Looking for Volunteers

Hello Pittsburgh Hollas!

After a lot of consideration and discussion, the four original Pittsburgh site leaders – Akirah, Alison, Heather and Maggie – have decided to step down from leading Pittsburgh’s chapter of Hollaback. It has been a great two years supporting those who have experienced street harassment and the bystanders who have intervened.

You all have made the work rewarding and your support has meant so much to us! If you are interested in volunteering to lead Hollaback! Pittsburgh, please get in touch with us at [email protected] We’ll meet with you and get you connected to HB Headquarters to begin the transition to your leadership.

Thanks again to everyone who has shared stories, come to an event, or offered your support. Keep fighting!

In solidarity,
Akirah, Alison, Heather and Maggie

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A Five Minute Walk

I was on my way to meet a friend and her apartment on court. As I was walking from Bentley hall down court street a group of four men pulled up in a truck and one yelled “hey you’re fine” at me. I yelled back “fuck off” and his friend threw a beer can at me. I met my friend and we headed back to Bentley hall, on our way back another car filled with 4-5 men pulled up near us and the men said “there’s a party tonight, you two look like you want to get nasty.” I said nothing this time…my walk, both alone and with my friend, lasted no more than five minutes.

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Liz’s Story

A guy (late teens or early twenties) followed me for three blocks as I looked at a map on my phone. When I turned around to fully face him he became hesitant and paced a bit before walking off.

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Ms. Bridgett’s Story

Every time I enter I greet everyone with a good morning…10 min later

Barber who shall remain nameless: “You need to smile more.”
Me: “Do you tell men they need to smile more?”
Him: “No I don’t care whether or not a man smiles, a lady should smile.”
Me: “Well every woman isn’t day daydreaming about rainbows and butterflies. There’s a time to smile and a time to be pre occupied in thought where the last thing I’m thinking about is a smile.”
Him: “well when you come in here, you smile.”
Me…continues with #restingbitchface
Men, women aren’t always day dreaming about rainbows and butterflies no more than you spend daydreaming about football and beer.
We are businesswomen with a full plate, wives, mothers, caretakers, daughters, bill payers, book balancers and much more. Enjoy a woman’s smile when she offers it but don’t demand she do so because you don’t know what she’s balancing.

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Maggie’s Story

I was sitting outside a coffee shop with three other friends when an older man rode by us on his bike. On the sidewalk, riding in the wrong direction. It felt like he was almost going out of his way to talk to us.

He slowed down and said, “You know, in Europe, beautiful women sit outside cafés with porcelain cups and chat. Here in America, we have fat women with paper and plastic.” As he rode away, I shouted at him that it was rude. About three minutes later, he rode back on the street and watched us as he rode by, so I again told him he was rude.

What makes this man think he has any right to comment on my body, or call me fat when I had just gone on a nice brisk walk with my friends?

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Stalking, Verbal

Liz’s Story

I was approaching the subway station with my mom when suddenly two teenage boys who were standing near the entrance said “Yo, why you hiding ?” (I turned my face away from them when I walked past them because they were leering at me.) I then ignored them and began down the escalator. All I could hear from behind was them yelling (I can’t recall what they said) simply because I chose not to respond to them. As I proceeded down the escalator they continued to try and get my attention with obscene questions until my mom turned around and yelled “she’s not interested!!!!” “How do you know???  Is that your daughter???” one of the boys had replied. My mom repeated herself and it was silent by the time we got into the subway.

A few minutes later we returned to the particular escalator and I had spotted them coming down from the corner of my eye. It took only a second for them to spot us and immediately one of then looked at me and started laughing. He continued this until he passed us and it only got louder as if someone uttered a really funny joke.

We passed the same guys a few feet away from the subway about a half hour later. I believe the same one muttered to me while passing “you are so beautiful” as he passed me?

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Touching, Uncategorized, Verbal

Kit’s Story

I work in this area, and I have to walk through this intersection at least twice every day. There’s nowhere else to park, so I can’t avoid it. There are so many gross men on this street, and many of them hang out at this intersection. At first when I would walk past, sometimes they would say hello. I would say hello back. It turns out SAYING HELLO IS A TRAP. They pretend to be nice and say hello, and as soon as you say hello back, they follow up with a gross comment. It doesn’t seem to be the same men every day, so I guess this is just the thing to do on this corner.

The other day, I was walking to my car, and a guy said hello. Then he reached out and tried to grab my hand/wrist. Luckily I dodged out of the way and hurried away. The day before that, a different guy followed me half a block, saying he needed me to help him because he locked himself out of his car. (He needed MY help, specifically, not the help of any of the other people standing there or the help of any of the businesses that were open where he could use a phone.) Luckily he gave up before I got to my car, so he didn’t see where I park.

There’s also a guy who works at one of the businesses on E. Ohio. Sometimes he’s out sweeping the sidewalk or just walking around. He does the same thing. He says hello. When you say hello, he immediately says, “You look very nice today.” He seems nonthreatening, and then all of a sudden, you get smacked with the reminder that he thinks your body is public property and his to comment on. It makes me want to burn my clothes.

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Ashley’s Story

After a day of studying for my grad classes at a local tea shop, I was waiting for the bus when I was approached by a man. At first, I thought he just wanted money. I wasn’t feeling well that day, so I was wearing just a t-shirt and basketball shorts. The man said to me, “Hey. How old are you?” I stared at him and responded, “What does it matter?” He cocked his head and stared at me some more, then started walking away from me, mumbling under his breath. I watched him, cautiously. The man kept pausing every few feet to stare back at me, but luckily my bus came in a few minutes.

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