Here’s a rad way to make a statement about creepy guys who harass or heckle you on the street. Take a selfie with them!
A young woman in Amsterdam was so sick of ignoramuses who yelled rapey stuff like “Hey Baby, how about a kiss?” or “Hey sexy, where are you going all alone?” that she decided to take selfies with the harassers. The clueless men actually agreed to be photographed, not thinking they did anything wrong.
Nia Habsna is a 20-year-old student who decided to take the power back when men sexually harassed her as she was just trying to walk down the street. She decided to shed some light on the vocal harassment by taking selfies with guys who said dumbass things to her like “Hey horny girl, why don’t you smile?” Not a compliment.
“After following me straight for 10 minutes with “Sexy girl where you going? Can I come with you?” reads the caption under one of her Instagram selfies with her harasser. So many women related to this, that her Instagram account gained global attention and was called “brilliant” by women. Interestingly, it was often called “ridiculous” by men.
Miss Habsna statement on her Instagram account @dearcatcallers that “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. 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 ration which is caused by this project.”
Her brilliant project went viral and sparked a worldwide discussion. Women weighed in with one-word reactions to the men she chronicled with “Gross” or “Repulsive”, while men sounded defensive and weren’t’ quite sure why she didn’t like the compliments. The Instagram catcalling selfie art project ended with women thanking her. “It has been made clear,” she concluded, that catcalling is still a common occurrence that many of us are dealing with.”
“My month of posts has ended,” she posted, “but it doesn’t mean that catcallers are in the past as well. To show that it’s a global phenomenon and that this art project is not only about me, I’ll pass on this account to different girls around the world.”
If she ever goes to New York City, she could have enough catcalling selfies for the next 10 years.