Thanks for a successful Anti-Street Harassment Day!

March 21, 2011

Yesterday was a Field of Dreams, “if you build it they will come” moment for me as the decision I made on the morning of February 20 to make March 20 International Anti-Street Harassment Day turned out to be so successful. I’m inspired by people’s creativity and passion and I appreciate how many people around the world helped make the day a success by spreading the word and planning action.

And actually, a lot of activism is continuing this week. For example, events are taking place tomorrow on campuses in Toronto, Canada, and Delhi, India. Woohoo!

It’s great to see events spread out because after all, we know that one day won’t solve this problem. One day won’t even come close. But it’s still valid that March 20 was a starting point for action and dialogue for many people, and a continuing point for many more.

Let’s keep that momentum going. Here are ideas for what you can do to address street harassment year-round! And guess what, next year will be even bigger!

Anti-Street Harassment Day Activists in Philadelphia

What happened yesterday?

Here’s a quick round up of feedback I’ve received so far about what went down for Anti-Street Harassment Day!

“It was pretty chilly here today, so we didn’t get a fabulous turnout, but we got pictures of us outside City Hall with our [anti-street harassment] signs.”

– Becca Nicole, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

“[Folks in Atlanta] went to Five Points MARTA station yesterday to conduct research. This dude started following us saying, ‘Ladies, can I just stop you for a moment and tell you how pretty you all are?’ So we pointed to our ‘Happy Anti-Street Harassment Day’ sign and said, ‘NO. It is Anti-Street Harassment Day.’ He was …embarrassed and totally backed off. Awesome.”

HollaBack Atlanta, Georgia

“We had a great team and a great time doing the 14th St community audit … All went well — very useful info, very successful day — we had some really terrific conversations along the way.”

– Marty Langelan, Author of Back Off!, who participated in the DC Community Safety Audit, organized by Stop Street Harassment (me) and Holla Back DC!, Washington, DC

“We had a great time in Philly. Engaged the community and it was well documented. Some of us decided that we want to do outreach more regularly.” [They did a lot of sidewalk chalk messaging]

Walking Home Filmmaker Nuala Cabral, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“The Relationship Abuse Prevention Program (RAPP) Peer Leaders at Tottenville High, Staten Island, NY, USA, worked to raise awareness about street harassment on March 21…The students will be tabling all week long.  There also will be a project at Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School in Brooklyn this week.”

– Rona Solomon, Deputy Director, Center Against Domestic Violence, New York

First Annual Anti-Street Harassment Day went amazingly! We stenciled in 5 locations around town and handed out over 40 fliers to people asking us what we were doing! Also, got to respond to street harassment as it was happening!”

Hollaback CoMO, Columbia, Missouri

“Handed out about 100 flyers, 10 good conversations, dozens of “thumbs up” and no detractors!!” [This group of five also held anti-street harassment posters]

– Alan Kearl, Astoria, New York (he’s my dad!)


Have a successful Anti-Street Harassment Day!

March 19, 2011

I am SO excited for our big day tomorrow. From people telling their stories to people organizing/attending events, it’s going to be epic.

Here is the information you need for a successful day.

  1. All the info you need in one place: The main webpage is updated with links to all of this following info.
  2. Ten Ideas for Action: Not sure what to do? Visit this page.
  3. Find Events: What’s going on near you?
  4. Post Fliers and Factsheets: Here are several fliers and factsheets you can adapt, use.
  5. Post Graphics Online: Anti-Street Harassment Day graphics are available in 7 languages
  6. TWEET: #antistreetharassmentday
  7. Take Photos of Whatever You Do: Let’s document everything that happens! Upload pics to Flickr: or email them to me, stopstreetharassment AT yahoo DOT com

I’m excited to say there’s been a lot of media coverage so far. And already the founder of HollaBack Baltimore, Shawna Potter, had an op-ed published this week and male ally Hugo Schwyzer wrote a great article for Jezebel.

Let’s keep it up and get the message out that spring is no excuse for street harassment.

Thank you for taking action tomorrow – I look forward to hearing what you do.

-Holly Kearl


Thousands to Commemorate the First International Anti-Street Harassment Day

March 17, 2011

MEDIA ADVISORY

First International Anti-Street Harassment Day

WASHINGTON, DC – On March 20, thousands of women and men across the United States and throughout the world in cities such as Cairo, Cape Town, Delhi, London, Mexico City, and Toronto will participate in the first International Anti-Street Harassment Day.

