By Lisa Crocco
It is a Saturday afternoon and you are walking down a busy street heading to get lunch when all of a sudden a man starts screaming comments at you. He might add in a whistle or a holler too if he is feeling up to it. You might look at him in disgust, bow your head down while walking faster, yell something back, or my personal favorite–flip him off.
That picture becomes all too familiar for women who encounter situations such as that while trying to go about their everyday life. You might wish that something more can be done about street harassers because you are tired of not getting a different result with the ways you have attempted.
Well now there is.
A young Minnesota woman finally had enough of getting street harassed one day that she developed a project to help deal with this less-than-fortunate issue. Lindsey, a 28-year old lawyer, was the brain-child of the project “Cards Against Harassment” which launched this summer.
People can go to the website and print-off business-sized cards with different sayings depicted on them; ranging from “Your mom would be really disappointed to learn that she had raised a street harasser.” to “It’s not a compliment. It’s harassment. Keep it to yourself.”
Women can easily carry these cards with them and hand them out when (unfortunately) men spew their street harassment. But Lindsey does urge women to proceed with caution since a woman should never put herself at risk of dealing with “less-than charming gentlemen.”
There is a fine-line between compliments and cat-calling. Cat-calling is not a joke, a compliment or a game. What it is, is hurtful. Degrading. And darn-right disrespectful.
The website offers more than just printable cards. It has become a safe-haven for women to share their street harassment stories, post videos of confronting their encounters, as well as direct women to other resources that may help.
The videos being posted on the official YouTube page should serve as a warning to street harassing men that what they say and do to violate women can be aired for the whole world to see.
The project and the cards seem like such a simple concept, but it is definitely much more than that. It is a way for women to respond, to tastefully hollaback and take back an everyday task as simple as walking down the street.
Lisa Crocco recently finished her degree in public relations and political science at Illinois State University. Despite her hectic schedule of blogging, working and compulsive list-making, she find time to nap, read, and quote Gilmore Girls habitually.