The CFC

10 Apr 2011


Dear friends,I’m rarely as inspired by a book as I am by Hey Shorty: A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment (http://www.feministpress.org/books/girls-gender-equity-gge/hey-shorty), so I had to write you about it.It’s about a group of New York City high school students fighting harassment in their schools and on the streets, and trying to get the Department of Education to pay attention (links to events and publicity details in bold at the bottom of this email). Harassment is so pervasive that it’s tough to tackle, but these girls were undaunted. I hope you will consider helping them share their story. Making Schools Safer“It is hard to envision a school without sexual harassment. However, if one existed, I imagine it would be a place where kids can excel as students instead of having to worry about what is going to be said or done to them the next time they go in the hallway.” - Kai, youth organizer, quoted in Hey Shorty“So the dean says [you] know how young men think and [you’re] at fault for wearing an outfit that provoked that sort of attention, [you] should have known better, so he can’t do anything about it.”- Ariel, youth organizer, quoted in Hey ShortySchools are supposed to be safe spaces for learning, but it doesn’t always work out that way. For many girls and LGBTQ youth in New York City, sexual harassment inside and outside schools makes sidewalks, hallways, playgrounds and stairwells intimidating. This past Friday, I met with a group of teen girls at the Lower East Side Girls Club, and I heard harrowing stories of harassment by their peers and older men, some of whom loiter outside schools waiting for children to emerge. Several of the girls I spoke with had been followed home or physically grabbed by men or boys. So what can we do about it? Hey Shorty: A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment and Violence in Schools and on the Streets offers a comprehensive strategy. Written by members of the Brooklyn-based group Girls for Gender Equity, it chronicles a girls of color-led campaign against harassment, focusing on New York City schools; girls who led the campaign had been harassed on school property by their fellow students and even teachers. These girls’ work is a potent example of youth activism: they successfully raised awareness about an issue that has too often gone ignored. The girls surveyed thousands of their fellow students around the city about sexual harassment. According to their research, “sexual teasing, ogling and touching is ubiquitous enough that [students] think these types of behavior are a normal part of everyday school experience.” In collaboration with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, the girls made a  documentary about harassment (trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ls-WsoD0gJA ). The young women and the Girls for Gender Equity team tried to get the Department of Education to do something about it, because, it turns out, the D.O.E. is legally required to.  I’d always heard about 1972’s Title IX in the context of athletics (thanks to Patsy Mink of Hawaii— first woman of color in Congress— for authoring the legislation), but it also protects students against sexual harassment. Read this book and you will feel the group’s frustration at finding out that in New York, Title IX coordinators—required by law— are M.I.A..  In my own research on street harassment ( http://blogs.impre.com/latin_nation/2010/09/13/the-uncomfortable-walk-home/ ) I’ve been struck by how often it affects young girls on their way to school— city councilmember Julissa Ferreras, who organized the country’s first ever hearing on street harassment of women and girls last October, heard from girls in her district who were being explicitly harassed as they walked past a construction site on their way to class:http://stopstreetharassment.com/ending/NYCHearingOct2010.htm. But despite all that attention to what happens on the sidewalk, I didn’t know much about what happens once girls arrive at school. According to Hey Shorty, school is no sanctuary.   We need to take action to make the streets and schools safer for our girls (and everyone else). Hey Shorty offers a detailed blueprint for how to do it, by empowering young people to take leadership on this issue and supporting them to develop effective strategies. But as you’ll see, despite all their hard work, these young women and their allies were not able to make the D.O.E. enforce policies that exist to protect students. We must raise awareness of this issue, and of the leadership these young women have taken, so next time the D.O.E. can’t ignore them as easily. These girls had incredible successes, but they can’t do it alone. Please support Hey Shorty: write about it, share it, publicize it and support Girls for Gender Equity http://www.ggenyc.orgIf you’re in the media, please consider reviewing or writing about this book. The publicity person at Feminist Press is Elizabeth Koke <ekoke@gc.cuny.edu>, 212-817-7915. One sheet on Hey Shorty: http://tinyurl.com/ggeheyshortyOrder a copy: it’s just $8.37 here: http://www.feministpress.org/books/girls-gender-equity-gge/hey-shorty.  Buy one in person: I’m speaking at an event in Brooklyn, tomorrow night, and GGE founder Joanne Smith will be there selling books: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=186759621366423. Book release party: Wednesday April 13 at Bluestockings: http://bluestockings.com/events/ For more on sexual harassment in schools, visit the National Women’s Law Center:http://www.nwlc.org/our-issues/education-%2526-title-ix/sexual-harassment-in-education—-These girls know what to do, but they need our support.  Love, Elizabeth P.S.: another fabulous book out this week is by Rachel Lloyd (founder of GEMS www.gems-girls.org)  “Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale, an Activist Finds Her Calling and Heals Herself ” Get a copy if you can!  http://www.powells.com/biblio/62-9780061582059-0

