Stress Management Tips

School3With school underway and teachers assigning homework left and right, stress continues to overcome so many teenagers! Here are some helpful tips to learn how to deal with stress both before and during overwhelming situations.

Getting Organized

It is important to be conscious of what is most important and should come foremost in your everyday life. Appropriately prioritizing involves being organized. Use sticky notes to your advantage by writing out to-do lists. Take notice on what is actually important and not what seems important.

“I make sure to write down things that need to get down as soon as I remember them because I know that I will forget later on. Even if I think I will remember, I don’t take that chance,” said Bianka, 14, 8th grade.

Planning ahead is also essential to organizing your tasks. This allows you to be able to set aside tasks that are not as important and to avoid consuming time and wasting valuable energy on unproductive labors.

Make the Most of Your Valuable Time! 

Aside from the given— social media, watching TV, over sleeping, etc…—procrastinating, the inability to make up your mind and being heavily involved in perfecting every task in order to meet your high standards, can take up our valuable time!

Procrastinating wastes time and limits productivity. Waiting for the perfect time to finish your homework or finish your chores will just waste more time. There will never be that “perfect” time. Life’s uncertainties should not cause you to procrastinate and become indecisive. There will be many decisions you make that will have it’s own uncertainties, but the most wise and productive thing to do is make the best, most effective choice with the help of your friends and family.

“I like to keep myself busy which keeps me on top of things. I realized that if I avoid lounging around too much, I am more motivated to get things done,” said Rosa Alvarado, 15, 9th grade.

Trying to perfect every task you take on is not good for you! Take it easy sometimes. It is great to have high standards, but it is not wise to allow them to take up unnecessary time. It can cause you to stress out because of being afraid to disappoint yourself. It is okay to make mistakes every once in a while because that is how we learn.

Balancing Responsibilities

While in school, it is good to consider that you can only fully attain two of three priorities in your life: sleep, good grades, or a social life. Therefore, it is important to have a balanced and realistic view of your priorities and how much time and energy you commit to them.

Extracurricular activities can be fun and enjoyable, but when homework must also be accomplished along with meeting extracurricular requirements, it can become overwhelming. It is important to balance these voluntary activities so that homework does not seem as overwhelming— taking away the joy you should be experiencing with these fun activities.

Going hand in hand with balancing responsibilities, sufficient sleep is also necessary. Getting eight hours of sleep can have a positive effect physically, emotionally, and cognitively. So as much as it is important to get homework done and meet extracurricular activity requirements, it is also good to be able to have some free time on your hands as well and enjoy yourself!

“Being involved in extracurricular activities can be fun, but my parents help me out to make sure that I’m also on top of my school work. Bad grades=no extracurricular involvement,” said Emily, 13, 7th grade.

Life can be full of surprises and filled with endless decisions—this can seem and feel overwhelming. Just keep making the most of your time and making the choices that you think are best, and everything will fall into place!

DIY Easter Decorations

Easter season and the Easter bunny is hopping right around the corner! Add a little extra oomf to your Easter weekend by making your own decorations. You can make these decorations at home for yourself, friends or family. Some are simple, so even the not-so-crafty can join in on the fun. Here are some fun and easy ideas to try:

The Powderpuff Bunnies

These are bunnies made out of white powdered donuts! This DIY is inspired by Jeanscraftycorner.blogspot.com. Simply take a clear, 4-pack of powdered doughnuts, tape a bunny head/face to the top, a cotton ball to the back, little white ovals for feet, and you have… the powderpuff bunnies!

Step 1: Buy however many 4-packs of doughnuts (1 pack per bunny) and make sure the packaging around the doughnuts is clear.

Step 2: Find an image of the bunny face you would like to use for your powderpuff bunnies (feel free to get creative and use a different face for each one). Then tape or hot glue the face to the front of the package. Then take a cotton ball and glue it to the back for the tail!

Step 3: Cut little ovals from white construction paper, and draw on them to create the paws! You just draw lines for the toes, or maybe draw on some sandals for your bunnies. Then glue or tape them to the front.

