Who Is Behind the Guerrilla Campaign to End Catcalling?

The initiative aims to raise awareness against catcalling. Photo: @margueritabchoy via Twitter

As spring approaches and the streets start getting busier, catcalling and other incidents of sexual harassment also become more common again unfortunately. The non-profit group Feminist Apparel and Philadelphia-based feminist collective Pussy Division have collaborated on a street art campaign to raise awareness to the issue and hopefully curb catcalling, DNA Info reports.

Coinciding with this year’s international anti-street harassment week the groups have erected street signs across New York City and Philadelphia to remind members of the public that catcalling constitutes harassment.

At first glance the signs closely resemble traffic signs. However, look closely and you will recognize that they mark “no catcalling zones” around both cities. The artist Elana Adler’s series You Are My Duchess has also previously drawn attention to the issue of catcalling (see Artist Cross Stitches Catcalls).

But the lighthearted reminder disguises a much more serious social problem. According to the website of the nonprofit organization Stop Street Harassment, a new study in Australia found that 87 percent of women have been subjugated to crude remarks on the street.

In China, five women were recently arrested for planning a protest against sexual harassment on the public transport system in Guangzhou.

Art and feminism have had a shared history, and art has long been used to highlight feminist issues. The recent anti-catcalling campaign is the latest chapter in that shared history (see We Asked 20 Women “Is the Art World Biased?” Here’s What They Said).

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