A woman in Amsterdam has made an instagram account and dedicated it to filling it with selfies of her and her catcallers. Noa Jansma is a 20 year old student in the city and was sick of being harassed in the street when going about her day to day life.
Jansma actually goes as far to make sure that the men are okay with being in the selfies and the men are usually more than obliging and blissfully unaware that they will end up on the instagram account.
The insta account was set up by the student as a month long project and in that time she gathered herself over 45,000 followers. The account, entitled Dear Catcallers has around 30 posts on it and the theme of each image shows Jansma looking into the camera with a straight face, whilst her catcallers more than often pose with a cheesy grin, unaware of how uncomfortable that they have just made the young woman feel.
In regards to the account Jansma said that ‘catcalling is not a compliment’.
She wrote about the account that, ‘This Instagram has the aim to create awareness about the objectification of women in daily life.’
‘Since many people still don’t know how often and in whatever context ‘catcalling’ happens, I’ll be showing my catcallers within the period of one month.”
In a selfie, “both the objectification 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.”
She said that the idea came about after being catcalled on a train and deciding that she had had enough and wanted to take a stand about the casual mindset towards catcalling.
During the month long project she said that only one man asked why she wanted a selfie with him, with the rest just thinking it was completely normal. The student said about this ‘They’re not at all suspicious because they find what they do completely normal.’
She also said that did experience more street harassment than what she documented on the photo sharing account, but for some incidents she did not feel safe enough to get her phone out and take a snap, but instead chose to remove herself from the situation.
Despite the month long project now being complete, Jansma has said that she wants to pass the account on to other women so they can document their experiences and continue to raise awareness of catcalling.
In Jansma’s city of Amsterdam, from January 1 2018, street harassment will be made a crime and it will be punishable by a fine of 190€ (£170). Jansma said that she thinks the law will be difficult to impose, but she does believe that it is ‘symbolic, and I think that’s good’.