Dear friends,

I’m rarely as inspired by a book as I am by Hey Shorty: A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment (http://www.feministpress.org/books/girls-gender-equity-gge/hey-shorty), so I had to write you about it.It’s about a group of New York City high school students fighting harassment in their schools and on the streets, and trying to get the Department of Education to pay attention (links to events and publicity details in bold at the bottom of this email). Harassment is so pervasive that it’s tough to tackle, but these girls were undaunted. I hope you will consider helping them share their story. 

Making Schools Safer

“It is hard to envision a school without sexual harassment. However, if one existed, I imagine it would be a place where kids can excel as students instead of having to worry about what is going to be said or done to them the next time they go in the hallway.” - Kai, youth organizer, quoted in Hey Shorty

“So the dean says [you] know how young men think and [you’re] at fault for wearing an outfit that provoked that sort of attention, [you] should have known better, so he can’t do anything about it.”- Ariel, youth organizer, quoted in Hey Shorty

Schools are supposed to be safe spaces for learning, but it doesn’t always work out that way. For many girls and LGBTQ youth in New York City, sexual harassment inside and outside schools makes sidewalks, hallways, playgrounds and stairwells intimidating. This past Friday, I met with a group of teen girls at the Lower East Side Girls Club, and I heard harrowing stories of harassment by their peers and older men, some of whom loiter outside schools waiting for children to emerge. Several of the girls I spoke with had been followed home or physically grabbed by men or boys.
 
So what can we do about it? Hey Shorty: A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment and Violence in Schools and on the Streets offers a comprehensive strategy. Written by members of the Brooklyn-based group Girls for Gender Equity, it chronicles a girls of color-led campaign against harassment, focusing on New York City schools; girls who led the campaign had been harassed on school property by their fellow students and even teachers. 

These girls’ work is a potent example of youth activism: they successfully raised awareness about an issue that has too often gone ignored. The girls surveyed thousands of their fellow students around the city about sexual harassment. According to their research, “sexual teasing, ogling and touching is ubiquitous enough that [students] think these types of behavior are a normal part of everyday school experience.” In collaboration with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, the girls made a  documentary about harassment (trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ls-WsoD0gJA ). The young women and the Girls for Gender Equity team tried to get the Department of Education to do something about it, because, it turns out, the D.O.E. is legally required to. 
 
I’d always heard about 1972’s Title IX in the context of athletics (thanks to Patsy Mink of Hawaii— first woman of color in Congress— for authoring the legislation), but it also protects students against sexual harassment. Read this book and you will feel the group’s frustration at finding out that in New York, Title IX coordinators—required by law— are M.I.A.. 
 
In my own research on street harassment ( http://blogs.impre.com/latin_nation/2010/09/13/the-uncomfortable-walk-home/ ) I’ve been struck by how often it affects young girls on their way to school— city councilmember Julissa Ferreras, who organized the country’s first ever hearing on street harassment of women and girls last October, heard from girls in her district who were being explicitly harassed as they walked past a construction site on their way to class:http://stopstreetharassment.com/ending/NYCHearingOct2010.htm. But despite all that attention to what happens on the sidewalk, I didn’t know much about what happens once girls arrive at school. According to Hey Shorty, school is no sanctuary.  
 
