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She explains why so many women don't say 'Hello.' The reason is absolutely chilling.

After the hidden-camera street harassment video "10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman" went viral, many asked, "Since when does 'hello' qualify as street harassment?" Author and activist Mikki Kendall created the hashtag #NotJustHello to explain how too often "hello" is just the opening line to lewd comments, threats, and even physical violence.

She explains why so many women don't say 'Hello.' The reason is absolutely chilling.

When it comes to street harassment and conversations surrounding #NotJustHello, here are a few of the responses I've seen and would like to put to rest:

"But this is just one woman's story!"

While there are thousands of women from around the world sharing their stories with the #NotJustHello hashtag on Twitter, out of respect I chose to feature Mikki's not only because she started the hashtag but because I had her permission. Unfortunately, the Internet has a tendency to attack women who are brave enough to talk about sexual violence online, and the last thing I want to do is encourage that by sharing anyone's story without their consent.


"Oh, so now I can't say hello to a woman without her thinking I'm a creep?"

No. Saying "hello" does not mean you're a creep or that you're automatically harassing someone. It's also important to remember that cultural norms are different in different places. In small towns, it's not uncommon to say hello to a stranger in passing, but in bigger cities like New York where everyone's on the go, hello from a stranger might seem kinda odd.

Generally speaking, there's nothing wrong with being polite and saying hello to a passing stranger. But it's important to understand that SOME women may not respond because of past experiences with street harassment that followed what appeared to be a polite "hello." Essentially, the creeps have ruined it for the nice guys. It sucks, but this is where we're at.



Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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