Holla, Hollaback: An Interview with Emily May

April 25th, 2012  |  by Veralyn Williams |  Published in Blog, My Two Cents, Videos

So you’re walking down the street, headed to work, or school, or the laundromat (because only the sweatpants and T-shirt you have on are clean) and you hear: “If no one has told you how beautiful you are today, please let me be the first.” What do you do?

a) Stop and give out your phone number immediately!
b) Keep your blinders up and start walking a little faster.
c) Smile and say thank you.

Personally, I’m an option “c” kind of girl. As I admitted in Street Hollas: When Is It NOT Harassment?, I enjoy the occasional compliment from a stranger in the street. But yes, the reality of how quickly a “You looking good, girl” could potentially turn into a “F*** you, B****” is always in the back of my mind. And when it happens, the experience can ruin more than just your day.

So what is the solution? Because as a single gal in NYC, eliminating the public sphere as a possible place to meet “Mr. Right” is just not realistic.

To get some answers on when a street “holla” crosses the line into “street harassment,” I spoke to Emily May, Executive Director of Hollaback!, an international movement dedicated to ending street harassment by empowering victims to share their personal stories. (FYI, according to Stop Street Harassment, street harassment means unwelcome words and actions from unknown persons in public, which are motivated by gender and invade a person’s physical and emotional space in a disrespectful, creepy, startling, scary, or insulting way.)

Emily talked to me about the difference she sees between a friendly street holla and street harassment and explained why she thinks Hollaback! is so important.

Originally posted over at Bedsider on 4/25/12.

Video Feature

Archives

Tweets by @VeralynMedia

SaloneTiti.com (Tumblr)

  • Conversations by the pool

    Met two women from Toronto by the pool. After we exchanged pleasantries for a bit, they asked about #Ferguson— they’ve been watching news about it all week, they said. I told them about #EricGarner (they hadn’t heard about him). They informed me someone else was killed by police in St Louie last night (need to fact check that). We bonded in our frustration and helplessness as the Costa Rican sun hit our face. They said they hoped this moment was our generations civil rights movement. I agreed, then got up to get a drink.

  • photo from Tumblr

    In this beautiful place wondering why it took me so long to come here. As with most things the answer is fear. Being that’s it’s Central America, more specifically the fear of being kidnapped or raped. A fear I can’t help but wonder if my fellow nomad-male-friends think about. Hate that I take comfort in the fact, most rapes are committed by someone you know. Ok. Going to stop thinking about this while on vacation.


  • photo from Tumblr

    How can you be in solidarity with Furguson? Support organizers on the ground: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sOX4RNO5CPQp4zMUvosoWPNu_fuencZNI1nmCcRuUag/mobilebasic?pli=1&viewopt=127



Instagram: Ms. Veralyn

Podcast