Add to your cellphone and send pics straight to Holla Back NYC

HollabackNYC is now also accepting video submissions: Catch that jerk with your video phone or do journalistic style feature on Street Harassment and we'll post it!

Email your submissions here!

We welcome submissions from everywhere.

Join the HollaBackNYC Mailing List

Keep informed of upcoming events, screenings, and the Post of the Month!


If you have questions about street harassment or about our site, consult our list of Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

For info on HollaBack's commitment to antiracism, click here.


Hollaback on the go by tweeting your street harassment stories! Add #hbnyc to all posts and follow us @iHollaback:



Want HollaBack to come and speak at your school, dorm, or organization? Email Emily at


  • Want a street harassment expert to tell you what it's really like on the streets? Email Emily May at

Articles by HollabackNYC co-founders


Holla Without Borders:
International press coverage!


Check out HollaBack merchandise!

Design courtesy of Colleen Keegan

Check out photos from our past events here!

Click to see the raunchiest, nastiest street assholes around!

Powered by Blogger

Support Bloggers' Rights!
Support Bloggers' Rights!

Get Firefox!

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 2.5 License.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Lost in Translation

Recently I had the experience of traveling to Turkey with a university team. Being Canadian I was extremely excited for my first trip beyond North America. Overall it was a very pleasant adventure, and I could focus on one of the many positive memories that resulted, but there is another that always gets me.

Istanbul has a decent transit system, or at least the impression of one for tourists. After a day on the town we had accidentally timed our return on the train with rush hour. As warm bodies squeezed in, we huddled together as it can be uncomfortable isolated speaking only English and being the only white person to illicit stares. As the train started moving again I thought I felt something. I shrugged it off at first, with everything so packed the jostling can be confusing. Shortly after, my bum has been grabbed.

I was a little in shock. I moved quickly, to see an unassuming business man acting as if nothing has happened. The pervert just touched my ass! Not only that, he assaulted me in front of my friends AND boyfriend. I couldn't believe it, told them in English, and everyone just stood confused. I wanted to punch him in the face, but by the time I had worked up the courage it was too late. If someone touches you and it is unwanted, that is physical assault, the end.

The worst part is that I started asking myself what I could have done differently. Knowing we were in a conservative country, we girls had dressed to show minimal (as in none) skin. I had a coat on at the time. Were my jeans too tight, was that asking for it in Turkey? I felt like it was my fault for trespassing with Western fashion in their country. Like the man just thought all white women were harlots. As if it was okay the man figured a woman should hide herself under swarths of cloth or be fair game for attack.

Even months afterward I still feel unsure of the incident. Am I bigoted for hating any Muslim stricture that has a line about being humble? I know that Islam is not exactly a feminist’s favourite religion, but we can’t liberalize such a widespread belief system by fighting it by banning minarets in Switzerland or whatever. But it feels right because I am so angry. All because some middle-aged pervert couldn’t keep his hands to himself, my views on so many issues have been changed.

That being said, I am thankful to be Canadian. There’s a long way to go, even here, but I can appreciate my daily commute far more now.