Women walking down the street, especially in larger cities, are likely accustomed to some mild catcalling or comments directed toward them from complete strangers. Most of these women ignore their hecklers, but not Lindsey.
Lindsey, a 28-year-old from Minneapolis who only is identified by her first name, confronts the people making unwanted comments, accusing them of “street harassment.”
According to Buzzfeed, it all started several weeks ago when Lindsey was called “blondie” by a stranger. When she responded that he “could just say ‘hi’ next time, the man started yelling at Lindsey as if she had done something wrong.
This situation — and the accumulation of others — inspired Lindsey to create Cards Against Street Harassment, which she hands to those making comments about her or how she looks. She also started filming some of her confrontations with these people, posting them on YouTube.
“The street harassment my friends and I encounter tends to take the form of brief but frustrating interactions: comments made just as men pass by on the street, over so quickly you rarely have a chance to respond,” Lindsey explained on her website. “Just as frustrating as the harassment itself is the feeling of powerlessness that comes with not having had a chance to defend yourself or convey how the harassment affects you. Cards Against Harassment are designed to allow those who are harassed, or those who witness harassment, to give street harassers the feedback, however limited, that their behavior is unwelcome.”
Her latest video, “Six Sisters,” records a man saying “Goddamn…hey beautiful.”
“Are you talking to me? Why?” Lindsey asked.
The man said he wanted her to know she was beautiful.
“Here I am on my lunch break and I almost made it back … and here you are street harassing me,” she said, emphasizing that “yes,” she felt it was harassment when the man asked if that was really her take on his comments.
In the video, the man later divulges that he has six sisters and that he would not like it if someone talked to them the way he spoke to her. Eventually, the man apologized and Lindsey told him that she appreciated him taking the time to listen to her, adding that she hopes his sisters don’t get street harassed.
Watch the video:
Here are a few more of her filmed confrontations.
“What’s the purpose for a woman to be on this Earth [but] for a man?” (Content warning: some strong language):
“Are they having a modeling contest going on?”:
“I’m surprised that you’re offended by it” (Content warning: strong language):
“I am genuinely interested in what place this is coming from,” Lindsey told Buzzfeed about her recent efforts against street harassment.
In one of her videos, she explained that she’s trying to figure out “what goes between thinking it and then actually saying it to someone.”
She added to Buzzfeed that her videos are not meant to be combative but show the “cumulative daily impact” of street harassment.
Many other women have been jumping on board in support of Cards Against Street Harassment, which can be printed from the website.
— Sarah Melton (@SVMelton) July 22, 2014
— Positive Detroit (@PositiveDetroit) July 22, 2014
— Symone (@Sno_wright) July 19, 2014
Just learned about your cards, @CardsAgstHrsmt! Keep fighting the good fight!
— Eileen Rivera (@EileenRivera1) July 19, 2014
A report released earlier this summer from a national survey of 2,000 people found that 65 percent of women experienced some form of street harassment.
(H/T: Opposing Views)