Catcall and response

The Artdog Image(s) of Interest

Have you ever been walking down a city street, especially past a construction site, and heard somebody yell, “Hey, baby! Gimme a smile!” or similar stuff? If you’ve ever been a woman–particularly a young woman–you have. Guaranteed. Probably daily. (If you’re a man, then probably not, and you may not see what’s wrong with it).

This image is a photo of artwork by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, in this case a self-portrait, with the message "Stop telling women to smile." in this photo the artist's words have been added near the top, saying "It's a matter of control over women's bodies. And it's a serious issue to address."
Tatyana FazlalizadehStop Telling Women to Smile

While the occasional inexperienced country girl may mistake these catcalls for harmless flattery on first exposure, it soon becomes clear that the objectifying intent is neither harmless nor benign. Day after day, the merciless barrage can drag you down

This photograph shows a poster glued to a section of a wall with wood-grain like a piece of plywood. The poster shows a young woman's head and upper torso, and at the bottom it says, "My name is not Baby, Shorty, Sexy, Sweetie, Honey, Pretty, Boo, Sweetheart, Ma." The artwork is by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh.
Tatyana FazlalizadehMy Name is not Baby 

t’s recognized more properly as street harassment–and NO, women don’t like it. But what can be done, right? Most of us just duck our heads and keep walking

This photo shows a large-scale poster on a brick wall, featuring the faces and upper torsos of three women, with the words underneath: "Harassing women does not prove your masculinity." The artwork is by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh.
Tatyana FazlalizadehHarassing women does not prove your masculinity

Enter Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, and her “Stop Telling Women to Smile” public art campaign. All those things you so wish you could say to harassers? She says them. With large public art displays, right out there in the harassers’ space on the streets.

This photo shows one of Tatyana Fazlalizadeh's posters on the side of a mailbox, overlaying several graffitti-scrawled messages. The drawing shows a young woman's head and upper torso, above the message: "Critiques on my body are not welcome."
Tatyana FazlalizadehCritiques on my Body are not Welcome

Fazlalizadeh has illustrated her messages with the faces of women she knows, women whose lives are impinged upon daily by these assaults. Her images empower all of us, not only her friends.

This photo shows a poster by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, with a drawing of a young woman's head and shoulders over the message, "Women are not outside for your entertainment."
Tatyana FazlalizadehWomen are not Outside for your Entertainment

She speaks what all of us wish we could, in a way that few can mistake

Which speak best for you? Please make comments below!

IMAGES: Many thanks to the Huffington Post, for the image at the top. Deepest gratitude to Katherine Brooks’s  2017 Huffington Post article, “Public Art Project Addresses Gender-Based Street Harassment in a Big Way,” for My name is not Baby, Critiques on my Body are not Welcome, and Women are not Outside for your Entertainment; and honor and props to  Tatyana Fazlalizadeh and her “Stop Telling Women to Smile” page, for Harassing women does not prove your masculinity. I plan to feature more of these posters in future Images of Interest.

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jansgephardt

Kansas City-based Jan S. Gephardt is a writer, artist, and teacher. She makes nationally-recognized paper sculpture and writes sf mystery novels about a sapient police dog.

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