Do you dread the warmer times of the year, because people comment on your body all the time?
Do you sometimes want to intervene in situations that you find yourself in, but can’t find the right words/ don’t know what to do?
It can be hard to find a verbal comeback to catcalling or other forms of street harassment. Handing someone a card can be a good way to intervene, to break up the situation and slightly confuse the aggressor; you regain power, without having to stick around and give an explanation.
In 2014 Lindsey published her version of printable cards against harassment, which address different forms of street harassment. A lovely group of people from Brooklyn also came up with a catcalling citation card.
And did you see Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s wonderful Stop Telling Women To Smile posters? Some people might not want to hand out cards but would like to go out and do some wheat pasting or just hang up a poster in a space that they frequent.
Now we would like to see what your answer to street harassment looks like!
What are we looking for?
Street harassment targets all kinds of people and bodies. The idea is to create a variety of cards and show different experiences and answers to them. By making them available for download, everyone can find something that speaks to them and their situation.
The cards don’t have to be about sexual harassment. A lot of the time people get harassed because of their skin color, belonging to a minority or basically any reason you can think of. Every experience is valid and worth addressing. Harassment says so much more about the aggressor than it says about the person being harassed.
We would also like to encourage people to submit cards in different languages or to just draw a picture that can be easily understood regardless of language. Make sure that the resolution of submitted cards is high enough so that they can also be printed as posters.
Maybe you want to offer to translate a card into a different language? Please get in touch for that too.
“I have pretty big boobs, so when I go outside in the summer nobody is looking at my face anymore. All glances just go there. It’s constant. There’s hardly any exception. I can’t pick a fight or say something every time, because I wouldn’t be able to ever get anywhere. I learned to just ignore it. Most of the days I’m fine, but sometimes it really gets to me and I don’t even want to leave the house.”
“One time I was at a party where a friend was djing. Most of the audience was queer, though not all of them. I was sitting on a bench, chatting with a friend when I noticed a hand on my leg. I turned to where the hand was coming from and saw a guy next to me with his girlfriend on his lap, kissing and touching. I put the hand back, because I thought he might have gotten confused, but then the hand came back. I told him to stop and continue what he was doing just not with me. He immediately got defensive and told me how it was a compliment. I told him that it’s never a compliment to touch someone without making sure before that they want to be touched. At least make eye contact before and don’t just use me.”
Feel free to share your experiences in the comment section.