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Source: Ashoka

Training Bystanders: The Pap Smear For Street Harassment

This article originally appeared on Forbes

Emily May co-founded Hollaback! in 2005 to end gender-based street harassment, making it as culturally unacceptable as sexual harassment in the workplace. She has since expanded her work to tackle all forms of harassment, reminding us that for the feminist movement to be intersectional with authenticity requires not always making gender first.

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Ashoka insight

Post-2016 election we saw a rise in the U.S. of anti-Muslim harassment, we saw the #metoo movement, we saw Black Lives Matter. We want to build the movement infrastructure, build a tsunami that's inclusive of all of these identities, that's thoughtful and intersectional. That’s why the vision since 2016 is to look at harassment in all of its forms.

We were slow and deliberate, moving into that in partnership with people as it was needed. Obviously, we continue to look at the component of gender inside all forms of harassment, but we recognize that people aren't holding a singular identity.

There is such an important emphasis on intersectionality within the feminist movement. To be able to be intersectional with authenticity requires not always making gender first. Sometimes, for some people or women, gender is second. We want to be able to really be responsive to the whole human. We want to help people to not just seek to protect the rights of their own identities, but also recognize that their fate is tied up in the fate of others, with other identities as well.

I think we have a tremendous opportunity at this moment in history. As scary as it has been with Covid, I think that the world saw things they could have never imagined being possible, like the world stopped, right? The world stopped. We, the people, realize that the path that we are on is not a path that serves us. And I think there is an opening there to imagine a path that does serve us. Harassment across the board is up, but the idea that we’ve got to take care of each other is up across the world too.