This woman takes selfies with her street harassers

Yahoo Style

Everyone reacts differently to being catcalled. While some are horrified and demand an apology, others prefer to ignore it and keep walking. But one woman adopted a unique approach to the men who objectify her: She decided to take a selfie with each of them.

A woman has been documenting the harassment she has received by taking selfies with her catcallers. (Photo: Instagram/dearcatcallers)
A woman has been documenting the harassment she has received by taking selfies with her catcallers. (Photo: Instagram/dearcatcallers)

Meet Noa Jansma. After being filmed and harassed on a train by two men, the 20-year-old student from Amsterdam embarked on the month-long project to document each incident of harassment.

#dearcatcallers "I know what I would do with you, baby"

A post shared by dearcatcallers (@dearcatcallers) on Sep 27, 2017 at 12:58pm PDT


But rather than sneakily taking a snapshot with each harasser, Jansma actually asked each of the guys to pose with her, and they all seemed quite willing to do so, apparently unaware of what they did to earn the invitation.

Unsurprisingly, the project has been garnering quite a bit of attention on Instagram. In just four weeks and 30 posts, her Dear Catcallers account has clocked up over 50.2K followers and received hundreds of messages of support about the powerful message it’s sending.

#dearcatcallers "hmmmm you wanna kiss?"

A post shared by dearcatcallers (@dearcatcallers) on Sep 14, 2017 at 8:32am PDT


“#dearcatcallers, it’s not a compliment,” she wrote in the first post on the feed. “This Instagram has the aim to create awareness about the objectification of women in daily life. Since many people still don’t know how often and in whatever context ‘catcalling’ happens, I’ll be showing my catcallers within the period of one month.”

She continued, “By making the selfie, both the objectifier 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.”

Classic 2.0 "psssst, whoooooop, Can he have your number?" #dearcatcallers

A post shared by dearcatcallers (@dearcatcallers) on Sep 12, 2017 at 10:11am PDT


Jansma had wanted to do something to raise awareness about catcalling for a while, and after being harassed by two men on her train, she decided it was time to take action.

Over the course of the project, only one man wanted to know why she wanted to take a selfie.

Each image has a similar composition, with Jansma straight-faced and serious and the men smiling and laughing, oblivious to how they have made her feel.

The uncomfortable nature of the pictures reflects how women feel when they are catcalled by strange men on the street.

#dearcatcallers … after following me for straight 10 minutes "sexy girl Where you goin'?? Can I come with you ?" …

A post shared by dearcatcallers (@dearcatcallers) on Aug 29, 2017 at 6:33am PDT


Having now finished her project, Jansma is keen for her powerful message about harassment to continue.

“My month of posts has ended, but that doesn’t mean that catcallers are in the past as well,” she wrote in a post on Instagram.

She will be passing on the account @dearcatcallers to other women, “to show that it’s a global phenomenon.”

#dearcatcallers

A post shared by dearcatcallers (@dearcatcallers) on Aug 29, 2017 at 6:33am PDT


Speaking about the support she received during the course of the project, she says: “It has made clear that catcalling is a common occurrence that many of us are dealing with.”

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