Cross Posted from HollabackPHILLY.
The members of the HollabackPHILLY team are separating from the main Hollaback! organization. We will continue to post street harassment stories at philly.ihollaback.org as it is a valuable story-sharing resource that contributes to the rich international network of activism, but all of our ongoing local and national activism will now take place through Feminist Public Works
, an organization we launched in Spring 2014. Our decision to leave the Hollaback! organization was catalyzed by the recent release of the “10 Hours Walking in NYC as a Woman” video. We were just as surprised by the content of the video (which had serious representation issues) as everyone else. Some important details:
- The main Hollaback! organization, based in New York City, released the video independently.
- None of the 79+ international branches were involved in or aware of the project.
- While we all share a brand, each local Hollaback! branch operates independently and receives no funding or significant operational support from the paid Hollaback! staff at the main branch in New York City.
Feminist efforts are not successful unless they simultaneously address other forms of structural and institutionalized prejudices, like racism, ableism, and classism, alongside gender. A movement must have this kind of thinking at its heart to successfully promote the kinds of nuanced conversations necessary to create change that is as expansive, varied, and complex as the people the movement represents. Despite the inspiration and growth we have enjoyed from our involvement with this international network of passionate activists, when our brand affiliations begin to call our intentions and integrity into question, and start to contradict our actions, we know we have a responsibility to act. When our concerns were raised with the Hollaback! leadership in New York, they were not addressed sufficiently enough for us to continue the affiliation. We choose to release a statement publicly distancing ourselves instead of transitioning more quietly because part of being intersectional feminists means we cannot leave all the hard work for others. As we regularly discuss in our workshops, calling out those closest to you is oftentimes the most difficult, but also the most important, stand you can take.