16 Memorable Stories of Standing Up to Street Harassment 2017

The Pixel Project is pleased to share the seventh annual blog list of 16 memorable stories of women dealing with street harassment, which has been kindly compiled by Holly Kearl, Founder of our partner Stop Street Harassment and one of our 16 Female Role Models of 2010.

Through Facebook and her Stop Street Harassment website, Holly receives and shares stories of women fighting back against street harassment. She shares these stories to help raise awareness of this particular type of violence against women as well as provide inspiration and ideas for everyone on making public places and spaces safe for women. Almost 100% of women and girls experience street harassment in their lifetimes, ranging from the uncomfortable to the downright dangerous.

This list provides a starting point for all to learn about and discuss the impact of street harassment. We hope it’ll inspire you to take action.

It’s time to stop violence against women. Together.

– Regina Yau, Founder and President, The Pixel Project

Holly’s picture is courtesy of Stop Street Harassment.

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Empowering Response #1: Street Harasser Selfies – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

For a month, 20-year-old Noa Jansma, a student from Amsterdam, took selfies with every man who catcalled her to show how often it happens. Her 30 photos taken with men who willingly stood with her and didn’t seem to understand that their behavior was inappropriate or wrong went viral. Her project was covered by every major media outlet, bringing lots of attention to the topic. Only one man even asked her why she wanted the photo. She was harassed more than the 30 times, but other times felt too unsafe to ask for the photo or the man was already gone.

Empowering Response #2: Reporting an Upskirting Creep – Washington D.C., USA

A woman riding an escalator at a Metro station in Washington, D.C. felt a man’s hand go up under her skirt. She later filed a report at www.wmata.com/harassment and when the transit police reviewed the CCTV footage, they saw the young man had taken an upskirt photo of her. They also saw him do it to other women across that day at the same location. Later, thanks to her initial report, they were able to arrest him.

Empowering Response #3: Publicly Humiliating A Harasser – Chicago, Illinois, USA

CG was walking her dog in Chicago when a man in a work uniform knelt down to pet her dog. When he got up to walk away, he slapped CG’s ass. At first, she was stunned, but then she followed him for 10 minutes yelling that, “THIS GUY JUST ASSAULTED ME WITHOUT MY CONSENT” and “THIS GUY’S A PERVERT.” When he turned around and yelled that CG was “crazy” and “should go home and act like a lady,” she really let him have it. She said, “I’ll bet he thinks twice before he assaults someone again.” She suggests to others: “Calling them out on it. LOUDLY. And if you’re on the street and someone is calling a harasser out, go to her and ask if she needs help. Just be there in case the asshole tries to retaliate.”

Empowering Response #4: Publicly Humiliating A Harasser – Los Angeles, California, USA

Anonymous was getting onto a bus in Los Angeles and her husband and friends were boarding behind her. As she looked for a seat, a man stood up and pulled her onto a seat next to him and said, “You’re sitting HERE!” When she tried to get up, he pushed her back down. Anonymous said that’s when she lost her temper and yelled at him and pointed out that she wasn’t alone. When the guy turned to look, she stood up and shoved him across the aisle. His instinct was to look at her husband and worry he was going to hurt him, but the husband laughed and said it looked like his wife could take care of herself.

Everyone on the bus laughed at him then and the guy went to the front of the bus and waited to get off at the next stop. The bus driver yelled at him when he exited, “Don’t ever come back and leave women alone!” Anonymous said, “That was when I finally stood up for myself…I stopped tolerating harassment a lot after that.”

Empowering Response #5: Shutting Down A Pervert – Anonymous

One day as FM was waiting for the bus with a friend, a car driven by an old man stopped near them and he asked for information about a street. She gave him this information, and then he questioned her, “Do you enjoy sex?” She was very embarrassed and didn’t know what to say. Then he asked several other questions about sex before she asked pointedly, “Do I have to call the police?” and he left.

Empowering Response #6: Making Street Harassment A Crime – France

France’s secretary of state for gender equality, Marlène Schiappa, who has experienced street harassment directly, has spent the past few weeks working to make street harassment a national crime. Her efforts have raised a lot of important conversations about street harassment in the country.

