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Hollaback! Appalachian Ohio!

Investigating Street Harassment Internationally

Hollaback is a movement to end street harassment powered by a network of local activists around the world. Hollaback has teamed up with Cornell University’s ILR School professor Beth Livingston to study the experiences and impacts of street harassment internationally, through cooperation with Hollaback’s many local activism sites.


What are we doing?

In October, we are launching online surveys in countries on six continents, translated into multiple languages. Links to these surveys will be tweeted, blogged, facebooked and emailed worldwide with the hope of gathering data on street harassment that can be used to better understand its impacts in an international context. A link specific to your location is provided below.


What can you do to help?

Complete a survey! When your site leader sends it out—complete it and send the link on to others who may or may not be familiar with the movement. The more respondents—men and women—the better. Adults only, please.


What can you expect?

The survey asks about demographics, experiences with harassment, reactions to it, and other questions. It is completely anonymous. Summary reports and press releases can be expected early in 2015.


What if I have questions?

You can ask your site leader, Sarah Fick (appalachianohio@ihollaback.org).

If you want more info on the survey itself, contact Prof. Beth Livingston (BAL93@cornell.edu).



Appalachian Ohio, English: https://jfe.qualtrics.com/form/SV_9mBtsJ60s2gQPul
THANKS—and don’t forget to PASS IT ON and HOLLABACK!



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“You don’t actually need to be a woman, you just have to dress like one. . .”


Some time in the 90s I attended the Halloween Block Party as some sort of tribal warrior of my own invention.  I was wearing a grass skirt and a headdress that I made myself.  The headdress was made out of grape vines and small animal bones and other natural items I had found in the woods.  It covered my whole face.  I was walking down Fern Street, away from the block party and toward my friends’ house where a party was going on when two guys ran up behind me, one on each side. They put their hands under my armpits and lifted me off the ground.  I was laughing the whole time thinking these were my friends from the party, and they were just playing some sort of joke on me.  Then they carried me behind a rental and threw me down on the ground next to some trash cans.  One of them leap on top of me and pinned my arms down with his knees.  He reached up and pulled the headdress off of my head, revealing my beard and my full on man face. At this point he yelled, “F@#K!” and jumped up and he and his friend ran away.  I lay on the ground and was struck by the notion that if I had been a woman I would have just been raped by two men next to some trash cans.

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Open Letter to Last Night’s Cat Caller

Dear Sir,

I would like to apologize for my preemptive use of the word “asshole” to address you tonight. That was a primarily instinctive response. Having calmed now, I realize that in that moment I had no way of knowing if you were indeed an asshole or merely misinformed.

You see, when you yelled “shake that ass girl” so loudly that anyone with two blocks of you could understand your message, I was instantly put into a state of shock. There has been so much attention on sexual harassment in the last year within our community that I honestly believed everyone was on the same page about catcalling being inappropriate and unwanted. Yelling “That’s catcalling, asshole” across the street to you happened before I even had time to process the words. I am not usually one for public confrontation, so I must attribute my vehement response to the surprise of your blatant transgression. As already stated, I would like to apologize for my use of the word ‘asshole’ at that time.

Having apologized, I would like to clarify that I DO indeed think that you and your friends are assholes now. Instead of recognizing that catcalling is unwelcome in this community, you proceeded to show even brighter ass stripes by creating a chorus of “sluts,” “show us your tits,” “whore,” and a variety of other standard sexual harassment slurs. Your original comment was not directed at me, but these were. Those words were specifically designed to punish me and remind me that I am not supposed to openly challenge your masculinity. Well I call bullshit. The woman you yelled at about her ass did not give you any positive attention, nor did any of the other women on the street at that time. If you are indeed all heterosexual males operating with the expectation that getting laid affirms your masculinity, then your effort failed utterly and absolutely. I doubt it has ever worked for you or a man on this campus. This means that you can’t even use masculinity to justify your actions.

All this says to me you are an asshole who likes yelling at other people on the street. Please consider this a not-so-friendly PSA that I and the majority of this town, campus, and community find your behavior unacceptable. I may have been wrong to call you an asshole at first, but you deserve it now.


Random Woman

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I look like a Germanic Warrior?!?! WTF?!?!

I was just walking passed the Junction and a guy started coming at me saying, “Hey, you Miss. You. You Miss.” My eyes widened, I shook my head no, and started walking quickly up W State toward Tony’s. They guy followed my very closely for about a block saying, “I know stalking people on the street is against the law, but you look like a Germanic Warrior, and I need to hire you to kill some people.” I just looked straight ahead and kept walking. Some acquaintances were sitting on the bench outside Tony’s and asked what that guy was saying to me. I told them. They said they didn’t know him but they didn’t like the other guy that was with him.

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Sarah’s Story

I was stopped at the light at the intersection of Stimson and State. I was gonna turn left and go down Stimson. It was in the middle of the day. A cream colored SUV, maybe like, a Bronco or something, pulled up next to me. I guy in the back seat leaned out the window toward me and said, “Hey Baby, What’s up,” in a real suggestive voice. His friends laughed.  I just furrowed my brow and shook my head and the car sped off.  Jerks!

