Not Your Baby: A Sexual Harassment App For Social Justice

Not Your Baby, a mobile application developed by METRAC, provides the user with ideas on how to respond and react to situations of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can happen to men and women, and can happen almost anywhere; work, home, school, in public, and on public transportation. In 2010 and 2011, METRAC and Hollaback! released on online survey, in which they wanted to get responses on sexual harassment; how to deal with it, where to go in case of a situation, and how they would help their friend in need. They received a total of 238 responses, and thus Not Your Baby was created (Not Your Baby, 2012). What makes this application so effective is that its library of information continues to grow as people use it and contribute to it.

While this application cannot actually stop the actions of sexual harassment, it prepares someone with what to say and do if they are ever in that situation, as well as showing the user what others who have been in their situation have done and what response and action they took. In an article posted on dailymail.uk, the author, Sadie Whitelocks, states that “she hopes the gadget will not only prevent instances of harassment before they happen, but also during and after they happen” (Whitelocks, 2012). This is an issue that needed to be addressed and tackled if we want society to improve, and Not Your Baby is an excellent application for social justice. Light and Luckin define social justice as “the formal expression of the feeling that the world does not treat all people fairly, and that society should be made fairer” (Light and Luckin, 2008). No one deserves to experience sexual harassment and it is certainly unfair to those who are put in those situations. I believe that the makers of this application are addressing this social justice issue in a very effective way, because Not Your Baby is utilizing the mobile device platform by raising awareness and offering assistance to those who are in need.

Here is a video of the application in use:

The video demonstrates the different functions of the mobile application. The user can input the two required pieces of information (WHO & WHERE), change the theme (make it more discreet), read more information on sexual harassment (personal stories, FAQs, resources, etc.), and even suggest their own response for others to see.

After downloading the application on my iPhone I have pros and cons. The application is really simple to use and does not require the user to input any personal information. It has a handful of nice features that can really help someone in a situation of sexual harassment, as well as prepare others. While I do not see any privacy concerns with this application, because it does not require any personal information or the use of your location, I do have an issue with its accessibility. Not Your Baby is available for iOS and Android, but there is no website. As Tim Berners-Lee said, “The power of the Web is in its universality…” (Soederquist, 2012). This is an application that can help anyone, however, it is not accessible to everyone. Many people have mobile devices, yes, but there are those who do not have access to them. They do, however, have the ability to go to a public library or other public space that provides Internet. I think that there should be a Not Your Baby website to ensure that anyone who has been affected or wants to prepare themselves in the event of sexual harassment has the ability to do so.

Works Cited

Gunraj, A. (2012, September 10). “Not Your Baby” iPhone app helps users deal with sexual harassment. Retrieved March 6, 2015, from http://www.ihollaback.org/blog/2012/09/10/not-your-baby-iphone-app-helps-users-deal-with-sexual-harassment/

metracorg [Screen Name]. 2012, October 24. Not Your Baby mobile app demo [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLalc6XBIpk

Soederquist. (2012, September 13). Why mobile Web accessibility matters – best practices to make your mobile site accessible. Retrieved March 6, 2015, from http://mobiforge.com/design-development/why-mobile-web-accessibility-matters-best-practices-make-your-mobile-site-accessi

Whitelocks, S. (2012, September 17). I’m not your baby! The iPhone app that gives women the perfect withering one-liners to answer embarrassing catcalls . Retrieved March 6, 2015, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2204656/Im-baby-The-iPhone-app-gives-women-perfect-withering-liners-answer-embarrassing-catcalls.html

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2 thoughts on “Not Your Baby: A Sexual Harassment App For Social Justice

  1. I think this is a really good read. I know some people who have been sexually harassed before outside of the workplace; and because sexual harassment for them is verbal and therefore is usually “off record”, they felt it would be near impossible to deal with it, tell others, or learn from others who constantly deal with it. I do agree that making the app with a discrete factor in mind was a good idea, considering that harassment can happen at zero range. However, not having some sort of a formal website is very crippling.

  2. I think this app is a great way for anyone affected or who could be affected by sexual harassment to get the help they need. People’s stories are an excellent way for others to help cope as well by hearing other stories like their own. The only question I wonder is if it could create for fear for sexual harassment. While it raises awareness, I would only hope the stories don’t scare people from going outside. It could only just scare them out of certain areas, which is actually beneficial.

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