The return of warm weather normally signals the return of a charming courtship ritual wherein some people (sometimes male) yell sexually suggestive things at other people (sometimes female). It's great, and everyone loves it. Everyone, that is, except for people who "don't like getting shouted at by strangers," if you can imagine that. Crazy stuff.
In support of such people, nonprofit organization Feminst Apparel and Philadelphia feminist collective Pussy Division teamed up to create a guerilla street art campaign for this year's International Anti-Street Harassment Week, posting signs defining "No catcalling zones" on city streets all over NYC and Philly.
The signs, which feature cats that may or may not have lasers coming out of their eyes, are intended as a playful reminder that catcalling constitutes street harassment, which not everyone enjoys. Surprisingly, reactions to this campaign have been mixed!
Some people are big fans of the No Catcall Zones.
Others have enthusiastically embraced the creativity of the approach with adaptations of their own.
There are those who appreciate the intention, but are skeptical about the efficacy of the approach.
Others think this campaign is dumb because as Americans it is our right to tell strangers what we think about their attire (or breasts).
#NoCatCallZone nothing wrong with saying hi or hi beautiful, if u don't want people 2 look cover up— Eric Johnson (@BadManDingo) April 16, 2015
Some of the signs have already been removed, either by people stealing them or by the authorities:
Went looking for the "NO CATCALLING ANY TIME" sign on Delancey and Suffolk but it's already taken down. #catsagainstcatcalls— p'nut (@lindseydawn_) April 17, 2015
And, perhaps most importantly, one community with a critical perspective on this issue is weighing in with the message that it is completely unconcerned about, and uninterested in, the affairs of human beings:
Do you enjoy being catcalled? Do you score loads of dates with people by catcalling them? ARE YOU A CAT?! If so, we want to hear from you! We're not sure when Pro-Street Harassment Week is, but the public deserves to hear your story. Especially if you are a cat.