White powdered donut packages dressed up like bunnies

Photo Credit: jeanscraftycorner

 

 

Easter Egg Tumble(r)

Plastic Tumbler "Easter Basket" ~ Plastic Tumbler, Embellishments (Ribbon, Vinyl, Rhinestones, Stickers, etc.)... Decorate the tumbler as you wish then fill it with goodies! This idea is very simple, for those not so into crafting, but can also be very elaborate for those who are. A great idea for anyone wanting to give out something cool for Easter that may not have the time, or for the person looking for a fun, creative project! The “wiggle room” involved makes it fun for everyone. Benfranklincrafts.blogpost.com inspired these cute Easter Egg Tumblers. Here’s how you can create your very own:

Step 1: Purchase a tumbler or mason jar of your choice at a local craft store. These can also be found pretty much anywhere (CVS,Wal-Mart, grocery stores, etc.). Gather all the materials you’re going to use to decorate your jar (gel marker, ribbons, rhinestones, etc.) and begin decorating the outside of your jar.

Step 2: Take whatever goodies you want to give and put them inside the tumbler. You can get creative and layer the candies by color, use fake grass, or just fill the tumbler with things you like.

Step 3: Give out to friends, family or just keep it for yourself!

Easter Egg Garland

Photo Credit: Honeyandfitz.com

It’s that time of year again where we take out our massively accumulating collection of WAY to many plastic easter eggs and have a massive egg hunt. If only there were some other way to use the eggs so they will not go to waste with only one use! Well, Honeyandfitz.com  found a way to make cute decorations for your home.

Step 1: Gather your materials: plastic eggs with holes in the top and bottom, 3/4 inch ribbon, sturdy thread, and a needle. Next, take your ribbon and thread it through the holes in your egg. This can be tricky, so use something small and pointy like a toothpick. Repeat this step 2 more times for different color ribbon.

Step 2: Use your needle to thread the string through the first egg. Once you have done this successfully, you can begin sliding more of your eggs onto the string.

Step 3: Cut the string after you’ve done your last egg and hang the garland in your lovely home!  This person (see right) used it as a drapery over their door, but you can also lay your garland around a table, or even hang it straight from the ceiling to create a “garland curtain.”

 

Have your own DIY ideas to share? Send an e-mail to editor@latinitasmagazine.og. 

 

Review: Cesar Chávez

Cesar_Chavez_2014_filmIt’s only appropriate that around the time of Cesar Chávez day, that we reflect on the work of Chávez and the strides he made for Mexican American workers. He founded the United Farm Workers in 1962 and supported various worker strikes in California and Texas; his impact is still felt today.

Diego Luna’s film, “Cesar Chávez,” premiered nationwide on March 28th 2014; it is a biographical film that celebrates the life and accomplishments of Chávez. The film stars Michael Peña as Chávez and John Malkovich as the owner of a grape farm who leads the opposition to Chávez. The film includes great Latina and Latino actors, such as America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson, Yancey Arias, Jacob Vargas, and cameos by Gael García Bernal and Hector Sanchez. The film mainly focuses on Chavez’s efforts to organize farm workers in California, many of them being braceros.

The film screened earlier in the year at various locations in the US but the most noteworthy film screening was in Los Angeles, California. A group of 1000 migrant workers sat in folding chairs and watched “Cesar Chávez” on an inflatable screen outside of the union hall where the first contracts were signed in 1970 between workers and the company owners.

Diego Luna does a great job at executing what he set out to do: he paints a portrait of Cesar Chávez that audiences will admire and respect. Throughout the film we get to view Chávez not only as a pacifist leader, but also as a human being.  The film starts with Chávez in jail explaining who he is and where he comes from. The audience gets an idea of his life and what he stands for and throughout the film we are introduced to his relationships with his wife and his children.

The film captures the time period of Chavez’s life starting with his organization of the United Farm Works all the way to the 1975 Modesto March,which established the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act. Through the portrayal of events, we get a sense of what Chávez had to endure and the sacrifices he had to make throughout his life in order to achieve his goals. All of the actors do great jobs, especially Michael Peña as Cesar Chávez and America Ferrera as Helen Chávez.

