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Taking a stand against cat calls

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More stories from Tessa Mikre

More Than Meets the Eye
February 21, 2015
This+card+can+be+downloaded+for+free+at+http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cardsagainstharassment.com%2Fcards.html
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Taking a stand against cat calls

This card can be downloaded for free at http://www.cardsagainstharassment.com/cards.html

This card can be downloaded for free at http://www.cardsagainstharassment.com/cards.html

This card can be downloaded for free at http://www.cardsagainstharassment.com/cards.html

This card can be downloaded for free at http://www.cardsagainstharassment.com/cards.html

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“Hey baby, you look good. Kiss, kiss. Come over here and let me have a look.” From words to actual physical assault, sometimes just a simple walk down a city block or through a high school hallway can make a person feel violated.
An organization called Stop Street Harassment took a survey of around 2,000 women about street harassment; their findings were nothing short of shocking.  When asked if they have ever been harassed while in a public place, 99% of surveyors said they have at least a few times, 95% of female respondents said they have been honked/whistled at at least one or more times, and 40% do monthly, 82% of female respondents were the target of vulgar gestures at least once, and 20% said had been a target at least 51 times.
But luckily, more people are taking a stand to end this vulgarity.
Hollaback, a non-profit organization, did a study on a woman who walked through NYC for ten hours and got over 100 incidents of  verbal street harassment, not including numerous winks and whistles. This woman was not dressed in anything revealing – she was in jeans and a black t-shirt.
Some people assume women who get catcalled are in tight, short dresses and 6-inch stilettos, but that is rarely the case. Women get catcalled in any shape or form, whether they are in short dresses or just in the basic jeans and a sweatshirt.  It is irrelevant when people use the excuse “she asked for it,” because nothing gives someone the right to make rude comments about anyone’s appearance – ever – period.
Another advocate against catcalling is Lindsey, a 28 year old Minnesota resident who created a project called “Cards Against Harassment” where she confronts men who catcall women in downtown Minneapolis.  She starts off by handing the caller a humorous or serious business card, that is meant to send the men a message.  After she began confronting men, she found their responses interesting and started secretly video taping her encounters. Her videos soon went viral.
Some of the comments she heard:
“I’m a man. If I see a female that, hey, is about something, I’m gonna speak”

“When you’re dressed the way you are, what’s the purpose for a woman to be on this earth [if not] for a man?”

“I’m surprised that you’re offended”

 “Women are put on this earth to satisfy a man, so if she feels offended, she shouldn’t have [ever] been born”.  

These men ranged from different classes, ages, and races, yet they all had their opinions in common.  They all seem to think women are just objects and they ask for the attention.
Reality check: No woman was put on this earth for a man, but to be their own person and to be independent.
Women dress the way they do for numerous reasons.  They have certain apparel for work, they are going out to a party with their friends and want to look good, but most importantly women are dressing the way they do for themselves.  Women like to feel good about themselves, to feel beautiful, and to have the ability to express themselves for who they are.
Women do not wake up in the morning and think, “I want to get harassed today.”
So the next time you feel the urge to catcall someone, stop and think, “Is this necessary? Is this respectful?” If you answer no do yourself a favor and keep your thoughts to yourself. If you are a witness, stand up for the victims whether they are male or female, let the caller know that it is not
okay, and explain to them why.
Become part of a movement for women all over the world.

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