Teaching More Than Driving...

If you know anyone who is seeking driver's training, advise them to not take it at Saturn Lily Driving School in Hayward, CA.

I am 16 years old and I took it there about a month and a half ago. I could not learn anything because I was in fear of the man who was my driving instructor. His name is Jose, also known as "Pepe."

On the very first day of my driver's training, he asked me to unzip my jacket because he said he wanted to "read my shirt." At the time, I didn't think he had any ulterior motives, so I unzipped it and he then said, "Nice."

At the next session, was teaching me how to back up out of a parking space when he told me to stop. He told me I had "beautiful hands" and he began touching my hand and stroking my arm. He even made me hold his hand. He did that on several occasions throught that session, and even the next one was well. I was scared and I coudn't concentrate because his presence made me feel very uncomfortable.

I told my parents about this, and I think they are going to file a complaint against him. So please, don't be like me and have $250 spent only to be touched by some poor, perverted driving instructor.

Unknown, Hayward, CA

Posted on HollaBack- California

I "like" white women

This man should be arrested. He kept calling out to me, and I wasignoring him, having a drink with some friends outside my favoritebar. When he didn't get a reaction, he started saying rude degradingthings. So I took a picture of him. He started calling me a slut, andtried to rip my camera from me. I ran away with my friends...abandoning our drinks. So I don't go back there much anymore.

This happened in Stockton CA. Keep a look out for him. He drives adark gray truck with, I thinking it was, red Chinese writing on theside.By the way, his english sucks, so you can barely understand what he issaying. He told me that he likes "white woman."

Unknown, from Stockton

Posted on HollaBackCalifornia

"Lot" of Harassment

There is an office next to my work where there are often a lot of different men who come there to fill out paperwork. Many of them park in the parking lot that I use, and I have to pass by them in their cars to enter my building. Aside from undressing me with their eyes, some have made lewd comments to me or to another person I am with as I walk by. Although I have been fortunate in not having an experience like the one described on the subway, its made me so uncomfortable that I dread encountering those men in the parking lot every day.Thankfully, I now have secured parking in a garage away from that lot.

Submitted from San Jose, CA

Posted on: Hollaback-SF

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

I'm guessing if you found your way here already, someone gave you a heads up and directed you here. I would like to be the first to welcome you to your new place to call home!

I stumbled upon this idea on accident, I think I saw an article online about HollaBackNYC and somehow ended up over on HollaBack- SF. While there I noticed there wasn't much love on there for the South Bay. All the stories were from SF and Oakland, few from anything further South!

Personally, I am a regular to the downtown San Jose scene. As the weather seems to get warmer, so it seems people's words do. I can't count the number of women I see being harassed, and sometimes even assualted for not responding to the catcalls. It's not fair! I have even been a target, along with many of my friends. It makes a person nervous to wonder around downtown.

I know we've all seen it. The men crusing downtown with a car full of their buddies. Maybe they're in little beaters, maybe they're in a nice low-rider, sometimes their even just walking past. They see a woman in a tube top, a short skirt, or sometimes even in pants and a hoodie, and they start cat calling. "Hey momma...." "Lookin good shorty..." "Look at the ass on that....." And so on and so on! Ugh!

Well, here's our chance to HOLLA BACK! Let's reclaim our ability to walk down the street and let them know we aren't gonna take it anymore! Just because you can't slap 'em, don't mean you can't snap 'em. We all have our cell phones on us, snap a quick picture, catch a name if you can, and send it on it with your story. If you've got video capabilities, catch those guys in action and send it on in. We aren't going to stand for this ANYMORE!

Right now we have begun a plan of action. We're going to get business cards and pass them around to the ladies downtown. We're going to try and open a store where people can buy shirts, hats, and more in support of this site so we can get the word out. We're going to design all sorts of fun things to help spread the word that we're not going to take. Care to help?

Do you know HTML?
Can you design images?
Do you know a cheap place for business cards?
Have a company that would like to lend their support?
Or just want to spread the word?

Drop us an e-mail if you have something you think could help! Your support and approval is always help enough though!