“Cesar Chávez” had a lot of heart touching moments; particularly the fasting scene. Seeing Chávez having to starve day by day in order to get his union to become dedicated to non-violence was a touching moment that moved the audience. It’s important not only to view Chávez as a rights activist but also as a human being with faults. The scenes in which Chávez is seen as a husband and a father displays a different side of his persona that we don’t usually tend to see.

All in all, the film was a great ode to Chavez and his life work. It’s important that a film encapsulates the hard work and dedication of not only Chavez, but his wife and Dolores Huerta.  It is highly recommended to watch this movie; it is a reminder of all the struggles that minority workers faced up until 1960s. Learning about the story of Cesar Chávez riles up all sort of emotions, but it mainly acts as a reminder of Chávez’s inspirational sense of duty and the importance of dedication.  It’s impossible to walk away from this film without feeling motivated to make a difference in this world.

Advice: BFF and Boyfriend Woes

art pieceLatinitas received questions from our readers asking for advice.

What can I do when my friend is trying to take away my friends? And sometimes I get so mad I want to hit the girl that tried to take my friends away, what can I do?

The important thing to do is to always stay calm. First, try talking to the girl that wants to take your friends, tell her that what she is doing is making you feel sad and alone, maybe she doesn’t realize what she is doing. If your friends go with her and leave you by yourself then they’re not your real friends. You can meet new people and make new friends, don’t get mad over things you have the capability of fixing, you can have better friends and be happier with them.

My friend just moved to another city recently. We promised we would call each other and keep in touch, but lately she hasn’t called or even texted. I miss her very much but I don’t want to force her to talk to me or bug her. What do I do?

I know you miss her and you want to talk to them as much as possible, but maybe they’ve been busy lately. Think about it, she moved to a whole different city, with different people, different schools, and different everything. She has to get used to it and change her life to adjust to her new one. Give her some time, she will come around, it isn’t easy changing your life style from one day to the next. Be patient with her, I am sure that she will call or text you soon, if she doesn’t just send her a friendly text or call on how she is doing and why she lost touch with you.

What should I do about one of my friends who I feel isn’t being a true and honest person? They’re not a bad person, it’s just certain things they do that makes me question their character.

Talk to your friend and tell them how you feel, I’m sure they would appreciate you being honest with them, maybe they don’t want to do those bad things, maybe they’re being forced, talk with them and tell them they can count on you. Let them know you’re there for them; make them realize the way they’re behaving isn’t right. Don’t be afraid to speak up to them, and try approaching them carefully, calmly, and patiently in case they get anxious or hostile.

My boyfriend changes a lot, and his attitude is disrespectful and when we broke up he was super sweet. Should I end it or should I see if he comes around?

First of all, a boy should never be disrespectful to you, it shouldn’t be done. When you were together he didn’t treat you right, and when you broke up he decided to treat you nice only for you to fall for his lies so you would get back together with him and so he could keep treating you with disrespect. If he did it once, there is a slight chance he will do it again, don’t go back to him, find someone else, there are plenty of fish in the sea and you don’t want that mean fish.

The “F” Word

Photo Credit: AAUW

Photo Credit: AAUW

Here’s what Latinitas writers had to say about their experience with feminism:

During my teen years, I remember reading articles and following groups who would protest against the injustice in the work force, or the repression on women having to stay at home rather than work, and I considered that I myself was a victim of it. I really disliked the differences between my brothers and I- like the curfews, the permission to date, the restrictions on what to wear, amongst other things. It humiliated me that someone would consider me weak, when I knew in my heart that I wasn’t. I spoke up, and never gave up a battle when talking about the differences between men and women at home.

Truth be told, what worked the most for me, was to separate my own thoughts and beliefs from that of my family. I began to understand that my concern over the misconceptions on women didn’t have to do much with me, as it had to about others. As I traveled to different places around the world, I came across with women who had gruesome and very difficult hardships. They were in desperate need for change. My heart began to soften, and I became grateful for the fortunes I had in life. I treated the issue of feminism with more desire to unify than to protest.” – Giselle Rosas

I’ve never really considered myself a feminist. But after really thinking about this question and examining my personal experiences growing up, I realized I kind of have had feminist ideals for a really long time.

