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It was around 5pm in the less than a block it takes me to get from work to my bicycle. A man sitting on a bench called out to me “Hey schoolgirl”. I was walking with a friend and had a backpack. He then mumbled something loudly about Jesus. “…I see her every other day but I don’t know her name. That’s the girl I’m going to rape”. I never so much as made eye contact with him. I could still hear him mumbling at/about me from his bench as I unlocked my bike. It seemed like he might have been either not sober or had a mental illness. I sympathize with people suffering from mental health issues but I also deserve to feel safe in public. I get harassed very often on Bank Street but this stood out as an explicit threat.
The following story was e-mailed to us by someone who was harassed at this year’s Comiccon.
“This individual was kicked out of the Con on Saturday evening for sticking a vibrating machine against a female’s ass. He apparently had assaulted a few females that day.”
We hosted another workshop, engaging folks in conversations about how to make Cons and all Geek spaces safe(r) for everyone. We had a blast cosplaying as Rosie the Riveter, walking around the Con and talking to countless attendees. It was awesome!
You can see the full photo set on our Facebook page.
Thank you to everyone who came out to help us spread the word. We always have such a great time at Cons and we really feel the love.
Let’s keep it up!
– The Hollaback! Ottawa Crew
This asshole in a red truck stalked me on my way home late last night. He zig-zagged through these side streets, always popping out again from the street perpendicular to me, perfectly timed. He kept disappearing and reappearing, keeping me on edge, anxiously waiting to see where he’d turn up in front of me. All the way down Somerset and all the way down Preston. He leered at me as he turned each corner, even as I gave him a “wtf?!” gesture. Thankfully, he didn’t see me when I turned (ran!) down my street to my house (I checked behind me the whole time). I’ve never felt unsafe/scared in my own neighbourhood/home until now. He never stopped the car, rolled down the windows, or yelled anything, which made it more unsettling. It was this deliberate, strategic, silent aggression.
It infuriates me how easily someone can take away someone else’s power, their sense of safety – like it’s just a game. It makes me livid that this sort of street aggression/harassment happens to others all the time. It pisses me off that one of the thoughts that went through my head was “oh crap, maybe I shouldn’t have walked home alone at night”, alongside another thought: “I wish I had a baseball bat to smash his shitty truck in”.
For International Anti-Street Harassment Week, we took to Bank street to spread the word. We chalked the sidewalks, put up posters and put up an amazing wall of posters up at Bank and Lisgar.
It was amazing.
Well, it seems that misogynists didn’t like that very much and have defaced the wall.
It is telling that simple messages like “Women are not outside for your entertainment” and “My outfit is not an invitation” would be met with scrawled out hatred like “Man haters” and “Disgusting.”
The defacing of our posters is frustrating, but it only serves to prove our point that street harassment is not about giving women compliments; it’s about power.
Otherwise, why be so upset about these posters?
Bad news, haters : We are not deterred. We will continue to wheat paste, chalk walk, poster and fight street harassment in all its forms.
Thank you to everyone who supports our work. We see you. We appreciate you.
– The Hollaback! Ottawa Crew
Wow, what an amazing day.
Thank you so much to everyone who came out to poster, chalk and wheat paste.
You can check out the full photo set on our Facebook page.
I was pumping gas at Hunt Club and Lorry Greenberg when a guy leaving the Quickie started yelling “Hey shawty! Hey shawty!” at me as he was walking to his car.
I just ignored him and he eventually mumbled something under his breath (I couldn’t hear it) and got in his car and drove away.
On Friday, April 17th at 3pm, join us as we poster and chalk Bank street as part of International Anti-Street Harassment Week!
Meet up at 3pm at the Bridgehead on Bank and Gilmour.
RSVP on Facebook!
We’re going to be joining the Stop Telling Women to Smile International Wheat Pasting Event!
Wheat pasting is tricky in Ottawa, so we’re going to instead be sticking up posters on poles down Bank street.
We’re also gonna be throwing in chalk walking (depending on the weather).
We will provide the posters and chalk. If you’ve got extra packing tape, packing tape guns or chalk that you want to bring along, GREAT!
For more information about this event or to support the amazing artist behind this project, check out: Stop Telling Women to Smile
For more information about Hollaback! Ottawa or this event, e-mail us at [email protected]
This event is open to ANYONE, regardless of age, gender, ability, or activist experience.
RAIN OR SHINE!