Every day, women are harassed in the street simply for being women. In other words: Every time we step out the house, we run the risk of being shouted at, catcalled, or assaulted — usually in broad daylight. FUN!
Brooklyn-based artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh wanted to take women’s voices and faces and plaster them big and bold in the very same places where this takes place. She’s using street art to address gender-based street harassment by taking a place where women feel uncomfortable and turning it into a place where we cannot be ignored.
Article originally by Rossalyn Warren.
“Stop Telling Women to Smile” is an art series by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh that started in Brooklyn in the fall of 2012. It is an ongoing, traveling series that will gradually include many cities and many women. The art show is in Oakland, Calif., throughout March in the Betti Ono gallery, and the activities in LA are sponsored by WAM! (Women, Action & the Media). To find out more about the project and how you can get involved with it, have a look at the website. Thanks to Upworthy friend Wyatt for sending this over.
This is an issue that connects ALL women. Men should not feel entitled to tell women to smile, or call them ‘baby’ or ‘momma.’ If I wanted to be called those names, I would find someone else to do it.
No one is entitled to call me those names unless I want them to. I don’t take it as a compliment when some guy whistles at me in the street. It makes me want to punch them in the face. Am I entitled to do that?
Why do men feel entitled to walk up to me in a public place to tell me how nice I look or how beautiful I am and then proceed to try to have a conversation with me about my life or who I am? I don’t dress nice to be eye candy for you, men. I dress nice because I have a professional presentation, or I am going to an interview, or maybe I decided to wear a sundress for myself. My job is not to please your eyes, or smile at you in the street, or giggle kindly when you catcall at me. Nope. That’s harassment, actually.
Men, would you talk to your sister that way? Would you tell your mom how sexy she looks before she leaves for work?
I am not here for you, so stop acting like you are entitled to my time, attention, or a conversation with me.
When I say I want to just be friends, I actually mean that I just want to be friends. Crazy, I know.
So men, let me and all my sisters walk wherever we want, whenever we want without being hollered at for our appearance, and no, I won’t just smile.