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Here they are!
The results will help us in our lobby and public education efforts! Skeptics want proof, so let’s give it to them!
Thank you! Merci!
We did it!
Around 65 people came out last night to talk safety on transit. Best of all, we had an incredibly high participation rate! So many people bravely told their stories and we had an excellent dialogue about how to create change.
We are so inspired by your energy!
You can read a bit more about some of the stories submitted in today’s Metro.
The results of our forum will be tabulated into a report that will be made public sometime before our next meeting with OC Transpo on June 20th. Stay tuned!
Part of our evening involved a photo booth where we asked people to creatively resist harassment on transit. Check ‘em out!
The Hollaback! Ottawa team
Sitting on the bus (12) at the window seat, my stop was coming up so I smiled at the man next to me and said I had to get off. He looked at me in the eyes (I looked away) and said: “Ooooh that smile, girl. Don’t try to hide, I know what you’re thinking. I know what kind of smile that is.” I hurried to the doors, anxiously awaiting my stop, and nervously laughed as I looked around. He kept mentioning things about my smile, and how he knew what I was all about, until I finally stepped off the bus. Wish I had had the courage to stand up to him, but I felt so small.
I know he was staring at me when I was waiting for the bus. I had my headphones in so I don’t know if he was trying to talk to me. I did notice that he was trying to catch my eye but I was not in the mood to talk. I busied myself with my phone, eyes down, until the bus arrived. I smiled when he let me go ahead of him to get on but that was not an invitation for him to sit with me in a bus with barely half the seats filled. The the way he sat next to me, body shifted to face me. I felt very small.
He motioned for me to remove my headphones. I did and raised my eyebrows.
“Wow, look at this thing!” If I hadn’t quickly moved away my septum ring would have been between his grimy thumb and forefinger “Woah sweetie, wasn’t going to hurt ya. Looks good on ya” he sneered. I grabbed my purse and sat in another seat.
He continued to berate me until it was my stop. According to him, I was a smart ass and a bitch for denying him an opportunity to invade my space, to make himself feel big. He pretended to not understand why I would’t want someone touching me, especially since I had this “fetish gear” on my face.
He felt entitled to my attention, and used aggression to get it. When I wouldn’t give it to him, I was the bitch.
No one said anything to him, everyone just busied themselves with their phones or looked out the window as I held back tears until I could get in my office and close the door behind me.
This event is being organized as a space for people to share their stories and for the community to come together to brainstorm solutions.
There will be a brief panel to ‘set the stage’ and several organizations shall be present, including the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence against Women (OCTEVAW), Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa (SASC) and the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre (ORCC).
The evening will include a variety of ways for people to share their thoughts, including an open mic, an artistic corner and a quantitative survey.
The results of this forum will be the creation of a report that will be sent to City Hall officials, OC Transpo and the media.
Talking back! is free, bilingual and includes light refreshments. Trained support workers will be present.
You can RSVP on Facebook here.
For more information, please contact Julie Lalonde at Ottawa@ihollaback.org
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Hollaback! Ottawa, en partenariat avec WISE présente : On parle! Dialogue communautaire sur la sécurité en transport en commun.
Il y aura un panneau d’introduction et plusieurs organismes seront présents, y compris la Coalition d’Ottawa contre la violence faite aux femmes (COCVFF), SASC et ORCC.
La soirée comprendra une variété de façons pour le partage d’idées, y compris un micro ouvert, un coin artistique et une enquête quantitative.
Les résultats de ce forum seront la création d’un rapport qui sera envoyé à l’hôtel de ville, les responsables d’OC Transpo et les médias.
On parle! est gratuit, bilingue et comprend des rafraîchissements légers. Des intervenantes seront présentes.
I was walking home from work a few months ago, from Centertown into Lowertown. I often walk up Sussex, so I can pass by the wedding dress store at Sussex and Clarence. They have beautiful dresses and every other week or so, I go by there specifically to have a look at the new display in the window. I was standing in front of the store, admiring a new dress and enjoying that it was a beautiful afternoon when four men in a car pulled up to the corner and yelled something at me. I didn’t hear the first part, but I did turn around. When I turned, one of them screamed right at me, “Hey! HOW’D YOU LIKE TO SUCK A BIG COCK!”. Then they laughed, like it was just another hilarious part of their day, and drove off up Sussex.
For a second, I was a little stunned. But as I’ve gotten older and more confident, I decided to stop letting these things slide when I have the opportunity to say something. So even though they’d driven off, I started power walking up Sussex, towards where their car was stuck at the light.
They must have seen me coming, since I could see the guy in the passenger seat turn and look behind him, and then gesture to the driver. As they panicked and made an illegal right turn into the market to escape me, I did manage to yell “REALLY? ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY??” They sped off into the market, afraid, I guess, of my anger. Embarrassed, I hope, of their behaviour, as grown men, to shout something so gross and idiotic at a total stranger.
This time of year, with the beautiful weather, many people are outside.
Including the “charity muggers” down town en force; you’ve probably seen them on a corner near you, armed with binders of information on their good cause and pleas to morals, asking for a minute of your time and a small monthly donation.
I usually try to be polite to them, if I have time, and explain that I know and appreciate their organizations and work but don’t have a steady income.
Today was different. I got off the bus, and noticed the guy with a red cross vest and ID badge.
As he walked by, he said “nice scarf!”. I turned to give him the “I know the Red Cross rocks but I’m in a hurry and don’t have money” spiel, but before I could could begin,
he asked “Do you know why I stopped you?”
“To tell me about the Red Cross,” I started
“No, because you have the most beautiful eyes.”
By that point I was very uncomfortable and mumbled something about having to go meet friends. I don’t often get this kind of unwanted attention so blatantly, even though so many guys seem morbidly sincere-like they think women actually like this.
Pro tip: don’t compliment total strangers multiple times when they’re trying to go somewhere. Some people, some times appreciate a kind word; this was not the case here (about appreciating or about the words being kind.)
The whole thing was even weirder since it coming was from someone who I assumed was volunteering for a good cause.
Another conflict for myself, despite all I’ve learned about assault and misogyny, is that this is the second time in this neighbourhood that men have thrown unwanted words at me when made an effort to look nice that day. Confirmation bias, I know; there are plenty of days I make an effort to look good and am not harassed, and plenty of days I’m dressed comfortable and casual yet don’t have the luxury of invisibility from creeps.
To end my story the scuz then had the nerve to ask,
“Do you have a minute?”
“NO” and I quickly turned the corner and walked off.
I am going to classify this as ‘stalking’ as well as ‘other’.
Wednesday afternoon (at ‘quitting time’) I was in the SDM, in line at the cash, waiting to get to the soft drink coolers. I got to the coolers, selected my soft drink, turned around and headed back to my place in line – I just spotted a guy with his Blackberry, caught sight of my photo – on his display, and him just sending off an email. I stood there, asked him if he liked his Blackberry, he admitted yes, this was his work phone and he had an IPhone as well. But the Blackberry was his work phone. Anyways, got to pay for my soft drink, he was at the cash next to me and bought bus tickets. I left the store, then I said just loud enough that it is not right to be taking pictures of people that you don’t know. He then sped up to get to the Metcalfe and Slater doors and headed towards the westbound bus stop. I should have yelled it out, but too darn polite to do so. This was a white guy – late 30′s early 40′s light brown hair. That is all we need, another slimebag taking photos of women – at least it wasn’t in the w/c. The attitude of this guy – and also using his work phone to boot! If he works for the gov’t, he ought to be ashamed of that behaviour.