Uncategorized, verbal

Beth R.’s story: 13 years of “Catcalia”

Thankfully, I’ve never had to use the “eye gouge” self-defense tactic on any of you rummy part-time catcallers. It would take a real man,
Strapping prime meat of hurling catcalia for me to even consider
Sharpening my nails to the point prepping for an eye gouge.

I ask for it with my f**k me pumps and come hither.
Re-bill you for 2 boxes of nude bandaids for my open sores
In my mouth
Punch in my PTSD clock.

Ward off the projectiles with a contralto (not husky) voice
Take me more seriously in business meetings than a bambi wispy Glinda one.
FYI, if you get an email from the MTA announcing that there is a sick passenger on your trusted subway line; translation sick = dead.

Sportscar red works wonders for attracting you, crazies.
The blaze is on my head and in my bush.
Cause red means whore (Emanating Fuckability).
Whore means putain, imprinted Mary Magdalene aura tangles.
Hysteric speeding ticket woman in the underbush.
Galloping her horses woven hair Bikini Thong Way up In There.

Giddy up, harrrassers!
Drive bys with your tongues, in and out streetlights
Booty chasing hobby number 1.

Action in holla back is crippled, upended milk curds.

Red, hey red….you know you’re beautiful. Why won’t you give me a
smile, today, for me? Why won’t you show me your TEEF? You know you’re
Beauttitty ful.

Boom chacalaca boom boom swagger boom (idiot proof these yoga pants already, market them with a rutched skirt apron to hide your ass,
bumper bully.)
Miss, miss can I squeeze your tits?
Hard like diamond ass-bruises with cherries on top?

Split melons quick fix. Take me, vector frying
Egg-in-a-puddle sidewalk hard.

God bless. Signed up for ‘dese here horse-blinders on lasix permanent?
Break me off a some of that
Legg’s egg creamsicle drippage.

Mamie. You are beautiful but don’t know it. Mamita. GUSH.
Walk line eye level breast level parallel. DON’T PERK. Invert the nipple
shadow. Let it reside under the dishcloth covering lap of shame on
subway rubbing.

Are these shoes f**k me pumps?

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A Response to ‘Dear Prudence’

A responce to a recent ‘Dear Prudence’ video:

Dearest Prudence,

While we appreciate your shout out over here at Hollaback! we’d like a chance to clarify a few things which seem to have confused you.  First, there is no right way to Hollaback; it’s totally up to the individual to decide what reaction is best suited for her.  If she is empowered by holla’ing back—awesome.  If not, that’s okay too.  What we do encourage is that she share her story on www.ihollaback.org where she will receive support and an “I’ve got your back” message.

 For a lot of people street harassment is an invasion of their private space—it’s a spotlight that wasn’t asked for, isn’t needed, and is usually insulting and/or degrading.  Hollaback! is about owning your space and supporting others around you in owning their space, effectively making the streets safe for all.  It’s about getting the conversation started that street harassment is harassment plain and simple and it’s not okay.

 You mentioned that holla-ing back is dangerous; we find what’s dangerous is the mentality that silence is the best answer for everyone and is the best way to deal with street harassment.  Studies have shown, women who directly respond to street harassment experience less traumatic effects from it.  We aren’t silent about harassment in the home, we aren’t silent about harassment in the workplace—why should we be silent about harassment in the street?  When trailblazers began conversations about harassment in the home and workplace shit got done.  We’re about making that same movement in the streets.

 Hollaback! is also focused on supporting individuals faced with street harassment as it’s largely a crappy situation that people just ignore—you know that whole “mind your own business” mind-set.  As stated on our website, “By holla’ing back you are transforming an experience that is lonely and isolating into one that is shareable.  You change the power dynamic by flipping the lens off you…and you enter a worldwide community of people who’ve got your back.”

 “Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented”




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“Say What You Mean, Be Who You Are”

If you haven’t heard about Omega’s new Women’s Leadership Center, which will launch in September 2012, you should definitely check it out.  Founded in 1977, “on the holistic worldview that the well-being of each of us is deeply connected to the well-being of all living things,” Omega has been a part of the non-profit landscape that cultivates and inspires personal and social change.  As such, their new Women’s Leadership Center is looking to break barriers and build connections for women both young and old.  A primary focus for this new center will be on how young girls and women use leadership to change how power operates the world.


