In case it needs to be said (and it shouldn't): A catcall is not a compliment. But that doesn't stop many men from acting as though their whistles and kissy faces are somehow a delightful gift bestowed upon the woman lucky enough to receive them. Catcalling is a rotten way for men to assert dominance over women. It's a form of sexual harassment. It's deplorable behavior that no one should ever be proud of. It's also probably the least effective way to get attention from women, so it doesn't even make sense on the most basic level. While many may not want to believe it, catcalling is a huge problem for women all over the world. That's why one woman decided to document the men who catcall her by taking selfies with them.
Noa Jansma is a 20-year-old woman studying design in the Netherlands. She decided to spend a month documenting the men who catcall her.
But rather than simply making a list of the catcalls she received, Jansma took selfies with her street harassers. She uploaded the photos to the Instagram account @dearcatcallers, which currently has 160,000 followers.
Jansma told BuzzFeed that she started the project after she brought up the issue of catcalling in one of her classes. “I realized that half of the class, the women, knew what I was talking about and lived it on a daily basis,” she said. “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.”
In most of her selfies, Jansma documented the specific catcalls men used on her by writing them in the Instagram caption.
Like this guy, who used the very original line: “Sexy girl, where you goin’?”
One of the most striking things about the photos is that in almost every case, the catcallers are smiling for the selfie.
They have absolutely no shame in being caught in the act of harassing a fellow human. They appear in the photos smiling, waving, and flashing peace signs.
It’s pretty despicable.
But while the catcalling men may be smiling in the pictures, Jansma is not.
In most of the images, Jansma’s face is stoic or even slightly distressed. “They really didn’t care about me,” she said. “They never realized that I was unhappy.”
Sometimes, Jansma's catcallers were young guys around her age. Sometimes they were old dudes asking her to get in their car.
Jansma also said that she wasn’t able to take selfies of every single catcaller. “My safety is more important than this project,” she said. “I didn’t take photos when I was catcalled in the dark, in little streets.”
Imagine having the audacity to shout your “admiration” for a woman who is by herself, in the dark, in a small street. It’s absolutely bonkers.