Everyone reacts differently to being catcalled. While some are horrified and demand an apology, others prefer to ignore it and keep walking. But one woman has adopted a completely unique approach to the men who objectify her – she takes a selfie with them.
Meet Noa Jansma. After being filmed and harassed on a train by two men, the 20-year-old student from Amsterdam decided to embark on a month-long project to document each incident of harassment she faced by posing for a selfie with her catcallers.
But rather than sneakily taking a snapshot with her harrassers, Noa actually asks the guys to pose with her, and they all seem quite willing to do so, seemingly proving that they actually have no idea what they’ve done.
Unsurprisingly, the project has been garnering quite a bit of attention over on Instagram. In just four weeks and 30 posts, her Dear Catcallers account has clocked up over 50.2K followers and received hundreds of messages of support about the powerful message it’s sending.
“#dearcatcallers, it’s not a compliment,” she wrote in the first post on the feed.
“This Instagram has the aim to create awareness about the objectification of women in daily life.
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,” she continues.
“By making the selfie, both the objectifier and the object are assembled in one composition. Myself, as the object standing in front of the catcallers represents the reversed power ratio, which is caused by this project.”
Jansma had wanted to do something to raise awareness about catcalling for a while, but after being harassed by two men on her train, she decided now was the time to take action.
Over the course of the project, only one man wanted to know why she wanted to take a selfie, which seems to prove how little awareness they have about their actions.
Each selfie follows a similar pattern. While Jansma is straight-faced and serious, the men are often seen smiling and laughing, oblivious to how they have made her feel.
The uncomfortable nature of the pictures reflects how women feel when they are catcalled by strange men on the street.
Having now finished her month-long project, Jansma is keen for her powerful message about harassment to continue.
“My month of posts has ended, but that doesn’t mean that catcallers are in the past as well,” she wrote in a post on Instagram.
She will be passing on the account @dearcatcallers to other women, “to show that it’s a global phenomenon”.
Speaking about the support she’s received during the course of the project she says: “It has made clear that catcalling is a common occurrence that many of us are dealing with.”
Read more from Yahoo Style UK: