Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Female bookstore owner, latinx, UF grad. Have lived in NYC, but really loved the accountability culture involved with street harassment.
Why do you think ending online harassment is important?
Ending online harassment means allowing a safe space for all people - this should be a right, not a privilege.
How can the online community better address harassment?
I think this is a dual sided issue. Call out culture gets a bad reputation. Sometimes there are no better options than to call someone out, publicly, for harassing someone online or in person. There are people who are repeat offenders and choose to not get the hint after ignored interactions, a lack of engagement, or even "no." However, I also believe that there are some who genuinely do not intend to commit harassment and deserve to be called in, privately, and be told what it is that made the other party uncomfortable. It's about deciphering between the two with emotional intelligence.
What do you hope is the outcome of the account?
Ultimately, the final goal would be that cat callers feel too embarrassed to ever commit the deed again, but this is probably a fantasy.
What's the most difficult street harassment situation you've experienced?
I lived in New York City for a year, and one may think that that's where the most difficult moments occurred - after all you don't have the safety bubble of a car on your way to work, and have to deal with way more people than you would in Florida. Yet, my most difficult experience with street harassment was in Gainesville. Gainesville is home and a small town, so I often leave my vigilance at home and welcome most interactions even with strangers. I was at a traffic light around midnight with my then-boyfriend, and men in a truck in the left turning lane gestured for me to lower my window. It was summer, and students move in around this time so I assumed they were students needing directions. I obliged and opened my window, and these men making lewd hand gestures said, "10/10 would pipe." It was so demeaning and I felt so stupid because I lowered my window to these men - I let this interaction happen.