Omega is conducting pre-launch activities, before the big event in September, which have focused on questions around girls, women, and the media involving a handful of organizations that are dedicated to helping young girls be stronger and be leaders of their own.  Hollaback! was fortunate enough to be included on these conversations.


Recently, Hollaback! NYC participated in the discussion “Say What You Mean, Be Who You Are: How Young Women Can Challenge Today’s Media Culture” hosted by Omega and Rachel Simmons who will be partnering up for the workshop “Say What You Mean, Be Who You Are” August 10-12.  The conversation was centered around the skills young women need today to empower themselves to say what they mean and be who they are.


Rachel Simmons, author of The Curse of the Good Girl, lead the conversation mentioning that while young women are doing well in school—holding significant leadership positions, outpacing boys in their grade point average and attending colleges in greater numbers—once they leave college young women begin to struggle.  Simmons stated, “while their [young women’s] outer resumes are fairly stellar, their inner resumes are flagging.  And by inner resume I mean the psychological skills that are required to advocate for yourself; to know what you really think and feel; to ask for a raise,…to face challenge and to deal with criticism.”


 Simmons went on to discuss a phenomenon which she calls the Super Girl Complex, which is a serious pressure, that girls experience from a young age, to be everything to all people.  Simmons states that girls are growing up feeling that they must constantly perform for others and by doing such they are losing touch with what they want for themselves. 


In order to identify what girls what for themselves and how to get what they want, Simmons discussed the focus needs to be on communicating directly mentioning that often times there is a difference between what we say/how we say it and what is really true for ourselves.  For example, if your roommate is playing music loudly and it’s bothering you and she asks you if it’s too loud and you say “not it’s okay,” not wanting to be rude; this is a direct example of you not saying what you mean. 


Simmons believes that by communicating directly in simple situations this will translate to communicating directly in serious situations later–  “If you can’t talk…about what you need [now], you will not suddenly develop this skill later.”


 This portion of the conversation seriously connects with Hollaback’s message to young women out there.  When you Hollaback! you are exerting your right to be you and you are communicating directly your thoughts and feelings.  You’re owning how you feel and how you define yourself instead of being defined by some creep’s point of view.  While traditionally we are told to walk on—to stay silent, Hollaback’s mission is to empower you to say what you feel.  When you say what you really feel you’re owning your thoughts and you’re exerting your power which is totally badass.


 But we’d like to know your thoughts on the matter—do you feel like you subscribe to Super Girl Complex?  Does this effect your ability to confront those who put you down or participate in behavior you don’t appreciate—specifically street harassers?  Speak out!  Your opinions are important to Hollaback!.

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Stress on the Streets

As a new blogger here at NYC Hollaback street harassment has been on my mind more so than normal.  As such I have been hyper aware of how street harassment impacts my life.  My intent focus on street harassment has lead me to this relatively simple conclusion: street harassment is a stressful situation.

Street harassment is typically thought to be a quick interaction, a woman walks down the street, a man whistles or yells her way, the woman keeps walking (or decides to Hollaback!)—end of story.  However this quick synopsis completely neglects a large part of the situation. 

 In my personal experience, when walking down the street alone approaching a man or group of men I automatically tense —anticipating harassment.  This tension proves to be a source of stress for me.  It’s not that I necessarily feel that I am in danger, it’s the uncertainty of the situation coupled with too many past experiences in having been street harassed. 

Street harassment is more than just the verbal exchange it’s also the anticipation of what is going to be said, the concern of ones safety, and the resulting impact of the harassment once it happens.  Add it all up and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a stressful walk home.

Bearing all this in mind, I wasn’t at all surprised by the recently released results of Carnegie Mellon University’s study on stress.  According to the study, 20-something women are more stressed out than their counterparts.  The survey does not mention the source of stress or why it has increased.  I am by no means saying that street harassment is a primary cause of stress among 20-something women, but I’m certain it’s part of it.

Street harassment sucks and stress sucks too.  Street harassment isn’t something that you should have to live with.  You  have a right to walk down the streets without getting harassed.  You have the right to feel like the safe, strong, badass woman you are, so Hollaback ya’ll!  Show the world you won’t tolerate street harrassment and inspire others to do the same.

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In New Jersey They Just Can’t Help It!











Construction workers in New Jersey have a reason for cat calling-because you look sooo good they just can’t help themselves.  This sign, posted around renovations currently being made at New Jersey’s MarketFair Mall, states “We apologize for the whistling construction workers, but man you look good.”  Well we apologize for being disgusted but street harrassment never looks good.  If you agree here’s a petition you can sign asking the company to take it down.