Empowering Response #7: Cream Cakes Against Harassers – Scotland

FL was walking along a busy street in broad daylight in a town in Scotland. She was 14-years-old. A man who was part of a group of men walking behind her came up to her and stuck his hand up her skirt and groped her. She turned around, shocked and saw that they were all laughing. She immediately took the cream cake she was eating and smacked it in her assailant’s face.

Empowering Response #8: Calling Out A Pest – Texas, USA

Sarah in Texas was walking from her office to the bus stop when a man kept pestering her, following her and trying to get her attention. She said that finally, after another “just want to talk to you” comment from him, she turned to him and very loudly said, “I don’t want to talk to you!” He got the message and walked away.

Empowering Response #9: Flipping Off A Catcaller – Wokingham, United Kingdom

Heather in Wokingham, UK, said she was cat called by a man who sat in the passenger seat of a white van when she was walking to her car after work. She noticed there was a girl’s school very nearby and she worried whether he did that, or worse, to the girls. She gave him a withering look, turned around and showed him her middle finger before taking down the license plate of the van and reporting it to the police.

Empowering Response #10: Butts Are Not For Leering At  – Alaska, USA

When anonymous was 16-years-old and in a store in Alaska with her mom, an older man let them pass by him. Then he said, “I let you go in front of me so that I can watch you from behind. Oh, I’m sorry, that was a compliment, you should take it as one.” Anonymous said she felt scared, embarrassed and disgusting, but her mom turned to him and told him off.

Empowering Response #11: Preganant Woman Pushes Back  – Anonymous

Anonymous was walking down the street in Washington while 35 weeks pregnant. She noticed a white unmarked van driving very slowly behind her. Once the van was alongside her, the driver leaned out the window leering at her. He then said, “Oh yeah baby, daaamn.” She told him that she thought he was disgusting.

Empowering Response #12: Bus Driver Takes Action  – Manchester, United Kingdom

RP was 17-years-old and riding a bus with a friend in Manchester, UK, from school to band practice.  An older man in his 40s kept leering at her and smiling creepily. When the girls got off at their stop, he got off too. RP and her friend got on different buses at that point and the man got on RP’s bus. The bus was pretty empty, and yet he followed her and sat right by her. She got up and ran to the bus driver and told him she thought the man was following her. Her stop was coming up and it was in a remote area and she worried what he’d do next. Thankfully, the bus driver believed her and when she got off the bus, he didn’t allow the man to get off at that stop. Some of the other passengers assisted the driver. RP made it to her destination safely. She wrote, “All I can say is thank you to that bus driver and fellow passengers who stopped him following me inside the primary school. I’m also thankful I wasn’t headed home as he doesn’t know where I live.”

Empowering Response #13: Hauling Up The Police – Quezon City, The Philippines

When a 21-year-old woman experienced catcalling at the hands of police in Quezon City, The Philippines, she filed a police report. Street harassment is illegal in the city under a 2016 ordinance. The two men were charged with violating the ordinance and while they wait for sentencing, they have been put on leave from their jobs. This is the first case filed under the new ordinance.

Empowering Response #14: A Comforting Hand  – Rome, Italy

A man grabbed AC and he kept trying to pull her toward him on the street in Rome. When she broke free, she ran across the street into traffic to escape. She said when she reached the other side, “An elderly woman gave me a kind smile and patted my arm without saying anything. That gesture did so much to comfort me and helped me know that I’m not invisible.”

Empowering Response #15: Intervention With Luggage  – San Francisco, California, USA

When AH was riding the train in San Francisco, she noticed a man standing too close to a woman. She stuck her luggage between them and he moved and found a new target. AH kept trying to get his attention, but he ignored her, so she tapped the young woman on the shoulder and pointed out what was happening. He got angry and shoved AH’s bag, but he did exit the train. AH wrote, “I was very shaken up. I had never called someone out for harassing another person before, but I felt very protective of other women in that moment. People came up to me afterwards and said I did the right thing and they would have backed me up. The first girl also thanked me because she wasn’t sure what had happened until she saw him do it to someone else. I hope that my choice to step out will cause others to be aware of their surroundings and to speak up if they see someone being harassed.”

