It’s not a crime that Vito Lopez harassed and molested employees and retaliated against them when they refused his sexual advances.
It’s not a crime that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver covered up Vito’s attacks and made secret payments to the accusers with taxpayer money to shut them up.
It’s not a crime that state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman closed his eyes to the hush-money payoff.
It’s not a crime that state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli signed off on the payments without raising a single objection.
Glad that’s cleared up.
Read more here.
Silence Isn’t Useful Against Street Harassment
When I was a freshman in college, I went to Woody’s, a gay bar in center city, with a few friends. At the end of the night, I went outside to get some air while waiting for my friends to meet me. It happened to be the same night of a big Phillies game – I don’t follow sports, so I can’t tell you which team they played against or even if they lost or won – and there were cars lined up on the street in a traffic jam, honking their horns and going wild. I also don’t understand Philly sport fans.
Next thing I knew, I was being pulled into the back of a truck where at least six grown men were screaming names at me, ripping at my dress and punching me to keep me down. I curled up as tight as I could, holding my head and hoping someone would help me.
Luckily, due to the congestion of cars, a stranger on the street was able to pull me out of the truck before they had the chance to drive away. I immediately went to the cops, reporting what happened and also explaining that they had taken my phone, but the cops said there was simply “nothing” they could do since I didn’t have a license plate number or any way to identify them.
I guess this experience kind of shaped my belief that as a woman, I would just have to put up with harassment from men. It made me believe that being catcalled on the street was no big deal. But as we accept it, we start to let bigger things happen. We start to lose a sense of power, and we give into society’s wrongs rather than joining together and letting people know that no, it’s not OK.
Stuff we read about women
Lego makes tiny little harassing construction workers.
Does the media focus only on white sexual assault survivors?
Five awesome women get gender studies onto the Ontario curriculum (it took 8 years).
Congrats, Jason Collins. But why does the media shrug when female athletes come out?
For your weekend: Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu are awesome.
Rape myths often suggest that women ask for rape because of how they dress or behave and contribute to a rape culture that accepts sexual violence and victim-blaming.
Today reflects the silence many in the LGBTQ community are forced into due to bullying and sexual harassment.
Almost half of students grade 7-12 reported experiencing sexual harassment in 2010. Only half of those students spoke about it with parents, teachers or friends. Sexual harassment is prevalent in schools, especially against LGBTQ students, and detrimental to education.
“Why don’t you show us what’s underneath that towel, baby?”
I heard this shouted from a car of four young men, no older than 19, hanging out the window, being obnoxious. I had been walking home alone one summer afternoon after swim practice in my suburban neighborhood and immediately looked around to see if anyone else was walking near me when I realized I was alone, ashamed, and powerless. I’d like to think if I had been older, I would have been less afraid or maybe even shouted something back.
But I was 13, relatively quiet, and awkwardly uncomfortable in most settings, let alone one I had just been harassed in. Back then, I never realized there was a term for what I had experienced (street harassment) nor that there was an impending movement to educate about it and eradicate it.
So I called the teacher and explained the situation. I was calm and collected, until the teacher said, “I wasn’t aware of this; she didn’t tell me, but this boy likes to be affectionate with his friends. He likes to touch friends but he’s harmless.”
It was then that I felt the fire fill my soul.
I responded as my daughter’s advocate. The advocate she wanted and needed, and the advocate all mothers must be for their daughters. To give them the voices they need.
So here’s what I said to the very sweet teacher:
“I don’t care that this boy ‘wouldn’t hurt a fly,’ and likes to touch his friends. It is hurting my daughter because when a person’s experience is invalidated or ignored it teaches them to be victims. I will not allow that to happen.”
A man threw a glass bottle toward my student’s head last week after she ignored his catcalls near Lehigh and Broad [in Philadelphia]. As a result, her father has discouraged her from attending our after-school program because she has to walk to and from the train alone.
Nuala Cabral, one of the co-organizers of International Anti-Street Harassment Week (April 7-13) posted this quote on Facebook. This upsetting story illustrates the negative outcome that gender-based street harassment has on the people who experience it.
From catcalls to sexually explicit comments, public masturbation, stalking, and even assault, pervasive, worldwide street harassment limits victims’— especially young women’s — access to public spaces.
Instead of being seen as the human rights issue that it is, street harassment is normalized, twisted into being seen as a compliment, or blamed on the people who are harassed because of where they were or what they were wearing. That’s why a week of awareness is necessary — to break down the stereotypes, cut through the normalization of the problem, and allow people worldwide to join forces and speak out.
Three ways you can join us:
1. Talk about street harassment with your friends, family, co-workers, classmates, and neighbors. Share your stories with them.
2. Raise awareness online.
- Change your Facebook profile picture to the Anti-Street Harassment Week logo (see example on the right, or visit the tools page of our website to access logos in 13 languages).
- Write and post a street harassment story on your blog, Tumblr, Twitter, or Facebook.
- Tweet about street harassment using the hashtag #EndSHWeek. Participate in the #SheParty chat about street harassment that the Women’s Media Center is hosting on April 10 from 3 to 5 pm ET.
- Write an article, op-ed, or blog post about street harassment. Check out our idea guide, which includes instructions and a special offer from the Op-Ed Project, for inspiration.
3. See if there is offline action planned in your area, and if there is, join in. If there’s not, consider hosting your own. Add your event to the map so that others in your area can find out about it.
- Engage your community. Hold an awareness-raising event or rally, hand out fliers on the street, or do sidewalk chalk messaging. Show a relevant documentary or hold a speak-out at the event to generate awareness and discussion. See our idea guide for more inspiration.
- Evaluate your community. Conduct a survey or a community safety audit, or create a mapping project to document where street harassment occurs. Check out our idea guide for other opportunities.
- Educate your community. If you’re a teacher, coach, mentor, or leader, talk to your students about street harassment. See our idea guide for other ways you can get involved.
Liberian women battle against ‘sex for grades’ at universities
A 2011 survey conducted by ActionAid in three Liberian universities found that about 85% of female students had been sexually harassed or involved in transactional sex while they studied. Some women said they were forced to keep repeating classes if they refused to have sex with their male lecturers. If a woman reported her lecturer and he was sacked, the teacher would often simply move to another institution, the survey revealed.
40 Unjustifiable reasons to sexually harass a woman on the street
- I’m wearing too much makeup
- I’m not wearing enough makeup
- It’s Sunday
- It’s Tuesday
- I’m walking too quickly
- I’m walking too slowly
- I’m too pretty to not let you enjoy a piece of it
- I’m not pretty enough to occupy the space marked “female”
- I’m wearing boots
- I’m wearing flip flops
- I haven’t let you have sex with me before
- I’m not letting you have sex with me right now
- I won’t be letting you have sex with me in the future
- I’m in a public place after dark
- I’m in a public place before dark
- I’m looking at you
- I’m not looking at you
- I’m with a friend
- I’m alone
- I’m talking on my phone
- I’m listening to my ipod
- I’m holding a green bag
- I’m holding a purple bag
- I’m in a new neighborhood
- I’m near my home
- I’m a virgin and you can tell
- I’m not a virgin and you can tell
- I’m dressed up
- I’m dressed down
- I’m wearing an engagement or wedding ring
- I’m not wearing an engagement or wedding ring
- I’ve seen you before
- I haven’t seen you before
- I’m smiling
- I’m not smiling
- I’m frowning
- I’m not frowning
- I’m feeling something that I’m not expressing on my face and you don’t have any way of knowing what it is
- I’m lost
- I’m not lost