This artist took a selfie with her catcallers to make a powerful statement about everyday sexism

5th Oct 17 | Lifestyle

It shows how widespread a phenomenon it is.

Lonely girl walking through night city street

For many women, catcalling is an unpleasant but inevitable addition to daily life. However, this artist is taking a stand against men who shout sexist things to her in the street, with the power of the selfie.

Noa Jansma, a 20-year-old  from Holland, took a picture with every man who catcalled her over the period of a month, and posted them to the Instagram account @dearcatcallers.

She writes of her motivations: “This Instagram has the aim to create awareness about the objectification of women in daily life.”

#dearcatcallers "I know what I would do with you, baby"

A post shared by dearcatcallers (@dearcatcallers) on

For Noa, this was an effort to turn the gender power balance on its head. She explains: “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.”

Noa posted a startling 24 photographs during the month of the experiment, along with quotes of what the men said to her.

If you’re a woman who has been wolf-whistled at by men in the street, you’ll recognise the expression Noa has in every photo all too well.

The pictures do feel incredibly uncomfortable: in many, the men seem happy with being called out on their behaviour.

Classic 2.0 "psssst, whoooooop, Can he have your number?" #dearcatcallers

A post shared by dearcatcallers (@dearcatcallers) on

#dearcatcallers … after following me for straight 10 minutes "sexy girl Where you goin'?? Can I come with you ?" …

A post shared by dearcatcallers (@dearcatcallers) on

Mmmmmm beautiful sweet girl #dearcatcallers

A post shared by dearcatcallers (@dearcatcallers) on

And in some they are leering at Noa or touching her inappropriately.


A post shared by dearcatcallers (@dearcatcallers) on

#dearcatcallers "hmmmm you wanna kiss?"

A post shared by dearcatcallers (@dearcatcallers) on

Nog een keer #dearcatcallers *psssssst, kissing sounds and whistling"

A post shared by dearcatcallers (@dearcatcallers) on

The uncomfortable nature of these pictures reflects how women feel when they are catcalled by strange men on the street.

At the end of the allotted time, Noa again took to Instagram: “My month of posts has ended, but that doesn’t mean that catcallers are in the past as well.” She will be passing on the account @dearcatcallers to other women, “to show that it’s a global phenomenon”.

Noa finishes with the statement: “It has made clear that catcalling is a common occurrence that many of us are dealing with.”

© Press Association 2017