HollabackAtlanta–founded by a group of spitfire activists in 2011–is part of an international movement dedicated to ending street harassment through mobile technology. Although one of the most pervasive forms of gender-based violence, street harassment is one of the least legislated against. Comments ranging from “Hey sexy” and “You’d look good on me” to groping, flashing and physical assault are daily realities for women and LGBTQ individuals. It is rarely reported and culturally accepted as “the price you pay” for being a women, gay, or transgender. At HollabackAtlanta, we don’t buy it! Whether commuting on the train, partying on campus, dancing in Midtown, walking, chilling in the park, drinking in East Atlanta, or working out at the gym, Hollaback! believes you have the right to feel safe, confident, and yes, even sexy, without being the object of some turd’s fantasy.
Sexual harassment is a routinely ignored form of heterosexist oppression that creates a cultural environment making gender-based violence OK. Although there exists a legal framework to reproach sexual harassment and abuse in the home and at work, when it comes to the streets—all bets are off. This gap isn’t because street harassment hurts any less; it’s because there hasn’t been a solution. Until now. The explosion of mobile technology has given us an unprecedented opportunity to end street harassment—and with it, the opportunity to take on one of the final new frontiers for women’s rights around the world.
By collecting stories and pictures from women and LGBTQ folks in a safe and share-able way with our very own mobile phone applications, Hollaback! is creating a crowd-sourced initiative to end street harassment. Hollaback! breaks the silence that has perpetuated sexual violence internationally, asserts that any and all gender-based violence is unacceptable, and creates a world where we have an option—and, more importantly—a badass response.