Wednesday, February 28, 2007

dirty man

Richard is a dirty old man in Martinez. He snoops through everyone's garbage, and if a woman gets too close to him he snatches at her breasts. Most women say he laughs while he runs away. He follows young teen girls in his truck and leers at them with his tongue hanging out, but has harrassed women in their 70's and 80's as well.

Submitted by Sandy in Martinez, CA

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Letter from the Editor

Thank you to everyone who had responded so positively to this site. It has been an overwhelming experience to read the praise from men and women alike, and to see the posts come in as more and more of you holla back.

I posted here the harassment stories that I received while out of town, and also some of the letters of thanks. I find it reassuring that there is a vast network of all types of people who find this site a much-needed space for discussion.

If you missed the story in the Chronicle, please take a look at it here.

There is also a podcast to go along with it here.

Keep up the good work and keep spreading the word about Hollaback!

02/09/07 south of market

so friday night i've been out with the girls drinking and dancing south of market. it's 2 am and i'm tired and decide to take off and find a cab home. the rain is coming down so i pull the hood of my puffy white coat over my head. i'm dressed like a skank because i wanted to, because it was girls' night out, and because i look good.
which some old man insists on pointing out to me as i walk down the street checking up and down for cabs, my hand out whenever one drives by. he keeps up for a little while even though i'm ignoring him and then at some point gets braver and comes closer to me. at which point i turn, look at him, and say "you're STILL talking? i am SO not interested." that rudeness apparently works because he disappears.

then at the corner i find a male-female couple standing under an umbrella scanning the streets too, so i ask them if they want to share a cab. they're cool about it and start feeling protective of me when some other fool walks right up and tries to put his arm around me. we just cross to another corner and i call a preset number on my phone for desoto/yellow cab/whoever's answering, since we're not having any luck waiting.

now some people would say that i shouldn't have:
1) been dressed like that
2) walked down mission street @ 5th
3) been out alone at 2 am
4) had 3 drinks and attitude

and maybe i got lucky.
but a guy could do each of those things and not have the expectation of being whistled at or accosted.

i know i could have been safer: next time i'll call a cab and wait at the club in my hot little skirt and fishnets. then i'll just get eyed by the bouncers and patrons instead.

but i still feel righteous and appreciate that being rude will shut down some unwanted attention.

and i'm getting a cell phone with a camera so i can photo these motherfuckers for your website.


Submitted by C in San Francisco.

Man grabs ass in bookstore...

This man at Barnes & Noble in El Cerrito said "Now that is a perfect ass" as
I looked at art books by the restroom. I turned and said "What the fuck did
you say?" "Nothing, I was just thinking aloud," he said with a grin. "Well,
I know you weren't talking me." "No, just thinking out loud." I decided
seconds after relieving myself of his presence that I wanted a picture. But
he kept disappearing! I knew he was up to something, so I kept trying to
find him. Seconds later I heard "SECURITY, THIS MAN JUST GRABBED ME!" I knew
it was him and followed him and took a blurry pic as he headed for the exit,
"I just brushed up against you, asshole!" security stopped him and the cops
got called, but the guy got away anyways. The security guard told me it
happens all the time.
Advice to everyone, I know we've been told to get loud when these things
happen, but if you act like nothing happened then make sure the cops get
called so the guy doesn't have the chance to escape you will be very
satisfied to press charges on these fuckers.

Submitted by Monica in Oakland

Laney Masturbator (again)

Well, the fore mentioned Laney Masturbator came back again, did the same
thing, same computer and everything. I slowly packed my things like nothing
was happening and went into the other part of the math lab. My math teacher,
who was there last time also, called security. We waited for a couple
minutes and before we knew it the cops came and dragged his ass out in
cuffs! I filled out some paperwork, the cop told me that he lifted the guys
shirt up and saw his boner (blegh!). Also, the guy was on probation AND had
already been 86ed from the computer labs at Laney. He confessed and signed a
statement moments later, now he will have a restraining order for all
Peralta colleges. The police also described similar situations where a man
used to just stand by the Laney pool and the teacher would ask him to leave
(wrong move! ALWAYS CALL SECURITY/POLICE!) until one day he actually reached
through the fence and tried to grab a girl. Moral of story: These guys start
slow and work their way up.

Submitted by Monica in Oakland


This is not a submission for a blog, merely my praise for a form
of direct action against patriarchal (and heterosexist) norms. I just
want to say that I think what you are doing is amazing!

As a queer male, I experience street harassment differently that
women do (mostly do to my pink hair, rather than the way I hold my
wrist), but the comments I receive about my sexual preference are are
always done as a show of power, as if to say that they know they are
superior because of their sexual preference.

Many of my female friends, however, put up with an immense amount
of shit, something that still bewilders me in a city like San
Francisco, and it's incredible to see that there is now an outlet to
fight back. So many straight men do this because they think there are
no repercussions for their actions, but if this site actually stops
these creeps from doing it again or stops women who might meet them in
other circumstances to think twice before considering a prospective
date, than that is the strongest weapon ever.

