Hollaback and Party On!

Hollaback and Party On!


On January 31, 2010, Hollaback! introduced ten new sites to their international movement. Everywhere from Buenos Aires to Mumbai to Houston to The Czech Republic to Chicago to DC to San Fransisco to London to New York to Atlanta to Baltimore to more-more-and more cities, you can find women and LGBTQ folks alike hollabackin’ and blogging for their rights to walk, commute, and exist safely.  
Hollaback! is a technology-utilizing crowd-sourced movement aimed at eliminating street harassment. In 2005, it started as a blog in NYC, for women and LGBTQ folks to empathize and take some degree of power over this little known epidemic. It quickly became a phenomenon. Employing two hot new technologies, camera phones and blogs, the female-bodied and LGBTQ communities were able to snap pictures of their harassers in the act- then post it on the worldwide web. This instantly helped make the public aware of what is pervasively silenced and encouraged us to refuse to accept the normalization to walk on in the mistaken belief that street harassment is the unchanging reality that we must endure due to either being female-bodied or LGBTQ individuals.
What is street harassment?
Street harassment is a word or action that is unwanted and non-consensual. Any interaction in a public space that makes you feel violated, sexualized, frightened, or a host of other emotions associated with objectification and threat.  The female-bodied and LGBTQ communities know these as violations of physical space, public masturbation directed towards our presence, and/or, though not excluded to, the common diatribes about our appearance or the harasser’s fantasies.
Street harassment has nothing to do with sex and everything about power.
Hollaback! demands that we take back that power. That we refuse to walk on. It challenges us to say something back to those who think they have a right to say whatever they want to us. It declares that we have the ability to put an end to the least talked about or legislated against form of gender violence.
From eighty to hundred percent of women have been street harassed. One woman or LGBTQ individual is one too many. Eighty to hundred percent is an inarticulatable outrage. By taking a picture of our harassers and talking about our experiences (Hollaback! is now also tracking street harassment, through google locations, to get some hard data!) we’re giving the most bold-faced finger to patriarchy everywhere.
Shawna Potter is the wonder woman responsible for rejuvenating Hollaback Baltimore’s presence. The site is now up and running and waiting for to you to post!
To kick-off Hollaback Baltimore’s revived presence in our fair city, Potter has organized a massive launch party for this upcoming Saturday, February 12th.
Whoa! Wait! That’s today!
Starting at 8pm and lasting 'til 11pm, a fun-a-thon lies in store at The Metro Gallery. Your five-dollar entrance fee, plus possible raffle ticket purchase, helps to grow Hollaback! into the most rad gender violence fighting force.
An all-star band line-up awaits the lucky attendees with: War on Women (Potter’s own band who she fronts in-style!), Thrushes $ Me, and This Army!
The famous comedian Luce Tomlin-Brenner is bound to have us in stitches.
Flipping the power dynamic through blogging and cell phone technology is a power never to be underestimated but unfortunately we sometimes have to defend ourselves in ways a blog post cannot. Krav Maga of Maryland gives us all a self-defense demo for those times when we have to defend our bodies through the power of our bodies.
Vendors and community organizations will be hanging out in style with goodies and information. Keep your eyes peeled for the good folks from Planned Parenthood, TurnAround,WAVE, and the Understanding Campaign.
Lastly, buy a raffle ticket! As previously mentioned, your raffle ticket helps Hollaback! become the most rad gender violence fighting force it can be and you could walk away with something AWESOME from places like: Big Crunch Guitar and Amp Repair, Sugar The Sex Shop, Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffee House, Dirty Carrots Vegan Bakery, and the author Holly Kearl!
If that’s not enough to make you want to come- perhaps the baked goods donated from Stone Mill Bakery, Brunie’s Bakery, and Lanie Cakes will!
As well as the Metro Gallery's specially crafted Holla-tinis or the promised attendance of the Charm City Roller Girls (get your autographs while they’re still in one piece!)!!!!!

We here at Indyreader are picking out our most rockin’ outfits right now so that we can “report” (aka:party) at  tonight’s Hollaback! festivities glamorously!

On a special note, a few weeks ago Shawna Potter sat down with us for an exclusive interview on Hollaback! Baltimore. This Valentine’s Day week, watch for not only a review of the launch party’s festivities and audio from our interview, but also for an in-depth editorial on the importance of the Hollaback! movement. After all, what better way is there to celebrate the time that commercializes one of human beings’ most profound emotions, than by working to smash patriarchy and all of its accompanying violences?

See you at The Metro Gallery tonight for Hollaback Baltimore’s Launch FUN-A-THON!
Bring your camera phones and dancing shoes!

Photo of Corey Reidy

Corey Reidy has been an Indyreader collective member since the start of 2009. And.. she adores it with all her heart. When Reidy isn't editing, writing, interviewing, or other Indyreader-centric organizing, she works to do other forms of radical activism -- including, but not limited to, organizing/being a board member of Hollaback! Baltimore. If she's not organizing, Reidy is most likely reading, biking, or practicing/studying yoga (of which she adores and will 100% go to bat to defend and promote).