If you’re a woman and have been out walking alone it is highly probable that you have been catcalled at least once in your lifetime if not several times. For women who tend to commute on foot, getting catcalled on the street is a daily nuance. One of these women, a 20-year-old Amsterdam-based student Noa Jansma, like the rest of us had had enough of this power-asserting abusive behaviour displayed by men and decided to document her harassers. She took a selfie with each one of her harassers and uploaded it to her Instagram account called “dear catcallers”, and wrote the exact words they used to catcall her in the captions. Harassment faced by women in public spaces is something that has been brought up by feminists and women’s rights activists for a long time now. Sharing her experience with the world is her way of protesting against this predatory behaviour that makes women everywhere feel unsafe and preyed upon.
The lack of guilt, as seen by their wide grins in most of the pictures, shown by these men is appalling. Miss Jansma shared her experiences in the hopes of sparking a debate against this daily struggle faced by numerous women. Whenever women speak up about the casual or misogynistic behaviour perpetrated by men, most of the men are quick to alienate the harassers and disassociating themselves from them with hashtags like #notallmen being common. However, these pictures show that the harassers belong to all kinds of socioeconomic backgrounds and it is not something limited to certain type of men. If more men talked about collective responsibility and shunned this kind of behaviour rather than disassociating themselves from the debate saying it does not apply to them, we would have a shot at making this world an easier place to be a woman in.
We also need more women like Jansma who chose to speak up about the discrimination faced by them. So it happens catcalling will be punishable by law effective from January 1st, 2023, in Jansma’s homeland, Netherlands. We are hopeful that more nations will follow suit by recognizing catcalling as a criminal offence.
Article by BornRealist