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Hey, Shorty!: A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment and Violence in Schools and on the Streets Paperback – April 12, 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“At times, the book reads like a painful journey into the reality of street and school sexual harassment (and how these organizers actually work to remedy the situation). However, as difficult as it can be to read stats, firsthand accounts and experiences, the book is focused on sharing solutions.” —Tiger Beatdown

About the Author

Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) is an intergenerational, grassroots organization committed to the physical, psychological, social and economic development of girls and women. Through education, organizing and physical fitness, GGE encourages communities to remove barriers and create opportunities for girls and women to live self-determined lives. Despite minimal resources, GGE fights for urban girls, makes extraordinary contributions to the community and to the educational, economic and cultural life of New York City.

Joanne Smith, founder and executive director of Girls for Gender Equity (GGE), is a Haitian American social worker and unapologetic feminist born in New York City. Smith is an alumna of Hunter Graduate School of social work. She has been awarded many times over, including: the Union Square Award (2006); the Susan B. Anthony Award from NOW-NY (2008); a Rising Star Award from the Educational Equity Center (2008); the Extraordinary Woman Award presented by Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes (2009); and the Stonewall Women's Award from the Stonewall Democratic Club in recognition of her leadership and dedication to women’s and LGBTQ rights (2010). She has also been inducted in the New York City Hall of Fame.

Meghan Huppuch comes from a family of bold feminists and adventurers. She is a strong believer in young people's power to create change and has focused her energy on work that directly affects youth. Currently the director of community organizing at Girls for Gender Equity, in the past she has worked as a teaching assistant in a summer reading academy, artist's assistant for a community mural designed and painted by teens, a fundraiser for a local chapter of the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network, and a programmer/representative for the Center for Multicultural Education and Programming at NYU, where she majored in social and cultural analysis. Originally from Ossining, NY, Huppuch resides in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

Mandy Van Deven is a freelance writer, radical activist, and founder of the Feminist Review blog. Focusing on gender, sexuality, popular culture, and religion, her work has appeared in various online and print media, including AlterNet, Bitch, ColorLines, Marie Claire, and The Women’s International Perspective. Van Deven worked for over ten years as a grassroots organizer in New York and Atlanta. She currently lives in Calcutta, India.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: The Feminist Press at CUNY; 58794th edition (April 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558616691
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558616691
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,452,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Most of us think about sexual harassment in the context of the workplace and would be genuinely surprised to know just how prevalent it is in the world our teens and pre-teens inhabit. Of course, there are incidents so extreme, both in the media and on episodes of Law & Order, that we sit up straight and feel the bile rise in our throats: teachers taking advantage of students, gang rape in the bathroom of a local park. But what about the pervasive, everyday climate of intimidation and pressure that exists in the hallways and locker rooms of our nation's middle schools and high schools? And what does the tacit acceptance (and/or denial) of this culture teach our children about how to interact with each other? Is this how bullying gets so bad that children choose to drop out of school and deny themselves the opportunities to thrive that they deserve? Is this how we end up with teens deciding death is easier than living with a daily regimen of taunting and overwhelming negative pressure to be something they aren't, don't want to be, and couldn't possibly live up to?

"Hey, Shorty" is the story of an extraordinary organization called Girls for Gender Equity (GGE). Ten years ago, they embarked on an ambitious mission: to uncover and define the ways sexual harassment affect New York City's public school students. Borne out of a desire to give girls equal opportunities to engage in sports and gather together to share their strengths and challenges, Joanne N. Smith started the project. Fairly quickly, she began to realize that, despite the existence of Title IX, there were formidable barriers to overcome.
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Format: Paperback
Hey, Shorty! is an essential, much-needed resource for students, teachers, parents, and any community member who wants teens to be safe at school and on the streets.

Personally, I'm excited because in my book about street harassment (Stop Street Harassment: Making Public Places Safe and Welcoming for Women - 2010), I note the need for more books on the topic and here is one! And I'm also excited because the book comes from one of the groups I featured in my book, the New York City-based organization Girls for Gender Equity (GGE).

Hey, Shorty! provides readers with two types of resource. First, in the main portion of the book, Smith, Van Deven, and Huppuch take readers through the 10 year history and work of GGE and their efforts to create an organization that empowers teenage girls to address issues that impact them and also to have schools address the widespread issue of sexual harassment (which, by the way, they are required to do by law under Title IX of the Educational Amendment of 1972).

The authors share personal experiences, thoughts, struggles and successes with designing programming, working with teenagers, learning from teenagers, and creating outcomes. The chapters are interesting and provide a model for action through the example of their work, in particular the model of prioritizing youth leadership on issues that relate to youth because, as Smith notes, they are the experts on these issues and they are the main stakeholders.

Two of the teen-led projects shared in the book that I have first-hand experience with are the Sisters in Strength Street Harassment Summit and Hey...Shorty documentary (available for purchase for $20 from the GGE website). I attended the Summit in 2007 as part of my master's thesis research and I own the documentary.
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Format: Paperback
Hey, Shorty! is more than its subtitle suggests. It is not only about sexual harassment and violence in the schools and on the streets, it is a unique guide to youth community organizing.

Authored by Joanne Smith, Meghan Huppuch, and Mandy Van Deven, Hey, Shorty! begins with the Girls for Gender Equity's founder, Joanne Smith, explaining how the almost ten-year-old organization started on the premise of helping young girls, particularly in urban settings, change systems of race, class, and gender that they did not create. GGE's mission is:

"Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) is an intergenerational grassroots organization committed to the physical, psychological, social, and economic development of girls and women. Through education, organizing and physical fitness, GGE encourages communities to remove barriers and create opportunities for girls and women to live self-determined lives. A Brooklyn, New York-based coalition-building and youth development organization, GGE acts as a catalyst of change to improve gender and race relations and socioeconomic conditions for our most vulnerable youth and communities of color. Our work is a result of many gracious and courageous allies to whom GGE is forever indebted."

The book highlights their Sisters in Strength program: a group of young women in high school from New York City, banding together as interns to fight sexual harassment on the streets and in their schools. Back in 2005, the term "sexual harassment" was removed from the New York City Department of Education [NYCDOE] Citywide Standards of Discipline and Intervention Measures--a manual that all NYC public schools use to dictate appropriate student behavior. As Mandy Van Deven (former associate director of Girls for Gender Equity, Inc.
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