A Wall of Cat-callers
My favorite t-shirt is a tank top that says “Cats Against Catcalls.” It’s a passive way to show my rage against strange men shouting at women in public. The reason I am not more proactive is because it’s potentially dangerous to acknowledge a guy who is yelling “Sexy” or “Ooooh, lemme get your number, baby.” If you talk back, these men — who have no respect for women or their privacy — could get angry, follow you, curse you out, or even worse.
It is so bad that many feminist groups are making anti-calling one of their major causes. Women are just people walking down the street, minding their own business; they don’t need someone to make them feel like a piece of meat. Women have feelings, and one catcall could ruin their day.
Aside from that… Has any guy ever gotten laid after making kissy noises at a passing woman?
Bolder women have their own defensive mechanisms, but a woman in the Netherlands, Noa Jansma, probably has the most inventive thus far. Her unique way to shame catcallers? Take selfies with them and post it online.
She sees you
After being filmed and harassed on a train by two creeps, Noa set up dearcatcallers, an Instagram page dedicated to obnoxious, distasteful guys who didn’t know how to approach a lady correctly. With 168k (and counting) followers, the 21-year-old says her photos were part of a month-long art project.
Hopefully there will be spinoff pages from women around the world who are sick of being called out in public and follow in Noa’s footsteps. (Before you whip out your new iPhone though, remember that this could also be very dangerous.)
The above photo was posted by Noa. She captioned it: “… after following me for straight 10 minutes ‘sexy girl Where you goin’?? Can I come with you ?’…”
In Her Words
Her Instagram says:
“It’s not a compliment.
“This Instagram has the aim to create awareness about the objectification of women in daily life. Since many peop[le still don’t know how often and in whatever context ‘catcalling’ happens, I’ll be showing my catcallers within the period of one month.
“By making the selfie, both the objectification and the object are assembled in one composition. Myself, as the object, standing in front of the catcallers represents the reversed power ratio which is caused by this project.”
Have you ever googled “how to get men to stop calling”? The search yielded results in how to talk back to your catcaller with insults. What will anyone do with that type of advice? We aren’t playing schoolyard games here.
Everyday Feminism has a great article on how other men can stop street harassment when they witness it. Although, you might be conflicted on having men intervene on your behalf.
Like with gender norms, racism, and misogyny, catcalling women who are disgusted by you is a learned behavior. Hopefully we can stop new generations from being creeps.
See more of Noa’s selfies here.
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