HollabackPhilly Ad Campaign Aims To Shed Light On Street Harrassment hollaback_20130408_1006692425

We all know street harassment is something women deal with on a daily basis and unfortunately it’ll probably never end. Organizations are now beginning to shed light on the issue of street harassment. Earlier this year, posters went up on the streets of New York City shedding light on the issue, and now  Philadelphia’s SEPTA trains will display ads that encourage a dialogue a about street harassment. The ads are the brainchild of HollaBackPhilly, and will be displayed for the month of April. According to HollabackPhilly’s website their mission is simple:

Hollaback is a movement to end street harassment powered by a network of local activists around the world.  We work together to better understand street harassment, to ignite public conversations, and to develop innovative strategies to ensure equal access to public spaces.

Anna Kegler was involved in designing  the media effort for the group HollabackPHILLY. Many people have never heard the term “street harassment,” she said, so the posters equate that concept to something more familiar.

“Workplace sexual harassment used to be very normalized and it was not considered a big deal at all,” Kegler said. “Now it’s something that’s completely unacceptable. So we’re hoping to make some of those connections and then, hopefully, get people to start thinking about street harassment along the same lines.”

When HollabackPHILLY’s director, Rochelle Keyhan, speaks with community groups, she often asks how many have been street harassed.

“Most people don’t raise their hands,” Keyhan said. “Then we start asking how many of you have been followed home? How many of you have been uncomfortable on the subway because of attention you were getting from someone? How many of you have been grabbed, groped? How many of you have had vulgar things shouted at you. Then all of the hands start shooting up.”

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  • Mademoiselle

    This is an awesome idea. I hope this campaign spreads.

  • No_chaser

    What a shame an ad needs to be created to “educate” these Black men on how to respect a female.
    Reminds me of the “Don’t diss your sister” thing that Mayor Dinkins had going on back in the 90′s- and that was a total bust.
    Is that not the job of a father? Sorry, but this is so troubling.

  • http://twitter.com/ithas2besaid WOMP

    I think that it’s so sad that so many black men have no respect for women and they are not ashamed to showcase their ignorance. Walking through a crowd of black men is always nerve-wrecking for me. I have no idea what foul-mouthed foolishness will come out of their mouths. It is a sad state of affairs.

  • No_chaser

    Yes, I feel you. You always know SOMETHING foolish will be said (or done). Most times I find myself taking a detour or crossing the street. This is one of the many reasons I’ve moved out of the city.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    seems like a good idea. i hope it is successful.

  • NY’s Finest

    That’s why I don’t walk through a crowd of black men. It may sound ignorant but when I see a group of black men I cross the street because I know what’s coming.

  • Blue

    YES!!! Now bring that up the east coast to NYC

  • GeekMommaRants

    Do these understand rape and assault, No they do not care, a gentlemen is polite and kind. These creatures are talking to women as if all women are prostitutes. Do men see their mothers and sisters as whores?

  • Fantastico

    @ Spiritual that comment was beyond foolish. Street Harassment is not the way to “approach” anyone!

  • Nicole

    I would love to see this on the DC metro!!!

  • http://gravatar.com/pinklipstick227 pinklipstick227

    I’m sorry but I don’t understand why you would particularly single out black men. I live in nyc where men of all races commonly practice street harassment. All of them should be condemned for this type of behavior.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    Just today after coming back from my doctor’s appointment a black male told me, “You too pretty to be looking mean, girl! Put a smile on your face!”

    I suppose I had no business being involved in my own thoughts and that I should have been randomly smiling.

  • http://twitter.com/ithas2besaid WOMP

    In all of my years of living, I have never been harassed by a non-black man. Nor have I witnessed a non-black man perpetuate street harassment. I am sure it happens, but in DC, where I live, the chances of a white/Asian man harassing you is pretty low. (Latino and black men, however, yes). Others may disagree, but I am only going off of years of experience in this city in particular.

  • http://gravatar.com/pinklipstick227 pinklipstick227

    @ WOMP This is an issue of sexism and misogyny not just race. Your personal experience does not negate my reality. The truth remains that men of all races should be condemned for street harassment.