Something that always angered me as a kid and still continues to do so now is the way my mother does EVERYTHING for my father. Sure, I should mention that my dad because handicapped last year restricting him to a wheelchair, but, even then, my mother does TOO MUCH for my father.  And to my father that is ok because my mother is the “woman” and should be “serving” her husband. 

I constantly get angry that my father asks my mother for EVERYTHING and she does it without thinking twice. I will never forget an occasion soon after where I told my mother how I felt.  We ended up having a heated argument and in the end she told me that by doing all she does, she is doing what she is SUPPOSED TO DO. And years later, I still don’t understand what she meant. Who is the person who sets up these guidelines? Why are women led to believe that they have to SERVE their husbands, boyfriends, brothers, cousins, ect. These stereotypes are NOT ok and they are sadly my experience with feminism. – Ingrid Vasquez

“Feminism has influenced my every day life and has changed the way I view everything. I’m more critical of the shows and movies I watch, the music I listen to, and the literature I read. Identifying as a feminist has given me a new outlook on life and I have to admit that it’s really a much happier one. 

Knowing that I’m a feminist and that I believe in equality for women has made me feel empowered. I really feel that I can do anything I set my mind to it and isn’t that just what everyone should feel? The media often portrays women as weak, defenseless victims who need someone to save them, but feminism has shown me that we can defend ourselves at all times. Feminism has also taught me to reject the other view of women that media portrays: the catty woman. Women don’t hate each other and they really shouldn’t. We’re up against men who think we’re not capable of everything men can do, and we should be supporting one another rather than turning our backs to each other.” – Cynthia Amaya

Through my adolescent experience, I paid no attention to feminism or identifying myself as a feminist. I had moments here and there where I’d talk with friends about double standards about sexuality, not nothing too in depth… It wasn’t until I was around 17/18 that I began to realize how wrong this was and that I shouldn’t let these misogynistic ideas control what I think. I started getting into riotgrrl bands and would think about girl empowerment. You would think that at an all girls school, I would gain a sense of sisterhood but most of the time I felt the opposite. I would think I was better than other girls because of the bands I liked or movies I watched. I realized that this was all wrong. The more articles and blogs I read, I began to finally identify as a feminist because I believed in their ideology. I began to notice all the casual misogyny in every day conversation and try my best to keep my cool.

Now that I’ve researched all the sub-types of feminism, I’ve realized there’s a lot of bad sides to feminism that I do not agree with. More than anything, I identify as an intersectional feminist. I believe we shouldn’t look at women as all one big sisterhood, but we need to realize the struggles of every women in every ethnicity.On a daily basis, I find it hard not to fight for feminism.” – Claudia Delfina

St. Patrick’s Day Nail Art

There are many reasons to enjoy the lovely month of March; warmer weather, brighter spirits, flowers, and the liveliness of St. Patrick’s Day! For those who don’t own many green articles of clothing, try out this easy tutorial for cheerful St. Patrick’s Day nails!

First, look through your nail polish collection to make sure you have a green nail polish. Have a bright green-yellow color? No problem! Any shade of green will do. Next, pick four different polishes that will make up a rainbow. You can choose any different colors that you think would look good together. For this tutorial a radiant purple, a bright blue, a sunny orange, and a deep red are the perfect combo. You will also need black and gold nail polishes of your choosing. For this nail look, you can use a glitter top coat (optional).

 

1

The only other tools you’ll need for this nail tutorial are things you can find around the house: toothpicks and any kind of plate that can be used to hold little samples of nail polish. The plate will be ruined, so make sure you get one that you don’t have to use in the future!

23

Step 1: This step is prepping your nails for the super easy nail art that we will be doing. To make your nail polish last longer, start off with a base coat. If you don’t have a base coat polish, that’s totally fine! Start off by painting your nails with a couple of coats of your green nail polish. In this step, I also added the glitter top coat that I chose to use. Because I would be drawing a rainbow on the ring finger, I didn’t coat that one nail with glitter nail polish just yet.

