I tend to be pretty open about to talking to strangers, but a recent experience made me realize that not everyone believes in the inherent kindness of people like I do, which forced some critical auto-analysis on my part. After sharing the story of my being “picked up” cleverly by a grad student on my campus, I have become entangled in a bit of a debate about where the line is drawn between getting-to-know-you and harassment.
Hollaback! is a worldwide organization aimed at putting an end to street harassment as the most pervasive in a larger context of gender-based violence that women experience every day. One of my oldest and dearest friends is a leader in the Boston branch of this movement. She shared my story on the Hollaback!Boston blog last week. Her choice to even associate it with street harassment surprised me and led to a lot of interesting conversations over the course of my weekend. Those conversations led me to come out as the “victim” (?) of this experience and share my side of the story. You can read my holla here.
If you’re interested in joining the debate, sharing your own story of street harassment, donating to Hollaback! or getting involved in your own community, please do! Hollaback!