Empowering Response #16: Male Ally Does Good  – Texas, USA

Kensa was walking in Texas when a man on a motorcycle pulled up next to her and began paying her “compliments.” At first, she said thank you to appease him, but then he kept demanding she get on his bike and take a ride with him. He got angry when she refused and repeatedly pestered her until a man nearby intervened, saying, “You can clearly see that she is not interested. You’re scaring this poor girl.” This did not deter the motorcyclist at first and he kept telling her to get on, but the bystander stayed with Kensa and kept telling the man, “She’s not interested.” Finally, the motorcyclist left.

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Photo Credits:

  1. Picture 1 – From Dear Catcallers (https://www.instagram.com/p/BZeIQuoF6CZ/)
  2. Picture 2 – From ‘France considers tough new laws to fight sexual harassment and abuse’ (The Guardian/PDN/Sipa/Rex/Shutterstock)
  3. Picture 3 – Courtesy of Stop Street Harassment (www.stopstreetharassment.org)
  4. Picture 4 – From ‘2 cops lose smirk in QC’s 1st case vs catcalling’ (Inquirer.net)

16 Memorable Stories of Standing Up to Street Harassment 2016

holly1-200x300The Pixel Project is pleased to share the sixth annual blog list of 16 memorable stories of women dealing with street harassment, which has been kindly compiled by Holly Kearl, Founder of our partner Stop Street Harassment and one of our 16 Female Role Models of 2010.

Through Facebook and her Stop Street Harassment website, Holly receives and shares stories of women fighting back against street harassment. She shares these stories to help raise awareness of this particular type of violence against women as well as provide inspiration and ideas for everyone on making public places and spaces safe for women. Almost 100% of women and girls experience street harassment in their lifetimes, ranging from the uncomfortable to the downright dangerous.

This list provides a starting point for all to learn about and discuss the impact of street harassment. We hope it’ll inspire you to take action.

It’s time to stop violence against women. Together.

– Regina Yau, Founder and President, The Pixel Project

All visuals courtesy of Stop Street Harassment.

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Empowering Response #1:

ruhi

23-year-old Ruhi Rahman was riding the train in Newcastle, England, when a man started making racially threatening comments toward her. A woman sitting next to her jumped up to help her. After she intervened, most of the other passengers also spoke up and forced the man to leave.

Empowering Response #2:

Mercedes in Washington, D.C. faces a lot of catcalls during her early morning commute to work. One morning, men in a truck kept following and harassing her (“Good morning, sexy!” etc). She said, “Normally I would ignore situations like this because men tend to be bold because they’re in their vehicle, a confined space where they feel safe enough to make unflattering remarks. Ironic. I couldn’t keep walking this time, I was so fed up. I snapped and said, ‘Shut-up. Just shut the f*** up!’. Silence. They didn’t say anything else to me. I felt good about speaking up for myself …. Ever since I snapped a lot of the catcalling I normally experience in the morning and leaving work has declined tremendously.”

Empowering Response #3:

kellyIn October after the release of a 2005 recording of American president-elect Donald J. Trump engaging in what he calls “locker room banter” about forcing himself on women, many people spoke out against his behavior. The most visible response was on Twitter.

That night, author Kelly Oxford tweeted, “Women: tweet me your first assaults. They aren’t just stats. I’ll go first: Old man on city bus grabs my ‘pussy’ and smiles at me, I’m 12.” By the next morning, as many as 50 women tweeted their stories per minute of first-person accounts of sexual violence with the hashtag #notokay. Less than three days later, nearly 27 million people had responded or visited Oxford’s Twitter page.

Empowering Response #4:

Deanna Carter called out and shamed a man on the NYC subway who tried to masturbate in front of her. She said, “Rubbing your dick? What the f*ck are you doing? Do it again and I’m getting’ up out of this chair and I’m gonna bust your f*ckin ass on this train.” Then she told him to get off the subway at the next stop – and he did.


Empowering Response #5:

Illustrator Shehzil Malik in Pakistan became so fed up with street harassment that she created a series of images she called #WomenInPublicSpaces to “symbolise the struggle of Pakistani women who feel harassed in public spaces.”

Empowering Response #6:

Thanks to the hard work of activists in Nottingham, UK, the police force began classifying street harassment and other forms of misogyny as a hate crime and police began recording and monitoring it so they can look for trends.