  • Mademoiselle

    I’ve had a white man follow me in his car while I tried to walk home from high school, and another stop his car to try and strike up conversation while I waited for the city bus. A white man attempted to molest me in a church that I stopped in to drink from the water fountain on my way home from elementary school. A white man made bedroom eyes at me from across the street while my mother and I waited for a city bus. I’ve had all sorts of white Hispanics make lewd comments in English and Spanish (one I had to beat off me while he loaded my moving truck — I cut his pay for the day down to $20 and a bottle of water as revenge). I haven’t run into any Asian harassers, but I also haven’t lived or worked in predominantly Asian communities. Sleazy white people exist. I’m sure sleazy Asians exist too.

  • No_chaser

    Umm, because it has only been Black men that I personally have had such disgusting experiences with.

  • http://gravatar.com/pinklipstick227 pinklipstick227

    Nochaser–Well regardless of whom the ad is being directed toward, different types of men will see it, and should change their behavior accordingly. Street harassment is disgusting and is truly telling about how our society feels about women.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    and there you have it ladies and gentlemen….

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    @pinklipstick227 – only black men do bad things…

  • The Moon in the Sky

    “You always know SOMETHING foolish will be said (or done).”

    That is very true. You can just tell by the look on their face(s) and their body language.

  • Nope

    Anyone who visits this site enough knows that this character trolls for attention.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    Most black women and girls are harassed by BLACK MEN AND BOYS.

    Personally, I have been harassed by Black men and boys and Hispanic men. It is rare for any other group to harass me.

  • No_chaser

    Moon, I had an aquaintance tell me last week of a man that approached her in the middle of a packed street and smeared the lipstick off her face. I’ve personally seen girls get glass beer bottles and expletives thrown at them when rebuffing a rude catcall.
    You learn to fake a smile and to keep walking to avoid physical encounters or getting cursed out.
    As the weather gets warmer and clothing gets skimpier, the men get wilder. It’s absolutely pathetic.

  • http://gravatar.com/pinklipstick227 pinklipstick227

    @ james — Lol. I don’t get it. It’s okay for other races of men to harass black women but not black men. I’ve had a white man follow me back to my apartment on Broadway, while screaming sexually pejorative comments at me.

    Anyway, this ad campaign is ultimately positive and I hope to see it nyc subways soon.

  • E!

    I applaud this campaign. However, this definitely needs to be extended to the Latino community as well. I can’t count the number of crazy experiences I’ve had. No means no!

  • NY’s Finest

    I’m just speaking from experience. I’ve lived in NYC all of my life and have never been disrespected by men of other races, just black men. When men of other races are interested they approach me properly, just my experience.

  • http://gravatar.com/pinklipstick227 pinklipstick227

    NyFinest – I can respect that we have had different experiences. However, I cannot agree that this example of poor behavior is exclusive to black men. My remarks are not meant to delegitimize the experience of others, but I really don’t see an issue with letting men of all races know that street harassment is unacceptable.

  • lea

    they need a lullaby and hug…there is a visible line between harassment and approaching

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    great initiative, love it.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    “As the weather gets warmer and clothing gets skimpier, the men get wilder. It’s absolutely pathetic”

    @no_chaser – dem skimpy clothes wil do it every time

  • The Moon in the Sky

    Thank goodness I have never had anyone touch me or become violent. Once though, a guy did get mad and threw his bottle of juice up against a building nearby.

    I have to note that it doesn’t matter what a woman is wearing. I’ve been harassed no matter what I am wearing, in all four seasons.

  • Fantastico

    Bell Hooks said it best:

    “Everyone seems eager to forget that it is possible for Black women to love Black men and yet unequivocally challenge and oppose sexism, male domination and phallocentrism.”

    Black Women don’t hate Men, they simply hate sexism and misogyny.

    That comment reminds me of a typical white response to blacks talking about racism. What if your comments referred to black people in general instead of black women specifically.

    “THIS is why I will continue to not give a single F*** about issues important to blacks. I refuse to support any group who hates me.”

    An oppressed group talking about their oppression does not equal hate.

  • April Love

    It just breaks my heart knowing that boys and men are not being taught how to be a gentleman. If they knew then we wouldn’t have this conversation because no one would be hanging on the street corners, train stations, bus stop or anywhere else acting a FOOL. Maybe, we (USA)should just send them all to a Boys and Men Bootcamp on how to correctly speak and behave towards girls and women at all times.

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