Monthly Archives: August 2009

Monday Morning Fun

we made it big time. a few of you have said that when anti-women, pro-male blogs start citing to us, we have made it big time. well, HBDC! readers, WE’VE MADE IT! over the past week, we’ve been linked to several anti-feminist blogs or pro-manhood blogs. these blogs have said horrible, horrible things about us, the moderators, and about the HBDC! community.

instead of giving these bloggers attention, which is clearly what they are after, we have decided NOT to link to them or post their comments, many that use racist/sexist/derogatory language. we made this decision after talking to other bloggers and activists who have dealt with hate emails and comments. we understand and accept that they have certain points they want to get across, although the way they are approaching this dialogue is by being crass and immature.

in light of all the hate mail/comments we have received, we thought we would showcase a few of them to dissect and to just marinate on.

reporting men who sexually harass on the metro will ruin a man’s life.

ahhh, the ruining of a man’s life. victimize the perpetrator is a classic turnabout. it’s amazing how much sympathy people have for a perpetrator and his/her life. a few false reporting and corrupt/inappropriate police or government conduct has caused this notion that reporting crimes affects a man’s life. and, also we understand the implications of the criminal justice system and communities that have issues with putting another person behind bars. however, we don’t think this commenter was writing this comment from that stand point. nope. we think it was just plain ole victimizing the perp.

it is only 15 seconds of discomfort that should simply be brushed off.

ooh, this one is fun. you SHOULD EXPECT it, is generally the follow-up. ahhh….well, isn’t that what this blog is about? we are trying to push our communities (and on a larger scale, society) to redefine gender cultural norms. this blog also highlights that not only does street harassment last longer than 15 seconds, those 15 seconds can potentially create a real, tangible safety risk or a psychological shift from safe to unsafe. most of us do brush of MOST street harassment. if we didn’t, we would be showcasing so many more experiences. however, the experiences that we do get are the ones we can’t shake off.

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“Work it!”

I was biking into work at 8:30am this morning, wearing gym shorts & a ratty t-shirt. I turned left onto 19th (a quieter, not busy street) from Columbia Road. A guy on a moped was coming from the opposite direction on Columbia and turned right onto 19th at about the same time that I turned. I started out ahead of him and he was trailing me. For some reason, he started heckling me as we got on the same road. He started with “oh nice, you go, you got it, you got it, you got it! work it!” in a weird derogatory tone. I didn’t turn around or pretend to notice his comments. Then he accellerated and pulled up next to me, continuing those comments. I looked straight ahead – I wasn’t ready to get into a conversation with this rude stranger and risk adding flames to his weird temperament. His response to my non-reponse was “oh, you got a really great poker face there. that works out really well for you.” Then he sped ahead of me, and at the next intersection, he turned back around to face me and said “you know what the worst thing in the world is? Being a boring person.” Thankfully, he turned to go in a direction that I wasn’t going. I simply regret not noticing his license plate number.

Location: Columbia & 19th St NW

Submitted by Anonymous

Do you have an experience you would like to submit? Just click here and fill out the online submission form. All stories will be posted anonymously unless you specify.

It is NOT a compliment

I will finally be out of this neighborhood I have lived in for one and a half years (too long!), to a place where street harassment is minimal to nonexistent (so far). I am counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds to when I live in an environment where I can walk from my place to the Metro and back without being leered at, catcalled at and talked at (not “to,” at) by virtually every single man I walk by.

These last few weeks here have been grueling. Not a day has gone by where guys haven’t slowed down their cars to match my walking pace, or yell obscenities at me because I didn’t want to stop to give them the time of day, or give unsolicited offers for rides or to “roll with” me and other foolish nonsense. Each day I have to walk to and from Rhode Island Avenue Metro I have to steel myself to the ridiculousness.
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War Zone

In her 1998 documentary “War Zone” Maggie Hadleigh-West chronicles her personal encounters with street harassers. When you watch this short clip, you can see that very little has changed and more than 10 years later,  our streets are still a war zone for many individuals.

And, again, we applaud those that are taking a very complex subject and capturing it to show everyone.

“Street Love”

We LOVE the idea of using art and music as a way to raise awareness about gender based public sexual harassment so we were thrilled to stumble across this song on the Stop Street Harassment Blog about street harassment entitled “Street Love” by by Lauri Apple Music Corp. — Annex.

Listen here and share your thoughts under the comment section.

If you know of any other artist raising awareness about gender based violence, let us know about them by leaving us a comment,  emailing us at dchollaback@gmail.com, or sending us a note usingmusic our anonymous online form.

Wolf Whistles

I was in Arlington last Wednesday, and while walking down Lee Highway two men who were sitting across the street in front of Pioneer Motors wolf whistled at me. When I turned to look at them they started smiling and waving. I was furious.

“No! Do you see me smiling? That’s not cute, that’s tacky! Don’t do that to me or any other woman who walks by again!”

When I pulled out my camera (from a safe distance across the street) they got quieter than it’s kept and the grins were wiped off their faces.

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I didn’t have the energy to report them to their employers (I deal with this nonsense too often), but I feel my yelling at them was enough.

Location: Across the street from Pioneer Motors, 2510 Lee Highway

Submitted by Anonymous

Do you have an experience you would like to submit? Just click here and fill out the online submission form. All stories will be posted anonymously unless you specify.

How do you respond to sexual harassment in the office?

Photo by Jeff Kubina via flickr

Photo by Jeff Kubina via flickr

A maintenance worker came to replace some light bulbs that were burnt out in one of my offices. I let him into the room, and after he checked out the lights he determined that he would have to order the bulbs and so would return the next day. I turned around to open the door and let him out, and he said “You look so beautiful.” Now, I’m sure he meant that as a compliment, but it was entirely inappropriate both because we were at work and because he was ALONE with a woman in a locked office. I’ve been thinking about what I could have said, because I think this was a lost teachable moment. I’d love to hear other readers’ suggestions.

Location: in an office at 23rd & I St.

Submitted by JS

Do you have an experience you would like to submit? Just click here and fill out the online submission form. All stories will be posted anonymously unless you specify.