More

They Finally Did It. Some Women Had Enough Of Creepy Men's Crap And Documented Their Experiences.

If you've ever endured standing in line waiting to pay for your Chinese food while trying desperately not to make eye contact with the dude aggressively staring you down with all the confidence of knowing there's nothing you can do about it (like I had to last week), you'll understand what I mean. Leah Beckmann and Mark Lotto from Matter gave us their blessing to republish this eye-opening breakdown of street harassment documented by women the world over. Each brand of harassment listed is completely unacceptable.

They Finally Did It. Some Women Had Enough Of Creepy Men's Crap And Documented Their Experiences.

We asked 10 women in nine countries to record every instance of street harassment—every catcall, every ass-ogle, every creepy look—for an entire week. The results? A strong argument for just becoming a shut-in.

Edited by Leah Beckmann


Catcalling—a cute name that uses the image of a soft mammal on a telephone to stand in for some super rude behavior—is something women experience everywhere, in every city and country, all the time.

Some women think it’s a compliment; that a stroll down Confidence Avenue is not only healthy, but that hearing the opinions of male strangers, usually shouted from streetcorners or a moving car—Can’t stop! Too many other girls to catcall!—is “validating.” This is…a questionable argument to make. For most of us, catcalling is mortifying at best; at worst, it makes you want to pull out someone’s eyeballs with your bare hands.

For one full week in September, we asked women from 10 different cities around the globe to keep a diary record of any kind of unwanted attention they received, including every untoward advance from a stranger, every leering stare and smile and “Hey baby” directed their way.

Here’s what we learned:

1.

Based on the individual experiences of these 10 women, Mexico City was the worst of the group—with 29 catcalls in a single week. San Francisco and Nairobi were basically tied for second, with 17 and 16 respectively. Tel Aviv and Occidental College in L.A. had the least, with only two. (For our college correspondent, both of those happened off campus, so you could count Occidental as zero.)

2.

Italy wins for Most True To Its Cultural Stereotype. Short of screaming out, “Mama mia, when the moon hits your eye I’m a pepperoni pizza,” the men of Rome, Sicily, and Le Cinque Terre couldn’t have been more on the nose if they tried. A sample from our Italy correspondent:

As soon as I got off the plane in Sicily’s Cantania airport, I dragged myself to the first coffee shop in sight, half-asleep. The young waiter — a slender young man, aged between 25 and 30, with blond hair and blue eyes, wearing his black uniform as a waiter at a coffee bar — had a welcoming smile for all clients who were having their croissants and cappuccinos. He took my order, served me my double espresso and croissant, and moved on to the German woman standing next to me. “Could you possibly have a prosciutto sandwich before 9am?” he asked me in Italian, knowing the German lady wouldn’t probably understand. I lifted my eyes up from my espresso and he muttered, “Are you an American movie star?” I must have looked perplexed. “OK, maybe not. I just meant to say that we could turn off the lights here, now that you and your eyes walked in.” Buongiorno, Sicily!

3.

There are two kinds of catcallers in this world. Those who are annoying as hell but feign politeness:

And those who are annoying as hell but have adopted an IDGAF attitude toward politeness:



4.

In Mexico City, our correspondent encountered behavior so aggressive, she began to wonder what she had with her that would work as a weapon.

“I was walking faster now, and started thinking about what I could use to hit him if I had to, and I thought about using a water bottle if he came too close.”

And when she called police:

“These were the two cops I’d called, one female and one male. They were talking to me about my complaint, but kept staring at my hip tattoos. I pulled up my pants but they still kept trying to see them.”Debora Poo Soto, Mexico City

5.

Women almost always experienced catcalls when they were alone.

6.

Men, on the other hand, often catcall when they are with other men. They do it a lot when they’re alone too. Men catcall all the time, constantly, always. Men, you are never not catcalling. Women’s sole purpose in this world is being a thing at which you can catcall.

7.



And now a scene from Singapore, and also every other place in the world:

Man: Hey girl.
Woman: …Hi.
Man: Can I buy you a drink?
Woman: No thank y—


Man, violating the laws of physics, already at the next table of women: Hey girl. Can I buy you a drink?

