Day 11 | Stories of resistance | Share yours!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Chances are, most of us have encountered some kind of harassment, whether online or offline. Each encounter is different, depending on who the harasser is, where you are when it happened, the context of the harassment etc.

When caught in the moment, we might sometimes find it hard to respond, especially if the situation has never been encountered before. We might also be worried about the risk of making a situation worse, and opt to keep silent.

But when we are armed with the knowledge of experience, reflection and discussion, we are better able to know what to say and do to define the context, draw the line, and communicate clearly that the action, comment or gesture is not acceptable.

How have you turned the situation around? What was your strategy to transform a threatening and unsafe space into one where you felt safe and in control?

1. Define the harassment

  • Talk about the harassment. Where did it took place (mailing list, office, street etc), who was the harasser (someone you knew, complete stranger etc), and what happened (intrusive stares, words, gestures, actions etc).
  • Did it happen to you? Or to someone you know?
  • The more we know about different types of harassment, the better we are able to define and address them.

2. Stories of resistance

  • How did you respond? Did anyone else help? What was the reaction? Did the situation change?
  • How do you feel thinking back on the situation?
  • Did you come across interesting strategies or initiatives that effectively deals with harassment? Share the idea.
  • Collectively build a repository of useful responses and strategies to address harassment.

3. Grow the conversation!

  • Blog: Tell your story as a blog post, and tag it.
  • Comment: Add a comment to this page. Click on the title of today's action, and scroll down to the comments section.
  • Twitter: If you have a collection of smart responses to throw back at harassers, share them :) Post them up onto Twitter and add the #takebackthetech hashtag.
  • Read the stories and respond to it. Share your thoughts or experience by adding a comment or reply to tweets. Keep the dialogue going :)

Take Back The Tech! Share your story of resistance. Build knowledge and start a conversation on how we can better counter harassment in different spaces.