Catcalls, sexual and sexist comments, following, flashing, and groping. Most women in the world have experienced unwanted sexual harassment in public spaces by strangers, or “street harassment.” More than half of harassed women say it began when they were a teenager.
Holly Kearl, an author and leading advocate for stopping street harassment, will be speaking about this issue – and what we can all do about it – at the AAUW McLean Area November Branch Event on Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. at the McLean Community Center.
Kearl is an expert on the topic of gender-based violence, including street harassment and sexual harassment in schools and on college campuses. She is the founder of the nonprofit organization, Stop Street Harassment and a consultant for organizations like the United Nations, the State Department, One World Education, and Change in our Lifetime.
She also works as a part-time facilitator for the Op-Ed Project’s Public Voices Fellowship at Northwestern University, and an adjunct professor of Women’s Studies at George Mason University.
Tired of strange men whistling and honking at her, calling out to her, following her, and grabbing her when she was alone in public, Kearl wrote her master’s thesis in 2007 at GWU on gender-based street harassment and how women were using online websites to combat it.
She has authored two books, “50 Stories about Stopping Street Harassers” (2013) and “Stop Street Harassment: Making Public Places Safe and Welcoming for Women” (2010) and two national studies, Unsafe and Harassed in Public Spaces: A National Street Harassment Report (2014) and Crossing the Line: Sexual Harassment in Schools (2011).
Kearl received a master’s degree in Public Policy and Women’s Studies from George Washington University and bachelor’s degrees in history and women’s studies from Santa Clara University.