Hollaback! Boston, Noteworthy

HOLLA Worthy Link Round-Up

holla worthy link round-up // hollaback! boston

If your week was a whirlwind like ours, here’s a few worthwhile reads you may have missed:

–Crunk Feminist Collective: Blackgirls Matter

–PolicyMic: An Open Letter to The Sexists Who Think “Female Privilege” Is a Thing

–The Rainbow Times: Boston City Councilors Michelle Wu & Ayanna Pressley File Gender Identity Non-Discrimination Ordinance

–For Harriet: Summertime, Sundresses and Street Harassment

–Sociologists for Women in Society: Girls View Sexual Violence as Normal

–Ebony: Is ‘Strong Black Womanhood’ Killing Our Sisters?

–The Belle Jar: Bystander Effect, Or Why This Week Has Been Really Scary

And, in honor of a certain road race on Monday, don’t forget to share your stories of #runharassment with us, here or on twitter! How does your experience with street harassment change when, where and how you run in Boston?

Have a great weekend,

Kate

image credit: Hollaback! Boston

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Hollaback! Boston, Noteworthy

HOLLA Worthy Link Round-Up

Happy Weekend, HOLLAworld! We have lots of clickable reading for you this week. But first, don’t forget to check out our coverage in the Metro and BostInno about Global Guardian.

Read about the difference between flirting and harassment, in case you still weren’t clear, or check out this intellectual defense of sexual harassment (hint: there isn’t one). Check out these pieces about different intersections of identity and street harassment– one about weight and size and another about ability. Buzzfeed shows us what it would look like if girls hit on guys the way that guys “hit on” girls and Ivan E. Coyote gives us a glimpse into the very real and very scary harassment than many trans* people experience in public restrooms every day.

Celeste Corcoran for the Dear World photo project

Celeste Corcoran for the Dear World photo project

And, of course, we’re counting down to the 2014 Boston Marathon. You won’t want to miss this beautiful photo project called “Dear World,” which features survivors of last years’ Marathon bombings. And if you’ve ever been harassed while running, we’re asking you to submit your stories of run harassment for us to share on the blog during Marathon week.

And be sure to catch us presenting at the CLPP conference this weekend!

-Britni

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Events, Local News, Noteworthy

Walk For Change

Hollaback! Boston is all about stopping street harassment and gender-based violence in the first place: we want to provide a platform for education and discussion, to engage the community in being active bystanders and shifting our culture.

walk for change // hollaback! boston

But we live in the real world. Sexual assault and gender-based violence are realities, and though we’re working hard to change the norm, there are real individuals experiencing real trauma who need real support, right now.

We do our best to offer what support we can to victims of street harassment, to let them know we have their backs, but when people are in need of more, the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center is a major resource. We’ve been honored to partner with them as members of the ELEVATE Boston coalition, and in the Global Guardian initiative. To borrow from HOLLA volunteer Delia, “other places may offer similar support services, but nowhere else offers it all for free, or is so good at anticipating all the needs and fears of every type of survivor in order to make them as comfortable as possible.”

This weekend, BARCC is hosting their annual Walk For Change fundraiser – and it’s not too late to sign up! Even if you can’t make it, HOLLA volunteers Liz and Delia and HOLLA alum Brandie are walking and would welcome your support. Check it out, spread the word and support the crucial work that BARCC does in the Boston area!

Kate

image credit: BARCC

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Hollaback! Boston, Noteworthy

HOLLA Worthy Link Round-Up

We’re winding down International Anti-Street Harassment week with a tweet chat about teens and street harassment hosted by @MenStopViolence and @MandyVanDeven at 2pm EDT, and are gearing up for our final event: a chalk walk in Copley Square on Saturday at noon. We’ll provide the chalk and some slogans to get you started; bring your inner child and share your experiences to reclaim Boston’s streets! If you’re wondering what a chalk walk looks like, hop over to Facebook for some photos from past walks.

holla worthy link round-up // hollaback! boston

Street harassment has been all over the internet this week! Here are some things you might have missed:

If we want people to drive less, we have to end sexism

24 Suggested Reactions To Catcallers

15 Ads Combatting Street Harassment On Philadelphia Transit

Dear Harvard: You Win

Harvard’s Handling Of Sexual Assault Reports Lambasted In Federal Complaint

Amid Debate, Faust Announces Creation of Sexual Assault Task Force

#CancelColbert Prompts Suey Park and Other Feminists on Twitter To Temporarily Become Dudebros After Sexist, Racist Backlash And It’s Awesome

Portrait of a Feminista – [Hollaback! Boston Outreach Coordinator] Brenda Hernandez

Can a Couple of Tables Make Bangalore’s ‘Rapist Lane’ Safe Again?