Woman:

8.

Several of the cities found that catcallers are very preoccupied with the smiles of the women around them. The most common catcall our contributors experienced was some variation of, “Can I get a smile?” or “Hey girl, did you forget how to smile?”

9.

Kati Krause, Berlin’s correspondent: “Sexism is much more insidious here (so much so that I sometimes miss the more overt type in Spain).” From her diary:

Two sleazy-looking middle-aged men in suits were smoking outside the opening of a cinema-turned-art space and shooting looks at the young women around them. ‘You can forget about the art, but the in-crowd, the in-crowd is here,’ one of them said.”

10.

Catcalling usually occurred while women were commuting, probably because this is the time when women are most often alone. It is also one of the many times of day when there are men.

11.

Catcalling doesn’t always happen on street corners and from moving cars; it happens up close, in, for instance, grocery store checkout lines.

“The man in line behind me belched a hot stench of vodka’ed breath in my direction. The hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.” — Anonymous, Ulan Bator, Mongolia

12.

…which is an incredibly offensive insult in Swahili. It is best translated as, Come and sell sex for us.”

13.

Men often—like, often—stare at women’s boobs and butts and the rest of their bodies. One of the most common “themes” of the diaries was an intense Leg Stare our contributors received when walking. There were 7 total incidences involving legs—in New York, San Francisco, Nairobi, and Ulan Bator, Mongolia—along with the comment, “You have beautiful legs, eyes…”

14.

It’s not just the construction worker cliches that apply. Here’s Sarah Emerson, from New York, on a Monday morning encounter in a Whole Foods:

I was standing in line to pay for my lunch at Whole Foods, chatting with a coworker. Clutching my shitty array of terrible salad bar items, I noticed that a guy in the neighboring check-out lane seemed to creepily catch my glance every time I looked in his general direction.

He was older, maybe in his forties, and sported a sleek man-bun. Holding onto a container of sushi and a bottle of kombucha, he gave me an obvious once-over. Ugh.

There’s a feeling you get in your gut when you realize you’re being leered at by a strange man. Imagine someone running their hands along your body without your consent. The reaction is like an urge to puke coupled with a strong desire to rip their eyeballs out. Yeah, that sounds dramatic and violent (Scout’s Honor, I have never ripped anyone’s eyeballs out), but unwelcome looks can be just as violating as other forms of sexual harassment.

It’s difficult to reject an obscene glance. It’s embarrassing to say “stop looking at me.” It’s impossible to prevent someone from eye-fucking you.

Short of stealing my food, there was nothing I could do to evade his gaze, so I waited in line until it was over.

15.

However, all of the cliches also apply:

“Dayummm!”San Francisco.

16.

Catcallers are everywhere. Even in your church in Nairobi. Blessings.

“Bwana wazuri wako kanisani, nijaribu,’ which means, ‘Good men are found in church. Try me.”—Violet Andoyo

17.

So: What does this all mean? It means that we should take a good hard look at the world around us. I mean physically, right now, take your eyes and peer into that bush over there. Is there a man in it? Because here is one thing we know for sure: No matter where we are in this big wide world of ours, wherever there is a woman walking to work, or buying her high heels and tampons at a grocery store, or loudly singing to a Taylor Swift song in her Jetta, or standing, literally just standing anywhere on terra firma, there you will find a pervy man demanding proof that this lady remembers how to smile.

Please read the full diaries. (Really, do it. They’re great.):

  1. Kati Krause in Berlin.
  2. Italy (Rome, Sicily, La Cinque Terre)
  3. Los Angeles (Occidental College)
  4. Mexico City
  5. Nairobi, Kenya
  6. New York City
  7. San Francisco
  8. Singpore
  9. Tel Aviv
  10. Ulan Bator, Mongolia
Courtesy of Farwiza Farhan
True

Growing up in Indonesia, Farwiza Farhan always loved the ocean. It's why she decided to study marine biology. But the more she learned, the more she realized that it wasn't enough to work in the ocean. She needed to protect it.