Empowering Response #7:

A woman in Buenos Aires, Argentina, grew sick and tired of men harassing her during her work commute. One day a man on the street made kissy sounds at her. She turned around and told him to “stop harassing women” and “I don’t want to hear any more of your bullshit opinions about my body.” He smiled and started to harass her again. She said “I saw red, took the top off my coffee and threw the full thing in his face!” As she walked away, he called her a “Crazy, dumb bitch” but everyone around them laughed at him.

Empowering Response #8:

Milwaukee bus driver Sharon Chambers saw a girl waving in her direction. When she stopped for her, she saw that she was crying. The girl said a man had been following and harassing her. Chambers told her to get on the bus and that “no one was going to mess with her on my bus.” Chambers called the bus dispatch who notified the police. While they waited for the girl’s grandmother and the police, Chambers said, “Don’t worry about it. You are safe. I will fight for you; no one is going to hurt you.”

sharon

Empowering Response #9:

After a passenger made a lewd comment to an Alaska Airlines flight attendant as she demonstrated how to use a safety vest, she told him to be respectful. When he disagreed, she talked to other staff, and someone came and escorted him off the plane!

Empowering Response #10

A woman was walking home from work when she encountered two men walking toward her. “Hey girl, you look sexy,” said one. She turned toward him and yelled, “Mind your own business!” She said he got the point.

Empowering Response #11:

MJ is a light-skinned Hispanic woman who was at a California fair with her friends when two Hispanic men talked about grabbing her ass in Spanish, not realiaing she could understand them. She turned and screamed, “Go ahead and try!” They literally ran away.

Empowering Response #12:

flA man in Florida liked to start talking to women in stores by asking innocent questions and then escalating quickly to inappropriate and sexually graphic remarks and questions. He filmed the women as he did so. After he did it to a woman for a second time in a few years, she recognised him and remembered his strategy and she began filming him and questioning him and ended up chasing him out of the store. He fled in his car but the police pulled him over and arrested him for reckless driving. He was then charged with video voyeurism too. Many other women came forward to report similar experiences.

Empowering Response #13:

Sarah in Denver, Colorado, was walking across the parking lot to go to work when she saw two boys across the street. One said, “I wanna lick your poop chute” and did an obscene tongue motion. His friend laughed. She noticed no cars on the street and rocks nearby and in a split second decided to cross the street and pick up a rock and threw it near him. He dodged it and ran away screaming, “You’re crazy!” She retorted, “Come back you coward! Come back and say something else to me!”

Empowering Response #14:

S.A. in India was going to meet her tutor when she noticed an ATM guard staring at her in a vulgar way. She was afraid at first but then “gathered courage.” She said, “Stop staring at me that way. It’s inappropriate.” She even threatened to hit him. “He felt quite guilty about what he did,” she wrote.

Empowering Response #15

A woman in Poughkeepsie, NY, was walking to work when two men working on the roof of a building started “hooting and hollering” at her. She stopped and yelled back, “I hope you fall off that building and are crippled for life because you’re already crippled in the head.” That shut them up completely.

Response #16:

luceLucé Tomlin-Brenner said, “I’ve been verbally, emotionally and sexually harassed by men I don’t know for more than half my life. It’s happened while walking down the street, riding on public transportation, working retail/service industry jobs, on college campuses, and while performing on stage. It’s happened in every city I’ve ever lived, visited, or worked in. It’s happened at punk shows that are supposed to be my safe places. These are not compliments, they are violations. They are threats to my mental and physical safety.” In response, artist Olivia Britz-Wheat designed a “Not Your Baby” tattoo for her at Blacklist Tattoo in Portland, Oregon

16 Memorable Stories of Street Harassment 2014

holly1-200x300

We are proud today to share the fourth annual blog list of 16 memorable stories of women dealing with street harassment which has been kindly compiled by Holly Kearl, Founder of Stop Street Harassment and one of our 16 Female Role Models of 2010.

Almost 100% of women and girls experience street harassment in their lifetimes, ranging from the uncomfortable to the downright dangerous. Holly receives many stories of women fighting back against street harassment by themselves or with the help of friends, family, and bystanders. She shares them on the Stop Street Harassment website and Facebook page to help raise awareness of this particular type of violence against women as well as provide inspiration and ideas for everyone on making public places and spaces safe for women.