Numerous studies show that more than 80 percent of women worldwide face catcalls, groping, stalking, and other forms of gender-based street harassment, especially when they are alone in public. Despite the evidence that street harassment is a global problem and one that reduces women’s mobility and limits their access to resources, it’s often dismissed as a trivial problem, a compliment, or women’s fault.

“Street harassment is a form of gender violence, and it impedes women’s equality with men,” said Holly Kearl, street harassment expert and founder of International Anti-Street Harassment Day. “Since street harassment often increases during the spring months, I saw March 20, the first day of spring, as an ideal day to bring people together to speak out and take action against street harassment.”

The goals of International Anti-Street Harassment Day are to inspire future initiatives focused on combating street harassment locally and globally and to take us one step closer toward ending the social acceptability of the bullying behavior.

Every participant of International Anti-Street Harassment Day will raise awareness about street harassment by sharing their stories online or in person. Hundreds of participants plan to attend community events, hand out materials on their campus or at subway stops, and conduct surveys and audits to better evaluate safety issues for women in their area.

In Egypt, in light of recent attention focused on the problem of men harassing women, Harassmap co-founders Rebecca Chiao and Engy Ghozlan are organizing teams of volunteers to walk through their neighborhoods and talk about street harassment with key individuals, like shop keepers and transportation workers. “Our idea is to create safe zones for women … to help change the street’s environment when it comes to sexual harassment acceptability,” Ghozlan said.

Individuals interested in participating can find 10 ideas for action at www.stopstreetharassment.com, RSVP on Facebook, tweet using the hashtag #antistreetharassmentday, and look for existing events — or add their own — on CrowdMap.

Spring is no excuse for street harassment.

Contact: Holly Kearl

Confirmed events:

  • 12 events are listed on CrowdMap
  • Facebook event pages for other places:

Street harassment snapshot: March 13, 2011

March 13, 2011

Read stories, news articles, blog posts, and tweets about street harassment from the past week and find relevant announcements and upcoming street harassment events.

Street Harassment Stories:

I accept street harassment submissions from anywhere in the world. Share your story!

You can read new street harassment stories on the Web from the past week at:

Street Harassment in the News, on the Blogs:

Events:

  • March 15: International Approaches to Stopping Street Harassment Talk, Georgia College, Museum Education Room, Milledgeville, GA, 5 p.m.
  • March 16: Street Harassment Workshop, Georgia College, Women’s Resource Center, Milledgeville, GA, 12:30 p.m.
  • March 19: Stop Street Harassment Talk, Old Parish House/Women’s Club
    4711 Knox Road, College Park, MD, 11 a.m.
  • March 19: HarassMap is organizing anti-street harassment activism in Cairo, Egypt!
  • March 20: International Anti-Street Harassment Day – happening all over the world!
  • March 22: HollaBack London meeting, 420 Kingsland Road, unknown time

International Anti-Street Harassment Day:

It’s only two weeks away! Participate in the first annual International Anti-Street Harassment Day on March 20!!!

Announcements:

New:

On-going:

10 Tweets from the Week:

  • HollabackEP Went for a lovely walk with my mom. Yeah, I still got harassed. Doesn’t matter what you’re wearing, or who you’re with. #StreetHarassment
  • bibliofeminista Street harassed on the streets of DC today by a man who yells: “Whoa, legs!” Me: “Yup, I have them.” #gross #streetharassment
  • TingyN #saynoto abuse and harassment in the street making people feel vulnerable in their every day lives
  • FeministInti Feminism isn’t a zero sum game, we can fight against street harassment, for abortion AND to end domestic violence and rape. It all counts.
  • Tweetsbian Creepy mullet dude gave me the turn-catcall-stare on a dark sidewalk. Think my ovaries have shriveled up a bit.
  • KimberlynnAce Nope…was wrong. street harassment is rampant as ever on international women’s day. All this tells me is that we gotta go to work. #iwd2011
  • Dina_T Is there some sort of sexual street harassment quota that Egyptian men are trying to achieve today? Kefaya!
  • equalitynow From FB: Passing some kind of legislation against street harassment. There is no equality while women feel unsafe. #100steps
  • SophiaAlMaria Make street-harassment a relic of pre-revolutionary #Egypt. Support http://www.harassmap.org/ on International Women’s Day.
  • disasterous007 If you ever walk alone to your car without thinking someone might attack you, this isn’t your day. #internationalwomensday

Mark your calendars for International Anti-Street Harassment Day

February 20, 2011

I hereby declare March 20, 2011, the First Day of Spring, to be International Anti-Street Harassment Day.  I invite YOU to participate in a national day of action to challenge street harassment and demand its end. (Facebook RSVP Page)


Street harassment occurs year-round, but, without fail, each spring the warmer weather and longer daylight hours bring an increase in street harassment. With spring, we see more men congregating in public places, sitting on porches or door stoops, lingering at bus stops or street corners, and driving with their windows down. Too many of these men think it’s okay to whistle, hoot, hollar, follow, and grab the girls and women they see. During spring, Mardi Gras, Spring Break, festivals and parades are all used as excuses for harassing women.

