Why This Woman Took Selfies With Her Catcallers For One Month

Photographed by Alexandra Gavillet.
In some of the photos, the men are in the background, almost as if they're photobombing her selfie. In others, they're up front-and-centre, with an arm around her neck, or with a finger cheekily pointing at her. In most of them, however, the men are smiling while the woman at the forefront of the pictures is frowning or expressionless.
The men are her catcallers, and the photos are the result of a month-long project to document how often women face sexual harassment on the streets.
In a post to an Instagram account called @dearcatcallers at the beginning of the month, Noa Jansma, who Bustle reports is a 20-year-old student in Amsterdam, explained that she set out on the project to create awareness about just how often women are harassed when going about their daily lives. The project is also meant to highlight that catcalling can happen anytime, anywhere, and to anyone.
"#DearCatcallers, it's not a compliment," she wrote. "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."
To be clear, Jansma didn't specifically set out to showcase men in particular — everyone who harassed her just happened to be a man.
In some of the captions of the photos, Jansma describes what the men said to her in the street.
"After following me for straight 10 minutes 'sexy girl Where you goin?? Can I come with you ?'" she captioned one photo.
"Mmmmmm beautiful sweet girl," another caption reads.
She wasn't able to get photos with every person who catcalled her, The Independent reports, but the first man she asked responded "with enthusiasm." Over the course of the month, only one man asked why she wanted a selfie.
"They're not at all suspicious because they find what they do completely normal," she told Dutch newspaper Het Parool, which the Independent then translated.
At the end of her experiment, she made another post on Instagram writing that even though her project is over, catcalling is still persistent. In fact, she plans to turn the account over to women around the world "to show that it's a global phenomenon and that this art project is not only about me."
Read on to see a few of the selfies she took over the month.
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