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This Student Has Been Taking Selfies With The Men Who Catcall Her

Noa Jansma is on a mission to educate people about the "objectification of women in daily life."
PHOTO: Instagram/dearcatcallers

Catcalling is horrible. Some men feel they can shout and humiliate you in public with no repercussions and often, as women, we're left too intimidated or shaken to know how to respond.

Personally, I often launch into a massive eyeroll and mutter a series of insults under my breath...when the car/pedestrian/motorcyclist has passed so they never actually hear my response. Not hugely effective.

Noa Jansma, a 20-year-old student from Amsterdam, was so fed up with the barrage of comments and wolf-whistling she received while going about her every day business, she came up with a brave and bold method of dealing with catcalling: Taking selfies with the men who harassed her.

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As part of her mission to publicly flip the balance of power, Noa chose to share the photos on her Instagram account, "DearCatcallers."

"I just never knew what to do if someone catcalled me," Noa told BBC Newsbeat. "If I went against it, the situation just escalated, and it would give me a real fright."

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Noa shares the photos along with captions revealing what the catcallers said to her. These include: "Hmm, you wanna kiss?" and "Sexy girl! Where you going? Can I come with you?"

The page has so far amassed 271,000 followers, but Noa says she is more focused on making a powerful statement rather than shaming the men.

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"If these men ask me to take the pictures off Instagram, I will do it because I don't want to ruin their lives," she said. "It's more like a mirror, they're coming into my privacy on the street in front of everyone, so I'm coming into their privacy."

At the start of the project, she wrote that the page was a way to "create awareness about the objectification of women in daily life" and said that, through the selfies, the object standing in front of the objectifier represents "the reversed power ratio."

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Despite her deadpan expression in every single photo, the men joining her are often pictured with grins on their faces. According to Noa, only one has man asked why she wanted a selfie and when she told him, he agreed to have one taken anyway. Right. 

Noa wrapped up her project earlier this week but said she will be passing the account into the hands of different women around the world.

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The responsibility isn't on women to respond in a certain way to catcalling. They shouldn't have to deal with it at all. Hopefully with public projects like Noa's, men that are guilty of catcalling will become increasingly aware that it is unacceptable in all circumstances.


This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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