What is street harassment?

Simply put, it is sexual harassment in public places. It is often gender-based (though it can be motivated by or with other factors such as race or sexuality), and it creates public environments that are perpetually charged with the potential of disrespect and violence.

Cat Calls: Called Out believes that if we want to stop street harassment, even if just in our own area, we have to change our attitude. No one can be a bystander. In order to do so, this campaign has a few goals:

1.) Awareness. People need to know that street harassment happens, it happens everywhere, and it is a problem.

2.) Generating ideas on how to deal with street harassment when you see it or hear about it happening. There are ways to support people when they face street harassment. It can include giving people space to vent, calling out creeps, and et cetera. The “et cetera” part is where your ideas come in.

This may be a small campaign, but it’s an important one, and with your help, we can at least attempt to tackle some of the issues around street harassment in Sydney and in general.

Before we get started though, some disclaimers:

Cat Calls: Called Out is greatly inspired by the Hollaback! movement, as well as LivetheGreendot. Both of these are fantastic international movements, though neither of them have Sydney-based campaigns (though Hollaback! does have a Melbourne-based campaign). At the moment, Cat Calls: Called Out is not meant to be a Sydney version of either of these movements. Rather, this campaign hopes to work off of ideas from these campaigns, as well as generate new ideas to battle street harassment in Sydney.

For the rest of these posts, when I talk about street harassment, I will refer to people who experience sexual harassment with female pronouns due to the majority of street harassment being directed towards people who identify as women.  However, this campaign fully acknowledges that street harassment can occur towards anyone in the gender spectrum.

On that note, any and all comments attempting to derail discussions with “but what about men?! / not all men are like that”  and similar sentiments will be deleted. Same goes for any sentiments containing slut-shaming, racial profiling and etc. We’re all about support here, y’all. Hopefully this is an unnecessary disclaimer, but you never know.

Thanks for checking us out (not in that way), and stick around- we’ll have a lot more content coming your way.

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