"I see the ocean ecosystem collapsing due to overfishing and climate change," she says. "I felt powerless and didn't know what to do [so] I decided to pursue my master's in environmental management."

This choice led her to work in environmental protection, and it was fate that brought her back home to the Leuser Ecosystem in Sumatra, Indonesia — one of the last places on earth where species such as tigers, orangutans, elephants and Sumatran rhinoceros still live in the wild today. It's also home to over 300 species of birds, eight of which are endemic to the region.

"When I first flew over the Leuser Ecosystem, I saw an intact landscape, a contiguous block of lush, diverse vegetation stretched through hills and valleys. The Leuser is truly a majestic landscape — one of a kind."

She fell in love. "I had my first orangutan encounter in the Leuser Ecosystem," she remembers. "As the baby orangutan swung from the branches, seemingly playing and having fun, the mother was observing us. I was moved by the experience."

Courtesy of Farwiza Farhan

"Over the years," she continues, "the encounters with wildlife, with people, and with the ecosystem itself compounded. My curiosity and interest towards nature have turned into a deep desire to protect this biodiversity."

So, she began working for a government agency tasked to protect it. After the agency dismantled for political reasons in the country, Farhan decided to create the HAkA Foundation.

"The goals [of HAkA] are to protect, conserve and restore the Leuser Ecosystem while at the same time catalyzing and enabling just economic prosperity for the region," she says.

"Wild areas and wild places are rare these days," she continues. "We think gold and diamonds are rare and therefore valuable assets, but wild places and forests, like the Leuser Ecosystems, are the kind of natural assets that essentially provide us with life-sustaining services."

"The rivers that flow through the forest of the Leuser Ecosystem are not too dissimilar to the blood that flows through our veins. It might sound extreme, but tell me — can anyone live without water?"

Courtesy of Farwiza Farhan

So far, HAkA has done a lot of work to protect the region. The organization played a key role in strengthening laws that bring the palm oil companies that burn forests to justice. In fact, their involvement led to an unprecedented, first-of-its-kind court decision that fined one company close to $26 million.

In addition, HAkA helped thwart destructive infrastructure plans that would have damaged critical habitat for the Sumatran elephants and rhinos. They're working to prevent mining destruction by helping communities develop alternative livelihoods that don't damage the forests. They've also trained hundreds of police and government rangers to monitor deforestation, helping to establish the first women ranger teams in the region.

"We have supported multiple villages to create local regulation on river and land protection, effectively empowering communities to regain ownership over their environment."

She is one of Tory Burch's Empowered Women this year. The donation she receives as a nominee is being awarded to the Ecosystem Impact Foundation. The small local foundation is working to protect some of the last remaining habitats of the critically endangered leatherback turtle that lives on the west coast of Sumatra.

"The funds will help the organization keep their ranger employed so they can continue protecting the islands, endangered birds and sea turtle habitats," she says.

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen. Do you know an inspiring woman like Farwiza? Nominate her today!

Jennifer Lawrence

After being a Hollywood staple, Jennifer Lawrence vanished from the public eye following the release of "X-Men Dark Phoenix" in 2019.

Sure, the pandemic had something to do with that … in addition to the usual way our society treats Hollywood "it" girls, once it grows accustomed to the flavor. But in a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Lawrence opens up about some other reasons she chose to step away for a time.

Lawrence went from being a highly sought-after Oscar-winning actress to starring in less-than-successful films like "Passengers," "Mother!" and "Red Sparrow." The films were not only poorly received among critics, but commercially as well.

"I was not pumping out the quality that I should have," she told VF. "I just think everybody had gotten sick of me. I'd gotten sick of me. It had just gotten to a point where I couldn't do anything right. If I walked a red carpet, it was, 'Why didn't she run?'"

So then, why do it? As any workaholic would know, it's about so much more than money.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of Ms. Lopez
True

Marcella Lopez didn't always want to be a teacher — but once she became one, she found her passion. That's why she's stayed in the profession for 23 years, spending the past 16 at her current school in Los Angeles, where she mostly teaches children of color.

"I wanted purpose, to give back, to live a life of public service, to light the spark in others to think critically and to be kind human beings," she says. "More importantly, I wanted my students to see themselves when they saw me, to believe they could do it too."