This list provides a starting point for all to learn about and discuss the impact of street harassment. We hope it’ll inspire you to take action.

It’s time to stop violence against women. Together.

– Regina Yau, Founder and President, The Pixel Project

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Empowering Response #1: As Anna was walking to the grocery store in Seattle, two men in a parked car harassed her. She felt safe and decided to respond back. She said, “I gave them a look, yelled back, ‘Don’t harass me!’ and kept walking. A few seconds later I heard a car about to drive past me, and a ‘Sorry!’ called out. I said thanks to the man in the passenger seat who apologised, and he told me to have a good day and I reciprocated.”

Empowering Response #2: Lise was running in a California park when she realised a group of middle school boys was harassing female athletes. After they harassed her, too, she decided to talk to them. Addressing the leader, she said, “Girls don’t like it when you talk to them that way.” She said she used a regular voice, one human being to another: “You see men talk that way, but they aren’t getting anywhere are they?” His friends fell silent and they all listened. She continued, “If you think a girl is pretty just talk to her like a regular person. Say hello, start a conversation. You’ll do a lot better that way.” The leader thought about the grown men he had been imitating. “Then why do they do that?” he asked. Lise said, “They don’t know any better. The ones who act that way are kind of dumb.” One boy called out from the back of the pack. “Yeah, it’s a dumb thing to do.” The leader said thanks – and there were no more inappropriate comments from them that day.

Empowering Response #3: Robbie is in her 50s and lives in Colorado. She says she does not experience street harassment anymore, but she won’t stay silent when she sees it happening to someone else. When she saw construction workers harassing a young woman, she checked in to make sure the woman was okay. Then she asked the men why they harassed the woman. They were dismissive of her, so she called 911 and the company they work for. She made both calls in front of them saying, “I think I gave them a tiny scare.”

4.4.14 Detroit Michelle Hook2

Empowering Response #4: After a construction worker catcalled her during her walk to work, Anonymous confronted him and asked him why he thought that was appropriate to do. His colleague stepped in and apologised. She said, “Afterwards, I felt empowered for sticking up for myself.”

Empowering Response #5: Lee is frequently harassed and decided to start pushing back. After a man at a bus stop near her house harassed her, she walked up to him and let him know that this was where she lived. She told him this was her home and asked, “How dare he come to her neighborhood and disrespect her and make her feel less than safe?” She said, “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 apologising. 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.”

Empowering Response #6: Anonymous was walking home from college in Utah when a man called out to her. She was tired of being harassed so she said, in a firm voice, “Excuse you?!” The man and his friends were silent and she walked home. She says they have never bothered her again when she’s walked by.

Empowering Response #7: S has been harassed on three continents and in her frustration one day, penned this letter to men. She concludes it by writing, “This dehumanisation of women based solely on their outward appearance is sexism. We’re people, not objects built solely to display clothes or sexually please men, so please do not treat us as such.”

4.4.14 HB Gent's Chalk Walk - Belgium 4

Empowering Response #8: After experiencing street harassment in Edinburgh, Scotland, Anna called the police. The police looked into the incident but the officer who called her back said it was “probably just men being men.” Anna was frustrated by that comment and so wrote to the Chief Constable – and shared her letter online – to highlight the harmful attitude and to ask for more sensitivity around street harassment and related issues.

Empowering Response #9: Eya was shopping with her family in Tunisia when a man harassed her. She at first pretended to ignore him, but when she saw him laughing about getting away with it, she turned around and screamed at the top of her lungs, “YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF!” He was really shocked, she said, “as if he didn’t realise I actually had a voice and could stand up for myself. He then simply turned around and retreated back into the shop, and I felt very proud of the way I had reacted.”

Empowering Response #10: SSH board member Lindsey launched “Cards Against Harassment” as a way to use messages on cards to respond to harassers. “I decided that a card would be the ideal middle ground, allowing me to provide feedback that harassment is unwanted without necessarily sticking around for an extended encounter.” After launching the cards, some of her male friends doubted she experienced street harassment as much as she does, so she started filming her harassers. Her videos were featured on numerous media sites over the summer, receiving hundreds of thousands of views.

