Half time report

We live in a violent athletic culture that encourages inappropriate behavior in public. Sports events are notorious for sexual harassment. And so, not surprisingly, this this sort of thing happens all the time: grossly mocking, misogynistic swarms of men, doing their own version of teaming up on others off the courts and playing fields. And if a woman chooses to flash her goods - assuming thoughtful choice can be invoked in such a repressive, hostile atmosphere - security will kindly explain public indecency laws to her, not the crowd.

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Finally, vigilant law enforcement comes to Boston

We've heard some feedback that some of the posts on HollaBackBoston have sounded suspicious in previous months, specifically those sent in by young women assaulted or brutally harassed on the Green Line. We chose to support the women who wrote in because we like to err on the side of believing female survivors, and unfortunately, it appears we may have been right to stand as allies. Thanks to a young woman with her cell phone cam, Boston's MBTA police tracked down a man accused of four sexual assaults on the Green Line. Nice work from the fuzz and the ladies brave enough to holla back!

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A legacy of fear

Street harassment is nothing new, though to talk to many folks, you wouldn't know it. Student publications about harassment can date back to the 1980s, and one from Brian Martin in 1997 offers a great guide (much like our own) about how men can stop harassment.
Three main types of public harassment are comments, touching and trailing. These may not seem to be a big problem, but they can be quite upsetting. Few men realise how big the problem is, because they are seldom the target of harassment themselves. Even men who are opposed to harassment may not think there's anything to get concerned about. But there is.
We also like this Salon.com article from 1999 (via Feminist Law Professors), detailing historical problems with street harassment, public space, assumptions about gender, and clothing as unintentional communication.
Why do they do it? We're not talking about gallantry, or playful flirting or simple, unfrightened compliments. Why the abuse, the privacy invasion, the intimidation? Why do the construction workers on my block, for instance, make sudden loud noises with their machinery as I pass so they can laugh when I jump? I don't ask them. I'm afraid of escalation.
We don't know, and we don't often ask because we're afraid, too.

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