4

Step 2: Grab your plate and pour a tiny little bit of the first polish you will be using. We’re going to start the rainbow, so pick whichever color you’d like to start with. You only need a tiny little bit, so don’t pour too much. When I first did my nail art, I got a little overexcited and I poured all the colors one after the other. By the time I got to using them, they each had dried up. Don’t make that mistake! Pour one color at a time.

5

Step 3: Draw your rainbow. Using the toothpicks, draw the four lines that will become your rainbow. To do this, paint one color, wait for it to dry, then paint the next one. Repeat this until you’ve used up all four colors. You can make the lines arched, like a rainbow, or you can opt to paint them in straight lines. I found that I made less mistakes and had more nail room to work with when I made them in a straight line so I decided to paint my rainbow that way. If you choose to make them arched, make sure you’re careful to keep the lines thin. That makes it easier to fit the whole rainbow on your nail! After I painted my rainbow and waited for it to dry, I added a glitter top coat.

6

Step 4: Time to paint our pot of gold! The little pot is easy to draw. Because we’re painting the pot on our thumbnail and we have more nail room to work with, we can use the nail polish brush to draw. Using the brush, paint a circle that takes up about a third of your nail. Then, draw a straight line to top off your little pot. That’s it!

7

Step 5: Once your pot has completely dried up, pick up your gold nail polish and start painting on some gold! I painted on thick dots of polish to give it a look with more texture. If you have gold glitter nail polish, this would be a perfect opportunity to use it!

8

Ta-da! Your St. Patrick’s Day manicure is complete. Not only is this easy look festive, but it keeps pinching fingers away from you!

9

Have a happy and lucky St. Patrick’s Day!

Quiz: Are you a Leader or a Follower

latina leadersDo you fall into peer pressure when you see everyone wearing the same type of clothes? Do you do your own thing and expect everyone else to do the same as you? Take this quiz and find out if you are a leader or a follower.

1. When you see everyone wearing clothes you don’t like, but they look at you weird for not wearing them, you:

a. Quickly go to the nearest mall and buy some of those clothes

b. Stay with your clothes because you like it, and you don’t care what they think

c. Tell them they’re wearing ugly clothes

2. You see someone eating alone during lunch, and everyone is just making fun of them, so you decide to:

a. Make fun of them too because they’re by themselves

b. Go eat with them and tell them not to listen to everyone else

c. Ignore everyone

3. You’re in class and the teacher asks the class a question, everyone is shouting out the same answer and you know it’s wrong so you:

a. Shout the same answer as everyone else, even if you know it’s wrong

b. Say the answer you think is the right one, even if it’s different than everyone else

c. Just sit there waiting for everyone to be quiet

4. You go out to eat with some friends and they order a salad but you really want a burger, so you decide to:

a. Order a salad, then they’ll think you eat too much

b. Order a hamburger because it’s what you want

c. Not eat anything

5. Everyone is skipping class to go swimming, you remember you have a test, what do you do?

a. Skip class and go swimming because you don’t want them to make fun of you

b. Go to class because you think it’s more important than swimming

c. Not go to class at all and go home and sleep

6. Your “Friends” start saying bad words in public at each other, but you know that’s not good, so you:

a. Say bad words anyway, they think it’s cool

b. Don’t say bad words, leave to another place where you’re more comfortable

c. Tell everyone they’re stupid and go home

7. You’ve always wanted to dye your hair blonde, but your other friend says she’s the only blonde and if you dye it, you’re out of the group, what do you do?

a. Don’t dye it, you don’t want to be out of the group

b. Dye it and find new friends that like you for who you are

c. Tell her she’s dumb and go dye your hair

8. You learn a new phrase in class and you think it sounds cool, but your friends don’t, what do you do?

a. Stop saying it, and say only what they want you to say

b. Say it anyway and start hanging out with better friends

c. Ignore them, say the phrase and fight them if they don’t like it

9. Your Mom just made new food to try, but it looks weird and your sibling says “That’s gross, I’m not eating”, but you decide to:

a. Say the same thing, and not eat it, because it looks weird

b. Try it and find out if you like it or not

c. Buy some pizza

Now you can look below to see whether or not you are a Leader, or a Follower. Good Luck!