This is unacceptable.

I’m all for friendly hellos and mutual, gender-neutral public interactions (that can lead to mutual flirting and hoookups), but spring street harassment is out of control. It is demeaning. It is annoying. It’s sometimes threatening and scary. Evaluating women, making sexually explicit remarks or demands, groping, stalking, public masturbation, persistently asking for a date after being told no, leering, and whistling HAVE GOT TO GO.

Too often our stories and experiences with street harassment are silenced, dismissed as trivial annoyances, or portrayed as a compliment. Too few government agencies or elected officials acknowledge this problem or do anything about it.

On March 20,you can do something to challenge street harassment and its social acceptability and to let everyone know that street harassment is not okay. Take part in anti-street harassment activities on the same day as women and men all over the country. Let’s remind everyone that spring is no excuse for harassing women.

Ten Ideas for What YOU Can Do!

You have one month to get ready for International Anti-Street Harassment Day. Whether you decide to do something small or big, know that every action counts and every person can help make a difference.

  1. Share your stories to break the silence. Please share a street harassment story with a family member or friend. Share it online. Tweet it using #streetharassment. If you do nothing else, share your story.
  2. Respond to Harassers: Use assertive responses, report them, ask them to fill out the Catcaller Form, or hand them an anti-street harassment handout.
  3. Hand out or post anti-street harassment information. Print and post fliers, handouts and signs around your neighborhood, office, campus, school, or community center to raise people’s awareness about what street harassment is and why it is unacceptable. (Examples of fliers, posters or signs (click on link for street signs) and another street harassment poster).
  4. Use your talents to raise awareness about street harassment. Write/perform songs (see The Astronomical Kid‘s and Emily Swash‘s songs); do stand-up comedy (see Lucé Tomlin-Brenner’s stand-up comedy routine); make a cartoon (see Liza Donnelly‘s, Barry Deutsch‘s, and Jerrod Koon‘s); write a poem (see Fiona Lowenstein‘s and Bif Naked‘s poems); put on a show (see Leah King’s one woman show “Can I get a smile?“); or make a fun online awareness-raising item (see Atozinco’s slideshow, à la garconnière’s street harassment invoice, and Scary Godmother’s Bingo sheet)
  5. Hold an event or rally about street harassment in your community or on your campus. Ask people to share street harassment stories and brainstorm how to address it in your community. Show an anti-street harassment documentary. Make it an open mic or art event where people can share their poems or art work on the topic. Hold a self defense demonstration.
  6. Conduct a community safety audit in your neighborhood. Build a small team and find out what could make your area safer and more inclusive for women. Take your ideas to your local elected officials.
  7. Learn more about street harassment. Watch an anti-street harassment documentary or read an anti-street harassment article or book. Request the Stop Street Harassment book for your library, so anyone in your community can read it for free.
  8. Write an op-ed: Write and submit an article or op-ed about street harassment and your experiences with it to a magazine or newspaper. An op-ed that journalist Elizabeth Mendez Berry wrote in the fall of 2010 led to the first ever city council hearing on street harassment in New York City!
  9. Survey and map harassment: Survey your friends and family, classmates and coworkers about their experiences with street harassment (you can do so for free with SurveyMonkey). Map where you and they face harassment (google earth offers a free tool to do so with a tutorial) to track any patterns about where it occurs. Take your information and ask the police, elected officials, or local businesses to do something about the harassment in those areas (show them your results when you talk to them).
  10. Start campaigning: Organize or participate in an anti-street harassment campaign, like the UK Anti-Street Harassment Campaign and the Don’t be Silent Speak Out Campaign. Ask your elected officials to address this issue. Ask for an anti-street harassment Public Service Announcement campaign. Ask that schools address street harassment in their curriculum.

Add your name or organization’s name to the comments if you’re participating.

Also, please share what you did for the First Annual International Anti-Street Harassment Day and it will be highlighted on the blog and the Stop Street Harassment website. Share photos!

Please contact me if you have questions or need help with any of these ideas. Please add your own ideas to the comments section and we will work to make next year’s even better!