The power of catharsis is also an important factor here and this
site gives an outlet for for women to publicly air their grievances.

Basically, I just wanted to say "kudos" to you on creating a
powerful forum for combating some of the most fucked up
institutionalized hierarchy in our world today.



Kudos for starting the SF branch of Hollaback. You are a most welcome
force to be reckoned with. I have a bunch of gray hair now, and mostly
that makes me invisible to the guys who spent 40 years giving me shit
on the street, in bars, in my workplace, and every other space I ever
walked through. I can't tell you how much it means to finally hear
young women say no to the incessant bs from guys who pretend that it's
some kind of compliment. Good work and thank you.

ht in Oakland, CA

4 in 1

I recently moved from the quiet subarbs where catcalls and other forms of
sexual harrassment occurred maybe once every 2-3 years to the big city of
San Francisco where it happens 2 out of 3 times I leave the house. First, I
would like to thank you for the article in the SF Chronicle today. It made
me feel better about the whole situation to know that there are a group of
women, also victims of this, that band together to help support each other.
Coming from a small city where I was unaccusomted to this unwanted
attention, I was quickly overwhelmed and very depressed after moving. I felt
dirty, helpless, scared, and as if I had lost my independence. I would not
be able to leave my house without being harassed in some way or another by
men unless I was in the company of a man. I was angry and upset that in this
day and age a grown woman like myself would not be able to go out alone or
with girlfriends and not be given unwanted attention. I quickly became
depressed and refused to leave the house unless absolutely necessary. I have
since grown more accustomed to city-life and the article today in the paper
gave me comfort to know that I was not alone and that we can stand up for
ourselves in some way through this website. Here are my harassement stories.

4 times in one day is ridiculous!

I was on the bus seated near the front for safety when a man
suddenly got on and stood extremely close to me and just stood there leering
at me. I was very uncomfortable. This endured for what felt like an eternity
but he eventually went away. I was upset but not too flustered.

I got off the bus to purchase groceries and while standing outside picking
fruit in this middle class neighborhood (Irving Street SF), another
man stepped up behind me so close that I could feel his breath on my neck
and began rubbing my back! "Get away from me!! Dont touch me!!" I yelled and
quickly stepped away. In what I percieve as an attempt to mock me, he
reached out several times in an attempt to touch me again! I quickly began
walking away. What followed were racist remarks from him. I was angry after
this and felt helpless. I wished that I had pushed him or slapped his hands
away. I was quite shaken after this and hated myself
for having to move to this city.

My next errand that day was to go down to Civic Center. As I was stepping
out of the Muni/Bart station, a man walking towards me grabbed my upper arm
as I passed him and gave it a firm squeeze. Then he leered at me with a
peverted expression! It happened so fast I had no time to react. By the time
the event registered and I turned around to even see what had happened he
was at least 40 feet away and leering at me. I was on the verge of tears. I
felt dirty and violated yet there was nothing I could do about it. I felt so
helpless. I refused to cry so I continued on my way.

Less than 5 minutes later I passed another man on the street and he looked
me up and down and said "Heeeey" It is difficult to describe but even the
way he said it was peverted and believe me when I say I was not overly
sensitive at this point and mistaking a friendly hello for harassment. This
man looked at me as if he was undressing me with his eyes. At this point, I
could take it no more and broke down on the streets of downtown to cry. I
felt so awful inside and incredibly overwhelmed by the 4 harassments I had
endured. It is sad that in this day and age, things like this should still

I read in the paper that many men criticize as they say it is
just a way of communicating and innocent compliments may be seen as
harassment, well I disagree. They do not know how it feels to be a victim of
this. Furthermore, there is a clear difference between an innocent
compliment and harassment. Once at San Francisco Shopping Mall, a man
approached me and said "I hope this does not alarm you but I just would like
to tell you that you are beautiful." and then he walked away. He did not
invade my personal space, did not attempt to touch me, and did not look at
me in a peverted way. It was kind. I do believe there is a difference.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. It feels good that there is a
place where I can tell others of this.

Julia in San Francisco, CA

Good for you

Too bad a website like this is needed, but lots of creeps out there. Lots of luck. From a man who respects women.

Brian in Petaluma.

Thanks for your website

Thanks for your website. I thought I was too overreactive to being harassed
in public.
It's a validation to hear other women speak up.

V in SF

Stealth Grabbers

Like most other women, I’ve experienced my share of
street harassment. I thought it might end when I
entered middle age—no such luck!

One of the most memorable experiences occurred a
couple of decades ago when I lived in Arizona. One
hot summer morning, I took my dogs for a walk in a
quiet, suburban neighborhood, clad in standard Arizona
hot-weather clothing of shorts and a halter top,
although these were not particularly revealing. Two
high school age guys rode by on bikes, and then they
apparently turned around, and in a stealth move, one
rode up behind me and grabbed at my breast, then sped

I was so angry, and tried to think of what were my
alternatives if he decided to repeat the action. I
had the dogs, and wouldn’t dare endanger them by
trying to respond physically, nor, I decided, would I
have time, since the guys were on bikes. Obviously,
you have to consider your safety first in determining
what, if anything, you can do. I was a mile from
home, and I imagined that, conceivably, they could
keep attacking me in this way if I did nothing. I
decided that my only defense was my lung power.

