Being young and female is a curse in some ways. Walking by yourself down the street you’re bound to be followed by lewd comments and loudly announced sexual innuendo, the center of male attention like some public trophy.
Unwanted sexual attention is off-putting at least and threatening at worst. No woman relishes catcalling. Women have drawn attention to this unacceptable behavior that is obviously great fun for men, but no fun for women.
Viral videos have created an awareness about the issue but it hasn’t dampened the public pestering of women by men who have responded by saying that catcalling is a “compliment” or the fault of women because of their appearance.
The harassment takes the form of loud whistling, yelling, leering, making kissing noises all accompanied by inappropriate remarks or questions. And there is simply no right way to respond. If you ignore it, your obvious rejection might incense the pest and if you try to tell him off the situation might also escalate.
Besides, these bloody creeps are often cowards who band together in packs like street dogs. It’s a bit much to expect a lone woman to defend herself in such circumstances.
So what do you do?
Well, you can take a leaf from Noa Jansma’s book, or her Instagram account. Jansma is a 20-year old student from Amsterdam. Disgusted by constantly being catcalled, she has spent the whole of September taking selfies with the men who catcalled her and documented the experience on Instagram her account dearcatcallers. See some of the photos below.
It’s a disturbing visual account of her month on the streets of Amsterdam. The men are all smiling happily on the photos with Jansma appearing in the foreground, clearly annoyed and unhappy. The men are oblivious. In the entire month, only one asked her why she wanted to take a selfie.
Disturbingly, her selfie project that comprise 24 pictures doesn’t even reflect all the encounters she had with strange men and their unwanted attention because in some instances she felt too unsafe to ask for one. If that’s not harassment, then I don’t know what is.
Jansma told Het Parool that the fact that none of the men refused to take a selfie with her indicates that they don’t feel they are doing anything wrong. They think it is normal behavior.
Her project is meant to bring the prevalence of public harassment of women to the attention of a wider audience. She has no intention of continuing the project as it brings her no pleasure, but she plans to keep the Instagram account going for other women around the world to post on. I can just imagine what that is going to look like!
In just one month her account has amassed more than 45,000 followers.
Looking to increase your mental toughness? Check out our new eBook on the Art of Resilience. Resilience is a crucial ingredient to a happy, healthy life, and determines how high we rise above what threatens to wear us down. Check it out here: https://t.co/9VNCGXqdIR pic.twitter.com/z7UDqRhNCg— Lachlan Brown (@Lachybe) September 20, 2018
From January 1st, 2018, catcalling will be punishable by law in Jansma’s native Netherlands, and violators will be subject to fines of up to 190 euros ($220). If her daring project continues to go viral, perhaps more nations will follow suit.
See the rest here.
Check out Hack Spirit's eBook on How to Use Buddhist Teachings for a Mindful, Peaceful and Happy Life.
Here's what you'll learn:
• How and why to be mindful: There are many simple exercises you can do to bring a mindful attitude to quotidian activities such as eating breakfast, walking the dog, or sitting on the floor to stretch.
• How to meditate: Many beginning meditators have a lot of questions: How should I sit? How long should I meditate? What if it feels awkward or uncomfortable or my foot falls asleep? Am I doing it wrong? In this book, you’ll find simple steps and explanations to answer these questions and demystify meditation. (And no, you’re not doing it wrong).
• How to approach relationships: This section offers tips for interacting with friends and enemies alike and walks you through a loving kindness meditation.
• How to minimize harm: There is a lot of suffering in the world; it’s best for everyone if we try not to add to it. Here you’ll read about the idea of ahimsa (non-harming) and how you might apply it to your actions.
• How to let things go: As Buddhism teaches, excessive attachment (whether we’re clinging to something or actively resisting it) all too often leads to suffering. Practitioners of mindfulness meditation find peace in letting go and accepting things as they are in the moment.
Check it out here.