everyday, I get felt up pretty much every time I go to a bar, I have been flashed (when I was 12!!!), and I have been followed all the way home, to look out of the window to see the guy waiting there 20 minutes later! Again I was 13/14.

It is absolutely disgusting. What’s worse is that I am only 18 now and have had this much experience with sexual harassment ALREADY. Just yesterday a man shouted, “All I want is some tight pussy” clearly feeling no shame or embarrassment for saying this to a girl half his age.

Optional: What’s one way you think we can make public places safer for everyone?

Harsher punishments for this behaviour, education – however, I do believe that, in my experience, it tends to be older men who do this kind of thing.

- M

Location: Leeds, England

Share your street harassment story for the blog.
See the book 50 Stories about Stopping Street Harassers for more idea

Share on Facebook

Post to Twitter

Share

“There should be distress vans to help people in need”

Stories, street harassment | on August, 15, 2014 | by | 0 Comments

I was returning from a nearby market at around 9 pm after purchasing antibiotics. My body was aching due to high fever.

All of a sudden, i heard a murmur and i noticed it was a 14 yr old boy on a bicycle who was making some ugly gestures. He went ahead but kept looking back. I thought he would go. To my surprise, he came back and repeated it all over again and was willing to take the third trip. It is only when I tried to make a call that he rushed away.

This is not an unusual story. But, yes, the circumstances were unusual.

This happened to a law student who was advocating for the rights of juveniles a few months ago in a Criminology Seminar. This happened in the nation’s capital and at a place which is only a stone throw away from the nation’s Supreme Court. This happened a week ago when my country was gearing up to celebrate its 68th year of independence. There were too many ironies!

Optional: What’s one way you think we can make public places safer for everyone?

The streets need to be adequately lit. The crowded places are safer than the silent streets. The high profile areas should not cut short on the safety issues of women. There should be distress vans to help people in need.

- Anonymous

Location: India

Share your street harassment story for the blog.
See the book 50 Stories about Stopping Street Harassers for more idea

Share on Facebook

Post to Twitter

Share

“Sometimes I feel small and inferior”

Stories, street harassment | on August, 15, 2014 | by | 0 Comments

Since the day I hit puberty and I developed “womanly” features, I’ve been sexually harassed on the streets. I usually wear jeans and shirt but once in a while I wear skirts. I try to dress “modestly” because it is what the church I belong to teaches. Even though I wear modest clothes and don’t try to attract attention, I’ve received catcalls and “praises” about my “beauty.” I usually ignore it and just walk faster but sometimes I feel small and inferior.

Sometimes I’m really scared for my safety because I walk alone. I feel like most people are apathetic and that they won’t help me if something will happen to me.

Optional: What’s one way you think we can make public places safer for everyone?

There should be a law that should penalize harassers.

- L.A.

Location: Manila, Philippines

Share your street harassment story for the blog.
See the book 50 Stories about Stopping Street Harassers for more idea

Share on Facebook

Post to Twitter

Share

“A first step toward taking back full ownership of my own body”

Stories, street harassment | on August, 14, 2014 | by | 0 Comments

It was in my mid to late teens that my breasts really began developing. And they didn’t stop until I hit my early twenties. While hardly record breaking, they are larger than average. And yes, this is a real problem.

Now I realize for some women, my complaining about a “great rack” can cause a reaction similar to the one I have when a thin woman complains about being unable to gain weight. Come closer, skinny girl, so I can pop you in the nose.

But here’s the thing I want to share…as a young woman who did nothing but grow up to get these things on my chest, it was shocking and hurtful to realize the assumptions that people were making about me because of this aspect of my appearance. And not just men. The most hurtful and damaging remarks actually came from other women.

Promiscuous. Oversexed. Asking for it. Stupid. Trashy. Slut. Porn star wannabe.

The pain those assumptions and remarks caused me as a teen and a young woman was immense. The impact on my self-esteem and self-image, devastating.

I have a genius level IQ. As a friend says, I am “wicked smart”. And I have a keen sense of humor. Oh, and I have green eyes. But I’m pretty sure most men never saw any of that.

Walking down the street in New York, or anywhere for that matter, it’s as if you’ve granted any man who wishes a license to leer and catcall. After all you have big boobs, so you’re just asking for it, right? Ah, no. No, I’m not.

After living in NYC for many years I grew weary of the street calling nonsense and began to bite back. This really started one evening when I was walking home and rounded the corner to my block only to hear a fellow waiting for the bus call out some nonsense. I recognized him as a guy who worked at one of the bodegas on the block and something in me snapped a little. I walked right up to him and let him know that this was where I lived. This was my home. How dare he come to my neighborhood and disrespect me and make me feel less than safe?

I scared the crap out him and he seemed to decide that he didn’t need to wait for the bus to skedaddle on home as he backed away apologizing.

Boy, was that satisfying. Speaking out then became something I could do (if I felt safe to) and it was empowering. It was like a first step toward taking back full ownership of my own body. Even these dang pesky boobs. Maybe they don’t get to “speak” for me anymore.

Last year I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. I only required a lumpectomy and medication and have to admit I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to lose these things once and for all. I know that may sound shocking to many of you but these suckers have caused me plenty of trouble over the years. But it was not meant to be. It appears we’re stuck with each other.

I’d like to share a closing thought for all of you. We are here to talk about street harassment and intellectually we all agree that how we dress or look is no one’s business but our own. Let’s remember that as we women look at each other and the judgments we place on each other. Let’s pledge to not assume that red head with the breasts is a trashy tramp. And I will pledge to not pop any skinny girl in the nose, ever.

Optional: What’s one way you think we can make public places safer for everyone?

Education is the only thing I can think of and that’s not about a place, it’s about a mindset. The “card” videos showed so clearly that these men don’t understand, or even worse, don’t really care. It is some sort of birthright as a man. I know it doesn’t have to be that way. I had two brothers. They would never dream of calling out someone in the street. I know it was how they were raised and taught.

- Lee Allison

Location: New York, NY, Upper East Side

Share your street harassment story for the blog.
See the book 50 Stories about Stopping Street Harassers for more idea

Share on Facebook

Post to Twitter

Share

Share Your Story

Share your street harassment story for the blog. Donate to fund our programs!

Buy the Book

Comment Policy

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.