Thursday, May 15, 2008

News Flash: Jezebel Calls Out Catcall Season

Check out's take on sexual harassment "season" in this article:

The author of the post brings up good points about whether or not street harassment usually leads to something more, but the quote by Kimberly Fairchild sums up our editor's take on it...

"[Catcalling] encourages women to look at themselves as body parts instead of as full, whole, intelligent human beings. When a man catcalls you, you don't know if it will end at that point, or if it could escalate to assault."

They mention Holly's Thesis, her CNN interview and the Hollaback project.

Check it out and leave your thoughts!

Hollaback Thesis on CNN

Holly Kearl, a Women's Studies and Public Policy major at George Washington University, wrote her thesis on street harassment.  She interviewed members of Hollaback teams all over the country, check out what she had to say about it to CNN:

Thanks for bringing awareness out in the media Holly!

~Hollaback-SF Editor

Beer Festival Harasser

I worked the International Beer Festival in San Francisco a few weeks ago. My spouse came with me and we poured our product all night long for free. The crowd seemed to really enjoy it and we had a great time but I noticed that people were getting super intoxicated. I mentioned my anxiety to my spouse and we decided to pack up a a little early to avoid all the drunks that would be trying to drive or possibly starting fights with people, etc.
 So we were pulling out of the parking lot and as we passed a group of three guys one yells out "SLUT"! I immediately stuck my head out the window and asked him "what the fuck did you just say to me?" He instantly put his head down as if I wouldn't realize he was the one that said it and he said " I was talking to him" pointing at one of his friends. I was so angry I said back to him " that is what I thought fucker." My spouse told me "Geez, I didn't even have to say anything." We laughed about it then, but when I look back at it, who was that person? Would he talk to his mother or sister like that? I would think not. Then what gives him the right to treat me, a perfect stranger, like that?  I have a really hard time keeping my mouth shut when someone disrespects me or anyone in front of me. I also think  one time, what if I say something, and the guy decides to try and assault me. Then what? It is unacceptable that woman have to be concerned about being harmed by men physically or emotionally. On a side note I want to thank all the men out there that respect, take care, and love woman. Thanks for watching out.
Submitted by S.Baker in San Francisco

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

News Flash: College Senior Fights Back

This story was posted on today, about a journalist who told her story of assault.
Excerpts from that posting are below:

"Melissa Bruen, the outgoing editor-in-chief of the UConn Daily Campus decided to write a first-person essay about her sexual assault as her last act as EIC. In late April, UConn had its annual spring weekend — a drunken rite that occurs at most colleges during the hazy end of spring semester. Bruen was walking home from parties at off-campus apartments on a path affectionately known to Huskies as "rape trail." She decided to make a phone call, and, as she was leaning against a telephone pole, a large man shoved her against the pole and "dry humped" her. Bruen, who had been assaulted before, decided to take action. She pushed him away, and when she had him pinned to the ground, punched him smack in the face. A group of men who had been watching this all go down eventually pulled Bruen off her assailant, who ran off. She started screaming, "He just assaulted me," and that's when one of the violence voyeurs said to her, "You think that was assault?", pulled down her shirt, and grabbed her breasts.

As Bruen tells it:

More men started to cheer. It didn't matter to the drunken mob that my breasts were being shown or fondled against my will. They were happy to see a topless girl all the same. I punched him in the face, and someone shoved me into a throng of others. I was surrounded, but I kept swinging and hitting until I was able to break free of the circle they had formed.

Melissa McEwan at Shakesville says that Bruen's story shows that teaching women self-defense alone is not going to fix the rape problem. "Addressing the issues of the men who assaulted her, and the larger culture that facilitates that kind of behavior and the attitudes underlying it, needs to be a part of comprehensive rape prevention," McEwan argues. "Self-defense doesn't stop rapists from being created in the first place."

Read Bruen's original article here: My Spring Weekend Nightmare

And check out the full post on Jezebel here: College Senior Is Sexually Assaulted While Group of Guys Cheer.