I ain’t no hollaback girl

“You deserve to walk home alone without being told that you’re asking for it.

You deserve to have short hair without being asked if you’re a girl or a boy.

You deserve to ride the train without fear of being groped.

Because none of us are as simple as a list of physical attributes,

We have a right to be who we are not who we’re told to be.

We have the right to define ourselves when we walk out the door.”

I watched a Ted Talk given by Emily May, founder of Hollaback!, a movement to end street harassment. If you have a chance to watch the talk, it starts around minute 52:30 of the Session 1 video. May starts by recounting her own stories of harassment, and how she turned that into this global movement to end it and empower women to reclaim the streets. Now, you can see where harassment occurs in a city near you, you can report it (there’s an app for that!), and assert yourself. The Talk mentioned a few things, including:

  • 70-99% of women experience harassment at some point in their lives. Many, repeatedly.
  • It’s not just about changing individual cases, but changing the larger system: culture.
  • Street harassment operates differently in cities globally.
  • There are now systems in place to counter sexual harassment. Utilize them and take it up with your councilwomen/men if necessary.

Sexual harassment whether in the workplace, at home, or even on the streets, is not a joke. Combat it and report offenders.

Hollaback! has expanded its efforts to over 65 cities in 22 countries, in 12 different languages.

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