“My survey wasn’t meant to be representative of the larger population. I specifically targeted people I thought would be feminists and thereby might know about anti-street harassment websites like the HollaBacks. That was more what my thesis focused on – how were people responding to and combating street harassment, and did they use these websites? I sent the survey to women’s studies listservs and other feminist groups, so I knew the data was skewed and stated that in my thesis when I talked about the data from my survey. The survey was just one component of how I gathered data. Most of my data came from reading 706 postings on 6 anti-street harassment websites which offered me voluntarily given, first-hand accounts of how people had been harassed, how they reacted, and how they used the websites. In the survey, asking people if they had been harassed was a side question to the ones I was more interested in – how did people respond and what did they think of the hollaback websites…and the information about how many people had been harassed warranted two sentences in my 129 page thesis…”
“It’s been hard having the large scope of my thesis reduced to a few sentences put in a context not of my choosing with a headline and photo I would never have chosen either.”
I can only say that I known of the methodologies of the research and the ends to them, I’d had framed the piece entirely differently. I cannot imagine how it must feel to have months and years of work reduced to soundbites and thrown into the winds of commentary. I offer my sincerest apologies for hardships incurred by my misrepresentations and hasty research.
For more information on Kearl’s thesis and anti-street harassment activism, please visit her website.