Thanks for dropping in,

submission guidelines

So, you have a story, picture, or video to share about some form of street harrassment, or other sexual harrassment you experienced? Well, we have a few you need to follow:

1. Please, don't include the race of your attacker. Unless it is important to the dynamics of the story, and it is clearly important to the dynamics, then please omit it. Stories with accidental mention of race will be altered to omit the race.

2. Unless the police were involved, and a report filed, only include your attacker's first name (if known). We are not trying to accuse people, and don't want people to turn around and try to press any sort of issues against us.

3. We accept submissions from all ofer the US, not just from San Jose, California. We are trying to focus primarily on the San Francisco South Bay (San Jose, Morgan Hill, Campbell, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Gilroy, Salinas, Santa Cruz, etc).

4. Yes, you can report on harrassment you saw to other people. However, do not report on harassment hearsay. Unless you physically saw it, please do not report on it.

5. Please try to keep your language PG-13. This is not an age restricted site, so please, keep your language all ages appropriate. Unless the language is a key part to your story, please watch your words.

6. Please try to keep videos and pictures PG-13. Nudity is not acceptable. However, if you catch someone in the process of performing an obscene act, feel free to submit the photo. We here at HollaBack will take appropraite action to make it befitting the site without ruining the meaning of the photo.

7. Yes, we will accept stories from people of all genders and walks of life.

8. We cannot guarantee every item sent to us will be posted on the blog. We will attempt to post every item. However, if we feel your item is not appropriate, we will send you a response explaining why.

9. Enjoy yourself! This is your time to strike back at those who have belittled and put you down for so long. Now, it's their turn!

the hollaback faqs

Welcome to the HollaFAQ
We get a great deal of questions about our site. Listed here are the most common, and our HollaBack responses:

Question: Are you a bunch of crazed feminazis who hate men?

Answer: Actually, HollaBack is a collective comprised of men and women who believe in building communities where everyone feels comfortable, safe, and respected. Many people, particularly men, are unaware of the frequency and severity of disrespect and intimidation that numerous folks, especially women, experience in public spaces on a daily basis. HollaBack aims to expose and combat street harassment as well as provide an empowering forum in this struggle.

Question: OK, but what exactly is street harassment?

Answer: Street harassment is a form of sexual harassment that takes place in public spaces. At its core is a power dynamic that constantly reminds historically subordinated groups (women and LGBTQ folks, for example) of their vulnerability to assault in public spaces. Further, it reinforces the ubiquitous sexual objectification of these groups in everyday life. At HollaBack, we believe that what specifically counts as street harassment is determined by those who experience it. While there is always the classic, "Hey baby, nice tits" there are many other forms that go unnoted. If you feel like you have been harassed, HOLLA BACK!

Question: So let’s say a man sees a woman he thinks is attractive and tells her so. Are you saying that makes him a harasser?

Answer: Some do not find comments such as “Hello, beautiful” or “Hey, gorgeous” offensive. Many do. Others may find them intimidating, intrusive, or just an annoying pain in the ass. Keep in mind that many women experience unsolicited comments, as well as violent verbal assault, from men in public spaces on a regular basis. Rather than deliberating the “gray areas” of street harassment, treat everyone you encounter with respect.

Question: But aren’t you worried that your site will fuel the latent vindictiveness within women and LGBTQ-identified folks across the country, leading to a massive witch-hunt and rampant Soviet-style denounciations of countless innocents?

Answer: No. Worried about Big Brother? Read this and this.

Question: I heard something about your position on antiracism. What’s that about, and what does it have to do with street harassment?

Answer: Replacing sexism with racism is not a proper holla back. Due in part to prevalent stereotypes of men of color as sexual predators or predisposed to violence, HollaBack asks that contributors do not discuss the race of harassers or include other racialized commentary. If you feel that race is important to your story, please make sure its relevance is explained clearly and constructively in your post. Want more info? Click here.

Question: But isn’t your idea of “street harassment” just belittling another person’s culture?

Answer: Street harassers occupy the full spectrum of class, race, and nationality. Sexual harassment, and street harassment specifically, is resisted by people around the globe: HollaBack has received e-mails of support and solidarity from numerous countries and from every continent. To condense another’s culture into vague assumptions about who and what they are is to generalize dangerously about a wide range of experiences and perspectives that exist within any one given culture.

