High Court in Bangladesh outlaws term “eve-teasing”

January 31, 2011

Using terms like “catcalls,” “wolf whistles,” and “eve-teasing” to describe street harassment negates the seriousness of the problem. The terms make the behavior seem funny and cute-sy. The terms make it easy for people to dismiss women’s complaints and to stand by as men continue to harass women. (And can you imagine a similar type of “funny” phraseology for racial harassment? Wouldn’t happen, hasn’t happened.)

I use these terms grudgingly, when I think I must because they’re what people understand or when I’m reporting on a source that’s used them.

So I’m overjoyed by the news that Bangladesh’s high court ordered that incidents of harassment have to be called sexual harassment, not eve-teasing.  (via Dawn.com):

“Bangladesh`s high court recently ruled [that] the term downplays the seriousness of such crimes. The court said this in response to a class action lawsuit filed by legal activists after a number of teenaged women committed suicide, reportedly due to stalking and harassment. Police would often dismiss such crimes as innocent mischief caused by young men.

And here’s more via Sify.com:

“The court also ruled that stalking, either physically or electronically, must be considered sexual harassment.

From January to November 2010, 26 women and one father of a bullied girl committed suicide, and 10 men and two women were murdered after protesting against sexual harassment, according to a Bangladeshi rights group.

Since coming to power in December 2008 the Awami League government has launched a crackdown, including stationing undercover police in playgrounds to prevent young males from molesting female pupils.”

Nice work, Bangladeshi activists!

Now we need to get rid of the term “catcall” in the United States!!


Extensive harassment in Mumbai

January 31, 2011

I’ve been catcalled, rubbed against, uncomfortable staring at inappropriate body parts, & unsolicited flirting

– Anonymous

Location: Mumbai

Share your street harassment story today and help raise awareness about the problem. Find suggestions for what YOU can do about this human rights issue.


Ten new HollaBack websites launch today

January 31, 2011

Congrats to Emily May and the whole HollaBack team on the launch of ten new websites that will help track street harassment globally.

Via a press release from HollaBack:

“Inti Maria Tidball-Binz, the leader of Hollaback Buenos Aires said, ‘For many of us in Buenos Aires “Piropos,” or “catcalls” are aggressive and intrusive. We need a fresh approach to local issues, and knowing that the strength of the international Hollaback movement is behind us gives us the impetus to make changes.’

Inti Maria is one of over 20 activists that are planning to launch Hollaback sites today in six U.S. locations: Atlanta, Baltimore, El Paso, Houston, Portland, and SoCal, and four international locations: Czech Republic, Mumbai, France, and Buenos Aires.  In addition, the New York City and London sites will be moving to the ihollaback.org platform to join the growing global network.

Shawna Potter, the leader of the Hollaback Baltimore said, ‘I’ve traveled a lot over my life and noticed that no matter where I go, street harassment follows. I hope Hollaback Baltimore will help fuel the discussion of appropriate behavior towards women and inspire others who have felt helpless or frightened to know they have a badass response.’

Hollaback is currently recruiting activists for their next launch, which is slated for April.  The group already has been contacted by activists in thirty cities internationally who are interested in bringing Hollaback home this Spring.”

 


Street harassment snapshot: January 30, 2011

January 30, 2011

Street Harassment Stories:

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“The asshole kicked a bunch of slush all up my legs and skirt.”

January 30, 2011

I was in Herald Square and then I hear this guy behind me saying, “Mmmm what a nice ass i would love to f the s(*#t out of you..mmm you like dressing like a slut dont you.”

I was walking to work and I had my cocktail dress on because, duh, I’m a cocktail waitress.

He kept saying this stuff then I feel cold and wet all on the back of my legs and in my boots. The asshole kicked a bunch of slush all up my legs and skirt. I was freezing..I didn’t even see who exactly it was because there were like 5 people there. Didn’t anyone else see this ass do this? What the hell would make someone want to do that?

– Shelly

Location: Herald Square, New York City, New York

Share your street harassment story today and help raise awareness about the problem. Find suggestions for what YOU can do about this human rights issue.