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Post-Harassment Self-Care

Found a great piece written by July Westhale over at Autostraddle this morning, that offers tips for self-care after experiencing street harassment. Here’s an excerpt:

…the micro-aggression of street harassment takes a different kind of detox than, say, free radicals. The repetitive trauma of being out in the world as a person who isn’t considered to be an actual person (i.e.: women, people of color, queers, folks with disabilities, poor folks, fat folks, etc.) works its way into muscles (tense shoulders, stiffened backs, tightened jaws) and patterns of being (taking different routes home, constantly checking surroundings, etc). Studies have linked the trauma of walking around in the world as a sexualized body to that of combat PTSD faced by soldiers returning from action. Flawed though it may be, the United States has a system for aiding those in the military who suffer from PTSD, but currently has no institutional strata for sufferers of sexualized violence, which street harassment falls under. Fighting back isn’t always a safe option, nor an option for everyone, so the often radical-seeming idea of self-care is what is currently available to us.

I get street harassed on a daily basis, partly due to the area of Oakland I reside in (which sees a lot of transience, racial tension, gentrification, and general street activity, since I live pretty near the urban epicenter of the city), and partly due to the overt sexualization of femininity. When I was particularly devastatingly street harassed yesterday while walking home from a coffee date with a friend, I reached out to my community to help create this gentle guide.

Read the rest of the piece, including July’s tips for self-care here.

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Monday Morning Meme

Monday Morning Meme

 

Here is this week’s Monday Morning Meme

 

 catcalling cool for cats

Source: Pinterest

 

Do you have a meme or other image that you’d like us to feature? Email us at twincities@ihollaback.org.

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Monday Morning Meme

Monday Morning Meme

 

Here is this week’s Monday Morning Meme

 

 Lips meme

 

Source: Stop Street Harassment

 

Do you have a meme or other image that you’d like us to feature? Email us at twincities@ihollaback.org.

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Uncategorized

Awesome Daily Show segment on street harassment

In response to the Fox News segment in which the hosts defended catcalling, Jessica Williams tells it like it is:

“…Our walk to work is not there for him to comment on. It’s not a red carpet, it’s not a Fashion Week runway, it’s a sidewalk. And believe it or not, getting the horny clap of approval from any guy does not improve my day, it actually creeps me out. So, guys, get some impulse control, ’cause I got shit to do.”

 

Watch the video clip here: http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/v7vq7r/masters-of-sexism—claps-and-catcalls

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Monday Morning Meme

Monday Morning Meme

 

Here is this week’s Monday Morning Meme

(a great webcomic from Happy Jar)

 

harassment experience comic

 

Source: Happy Jar, originally posted here

 

Do you have a meme or other image that you’d like us to feature? Email us at twincities@ihollaback.org.

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News, Your Stories

Lyu’s Story: Harassed just days after being threatened

Just a few days after being threatened with sexual assault in a clinic lobby, I had an encounter that was quite a bit scarier, yet made me feel protected at the same time.

Just after closing, a lot of the Saloon-goers hang out in front of the door to talk and smoke before heading home. I sat on a bench with my roommate, and just as she was asking if I had fun (out of concern for what I went through a few days ago), two scrubby-looking creeps came out of nowhere, flanking me from both sides and got right in my face. One was on a bike, the other had a chipped front tooth. I think one of them said something about taking my clothes off, but I can’t be sure. I know that he said -something- about my clothes that made me angry and afraid. I asked my roommate to get my pepper-spray out of the purse not a second before one of our friends called out to me and said he wanted to show me something. I zipped right over, immersing myself into the crowd as best I could. The guys immediately tried to start a fight with the friend who’d stuck up for me, but they were terribly outnumbered. The one on the bike took off, but the guy with the chipped tooth wouldn’t back off. Another one of my friends got VERY angry about my getting harassed, and confronted the remaining creep. The guy started yelling at him and pointing at me. It took a little while for security to convince him to walk away, but he started talking to a random guy on the sidewalk just a little ways down, pointing at me again. This made me pretty nervous, since the guy he talked to was walking towards us. On the way to the car, I felt very paranoid, like every random guy on the street was watching me. More than anything else though, I felt a burning anger. I wanted to hurt those two creeps, and I was angry at myself for being so pathetic and helpless in the whole situation, regardless of each of those guys being easily more than twice my size. It made me wish I could legally carry my daito to protect myself even a little.

I've got your back!
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Uncategorized

Monday Morning Meme

 

Here is this week’s Monday Morning Meme

 

faux paw meme

 

via http://sinhemingway.tumblr.com/

 

Do you have a meme or other image that you’d like us to feature? Email us at twincities@ihollaback.org.

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Your Stories

Lyu’s Story: Threatened at a Health Clinic

Street harassment just escalated for me yesterday when a man in the lobby at the sexual health clinic for the U of M (we were there for my transgender roommate’s appointment) commented on my clothing and straight up threatened me with sexual assault. He spoke clearly and directly to me. “You’re wearing the right outfit for this kind of weather. I could cut it right off with a knife.” I was wearing a camisole tanktop with spaghetti-straps and a skort. “I responded verbally with “Excuse me? Wow, not like that was creepy at all…”, but he just walked over to another seat like nothing happened. I hadn’t heard trash that vile directed at me since public high school in my old declining neighborhood. My roommate asked if I misheard and that he was referring to the humidity when mentioning the knife, but she also clearly heard the word ‘off’, leaving little room for misunderstanding. I was really glad that the staff took it very seriously and showed us a different area where we could wait, and I spent the whole time trying not to cry. Ugh. My friend’s sexual health therapist was alerted by the staff before we went in to see her, and she even talked to me about it for a little while to make sure I was alright. Management was also alerted, but I’m not sure what occurred after they said that the man would be dealt with.

To the three staff members at that facility who took me seriously and showed me compassion, thank you so very much. I’m used to stories and experiences involving this sort of thing ending with no one being able and/or willing to do anything about it, or even give a damn. Experiences like these in my old high school always went ignored, the teachers brushing me right off.

I've got your back!
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