Mostly A’s:

Definitely a Follower, you think way too much about what people think about you and you want them to be happy with you, even if you think differently. Try hanging out with different crowds, if they don’t let you be yourself, they are not your real friends.

Mostly B’s:

I smell a Leader! You don’t care what people think about you, even if it means losing some friends, you go with your gut, try new things, and do what makes you happy. Keep doing that, you’re doing great!

Mostly C’s:

You certainly don’t care what people think about you, but you’re not quite the leader either. You need to get more involved with people and be nicer, even if you don’t like what they think, you have to take in consideration their feelings instead of bursting with mean words at them. Try harder!

To have a Quince Mass or Not?

Photo courtesy from http://quinceanera.com.

Photo courtesy from http://quinceanera.com.

The religious ceremony has been a constant tradition in the Quinceañera celebration until recently. While some girls choose to continue the religious tradition, others do not.  While planning (or even just thinking of) a Quinceañera celebration, one element of the festivities always comes to mind: the religious ceremony.

According to Quincehelp.com, “the quinceañera mass is a thanksgiving for [the Quinceañera’s] first 14 years of life.” Nowadays, the religious ceremony is seen as an optional part of the quince celebration. Girls having a quince use their religious beliefs (or lack thereof) to determine whether or not to have a religious ceremony.

For April Reza, 19, she had her quince in 2010 and said having a religious ceremony was easy. “It’s something I always wanted since I was little,” she remembers with a smile. Growing up as a Catholic in an all-Catholic household, April saw the religious ceremony pass down as a tradition in her family. “It’s something we always do,” she says.

Since having a religious celebration is a tradition in her family, it was very well received. April recalls, “They really enjoyed it…they wish they could’ve done the whole thing over again.”

While some girls like April go the traditional route, others like to be different. Nastassia Artalejo, a self-employed photographer who had her quince in 2006, chose to not have a quinceañera.

Raised in a non-religious household and being agnostic herself, Nastassia says that having a religious ceremony was “not important [for me]. I just wanted to be there to celebrate what my parents thought was an important birthday.”

While Nastassia’s parents were fine with her not having a ceremony, her extended family did not have a similar reaction. “It was confusing for the rest of my family that I wasn’t having a ceremony because they are all Catholic. My cousins all had ceremonies at churches, but I didn’t,” she recalls.

Ultimately, a religious ceremony should be something you “do…for yourself”, says Nataly Monique Montana, a 10th grader who recently had her quince in 2012.

Nataly was raised as a baptist but was not officially baptized in her church. In order for her to have had a religious ceremony at her church, she and her parents would have had to go through a series of religious meetings with the priest of her church and be baptized.  When Nataly and her parents were planning her quince they realized that there wouldn’t be enough time before her quince. Nataly and her parents were not disheartened because they couldn’t have a ceremony, and, instead, Nataly says her dad and her said a prayer during the quinceañera which she remembers being personal and fulfilling.  Despite Nataly coming from a religious upbringing she recalls,  “no one said anything” about her not having had a religious ceremony.

While having a religious ceremony as part of a quince is customary, girls planning their quince shouldn’t feel pressured to follow in tradition’s footsteps for the sake of doing so. According to Quinceanera.com, a girl renews her baptismal vows and promises to honor herself and her religion before God and her community at the ceremony. This carries a lot of religious and cultural significance, so don’t do it if your heart and personal beliefs aren’t in it. Remember, it is your big day, so make it yours in your own special way, with or without a ceremony.

Ellen Ochoa is Out of This World

Ellen_OchoaEllen Ochoa is a Latina who has impressed the world with her intelligence and ambition. A California native, she studied physics at San Diego State University and graduated in 1980 with a bachelor of science degree. A short year later, she graduated from Stanford University with a masters of science degree in electrical engineering. If that wasn’t impressive enough, in 1985 she earned her doctorate degree in electrical engineering. Personally, I think anyone who studies physics and electrical engineering in general deserves all the accolades possible, but earning a doctorate in this field from one of the most prestigious universities in the world is AMAZING. Plus, women weren’t expected to be outstanding in the STEM fields.

