More

Catcalling is a form of abuse. Here's what one county in the U.K. is doing to stop it.

Finally one place has realized there should be repercussions for street harassment.

Catcalling is a form of abuse. Here's what one county in the U.K. is doing to stop it.

If you're a woman living on planet Earth, odds are you've been catcalled at some point in your life.

Photo by iStock.



If you live in a major metropolitan area, it probably happens all too often. When I spoke to women in the United States about being catcalled, they told me about their everyday experiences of harassment on the street.

"When I was a teenager, I was told that if I didn't have huge tits, no one would know who I was," said Shelley, who lives in New York (and who, like all the women I talked to, asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of her story).

"One time a stranger grabbed my ass as he walked passed me, and when I yelled at him and called him an asshole, he pretended he hadn't done it," explained Heidi, who lives in San Diego.

"I was smiling on the subway and this guy follows me home, repeatedly asking me to marry him, saying I must be in love with him because I smiled at him," recounted Liv, another New Yorker.

This kind of harassment can happen anywhere.

Based on data collected by the nonprofit Stop Street Harassment, catcalling is a worldwide epidemic.

Photo by iStock.

According to their most recent nationwide study (2014), 65% of women in the United States have experienced street harassment in some form. In Egypt in 2013, the figure jumps to 99%. And in the U.K., 84% of women say they've been harassed by someone on the street before age 17.

However, that last number may drop soon thanks to a new effort to classify harassment against women as a hate crime.

Last week, the Nottinghamshire Police officially declared misogyny a "hate crime."

What this means: If a woman files a complaint with the police, it can be "tagged" as a hate crime against women, allowing the police to note how harassment starts so they can be better equipped to prevent it in the future.

The idea, however, began with a local community group.


Nottingham Women's Centre recommended that this kind of change would increase safety for women in the community. So the Nottingham Police made a public commitment to register misogyny as a hate crime and train their officers to recognize its signs.

Photo by iStock.

While the policy is not perfect (the language of the hate crime clause is somewhat vague), it's still a step forward because it teaches officers to recognize subtle signs of harassment.

Some examples include "unwanted or uninvited sexual advances, unwanted or uninvited physical or verbal contact or engagement ... and use of mobile devices to send unwanted or uninvited messages or take photographs without consent or permission."


Photo by Siska Gremmel Prez/Getty Images.

"We want to send a strong message that the extreme end of this type of behavior is not acceptable and Nottinghamshire Police will take it very seriously," Jack Storey, a police spokesperson, told Welcometoterranova.

For that, the women of Nottinghamshire are grateful — and eager to continue the conversation.

Storey has already seen an uptick in the number of women coming forward to talk about their harassment experiences. And the Women's Centre has already had incredibly encouraging responses from women like this one, who asked to remain anonymous but has already felt a huge difference with the changes in the law:

“Yesterday I felt ten feet taller walking around this city. I literally felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. It was amazing because I know that many men who might normally want to shout or whistle will have read about this and they will have to stop and reflect.”

Her confidence is proof that we're winning the fight against street harassment. It's a win in the fight against fear. And it's a win for women everywhere.

True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


Strangers helping out strangers is always a heartwarming thing. But when lots and lots of strangers come together to help one individual who needs and deserves a little hand up, we get a much-needed flood of warm, gushy best-of-humanity feelings.

Such is the case of an 89-year-old pizza delivery man, Derlin Newey, who happened to win the hearts of the Valdez family after he delivered them a pizza and struck up a conversation. Newey had no idea his friendly demeanor and obviously stellar work ethic would soon make him a TikTok star, nor did he expect an outpouring of donations from perfect strangers that relieve some of his burden.

Carlos Valdez shared the initial pizza delivery video, taken through the family's Nest doorbell, on TikTok about a week ago. "Hello, are you looking for some pizza?" Newey says when they answer the door, then chats with them for a while.


Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


My husband and I had just finished watching "The Office" for the third time through and were looking for a new show to watch before bed. I'd seen a couple of friends highly recommend "Schitt's Creek," so we decided to give it a try.

My initial reaction to the first episode was meh. The characters were annoying and the premise was weird (pretentious and previously-filthy-rich family lives in a scuzzy motel in the middle of nowhere??). I felt nothing for the main characters, and I hate shows with horrible main characters that I can't root for. Even predicting that they were going to eventually be transformed by their small town experiences, I didn't see liking them. It didn't grab either of us as worth continuing, so we stopped.

But then I kept hearing people whose taste I trust implicitly talk about how great it was. I know different people have different tastes, but I realized I had to be missing something if these friends of mine raved on and on about it. So we gave it another shot.

It took a bit—I don't know how many episodes exactly, but a bit—to start liking it. Then a bit longer to start really liking it, and then at some point, it became a full-fledged, gushy, where-have-you-been-all-my-life love affair.

So when the show took home nine Emmy awards over the weekend—breaking the record for the most wins in a season for a comedy—I wasn't surprised. Here's why:

Keep Reading Show less

Working parents have always had the challenge of juggling career and kids. But during the pandemic, that juggling act feels like a full-on, three-ring circus performance, complete with clowns and rings of fire and flying elephants.

With millions of kids doing virtual learning, our routines and home lives have taken a dramatic shift. Some parents are trying to navigate working from home at the same time, some are trying to figure out who's going to watch over their kids while they work outside the home, and some are scrambling to find a new job because theirs got eliminated due to the pandemic. In addition to the logistical challenges, parents also have to deal with the emotional ups and downs of their kids, who are also dealing with an uncertain and altered reality, while also managing their own existential dread.

It's a whole freaking lot right now, honestly.

Keep Reading Show less