I have seen street harassment occurring everyday but have not personally intervened in those situations due to 1. not wanting an argument with the harasser and 2. I believe he really and truly doesn’t know better.
So, when this campaign was being formulated I thought this may be a chance for me to indirectly target those involved in this behavior.
Personally, as a guy, I can honestly say I’ve never catcalled at a girl. Reason being, and here is where I think guys get it wrong, the average Joe on the street believes that if he gives a girl a compliment about her body, her face or some other feature that she’d want to be with him. It’s very strange how guys act around women. I remember once when I was playing cricket, a girl passed by and my fellow mates started calling at her. What caught my attention at the time was what the umpire said. His words were, “’is like dog season on or something.”
I was puzzled at his comment but when you think of it, when a female dog is in heat the males lose all sense of control and would fight and push and nag at each other for the female. I saw this exact behaviour in these guys. I didn’t know why this was so. I wondered why I’ve never acted like this. Then I did the math and concluded that it’s all due to socialization. I was just raised differently. I’ve never seen my dad or anyone in my close quarters act like that.
I believe it’s like a virus, that behaviour. Maybe if I had stayed with those mates and became their friends I would have changed and lost my decency. I do feel that many times these guys just act or do things to make their friends feel they are cool and have ‘swag’.
If only someone would call these guys out, pull them away from their environment and put them into environments which teach and encourage proper behavior.
I do know it’s a reflex to fit in and to follow the masses. Maybe a change in their surroundings would help them see things differently. Maybe even have a girl whom these guys are troubling, stop and have a chat with them, tell them how it makes her feel. I do believe that this project’s posters and objectives will send a message and spark a thought with these guys and girls who like to catcall at others.