Cards Against Harassment is Lindsey’s bold contribution to the catcalling conversation.
The idea behind the initiative, spurred by a catcall gone wrong, enables women to download and print little cards to hand to their street harassers, explaining why what they’re doing is not okay. Recently, Lindsey, who asked to only be referred to by her first name, began recording and posting her encounters with her harassers.
“The filming provides them a platform to embarrass themselves in a way that they’ve already embarrassed me,” she told Buzzfeed.
Through her conversations with various men who speak to her unwarrantedly, Lindsey said she’s noticed that many of them are shocked to learn women don’t feel their comments are a compliment.
Equally as shocking is the reasoning behind many of the featured men’s actions. “Women are put on this earth to satisfy a man,” one man says. Another in a different video appears to believe something similar.
While I can’t speak for every woman, the emerging narrative regarding “compliments” from random men on the street has largely been one of disapproval, especially as of late. Many men insist they’re just calling Lindsey (and other women they catcall) beautiful, complimenting them, and that may be true. She curiously and unabashedly asks why they feel they have the right to speak to her at all. For those who feel her approach is harsh, she addresses her reasoning on her website, cardsagainstharassment.com.
“So, right off the bat,” the site reads, “the problem with street harassment is that when people feel entitled to comment on a stranger's appearance, that doesn't limit itself to ‘complimentary’ comments.”
The website listed on the cards directs the men Lindsey comes in contact with to her website where she answers FAQ’s, shares the 2014 National Street Harassment Report and directs users to other street harassment resources.
Though Cards Against Harassment may not change the mass mindset of men, it should definitely make them more cautious catcallers. Their video could be the next one on Lindsey's YouTube account.