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This Woman Took Selfies with Catcallers to Make a Point About Street Harassment

This woman's selfie series has gone viral for brilliantly highlighting the problems with catcalling. Noa Jansma, a design student living in Eindhoven, Netherlands, has been taking pictures with men who harass her in order to show how catcalling affects women.

BuzzFeed reports that Noa created the Instagram account @dearcatcallers after having a discussion about sexual harassment in class.

"I realized that half of the class, the women, knew what I was talking about and lived it on a daily basis," she told Buzzfeed. "And the other half, the men, didn't even think that this is still happening. They were really surprised and curious. Some of them even did not believe me."

As of right now, @dearcatcallers has 24 photos that Noa has taken over the past month. The posts are selfies she's taken with the catcallers along with what they said to her in the caption. Take a look:

 

#dearcatcallers

A post shared by dearcatcallers (@dearcatcallers) on

It might seem crazy to think that these men were willing to take a picture with Noa—especially since she planned to call them out on social media. Surprisingly, they didn't seem to care because according to Noa, they were oblivious to the fact that they'd done anything wrong. "They really didn't care about me," Noa said. "They never realized that I was unhappy." (Here's the Best Way to respond to Catcallers)

 

"Ey sexy Chiquita! A donde vas sola?/Ey sexygirl, Where are you going alone?" #dearcatcallers

A post shared by dearcatcallers (@dearcatcallers) on

Unfortunately, street harassment is something that 65 percent of women have experienced, according to a study from the nonprofit Stop Street Harassment. It can cause women to take less convenient routes, give up hobbies, quit jobs, move neighborhoods, or simply stay home because they can't face the thought of one more day of harassment, according to the organization. (Related: How Street Harassment Makes Me Feel About My Body)

 

#dearcatcallers "I know what I would do with you, baby"

A post shared by dearcatcallers (@dearcatcallers) on

While she's done taking photos, for now, Noa hopes to have inspired women to share their own stories, provided they feel safe enough to do so. Ultimately, she wants people to understand that street harassment is very much a problem today and can happen to anyone, anywhere. "This project also allowed me to handle catcalling: They come in my privacy, I come in theirs," she said. "But it's also to show the outside world that this is happening so often."

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