Empowering Response #11: Greta was walking through the Scottsdale Hilton in Arizona to meet a friend staying there when two men whistled at her. Tired of dealing with harassment, she decided to talk to them about it. “Hi,” she said. “I notice you’re the only two people out here, and I’m the only person walking past. I just wanted to let you know when you whistle at women, it’s incredibly offensive and demeaning. I am a human being, not an object that exists for your viewing pleasure.” They retorted, “It’s okay, you’ll get over it.” So she continued to educate them: “Well actually, no, you’ll get over it. Because as straight white males with enough money to stay at the Hilton, you have the privilege of being able to choose how you address people around you. YOU get to make the choice. I don’t. So no, I won’t get over it. I’ve been dealing with it for years.” She then left, saying, “it felt really good to be able to call them on it.”

4.4.14 University of Central Florida mamiEmpowering Response #12: SVN in Massachusetts as walking home at night when he yelled out to her. No one was around and she feared for her safety. “Yes?” She asked him. “How you doing?” he asked, crossing the street to get closer to her. She held up her hand saying, “I’m going to need you to leave me alone – I’m a woman walking by myself at night, and this is a little scary.” She said he stopped in his tracks, and said, “Oh, I didn’t mean it like that!” “That’s okay,” she said, “I’m going to keep walking, and you can go back to whatever you were doing.” And he sat back down, and she kept walking.

Empowering Response #13: As Anonymous was walking away from a bar with friends in Washington, a man grabbed her butt. She grabbed his shirt and slapped him and yelled, “You cannot touch me! You cannot just grab someone’s ass. That is not okay!” He ran away.

Empowering Response #14: An older man in Italy yelled, “Hey baby” to EZ as she walked to work. She pretended not to hear. He continued: “Hey, need a ride? Come here I’ll PAY you! How much is it?” She decided to fight back. She turned around, a big smile on her face, and said with loud voice, “Hey you! How old are you? 80? Your life is very near to the [natural] end, so why don’t you think about your health instead of bothering young ladies?” His face turned from red to purple. She walked away, smiling.

Empowering Response #15: After never responding to street harassers, A in Pakistan took a stand when a man touched her hip on the pedestrian bridge as he tried to walk past her. She screamed out “Beghairat” (“shameless” in Urdu). “I did something about street harassment,” she wrote. “After all these years, I finally did it tonight. I took a stand.”

Empowering Response #16: As Anonymous entered a New York subway car, a guy on the left of her pretended to “help” her into the train by grabbing her lower back and grazing it saying, “Here you go, sweetie.” When she told him, “Please don’t touch me,” he proceeded to insult her body, saying, “There’s not much to touch,” and laugh with his friend and make insulting comments about her race loudly so everyone on the train could hear. When he and his friends continued to harass her, she took his photo. He was surprised and stopped.

16 Memorable Stories of Standing Up Against Street Harassment 2013

BraveHeartHawaii group - Anti-Street Harassment Week 4.7.13We are proud today to share the third annual blog list of 16 memorable stories of women dealing with street harassment which has been kindly compiled by Holly Kearl, Founder of Stop Street Harassment and one of our 16 Female Role Models of 2010.

Almost 100% of women and girls experience street harassment in their lifetimes ranging from the uncomfortable to the downright dangerous. Holly receives many stories of women fighting back against street harassment by themselves or with the help of friends, family and bystanders which is shared on the Stop Street Harassment website and Facebook page to help raise awareness of this particular type of violence against women as well as provide inspiration and ideas for everyone on making public places and spaces safe ones for women.

This list provides a starting point for all to learn about and discuss the impact of street harassment. We hope it’ll inspire you to take action.

It’s time to stop violence against women. Together.

– Regina Yau, Founder and President, The Pixel Project

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Empowering Response #1:  When a man began openly staring at EM’s friend’s breasts, she said really loudly to him as they passed him on the New Jersey street, “You should look where you’re going or you might fall.” He looked at her and she repeated, “Look where you’re walking.” Her friend laughed and he looked embarrassed.