Ellen Ochoa is so important to the Hispanic community because she literally took Latino pride and carried it to a place outside of this world. Ellen Ochoa’s ambition and hard work earned her a “first” title. In 1993, as a part of the mission aboard the Discovery, Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman to travel to space. Isn’t that amazing? Doesn’t it just fill you with pride and a warm feeling in your heart?!

Today, Ochoa is the director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. When she took over the position on January 1, 2013, she became the first Hispanic woman and second women ever to be director at the Johnson Space Center.

Ellen Ochoa is definitely a pride to all Latinas.

Street Harassment

Written by Rebecca Jackson

Latinas and women around the world are thinking creatively about ending street harassment. From sharing their experiences online, to writing poetry and taking photographs of their harassers, women and girls are doing their part to put an end to the fear and intimidation.

What is street harassment?

StopStreetHarassment-2Street harassment is just a new name for an age-old experience: women and girls receiving unwanted comments or gestures from strangers (mostly men) in public. In a 2010 study, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control identified street harassment as “harassing the victim in a public place in a way that made the victim feel unsafe.” Unfortunately, street harassment happens to ladies of all ages living all over the world. Gabi Deal-Marquez, 23,  recalls that, “catcalls have been a part of my life, a part of growing up as long as I can remember.” In the United States 33.7% of women will experience street harassment in their lifetime. The percentage is even higher for Latinas, 36.1% of whom will experience street harassment. Internationally, studies have shown that anywhere from 70% to 95.5% of women living outside of the U.S will experience street harassment in their lifetime.

Women Fighting Back

While the statistics are bleak, Latina responses to street harassment provide practical guidance on living with street harassment and inspiration for ending it entirely. “Early on I was taught by my mother to keep my eyes open, know where you’re going, look street smart,” says Deal-Marquez. Jocelyn Cardona, 21, shared her techniques for dealing with street harassment, “I want to feel safe when I am walking. Sometimes I would make a funny face or ask them to mind their own business. . . Now I walk down the street and the expression on my face is hard, cold, and unwelcoming.”

While many women can share their methods for avoiding street harassment, it is important to know that street harassment, and sexual violence of all kinds, is never the fault of the victim and always the fault of the person doing the harassing.

Lauri Valerio, 23, shares that “To me [street harassment] represents a power struggle. It seems that when I am cat called or shouted at on the street, or when someone makes those gross kissing noises, it has nothing to do with how hot or not I am and everything to do with the fact that I look vaguely female from where the harasser is standing.” Street harassment is about men displaying power over women and it is unacceptable. Valerio went on to say that “talking about it, for now, may be my main way to find comfort and solidarity and put up a little fight against it.”

The power of talking about street harassment is the founding principle behind Hollaback! “a non-profit and movement to end street harassment powered by local activists in 64 cities and 22 countries.” Research by Hollaback! shows that responding to street harassment, instead of ignoring it, can help women ward-off feelings of isolation and powerlessness. Writing about your experiences, taking a picture of your harasser on your cell phone, and even giving you harasser a pointed glare can help minimize trauma. The organization provides a forum online for women to share their experiences with street harassment, enjoy international solidarity around the issue, and brainstorm ways to end street harassment for good.

Artist Hannah Price uses her camera to respond to street harassers. Price takes photographs of them after they call to her on the street. Price shared with NPR that, “just turning the photograph on them kind of gives them a feel of what it’s like to be in a vulnerable position — it’s just a different dynamic,” Price says. “But it’s just another way of dealing with the experience, of trying to understand it.”

Overcoming Street Harassment

Whatever their age or location, women are taking inspiring and innovative approaches to making  the street a more welcoming place for all of us. You can be a part of that change! Remember that street harassment is never your fault! If you encounter street harassment don’t be afraid to share your experience with Hollaback! or a trusted adult. Older women especially will likely understand your experience and offer you support.  Walking in public in a group may help you feel less threatened if someone yells at you on the street. If your harasser is someone you know report the incident to a trusted family member or teacher. If someone you know is harassing someone else, challenge their behavior if you feel safe doing so. Ask them if they understand how their actions impact others. Tell them it isn’t funny and make your disapproval clear.

buy cialis without prescription

cialis price

cialis dosage

Viagra online