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She’s been talking to other locals, too, and shared the resulting video on her blog recently. Check it out!
How do you handle street harassment?
video credit: Susannah Blair
If you, like me, haven’t had much time for reading the internet this week, the rest of the Hollaback! Boston team highly recommends you check out the following to round out your Friday:
What else is worth a look as we look back on the week?
Let’s talk about fat-shaming, and how that relates to street harassment. We’re going to look at this ad from Boston Sports Club and use that as our example of What Not To Do if you want to advertise your business and not contribute to unsafe public spaces.
This ad is problematic for a whole host of reasons, but I want to tie it to street harassment and safety in public space. When you run an ad like this (an ad that appears not just in print, but in the window of your establishment), you are sending a very clear message. You send the message that it’s unacceptable to gain weight during the holidays; that it’s unacceptable for you to be anything but thin. This is a damaging message, and one that we receive from every magazine, TV show, and movie that we see. How does fat-shaming contribute to street harassment? We know that people are harassed for their weight.
“I was standing on the F train today, with my dad, headed to Coney Island for the Mermaid Parade (my dad was headed elsewhere). I had my earphones in, enjoying some quality time with the Star Fucking Hipsters’ most recent album, when my dad pointed to this guy and said “I think he’d trying to tell you something.” So I took out my earphones and looked over. The guy made a little running motion, then mouthed “one hour, every morning.” It clicked that he was telling me I needed to exercise more. So, loudly, I said “Are you telling me I’m fat?” Obviously, I am, and I know that, but I thought that would catch the attention of more people around us. My dad was like, “Is that really what he said?” So I (still loudly) said “He’s telling me I need to go running every morning.”” -Liza’s story, Hollaback! NYC
“I’m a big girl–overweight, fat, call it what you will… Suddenly, out of nowhere, my speaking was interrupted by a young man screaming out of his car window: “Get off that statue! You’ll break it!!” I felt my face get hot as my companions looked shocked, staring at the passing car as it drove away. I wanted to sink into the ground, I was so mortified. I share this so that people will realize that street harassment is not just about cat-calling conventionally attractive women. It’s also about shaming women you think are unattractive.” – Bulldog Bully, Hollaback! Athens, GA
When we send the message that it’s unacceptable to be anything but thin, we create a culture where it’s acceptable to shame and harass people that don’t fit the mold we think they should. We make streets unsafe for people of size to walk down. When we put ads in the windows of our gym that tell overweight people that something is wrong with the way they look, we make buildings that are unsafe for someone who is not stick-thin to walk into. Not everyone that works out works out to lose weight. Some people just want to get into better shape. Some people do want to lose weight, and that’s okay, too. But we shouldn’t be making people ashamed of the way they currently look.
We’re creating environments that are dangerous and threatening for women to occupy. We’re giving people permission to harass them for the way they look or how much they weigh. There are plenty of reasons to want to join a gym like Boston Sports Club– but shaming people that don’t fulfill an often-impossible to reach aesthetic definitely isn’t one.
Check out Hollaback!’s #harassmentis guide for more about how different identities impact experiences of street harassment.
It’s election day! There are quite a few races being decided in Boston today, but the contest that has the city buzzing is for the next Mayor.
Hollaback! Boston is confident that either candidate will work to uphold their ELEVATE commitments to supporting community safety audits, and we look forward to collaborating with the new Mayor to make Boston’s public spaces safer for everyone. We’ll be reaching out with the new administration to work on safety audits, to offer trainings and support, and to hold public hearings on street harassment in a continuation of the work Ayanna Pressley has already begun. We look forward to the partnership.
That said, someone must be elected Mayor today—Hollaback! is not endorsing a candidate, nor is the ELEVATE Coalition, but your vote matters! Take a look at the ELEVATE responses from the candidates, read over this interview with Boston Magazine and this questionnaire regarding cycling in Boston, catch debate clips and consider the differences—then go VOTE. Today’s the day!
Who are you voting for today? What helped make your decision?
image credit: ELEVATE Boston
Happy Halloween! This week, we’re rounding up a day early, because there’s just so much worthwhile holiday goodness out there.
Don’t miss these women in an amazing and timely spoken word performance! Consider the appropriation of Dia de los Muertos, review a history of blackface, take a look at this vision for a non-sexist Halloween, peruse a student-driven costumes =/= consent campaign for the season, and catch a great list of cheap, easy, last-minute costumes if you’re still weighing your options.
Wishing you all safe celebrations!
video credit: YOUTHSPEAKS
We kicked off our Friday bright and early with ELEVATE Boston, presenting our platform to one of the Mayoral candidates; we’re meeting with the other next week, and can’t wait to share our thoughts on their plans to elevate our city. Read the pledge, and let the candidates know where you stand!
As you go about your Friday, be sure to catch a Boston recap from Stop Telling Women To Smile, sign a petition to shut down t-shirts advocating rape (tw), recall the reasons for Hollaback!’s #harassmentis campaign and the importance of our inclusion of LGBTQ and other vulnerable populations in discussions of street harassment, consider the United States’ falling ranking for women’s equality worldwide, and absolutely watch this video (also bears a trigger warning).
Go Red Sox, and have a lovely, safe and peaceful weekend!
image credit: Hollaback! Boston
Using real Google suggestions for popular search strings, this UN Women campaign illustrates gender inequality in stunning form, and we can’t get enough. This selection in particular highlights the perspectives that lead to a culture that normalizes gender-based violence, including street harassment:
“Gender equality is not only a basic human right, but it’s achievement has enormous socio-economic ramifications. Empowering women fuels thriving economies spurring productivity and growth.
“Yet gender inequalities remain deeply entrenched in every society. Women lack access to decent work and face occupational segregation and gender wage gaps. They are too often denied access to basic education and health care.
“This campaign uses the worlds most popular search engine (Google) to show how gender inequality is a worldwide problem. The adverts show the results of genuine searches, highlighting popular opinions across the world wide web.”
Be sure to click through to see the full campaign! What do you think?
image credit: Christopher Hunt
Be sure to weigh in on Emily Yoffe’s controversial advice to college women, and responses from Ann Friedman and Feministing. Consider what it means to be a woman in public, peruse 10 feminist costume ideas for HOLLAween, chime in with what #harassmentis to you, get to know the women working in comics, and revel in the magic that is these men with motorcycles.
Then, go rock your weekend!
image credit: Hollaback! Boston
Happy Friday! We’re gearing up with ELEVATE Boston to push for discussion of health equity, economic equity and safer communities in the Boston Mayoral debates (join us on twitter!), and tomorrow we’re presenting at HBGC Boston’s Youth Empowerment Conference.
Catch five reasons men shouldn’t shout at women on the street, consider what harassment has to do with feminism, watch Valerie Aurora’s talk on quantifying her street harassment experiences, and read a call for more color in geek culture. If you’re free, join ELEVATE Boston for a rally on Tuesday!
Have a great weekend,
image credit: ELEVATE Boston
For your Saturday, a quick, sweet little video:
video credit: YanYinChoi, Chara Bui