HannahPrice-Story2-ImageViaBuzzFeedEmpowering Response #2: Photographer and Yale School of Art MFA student Hannah Price made international news this year with her series of stunning photos of the men who harassed her on the streets of Philadelphia, turning the lens and attention on them instead of her.

Empowering Response #3: Phillip in San Francisco, California, observed a man harassing every woman in the area. A few construction workers suggested the man stop, but he didn’t. So Philip got in his space and began making remarks about that man’s body and returned his misogyny. He said the harasser took off, almost running, while the construction workers high-fived Philip!

Empowering Response #4: Penelope lives in Sydney, Australia, and when construction for a new apartment building began next to where she lived, the constant harassment by the workers made her feel ill. She tried lots of tactics to avoid harassment but finally, she wrote a letter to the development company. It worked. She said, “I was stopped by the foreman and he politely let me know that he spoke to the men and have them stop the harassment and that if it happens again to seek him out or contact the company again.”

Empowering Response #5: Nayana was walking down a very busy road in Delhi, India. Suddenly, she felt a man “feeling up her front” with his hand. She said she was shocked! When she saw him smirking because he felt he was going to get away it, she grabbed hold of his collar and screamed at the top of her voice, “Police! Police! Help!” People gathered around her to help. The police arrived and she reported him. He ended up spending the night in jail.

Empowering Response #6: A woman was at the Metro in Virginia when she saw two guards harassing another woman. That woman cringed and walked quickly away. One of the guards then told the woman who observed it, “Let me see a SMILE on that pretty face.” She made eye contact and told him firmly, “Mind your business.” He giggled nervously and shut up.

Empowering Response #7: One day Irem was riding a city bus with her sister in Izmir, Turkey. A man would not stop staring at them. She stared back to try to make him feel uncomfortable and stop, but he just kept staring. So then Irem stood up and said to him, “Do you know us from somewhere else because you’ve been looking at us for ten minutes.” She said he was very embarrassed and that the other passengers, especially the women, laughed at him. He looked down at the floor for the rest of the ride.

Empowering Response #8: Emily pulled up beside a pickup truck at a traffic light in Sarasota, Florida. Her windows were rolled down and the two men in the truck whistled at her, laughing. She turned off her radio, turned to them and said, “You know, it’s really offensive when men whistle at a woman like she’s an animal. I don’t appreciate that. What you’re doing is called street harassment and it is unacceptable.” The driver apologized saying, “I’m sorry, ma’am. I’ll stop tonight.”

Empowering Response #9: A woman was harassed by a man in an SUV while she wanted to cross the street in Minnesota, and then he drove away before she could respond, she wrote an open letter to him in the “Missed Connections” section of Craigstlist.com. Her amazing letter was shared all over the Internet and it ended with this good advice:If you really find a woman beautiful, don’t choose the juvenile selfish route that makes her feel weird and you look like an asshole. Just take a deep breath, commit the image to memory, and get on with your life. Or, if it’s really that great of an ass that you can’t possibly survive without commenting on it, post about it on CL missed connections after the fact and let her decide what to do about it.”

SarahStoryEmpowering Response #10: Sarah was visiting a friend in Buffalo, New York. As she walked through a parking garage to meet her friend, two men sitting in a truck rolled down their windows and shouted inappropriate sexual remarks at her. She turned around and walked up to the window, looked them both in the eye and calmly said, “I just wanted to let you know it is really rude to shout at someone like that, and most women do not appreciate it.” They apologized to her and said they were just trying to be nice and say hi. She told them how that behavior can be perceived as threatening. She says she “walked away feeling so positive and empowered, and I hope what I said had some impact on those men and their future behavior.”

Empowering Response #11: Robyn lives in Portland, Oregon. She was walking home from the grocery store with her seven-year-old stepson and her infant daughter when a man slowed down in his car to talk to her through his window. She felt hesitant to confront him with her kids there.  Instead of driving away, the man followed and then paced his car alongside her and her kids. “How are you doing?” he asked. She stopped and said, “I’d be a whole lot better if you weren’t doing this.” He said, “I understand,” and drove away.

