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March 18-24th was International Anti-Street Harassment week. Around the world panel discussions, film showings and marches happened to bring light to the all too common problem of street harassment. Here’s a brief summary of what we did on our end.
We partnered up with the US Consulate to put together a free screening of Miss Representation, which filled up thetheater at the Pera Museum. We had a follow up discussion on Turkish media with with distinguished speakers: Nevval Sevindi (journalist and founder of KADER), Zeynep Dereli (politician and businesswoman), and Nancy Rinke Ozturk (publisher). See pictures from the event here.
Next we visited Galatasaray University to show the film War Zone and have a discussion about harassment and how this issue is more about power than about sex. Well received, we intend on doing more work with Galatasaray University soon!
On to social media. We have put together a number of images to share throughout social media outlets and bring attention to street harassment as a problem many have to face.
Finally, we are proud to present a video that our volunteers have made about breaking the silence about street harassment!
Break the silence in Istanbul and share your story! Street harassment isn’t just a problem one week every year in March. It’s a major problem around the world and its experienced by most people. We’re listening to your stories, we’re here to tell you you’re not wrong and you didn’t deserve to be treated that way, and more than all of this, we are here to stand together and change the society we live in and the expectations we have for what’s normal. Join us in making an Istanbul we all deserve to live in.
The Canimiz Sokakta: Hollaback Istanbul team-one comment
March 18-24 is International Anti-Street Harassment Week and is a time for the world to stand up together and say, “Street Harassment is Wrong.” Last year, marches took place in Cairo, Kabul, Washington, Philadelphia, Delhi and other cities around the world. And we at Canimiz Sokakta: Hollaback Istanbul are planning our own events in Istanbul for the week.
“Harassment restricts girls’ and women’s access to public places,” explains Holly Kearl, author of “Stop Street Harassment” and founder of the week long project “Meet Us On the Street”. “This is not what we want for the next generation of girls. This is a time for people to raise awareness about the issue and create community-based solutions to make public places safer for everyone.”
What do you think street harassment is about? Sex? Benign flattery? Attraction? Women who can’t just suck it up and deal? It’s power. Catcalls, sexist comments, public masturbation, groping, stalking and assault: gender-based street harassment makes public places unfriendly, frightening and dangerous for many girls, women, and LGBQT people. It’s power to control public spaces. Power to alter paths. Power to shame, scare and intimidate. Power to define what is safe and what is not. It’s the power to say: “I’m entitled to touch you, comment on your body, coerce you to smile, control your movement.” Even when women perceive catcalls as flattering, they are nonetheless aware that it’s an unpredictable degree away from possible harm.
Regardless of race, class, ethnicity, education, age and especially, clothes, women experience varying degrees of street harassment. More than 90 percent of girls and women surveyed internationally report being harassed. This is yet another “women’s issue” that is in reality a men’s problem. Women are not harassing men on streets around the world. At the very least, given the universality of women’s experiences, it should be thought of as a public health issue. This does not mean all men are harassers. But, most are quiet bystanders who are unaware of the ubiquity of the experience for women and the ways in which women learn to adapt and change our behavior in public every day. Most women just consider it the price of being female, some women fight back verbally or physically. Organizations like Stop Street Harassment and Hollaback, which created crowd-sourced, mobile technology applications for documenting and locating harassers, are finding creative ways to confront the problem.
Street harassment includes verbal and physical assault by a full spectrum of men whose primary filter for understanding women is to sexualize them. It can come from everyone from religious conservatives to sexually aggressive street thugs who “man-handle” them. It’s all gender-bullying.
This problem is everywhere. This problem is not limited. Not limited to poor women. Not limited to scantily clad women. Not limited to Asia, Africa and South America. Women in the US, Turkey, Canada, Australia and Europe are by no means immune and report similarly high rates of harassment.
What can you do? International Street Harassment week takes place March 18-24th, just after Women’s Day on March 8th. Here are 8 ways you can get involved.
Write one, two, ten stories about street harassment you’ve experienced on our website. Documenting harassment is a great way to say to the world, This happened to me, and it is wrong.
Educate yourself about why street harassment is an important topic and why it shouldn’t be ignored. Check out our resources so you know how to respond.
Talk about street harassment openly with your friends, family, coworkers, classmates, children, and neighbors. Share your strories with them. Men in partciular are often surprised to learn how much street harassment women receive and how they have adapted to this daily problem.
Bring Canimiz Kampuste to your university. We hold lectures, panels, films, and more on campuses around Istanbul. Contact us at email@example.com for more.
Join our Street Harassment Week events around Istanbul. We will be advertising a list of events in early March.
Help us organize, plan, and support our work . Only have a few hours to volunteer but you’re interested in join the movement? We could definitely use your help! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to becoming involved.
Be a Male Ally. Bystander invtervention by men espeically is extremely important and creates safer, civil environments. Learn more about what you can do when you see someone getting harassed.
Recognize the power of social media. Follow us and movements like us on Facebook and Twitter. Stay connect, stay involved, and keep your network of friends and family involved in the Istanbul movement against street harassment.
(Adapted from this post)
New Turkish blog post on Hollaback! by Slingomom. Check it please.no comments