Step Up in the Club

An Informal Letter of Grievances, Addressed to Academia’s Feminism

This Comedian’s “Air Sex” Prank Is a Disturbing Example of Rape Culture as Comedy

But wait, there’s more! There is still time to sign up for BARCC’s annual Walk for Change—or, support Communications Coordinator Brandie’s fundraising, or HOLLA volunteers Liz and Delia. Plus, the 30th annual Boston LGBT Film Festival started yesterday, and is on through April 12 – check it out!

Is there something we didn’t catch? Let us know in the comments.

Join us tomorrow, and have a great weekend!

Kate

image credit: Hollaback! Boston

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Hollaback! Boston, Noteworthy

HOLLA Faves: March’s Top Five

holla faves: march's top five // hollaback! boston

It’s okay to pick favorites—and this month, dear readers, you did. In case you missed them, here are the five most popular posts from March, neatly divided between two distinct topics:

  1. Time to Upgrade: Up-Skirts and Expectations of Privacy in Public
  2. No Laughing Matter
  3. Outlawing Upskirting is Just the Beginning
  4. Bystander Intervention Before The Fact
  5. Boston’s Bystanders Are Making Our Streets Safer

We can take a hint.

To learn more about ways you can be an active bystander, and help encourage other bystanders in your community, revisit Bystander Intervention 101, and stay tuned for more ways to support safer spaces in transit beyond upskirting.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and we’re looking forward to working with other local organizations to spark conversation and support change. What does the coming month have in store for you?

Kate

image credit: Hollaback! Boston

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Hollaback! Boston, Noteworthy

HOLLA Worthy Link Round-Up

holla worthy link round-up // hollaback! boston

Another week, another round-up: here’s a bit of recommended reading from the Hollaback! Boston team:

Will Women Ever Feel Completely Safe on Mass Transit?

The “Divergent” Rape Scene: Here’s Why It Matters

6 Ways Trans Women Are Helping Deliver Gender Equality

55 gentle ways to take care of yourself when you’re busy busy busy

Women play #gendercard in solidarity with Wendy Davis

Stunning Self-Portrait Series Responds To Street Harassment In Perfect Way

–Catch Britni on 103.3! Loren’s Badass Chicks: Hollaback! Boston

Britni and I will be speaking at the Women’s Liberation Conference at BU tomorrow, talking consciousness-raising and collective storytelling in the Hollaback! movement, and don’t forget to catch Brenda at HOLLA Offline on Sunday  to kick off International Anti-Street Harassment Week if you’re free!

Have a great weekend,

Kate

image credit: Hollaback! Boston

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Hollaback! Boston, Noteworthy

HOLLA Worthy Link Round-Up

holla worthy link round-up // hollaback! boston

It’s been another busy week! In case you missed them, some recommended reads from the Hollaback! Boston team:

Did we miss anything awesome? Let us know in the comments!

Kate

image credit: Hollaback! Boston

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Hollaback! Boston, Kate, Local News, Noteworthy

Boston’s Bystanders Are Making Our Streets Safer

Boston has seen some incredible instances of bystander intervention lately, and it’s really important to highlight the impact that bystanders can have in creating safer public spaces in our communities. Perhaps even more than collective storytelling, bystanders can change the world!

On Monday night, a man stepped in to subdue a harasser who was escalating to physical violence toward two women on the T:

“Richard Botelho, 43, is accused of first verbally berating the women with insults, Transit Police said. The women moved to another section of the train, but Botelho’s alleged harassment continued. [...] A man intervened and subdued Botelho, holding him on a T platform until police arrived.

This is what people think of most often when they hear “bystander intervention” – it’s what we call direct intervention. If you feel you can step in without turning the situation toward violence, and especially if your privileges place you in a position to speak out safely against the harassment, direct intervention is an excellent option. We commend this man for intervening on the T!