Question: Confronting street harassers can be dangerous. What about safety issues?

Answer: While everyone is vulnerable to stranger rape and sexual assault, studies show that those who are aware of their surroundings, walk with confidence and, if harassed, respond assertively, are less vulnerable. Nevertheless, direct confrontations with street harassers may prove extremely dangerous, particularly alone or in unpopulated spaces. While it is each individual’s right to decide when, how, and if to Holla Back, do keep issues of safety in mind. Upon deciding to photograph a harasser, you may consider doing so substantially after the initial encounter and from a distance, ensuring the harasser is unaware of your actions.

Question: I am a man who was recently sexually objectified by a woman on the street. I think this is reverse harassment. Why won’t you post my story?

Answer: While a woman making unsolicited sexual remarks to a man is certainly conceivable, the power dynamics of such an encounter are very different in a society where women comprise a historically subordinated group. HollaBack is a project dedicated to combating a particular form of violence that designates subordinated groups (such as women and LGBTQ folks, for example) as targets in public spaces or otherwise vulnerable to unsolicited, nonconsensual encounters with strangers. It is thus not a forum for reporting other unpleasantries.

(if you honestly feel that your story shows you as a victim and that you felt threatened, then please, send your story in and we will review it: )

Question: Isn’t street harassment the price you pay for living in a city?

Answer: No, local taxes are the price you pay for living in a city. We would love to see some portion of our local taxes go towards preventing street harassment, but alas, they don’t.In fact, street harassment is not confined to urban areas. It occurs in shopping malls, cars, parking lots, public parks, airplanes, fast-food restaurants, gas stations, churches, and numerous other public spaces.

Question: If you show off your boobage, shouldn’t you expect some compliments?

Answer: Sure, expect them, but don’t accept them! Just because it happens doesn’t mean it’s okay. A compliment is not a compliment if it makes the recipient feel bad.

Question: Sure, but if "the harasser" were hot, wouldn’t you like it?

Answer: This has nothing to do with sex, and everything to do with power.

Question: You’re just a bunch of prudes, then?

Answer: Like we said, this has nothing to do with sex, and everything to do with power.

Question: Street harassment sucks, but it’s only a small part of the patriarchy. Doesn’t focusing on this specific issue detract from everything else we're up against?

Answer: The violence and disrespect experienced daily by countless people in public spaces is a serious problem with real, material consequences. While HollaBack is a project dedicated to this particular issue, it is committed to a coalitional approach and situates street harassment within a larger framework of social and economic questions. Thus, the collective collaborates with a diverse range of feminist, queer and antiracist initiatives.

Got a burning question that you think should be on our FAQs, or just have an idle curiosity, feel free to submit it to:

commitment to antiracism

Replacing sexism with racism is not a proper holla back.

Due in part to prevalent stereotypes of men of color as sexual predators or predisposed to violence, HollaBack-SF asks that contributors do not discuss the race of harassers or include other racialized commentary.

If you feel that race is important to your story, please make sure its relevance is explained clearly and constructively in your post or comments.

Initiatives combating various forms of sexual harassment and assault have continually struggled against the perpetuation of racist stereotypes, in particular the construction of men of color as sexual predators. There exist widespread fictions regarding who perpetrators are: the myth of racial minorities, particularly latino and black men, as prototypical rapists as well as more prone to violence is quite common. This stems in part from a tragic and violent history, where black men in the U.S. were commonly and unjustly accused of assaulting white women as well as lynched by mobs and “tried” in biased courts.

Because of the complexity of institutional and socially ingrained prejudices, HollaBack prioritizes resisting both direct as well as unconscious and unintentional reinforcement of social hierarchies. Simultaneously, HollaBack aims to highlight the interrelations between sexism, racism and other forms of bias and violence.

Further Reading:

"White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack"
"I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group." Short, accessible piece on white privilege and male privilege.

"A Black Feminist Critique of Same-Race Street Harassment"
Focuses on the experiences of black lesbians and the need for black women to hold black men accountable for upholding black patriarchy.

"Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color"
Considers the intersections of racism and patriarchy, and how the experiences of women of color remain unrepresented within the discourses of both feminism and antiracism.

If you have any references that you think would be befitting this page, please do not hesitate to submit their links to: