More

Catcalling is a form of abuse. Here's what one county in the U.K. is doing to stop it.

Finally one place has realized there should be repercussions for street harassment.

Catcalling is a form of abuse. Here's what one county in the U.K. is doing to stop it.

If you're a woman living on planet Earth, odds are you've been catcalled at some point in your life.

Photo by iStock.



If you live in a major metropolitan area, it probably happens all too often. When I spoke to women in the United States about being catcalled, they told me about their everyday experiences of harassment on the street.

"When I was a teenager, I was told that if I didn't have huge tits, no one would know who I was," said Shelley, who lives in New York (and who, like all the women I talked to, asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of her story).

"One time a stranger grabbed my ass as he walked passed me, and when I yelled at him and called him an asshole, he pretended he hadn't done it," explained Heidi, who lives in San Diego.

"I was smiling on the subway and this guy follows me home, repeatedly asking me to marry him, saying I must be in love with him because I smiled at him," recounted Liv, another New Yorker.

This kind of harassment can happen anywhere.

Based on data collected by the nonprofit Stop Street Harassment, catcalling is a worldwide epidemic.

Photo by iStock.

According to their most recent nationwide study (2014), 65% of women in the United States have experienced street harassment in some form. In Egypt in 2013, the figure jumps to 99%. And in the U.K., 84% of women say they've been harassed by someone on the street before age 17.

However, that last number may drop soon thanks to a new effort to classify harassment against women as a hate crime.

Last week, the Nottinghamshire Police officially declared misogyny a "hate crime."

What this means: If a woman files a complaint with the police, it can be "tagged" as a hate crime against women, allowing the police to note how harassment starts so they can be better equipped to prevent it in the future.

The idea, however, began with a local community group.


Nottingham Women's Centre recommended that this kind of change would increase safety for women in the community. So the Nottingham Police made a public commitment to register misogyny as a hate crime and train their officers to recognize its signs.

Photo by iStock.

While the policy is not perfect (the language of the hate crime clause is somewhat vague), it's still a step forward because it teaches officers to recognize subtle signs of harassment.

Some examples include "unwanted or uninvited sexual advances, unwanted or uninvited physical or verbal contact or engagement ... and use of mobile devices to send unwanted or uninvited messages or take photographs without consent or permission."


Photo by Siska Gremmel Prez/Getty Images.

"We want to send a strong message that the extreme end of this type of behavior is not acceptable and Nottinghamshire Police will take it very seriously," Jack Storey, a police spokesperson, told Upworthy.

For that, the women of Nottinghamshire are grateful — and eager to continue the conversation.

Storey has already seen an uptick in the number of women coming forward to talk about their harassment experiences. And the Women's Centre has already had incredibly encouraging responses from women like this one, who asked to remain anonymous but has already felt a huge difference with the changes in the law:

“Yesterday I felt ten feet taller walking around this city. I literally felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. It was amazing because I know that many men who might normally want to shout or whistle will have read about this and they will have to stop and reflect.”

Her confidence is proof that we're winning the fight against street harassment. It's a win in the fight against fear. And it's a win for women everywhere.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
True

Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

Keep Reading Show less
Wikiimages by Pixabay, Dr. Jacqueline Antonovich/Twitter

The 1776 Report isn't just bad, it's historically bad, in every way possible.

When journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones published her Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project for The New York Times, some backlash was inevitable. Instead of telling the story of America's creation through the eyes of the colonial architects of our system of government, Hannah-Jones retold it through the eyes of the enslaved Africans who were forced to help build the nation without reaping the benefits of democracy. Though a couple of historical inaccuracies have had to be clarified and corrected, the 1619 Project is groundbreaking, in that it helps give voice to a history that has long been overlooked and underrepresented in our education system.

The 1776 Report, in turn, is a blaring call to return to the whitewashed curriculums that silence that voice.

In September of last year, President Trump blasted the 1619 Project, which he called "toxic propaganda" and "ideological poison" that "will destroy our country." He subsequently created a commission to tell the story of America's founding the way he wanted it told—in the form of a "patriotic education" with all of the dog whistles that that phrase entails.

Mission accomplished, sort of.

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.