That said, direct intervention is not for everyone, nor is it the only option. Also this week, a local T-rider demonstrated “delayed intervention” better than we ever have. In case you missed her scathing Craigslist Missed Connection, click through for a closer read:

boston's bystanders // hollaback! boston

Here, a bystander witnessed harassment, and stepped in after the fact both to support the victim by asking her what was wrong, AND to publicly share the story and highlight a specific incident and a broader problem that the community—locally and nationally—is now discussing actively. That’s awesome!

Curious about other ways, directly and indirectly, that YOU can be an active bystander in Boston? We’ve got a list for that – check it out! Have a bystander story of your own? Tell us about it! Solutions to street harassment lie within our communities, not in criminalization; active bystanders help make our streets safer for everyone. THANK YOU!

Kate

image credit: Craigslist

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Hollaback! Boston, Noteworthy

HOLLA Worthy Link Round-Up

Some weeks, we really look forward to Friday; this week has been one of those.

holla worthy link round-up // hollaback! boston

If you’re wondering why we seem to be everywhere, take a peek at our upcoming events – we’re everywhere. Before you head off to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, remember that clothing (even “kiss me I’m Irish” shirts) never means someone is asking for it! Then, catch up on a few worthy reads from this week:

Have a great weekend!

Kate

image credit: Hollaback! Boston

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Hollaback! Boston, Kate, Local News, Noteworthy

Outlawing Upskirting is Just the Beginning

This morning, before I left the house, I got dressed. One might argue that by putting on clothing, barring a wardrobe malfunction, I could reasonably assume my privates would stay private even as I move through public space.

Last week, the court ruled that under existing Massachusetts law, up-skirt photos—photos taken surreptitiously, without consent of the subject, up skirts or down shirts in public space for private or public viewing—were not illegal.

There was immediate public outrage at the ruling—but let’s not lay blame with the court. Massachusetts’ rules were outdated on this subject, along with most states in the country. Lawmakers very quickly jumped to support changes to the phrasing of the law, in which photos taken up the skirts of fully-clothed adults failed to meet the “nude or partially nude” litmus; this flurry of action is a good sign. Technology advances rapidly, and our legislation can’t always keep pace—which is why it’s so crucial, right now, this very minute, that we commit to updating other loopholes and legislative gaps to reflect modern threats.

Our focus should lie with thoughtful, thorough solutions: updates to legislation that protect citizens from this new technological violation as well as others, which also consider the impacts criminalization can have on marginalized communities. The law needed to be updated, in short order, absolutely—but we need more than a rapid response to public outrage that will burn out and lead to other, similar legislative changes taking a back burner.

Why did previous proposals to update peeping tom laws in Massachusetts languish? What other, new ways are women and girls and people of color and the LGBTQ community being violated in public? What other outdated laws need to be updated, loopholes for modern realities closed? These issues need our collective energy and attention, too, and not just for the brief days it took to make upskirting, specifically, illegal.

When we allow protections like an updated, modernized peeping tom law to take a back seat, we reinforce a societal norm that devalues the experiences of already marginalized citizens; by declining to keep our codes current, we refuse to offer means of recourse or support for victims of creepshots and up-skirt and down-blouse photographs. We reinforce the widespread belief that assault, harassment and violation are an invariable fact of life for a large portion of our population and support the assumption that to enter public space is to risk mental or physical harm. Hollaback! Boston works alongside myriad other organizations to challenge these norms, locally and globally, every day: shouldn’t everyone be entitled to feeling safe in public space, on public transit, and to have access to various means of recourse if we do not feel safe?

Yes. We should.

Last week saw an enormous amount of outrage over the ruling, and understandably so; individuals, and lawmakers, assumed we had a right to privacy beneath our clothes, and we’ve seen again what happens when you assume. The court has highlighted the need for this specific update and the challenge our legislative system faces in keeping up with technological advances that may or may not be covered under current laws.

Until we dig deeper, and sometimes test them in court, it’s difficult to set priorities among so many proposed laws. What this instance should highlight for everyone is that, despite our communities’ best work to eradicate the sexual and gender-based violence that colors our movements through public space, there are new and unregulated means of violation that must also be addressed. Let’s not allow the outrage cycle to turn the important discussions surrounding last week’s ruling into a flash in the pan.

Kate

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