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Bystander Intervention actually works!!!

Several months ago I posted a story here about my rapist always turning up when I am out to lunch or the grocery store or anywhere really. Back in 2001 or 2002 we had dated for a few months, and he had raped me as I was trying to break up with him. At the time, I wrote him a letter detailing what he had done and telling him that he needed to stay away from me, that I wouldn’t be returning any communications from him, and that he was to stay away from certain places I needed to go as well as leave any place where he ran into me. But in the months after the assault, it was as if my list of demands had just become his recipe for the best way to terrorize me.  He stalked me. He showed up where I was any time he could and made intimidating body language, facial expressions, and comments. I had to move out of state to get away from him but got homesick and moved back only to have it all start all over again. When I got back I found out that he had done this to multiple other women while I was away. The sight of him jolted me with a surge of violent rage every time I ran into him for over a decade.  I was wracked with guilt for not reporting it, allowing him to go unpunished and continue to hurt more people.  I didn’t tell anyone. I kept it to myself for as long as possible, because I was completely mortified to have anyone know that I had gotten myself into such a predicament. I refused to admit to even myself that I had been raped. It’s only been within the last year or two that I have called it rape. It has only been within the last year or two that I have told anyone about what happened, and it hasn’t been mortifying. It has been anxietizing for sure, but it’s been worth it. I have told a lot of trusted people, and now a lot of trusted people have my back. We have been able to have conversation about what helps and what doesn’t. Now when he walks into the coffee shop that I am at and my back is to the door, whomever I am with, they will warn me and give him a glare with a different kind of warning. And it’s working! It took me over a decade to start telling people, but once I did, it only took a few months for him to realize that a lot of people have my back and that he is not going to be able to get away with terrorizing me anymore. And lately, he has begun to respect my demands. A few days ago, this exact scenario happened, and he left! I know he is not doing this because he has finally acknowledged that what he did was wrong or because he suddenly cares about my comfort when I am in public. He is doing this because bystander intervention works! Because he has gotten the message over and over again that what he is doing will not be allowed to continue. I feel relieved. I feel supported. I feel like I am in control of my own experiences.

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Maura’s Story


The minute I turned 21, I made a special effort to hit Lucky’s every Wednesday last spring semester for liquor pitcher night. It used to be my favorite thing about the week…until one night when my friend group was harassed three times in under two hours.
Last week, Lucky’s was packed wall-to-wall, which was surprising because school was still a week away. My friends and I had managed to get a table, but not without consequence. A large group of males were invading our space, throwing their drink straws down on the table and setting their pitchers wherever they pleased. Annoyed, I asked the nearest guy if he could give us a bit of space. I got a condescending response in return: “Oh, I’m sorry, this is clearly YOUR space, I’ll move.”

A few minutes later, another white male plopped down in the empty space next to my two female friends who happen to be dating. The guy attempted to make conversation, but feeling protective, I politely said to him that we did not know him and I would prefer that he left. Not liking my answer, he proceeded to inform me of how nice of a guy he was and that he was not about to “rape us”; he just wanted to be “friends.” The verbal assault escalated when he finally got up and tattled to his friends about how mean I was being, and that I was a slut. One friend I was with managed to get a few pictures of him during his extremely loud rant that detailed how horrible we were for making him leave; I’ve included one here.

The worst part came a little later in the night, probably around midnight. Again, a guy sat beside my two female friends and instead of respecting the fact that they’re together, he mocked their relationship after being rejected from sitting there and very loudly asked “Who wears the strap on??”
At this point, my friend and I had absolutely had enough of this guy and we both yelled at him to leave after his stupid comment. But instead of just getting up and leaving us the hell alone, he went to his friends who were standing a few feet away and continued to make nasty homophobic comments (“this butch won’t shut the hell up”) about my one friend, whose appearance is more androgynous. I even shoved him at one point when he got in my friend’s face and made advances toward her. Unfortunately, that got me into trouble, when the bartender (who knows my friend group fairly well, as we were regulars during the week) told US that if we didn’t stop fighting, we would all get thrown out. I explained to the bartender the situation, but his defense was “I can’t just throw him out, I don’t know what happened.” He later apologized and asked if the guy was still bothering us, but still no action had been taken.

I did my best to defend my friends, but because I am a woman, I was dismissed by the harasser. “Don’t you know what the First Amendment is? I can say whatever I want. I’m not listening to you anymore. Shut up.” It was a truly disheartening and awful moment in a bar that I actually liked going to with my friends.
As a side note, my two friends are frequent targets of harassment, and not just by men. Athens is supposed to be very LGBTQ friendly, but last week’s Lucky’s night was a complete disaster and proof that there’s way more work to do in terms of acceptance and respect.

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Anonymous Story

I was walking with my girlfriend back to my home and I heard a couple of comments from the second floor apartment. The comments were “hi sexy take off your shirt”, “have you ever been with a porn star because one is right here to have some fun” and “Hey guys, the girls are almost drunk enough to fuck!” These comments were the ones I was able to hear a couple of blocks from the location. I want people to be aware of this location because this could possibly escalate into a worse things such as actions as opposed to just words.

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