Every girl in the world has been on the receiving end of street harassment, we will put money on it. Whether it is a compliment or an insult, we all know what it’s like. While compliments in life are a great thing, when it becomes street harassment, i.e., cat-calling or comments of an objectified manner, it crosses the line from being wanted, to just downright disgusting at times.
We’ve already seen in this awesome video by the Guardian in the UK how men react when being cat-called in the street by a woman, and it should be no different for the ladies. Just because a woman is dressed up nicely doesn’t mean she deserves to be ogled at and have guys wolf-whistle at her.
A 28 year-old Minneapolis woman, Lindsey, has decided she has had enough of street harassment and wanted to get revenge, in the most clever and viral way possible. She launched a project called ‘Cards Against Harassment‘ where she designed 10 cards with scenarios of harassment on them, and why they are not ok.
They are designed to help women with comebacks when they are in a situation where they are feeling harassed. Obviously the cards are not appropriate for every situation, but they can help in those moments where, later on, you wish you had said something. It’s not about getting revenge in the traditional sense, but standing up for yourself when you feel creeped out by a stranger objectifying you or saying something crass about your body.
You can download and print out the cards from her website. She told Buzzfeed the idea for the project came about because she was genuinely interested in how men think and why they feel it is ok and normal to call out lewd remarks to a total stranger on the street.
“The theme I hear the most often is that they truly, genuinely think it’s a compliment, and they are shocked,” she said. “If that is true, then simply telling people it’s not a compliment may go a long way.”
Along with the cards, she has filmed a series of videos on Youtube where she confronts the men who call out to her.
“The filming provides them a platform to embarrass themselves in a way that they’ve already embarrassed me.”
Some guys genuinely believe a woman’s purpose for existence is to please men, and don’t think there is anything wrong with how they act. Wow…
“Though I’m filming as I’m encountering experiences, I’m in no way attempting to target a specific demographic,” Lindsey said. “Sexism is sexism.”
It is certainly an interesting way to combat and get to the root of the problem, rather that just fighting an eye for an eye as is so easy to do.
Lindsey says the cat-callers come from a range of different socio-economic backgrounds, races and ages, proving that it is not just coming from one particular group. Stuff like this is not something to be brushed off, and is exactly the reason a project like Everyday Sexism exists. They want people who have been objectified by others to feel they have just as much of a right to speak up and voice their opinions as the people doing the objectifying.
We love that this young woman has taken the initiative, not just to talk about instances of street harassment, but involve men int he conversation and try to understand where they are coming from. It goes a long way to showing that the male species are not the enemy, in fact they too are victims of too much cultural and institutionalized brainwashing that has led them to believe this kind of behavior is ok.
Of course, there are some examples as you can see in Lindsey’s videos below which are just baffling beyond belief. But hey, it’s a start and we hope it goes a long way to educating both men and women the inherent problem with objectification, and why cat-calling and wolf-whistling is considered harassment, not a compliment.