Ms. Lopez didn't encounter a teacher of color until college. "That moment was life-changing for me," she recalls. "It was the first time I felt comfortable in my own skin as a student. Always remembering how I felt in that college class many years ago has kept me grounded year after year."

It's also guided her teaching. Ms. Lopez says she always selects authors and characters that represent her students and celebrate other ethnicities so students can relate to what they read while also learning about other cultures.

"I want them to see themselves in the books they read, respect those that may not look like them and realize they may have lots in common with [other cultures] they read about," she says.

She also wants her students to have a different experience in school than she did.

When Ms. Lopez was in first grade, she "was speaking in Spanish to a new student, showing her where the restroom was when a staff member overheard our conversation and directed me to not speak in Spanish," she recalls. "In 'this school,' we only speak English," she remembers them saying. "From that day forward, I was made to feel less-than and embarrassed to speak the language of my family, my ancestors; the language I learned to speak first."

Part of her job, she says, is to find new ways to promote acceptance and inclusion in her classroom.

"The worldwide movement around social justice following the death of George Floyd amplified my duty as a teacher to learn how to discuss racial equity in a way that made sense to my little learners," she says. "It ignited me to help them see themselves in a positive light, to make our classroom family feel more inclusive, and make our classroom a safe place to have authentic conversations."

One way she did that was by raising money through DonorsChoose to purchase books and other materials for her classroom that feature diverse perspectives.

Courtesy of Ms. Lopez

The Allstate Foundation recently partnered with DonorsChoose to create a Racial Justice and Representation category to encourage teachers like Ms. Lopez to create projects that address racial equity in the classroom. To launch the category, The Allstate Foundation matched all donations to these projects for a total of $1.5 million. Together, they hope to drive awareness and funding to projects that bring diversity, inclusion, and identity-affirming learning materials into classrooms across the country. You can see current projects seeking funding here.

When Ms. Lopez wanted to incorporate inclusive coloring books into her lesson plans, The Allstate Foundation fully funded her project so she was able to purchase them.

"I'm a lifelong learner, striving to be my best version of myself and always working to inspire my little learners to do the same," she says. Each week, Ms. Lopez and the students would focus on a page in the book and discuss its message. And she plans to do the same again this school year.

"DonorsChoose has been a gamechanger for my students. Without the support of all the donors that come together on this platform, we wouldn't have a sliver of what I've been able to provide for my students, especially during the pandemic," she says.

"My passion is to continue striving to be excellent, and to continue to find ways to use literature as an anchor, depicting images that reflect my students," she says.

To help teachers like Ms. Lopez drive this important mission forward, donate on DonorsChoose.

Courtesy of Ms. Lopez

This story was originally published on The Mighty and originally appeared here on 07.21.17


Most people imagine depression equals “really sad," and unless you've experienced depression yourself, you might not know it goes so much deeper than that. Depression expresses itself in many different ways, some more obvious than others. While some people have a hard time getting out of bed, others might get to work just fine — it's different for everyone.

Keep Reading Show less

Tired of avocados turning brown? Try this simple trick.

Ah, the delicious, creamy avocado. We love it, despite its fleeting ripeness and frustrating tendency to turn brown when you try to store it. From salads to guacamole to much-memed millennial avocado toast, the weird berry (that's right—it's a berry) with the signature green flesh is one of the more versatile fruits, but also one of the more fickle. Once an avocado is ready, you better cut it open within hours because it's not going to last.

Once it's cut, an avocado starts to oxidize, turning that green flesh a sickly brown color. It's not harmful to eat, but it's not particularly appetizing. The key to keeping the browning from happening is to keep the flesh from being exposed to oxygen.

Some people rub an unused avocado half with oil to keep oxidation at bay. Others swear by squeezing some lemon juice over it. Some say placing plastic wrap tightly over it with the pit still in it will keep it green.

But a YouTube video from Avocados from Mexico demonstrates a quick, easy, eco-friendly way to store half an avocado that doesn't require anything but a container and some water.

Keep Reading Show less