I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

“I was fucking scared”

I’m riding the bus back from work. A white man with a large belly comes to sit in the front of the bus perpendicular to me while the bus is en route. He begins to stare and smile. He reaches his hand out at me, close enough to touch me, but not quite making contact.

He is briefly distracted by a woman in a dress coming on the bus, who sits in front of him. He is now directing his attention to her, staring, and smiling, and subsequently straining forward. Reaching trying to touch her, trying to see under her dress. Curling his finger under her dress. She sits locked in position, ignoring him, pretending to be unaffected by his advances. He turns back to me, I mimic her.

We are so close to the bus driver, and it’s a relatively full bus, but no one says a word.

Eventually the man saunters up to the front of the bus, past the yellow line to which the bus driver now decides to comment: “Sir you have to stay behind the yellow line. Sir, are you o.k?”

Who gives fuck- I think. If someone like this was no longer in our society today, I think we’d be doing a little better.

He eventually gets off the bus.

I see the woman in a dress, tearing up. I can’t say anything to her. I have no words for what has happened, for what happens every day to women everywhere that is just largely accepted. I was scared. I was fucking scared, and I didn’t know what to say in the moment.

I wanted to tell him to fuck off. I wanted to tell him I wasn’t/ she wasn’t his property. That he had no right to stare, smile, and attempt to grope.

But, I was scared.

I was upset getting off the bus, this is one of the few times I’ve felt unsafe on there, and I thought I had finally moved to a place where shit like this didn’t happen, but it does. It does, and it’s still accepted, it’s still considered o.k. and I’m still considered the crazy one.

I called my mom after getting off of the bus, who simply told me to ignore men in that situation, that I was getting too worked up, and that she dealt with that crap all the time. That things like this wouldn’t change, and couldn’t change, that this was “just the way it is”.

This shit, is normalized. How fucking scary is that. Where’s the hope here? What do you say in that instance? I thought of calling the cops to report the incident, but I knew of the statistics, and I didn’t want to hear more people tell me I was overreacting.

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I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

Mobile Harassment

Two guys leering at me from a car as I walked.

 

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I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

Mobile harassment

Men whistling and making “ooooh” sounds at me as they drove by.

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Hollaback! 919 Screen + Print 2.0

We’re having another screen and print! Come on out to 115 West Main Street in Carrboro on Sunday, June 8th at 1:30! We’ll be watching and discussing Youtube videos about street harassment while printing t-shirts, pillow cases, and ties with anti-street harassment slogans. See you there!

shirt snip

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“I did not ask for or want his attention”

A carful of men approached me as I walked down the street. As they passed the driver yelled “that dress looks good on you!”

Many people say this is a compliment and I should take it as such. But this is harassment. I didn’t want him to yell at me from the car. I did not ask for his opinion. I did not ask for or want his attention. I deserve to walk down the street and not be yelled at by random strangers.

He probably didn’t mean it as a compliment, but if he did, his male privilege is showing. And either way, it’s still harassment.

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Screen + Print- Artivism Hollaback! Style

This April as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month Hollabck919 organized a a Screen + Print video screening and shirt printing workshop at the Durham Solidarity Center.

Hollabackers brought around friends and family to talk about issues of transphobia, safety, privilege and collective responses to unsafe spaces. Check out the cool videos that guided our discussion, and the badass shirts we made afterward! Watch for these around town in the next few months as we tout our wares at local events!

Sasheer Meets her Flasher

Laverne Cox on Harassment and Being a Transwoman of Color

Hollaback! Clotheseline

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Surrounded

Walking down the street in Cramerton, man in white van.

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“I am sick of wondering whether I’m allowed to feel uncomfortable”

The taxi driver taking me to the airport said “thank you baby” and I felt dirty. I am sick of wondering whether I’m allowed to feel uncomfortable or not based on what the local way of relating is. Then in the airport I see the sports magazines with male athletes being ‘bad ass’ and women athletes wearing very little and in sexual poses with their golf clubs. Sick of this.

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