The Street Harassment Project is a New York City based activist group
that works against the omnipresent harassment on the street and in
other public places of women by men. We feel that street harassment
in its varying forms is an expression of male supremacy and sexism
and a form of terrorization of women, with the ultimate effect of
threatening any public activity. We believe that all women are subjected
to street harassment; and that some groups of women, including young
women, women of color, and women perceived as lesbians are subjected
to forms of street harassment which reflect those prejudices as well.
And we reject the idea that this situation is inevitable and unchangeable,
and that this behavior represents innate male nature.
We began as an outgrowth of Feminist Living Lab's monthly Consciousness
Raising group in 1999 following a meeting where we screened Maggie
Hadleigh West's documentary Warzone and discussed street harassment. We
met a few times that year and raised some money for a graphics project.
When we decided to try to revive the group this summer after not
meeting for a while, the date we set coincidentally was the Thursday
after the sexual assaults which occurred in Central Park after the
Puerto Rican Day Parade. A large group of motivated women and girls
turned out, and we quickly organized a rally for that weekend in
coalition with Riot Grrrl NY and Lisa Oelfke of the Violence Against
Women Act Coalition.
We have met weekly since that new beginning, participated in several
other direct-action protests with organizations like Riot Grrrl NY
and BASTA [Bringing All Sisters To Action], and formed working groups
for different projects. Our Graphics working group has produced a
set of cards for public distribution. Our Street Theater working group
has performed songs, chants and skits about street harassment in various
public spaces. We have completed a Statement
of Purpose outlining our beliefs, goals and procedures, and begun
stories of street harassment from women and girls for purposes
of documentation and possible statistical analysis.
Please contact us if you are interested in taking a stand against
street harassment! We meet weekly in Manhattan as well as organizing
and participating in various actions and events around NYC. We are
a female-only group, but we will work in coalition with profeminist
male supporters. We are interested in connecting with other feminists
everywhere to share experiences, strategy and information. The cards
and other products of the Graphics working group are available for
of Purpose can be read on our web site, and is also available
as a brochure. For more information email us, or leave a message on
either of our hotlines.