For more on the story click here.

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Badass Hollaback Tool via The Riot


Hollaback Against Campus Harassment: The campaign starts today!

Campus harassment has probably existed since the advent of higher education, but today it is at epic proportions:  62% of women and 61% of men report being sexually harassed on college campuses [AAUW, 2005]. To learn more, click here.

Over the last seven years we have received hundreds of stories. Here is one of those stories, from a young college student named Jamie:

“My freshman year I was walking to the bus stop. As I walked by one of the dorms, a pickup truck with four guys inside pulled up next to me with its windows rolled down. The guy in the passenger seat yelled “my buddy here wants to take you out back and rape you!”

Jamie’s story is not unique, and unfortunatly, neither is the guy who harassed her.  Over 50% of college men admit to harassing their female counterparts [AAUW, 2005].  This isn’t just a few creepy guys — campus harassment is in the water, and it’s having an indelible impact on students. In the words of Jamie,

“When the truck was out of sight I realized what had just happened… I started shaking and crying and dialed my best friend right away.  Over a year later this still plays over and over in my head. I was dressed in baggy sweats but I’m sure that the moment they noticed my gender, they made me a victim.

Enough is enough: the time to put an end to campus harassment is long overdue. At Hollaback!, we’re taking a bold leap to bring the Hollaback! movement to ten college campuses over the next year.  We want to invite you to be a part of our work. Together, we can make harassment on campuses a thing of the past and make sure that future college students will not have to go through what Jamie did. 

Our goal of raising $25,000 before June 13th is underway. If you believe that college campuses should be places of learning, and that no one should have to be afraid to walk to their dorm, dining hall or library, join us. We can’t do this without you .

Whether you give a little a lot, your donation matters. With every donation made to this campaign, our generous Board of Directors will match it 1:1, so if you donate $25, it’s really $50. Also, with donations of $10 and above, you get awesome HOLLAswag! Please visit the campaign site to watch a short video and to donate.

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Volunteer this Sunday for the 4th Annual Safe Neighborhood Summit!

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two-Spirit, Trans and Gender Non Conforming People of Color (POC) community experiences acts of hate violence, including street harassment and physical attacks, on a regular basis in our respective neighborhoods. As such, the Safe OUTside the System (SOS) Collective of the Audre Lorde Project, believes the best place to begin work on putting an end to this violence, is at home.

The 4th Annual Safe Neighborhood Summit will focus on individual and community safety systems for LGBTSTGNC people of color, without relying on the police. Instead we will promote creative community-based alternatives to end violence through skill-based workshops and strategy sessions. This includes learning more about joining or creating your own local Safety Squad.

This is an important opportunity for the neighborhood to come together to create visibility of the violence that occurs against the members of the
LGBTSTGNC POC BedStuy community summit represents a critical step and opportunity for people to come together and brainstorm ways to ending hate violence. Find out how YOU can help be a part of ending homophobic and transphobic hate violence, register to help at Sunday’s event!

Sunday, April 22 from 2:00pm – 6:00pm at 375 Stuyvesant Ave, Brooklyn, NY

Contact Share Roman at [email protected] if you’re interested in volunteering!

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Hollaback on Bronxnet’s Open

Check out Kalema Boateng from Hollaback NYC on Bronxnet to see how you can help!


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Carey’s story: #rolemodelFAIL

The other day I was out jogging when I heard a man’s voice behind me calling out “Miss! Miss!” I stopped and turned around, thinking maybe I had dropped something. Instead I saw a man in his 20s standing on a stoop, holding a baby girl in his arms. She had pink bows in her hair and was wearing a cute little dress and diapers. She couldn’t have been more than two years old.

“What?” I asked the man, since he didn’t say anything immediately.

He smiled a Cheshire grin. “You’re looking good. Can I walk with you?”

Astonished and disgusted, I shook my head at him and at the 3 other men who sat nearby, watching all of this happen and saying nothing. I then quickly turned around and ran faster than before.

I wish that I had had more presence of mind in that moment. I would have pointed out to him what a bad example he was setting for the child in his arms.

Sadly, this was the SECOND time in the last month that I have been catcalled in West Harlem by a young man accompanying a child. A few weeks ago it was a man holding hands with a toddler who I assume was his son.

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