25 January 2011

[Video] Voices From the Field: Hollaback! Confronts Street Harassment

Meet Hollaback! Executive Director Emily May, and learn how she and you can stand up to street harassment.

The Ms. Foundation is proud to support social justice trailblazers like Emily May and her Hollaback! crew. We were one of the first to fund Hollaback! -- an organization that uses online and mobile technology to crowd-source stories of street harassment, a daily occurrence for many women and LGBTQ individuals worldwide.

Noting that cat calls and other forms of sexual harassment in public places were often ignored or overlooked by law enforcement and policymakers, Emily May and some of her friends took the matter into their own hands. In 2005, they started a blog in New York City that aimed to track, catalog and report instances of street harassment -- a widespread phenomenon that in their minds helps create a "cultural environment that makes gender-based violence okay." That blog has grown into an international movement, with local chapters emerging from Egypt to Australia to Canada.

Ultimately Hollaback! aims to raise the profile of sexual harassment on the street, to bring it to the attention of law enforcement and policymakers, and to fight for a culture that does not allow street harassment to be the "'price you pay' for being a woman or for being gay."

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