There’s not a woman or femme-identifying person who doesn’t know how it feels to be objectified. Whether we’re walking down the street to get groceries, getting out of the car on a coffee run, or simply on the way to work, it feels like the harassment never stops. And when we’re being catcalled, many of us have to suck it up and stifle our only sane reaction: to defend ourselves and say something. Sometimes we can’t even stand our ground without fear of a violent reaction. So what are we to do? Well, for 20-year-old Noa Jansma, the answer is taking a selfie with her catcallers.
Welcome to “dearcatcallers,” an Instagram account that Noa started for all the times she gets catcalled.
The account documents the men who harassed Noa alongside what they said and did, and documents all the times Noa got catcalled in a month. Though she documented only 24 instances, there were actually more; some men left before she could take a photo, and at times she didn’t feel safe enough to take one at all.
The most uncomfortable part of this account, however, has to be how happy these men look in the pictures. These men don’t realize that what they’re doing is wrong, and they don’t see the selfies as documenting harassment.
They don’t feel shame because they don’t recognize that they should feel shame, and that’s the issue.
Although she originally started the project for a month, Noa has since decided to extend it so women around the world can contribute.
We hope this project continues to shed light on the harassment so many of us face in our day-to-day lives — one selfie at a time.