Empowering Response #12: A woman in Harrogate, UK, was harassed in the morning by a fundraiser. It bothered her all day that he’d done this and when she went home that evening, she confronted him. She wrote, “He turned out to be a very nice guy who was very apologetic- he hadn’t realised how intimidating his behaviour was and was glad that I had gone back to speak to him. Being the older brother of 4 sisters he was keen to express his abhorrence of men that harass women. I was pleasantly surprised at his attitude- he was happy to listen and learn. It gave me hope!

Empowering Response #13: Each time Maria’s sister walked from the bus stop to her home in Colombia, a man across the street yelled sexual comments at her. His harassment upset her a lot. Maria was worried that since the man knew where she and her sister lived, it could be unsafe for her to talk to him, so she talked to her sister’s boyfriend and he said we would talk to him. The boyfriend asked the man to please show respect for the women walking on the streets and to consider their safety. His admonition worked and the man never harassed Maria’s sister again.

EndSH_Flier4 photo credit Julie and Amy MastrineEmpowering Response #14:  Christine was at a nightclub with a friend in Maynooth, Ireland, when a man groped her friend’s breast, then smiled as he walked away. Her friend froze in shock, but Christine “saw red.” She ran after him, matched his pace, and then reached around and grabbed his balls. She said, “He doubled over and I held on as I leaned in and spoke directly into his ear: ‘It’s not so nice when someone touches you without your permission, is it?’” She said she walked away and when she turned back, he looked very confused and uncomfortable.

Empowering Response #15: When D was street harassed by two different men in a short distance, she said, “No!” loudly to them each. A woman nearby saw both interactions and said, “Thank god for you!” and said something about how more people need to speak up against this. “I have to,” I said. “It [street harassment] is ridiculous.” D wrote, “I didn’t get a chance to thank her for supporting me in standing up against harassment. Usually when people see me standing up to harassers they either ignore it, think it’s funny, or tell me that I bring this stuff upon myself for taking harassment too seriously. So when I do encounter people who support standing up against street harassment, it feels great to know that there are people who think that this is a problem.”

Empowering Response #16: Fern was dressed up for an interview when two men on the street commented about her looks. She ignored them and one of them yelled, “What, you can say thank you?” She felt angry that a man expected her to thank him for his unsolicited and unwanted comments and asked him, “Why do I need to thank you? Did you do me a favor? Did you help me?” He was surprised and told her not to be uptight. She said, “I didn’t ask you to look at me. In fact, I wish you wouldn’t.” She then left.

ANNOUNCEMENT: “16 For 16” 2012 Campaign Combines The Power of Blogging & Music In Support Of The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

25 November 2012: The Pixel Project is proud to present their second annual 16 For 16 campaign. This holiday season campaign is The Pixel Project’s contribution to the international 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign. This year’s 16 For 16 campaign has two components: The first is a blogging marathon to raise awareness and inspire action to prevent and stop Violence Against Women (VAW); The second is a digital music EP featuring songs from artistes from around the world saying NO to violence against VAW while raising funds for The Pixel Project.

The core campaign is a 16-day blogging marathon with one blog article published for every day of the 16 Days of Activism. Each article is a list of 16 positive ideas and/or solutions revolving around a specific theme related to VAW. Each idea and/or solution is bite-sized – simple to understand and easy to put into action. These articles are part of a growing online resource of ideas and solutions for preventing, stopping and ending VAW that The Pixel Project is building as part of their commitment to inspiring and galvanising individuals and communities to take that first step towards helping stop VAW. Continue reading

16 Memorable Ways of Dealing With Street Harassment

For the 8th day of the 16 Days of Activism, we are proud to share a special blog list of 16 memorable ways of dealing with street harassment which has been kindly compiled by Holly Kearl, Founder of Stop Street Harassment and one of our 16 Female Role Models of 2010.

Almost 100% of women and girls experience street harassment in their lifetimes ranging from the uncomfortable to the downright dangerous. Holly receives many stories of women fighting back against street harassment by themselves or with the help of friends, family and bystanders which is shared on the Stop Street Harassment website and Facebook page to help raise awareness of this particular type of violence against women as well as provide inspiration and ideas for everyone on making public places and spaces safe ones for women.

This list provides a starting point for all to learn about and discuss the impact of street harassment. We hope it’ll inspire you to take action.

It’s time to stop violence against women. Together.

– Regina Yau, Founder and President, The Pixel Project

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