Sure enough, one of the guys again swooped up from
behind me on his bike and grabbed at my breast. This
time I yelled at the top of my lungs, “You fucking
assholes, if you try that again I’ll call the cops!”
The words weren’t a part of my usual vocabulary, but I
decided they were essential in this instance.

The guys rode back by—on the other side of the street
this time—and one yelled, “Bitch!” at me. Yeah,
right—they violate me by grabbing at my breasts, and
I’m a bitch if I object. But that’s when I knew that
I had won. They didn’t come back.

Submitted by Bee in San Francisco.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Hollaback-SF is on vacation!

Hello and thank you for the wonderful responses to the article in the SF Chronicle. I am glad that your stories will finally get told and that we may make an impact on the way men and women hare public spaces. Keep snapping photos and spreading the word!

I am out of the country visiting a friend and will be back on February 26th to update all of the posts I have received. If I can find the time and the internet connectivity to post them sooner, I will.

Please check back soon!

Jessica at Hollaback-SF

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Bus Tale

I got one picture of a guy that kept harassing a girl on her cell phone
on the bus. She showed no signs of interest and continued her conversation.
"Hey girl, hey, hi there, you lookin' for someone?" He continued, then
commented to another passenger that she "didn't want none of that" then
continued to stare at her and asked her again if she was looking for a man
when she got off the bus. I handed her a slip with this website on it and
told her it was a place to post pictures of guys that harass her, she
laughed and put it in her front pocket.

Submitted by Monica in Oakland.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Third of Three Offenders

*note from Hollaback-SF: This is the third of three posts submitted by one woman in less than a 48 hour period. We were startled by and sympathetic to the sheer amount of harrassment that women face every day.
The third picture was this morning as a man demanded I come to his car at
5:20am while walking to the bus stop to get to work. It's not very
good, but I was scared he might try to grab me or something so I took it
hastily and kept my distance. I was dressed in a thick coat, loose jeans and
a scarf and hood over my face, hardly the attire of a prostitute. He
followed me yelling out of his car asking why I took his picture. I was
scared, but confident that I could get away if I needed to. Another car
drove up behind him and started honking, I told that car that he wouldn't
stop following me. They kept honking, he tried to cut me off at a corner,
but I crossed the street and the other car turned with him, still honking at
him, they were really cool. I felt good that the guy was freaked out about
my taking a picture of him.

Submitted by Monica in Oakland

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Second of Three Offenders

*note from Hollaback-SF: This is the second of three posts submitted by one woman in less than a 48 hour period. We were startled by and sympathetic to the sheer amount of harrassment that women face every day. Please check in tomorrow for the third installment of this trio.The second picture was a man who I thought was asking
for directions so I stopped to see what he was asking. Again, I was wearing
my gray tube jacket. He instead demanded my phone number and said he wanted
to be "a good friend to me." I asked to take the picture, "You will not put it anywhere, right?" I
chuckled and said yes. I then gave him the address to this website.

Submitted by Monica in Oakland

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The First of Three Offenders

*note from Hollaback-SF: This is the first of three posts submitted by one woman in less than a 48 hour period. We were startled by and sympathetic to the sheer amount of harrassment that women face every day. Please check in tomorrow and Monday for the second and third installments of this trio.

I've been a busy bee, taking these pictures almost turns this into a game,
it's scary, but at least it's not a passive process anymore.
The first picture was my very first to take of a street harasser ever, so
it's not very good. He looked at me and mumbled obscenities as he walked
past me at the bus stop. I was wearing my big gray coat that makes me look
like a gray, shapeless tube. I saw him the next day in my neighborhood (West
Oakland) and he yelled "Hey!, Hey! I saw you take a picture of me!" I
explained that I take pictures of guys that harass me on the street, of
course he denied it. I gave him a slip of paper with this website on it.

Submitted by Monica in Oakland

Friday, February 02, 2007

Laney Math Lab Masturbation

A few days at Laney, while doing my math homework in the math lab I
re-oriented myself out of math land and into the real world and realized
there was heavy panting across from me. I saw a tilted screen and in the
reflection of the window beside me I saw a guy jerking off through his
sweater. I stopped myself from standing up and saying "Can you furiously
mastubate somewhere else?!?!" I was afraid he would fling jizz at me. I just
told the lab guy and he got kicked out.
I get harassed two or more times a day, it hurts me, it sends me into a
murderous rage and makes me feel like a second-class citizen. I have no
outlet, but hopefully taking pictures and posting them, soon, will help
alleviate some of the pain these incidents cause me.
As for the "Soapbox Harasser" man in SF (posted earlier), I used to live
downstairs from that guy! His address, if anyone cares to egg or TP his
house is in OAKLAND! He has lived there for many
years. That's right, he rides on BART all the way to downtown just to fuck
with people!

submitted by Monica in Oakland