Uncomfortably persistent men are a problem that most women are familiar with. Some people will not take no for an answer, and in rare cases may even become violent in response to a rejection. The Feminist Phone Intervention hotline seeks to assits with this problem by allowing women to give out a fake number that provides more than just a not-in-service message.
Calling or texting the number (669) 221-6251 will trigger an automated message that delivers a quote from bell hooks, the pen name of feminist scholar and activist Gloria Watkins. According to the project's Tumblr page, the number was selected "because (669) UGH-ASIF, WTF-DUDE, and MAJR-SHADE were taken." The Feminist Phone Intervention line not only endeavors to help women escape uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situations, but also educate the men who cause them. Quotes issued by the hotline include the following.
"Sometimes, people try to destroy you, precisely because they recognize your power. Not because they do not see it, but because they see it and they do not want it to exist."
"Whenever domination is present, love is lacking."
"If any female feels she needs anything beyond herself to legitimate and validate her existence, she is already giving away her power to be self-defining, her agency."
The Feminist Phone Intervention Tumblr page includes a link for donations to help keep the service running. Any money received beyond that which covers the phone bill will be donated to The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. The institute said that while it is aware of the project, it was not involved in its creation.
"I was really thrilled for the support but we had nothing to do with it," executive director Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas told ABC News. "I think it's genius."
The Feminist Phone Intervention hotline certainly seems to be in demand, with an almost overwhelming number of calls being received already. Although many are likely from people simply testing out the number, there are undoubtedly already a few overzealous suitors who have been shown the error of their ways.
"When we started this phone line, we had no idea that it would receive thousands of calls and texts in the first day, with no signs of slowing down," said the creators on Tumblr.
The phone line is located in California, but for now at least, the people behind the project are choosing to remain anonymous.