We need to take action to make the streets and schools safer for our girls (and everyone else). Hey Shorty offers a detailed blueprint for how to do it, by empowering young people to take leadership on this issue and supporting them to develop effective strategies. But as you’ll see, despite all their hard work, these young women and their allies were not able to make the D.O.E. enforce policies that exist to protect students. We must raise awareness of this issue, and of the leadership these young women have taken, so next time the D.O.E. can’t ignore them as easily. These girls had incredible successes, but they can’t do it alone.
 
Please support Hey Shorty: write about it, share it, publicize it and support Girls for Gender Equity http://www.ggenyc.org

If you’re in the media
, please consider reviewing or writing about this book. The publicity person at Feminist Press is Elizabeth Koke <ekoke@gc.cuny.edu>, 212-817-7915. One sheet on Hey Shorty: http://tinyurl.com/ggeheyshorty

Order a copy: it’s just $8.37 here: http://www.feministpress.org/books/girls-gender-equity-gge/hey-shorty
 
Buy one in person: I’m speaking at an event in Brooklyn, tomorrow night, and GGE founder Joanne Smith will be there selling books: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=186759621366423

Book release party: Wednesday April 13 at Bluestockings: http://bluestockings.com/events/ 

For more on sexual harassment in schools, visit the National Women’s Law Center:http://www.nwlc.org/our-issues/education-%2526-title-ix/sexual-harassment-in-education

—-

These girls know what to do, but they need our support. 
 
Love,
 
Elizabeth
 
P.S.: another fabulous book out this week is by Rachel Lloyd (founder of GEMS 
www.gems-girls.org)  “Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale, an Activist Finds Her Calling and Heals Herself ” Get a copy if you can!  http://www.powells.com/biblio/62-9780061582059-0

  1. blkcowrie reblogged this from theangryblack
  2. dinolikegyno reblogged this from dailymurf
  3. dailymurf reblogged this from resmc
  4. resmc reblogged this from bohemianarthouse
  5. earth2air reblogged this from tofuboots
  6. terrifyme reblogged this from qwertyc0urt
  7. qwertyc0urt reblogged this from hellaheart
  8. lord-kitschener reblogged this from bohemianarthouse
  9. bohemianarthouse reblogged this from tofuboots
  10. hellaheart reblogged this from tofuboots
  11. djafrican reblogged this from katchin05
  12. respectableheauxshit reblogged this from katchin05
  13. katchin05 reblogged this from blackraincloud
  14. chard-femme reblogged this from theangryblack and added:
    I just bought this! I’m so excited for these young women.
  15. deviantkilljoy reblogged this from feministjenn and added:
    This sounds really awesome. ^^ It looks like it might address other social issues too…
  16. moniquill reblogged this from theangryblack
  17. feministjenn reblogged this from theangryblack and added:
    We’re trying to bring them to our campus next semester. :)
  18. theangryblack reblogged this from cabell and added:
    I am putting this on my To Read list. This looks fabulous.
  19. telegantmess reblogged this from isabelthespy
  20. thesnarkysub reblogged this from cabell and added:
    I haven’t read this yet (indeed, it’s just been released) but I have read Back Off!: How to Confront and Stop Sexual...
  21. heroin-e reblogged this from isabelthespy
  22. occipitaloccult reblogged this from so-treu
  23. chupnaraho reblogged this from blackraincloud
  24. isabelthespy reblogged this from so-treu and added:
    !!!!!!!!! girls for gender equity is the group i invited to give us a workshop (FRIENDS FROM SCHOOL MEETING FRIENDS FROM...
  25. cabell reblogged this from so-treu and added:
    This would be great to pair with Dude, You’re a Fag, which we assign in Intro to LGBTQ Studies (and which I also used...