Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Location: United States

Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Holla' Back, NYC

New Yorkers tired of street harassment started this brilliant site last month, having gotten the idea from a woman named Thao Nguyen, who snapped a picture of a man who exposed himself to her on the subway and then posted it on her photoblog. The photo subsequently was published on other sites and in New York's daily papers, resulting in the arrest of Dan Hoyt after he was picked out of a lineup by four separate women to whom he'd also allegedly exposed himself.

The site invites victims of all descriptions and of all levels of harassment to photograph or sketch their harassers if possible and in any case to write up a description of the incident, then send the post for inclusion on the site. And they're posting on occurrences from outside the city, too.

I wish I'd known about this site and had my camera at the ready a few days ago when one freakishly persistant 60-something fellow tried to talk me into taking "private French lessons" from him as I waited for the bus, sang things to me in French about pretty girls at bus stops hooking up with chivalrous strangers (which he then, of course, translated for me with relish), grabbed my bag and carried it on "for me" when the bus arrived (I managed to quickly recover it with a muttered thanks while he was fishing for change), walked all the way to the back to sit next to me (despite my obvious attempts to get away), stared me up and down as I desperately tried to bury myself in a journal article, and then loudly muttered "ungrateful girl" as he got off at his stop.

Well, next time, I will know about it, thanks to Quench 'Zine.

The accounts at this site probably will sound all too familiar to all too many women, in particular. But please be forewarned that many of them are disturbing,