Artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is taking it to the streets, to reclaim public space for women.
She asks women about their experiences with street harassment, then draws their portraits.
The portraits are then posted on streets where the harassment is particularly pervasive, along with the messages the women would give their harassers, if it was safe to do so.
What these dudes don’t understand is that women want to be street harassed by dudes about as much as dudes want to be stopped and frisked by police. You can’t convince a dude of that, though. He’ll tell you, and himself, all kinds of fucking stories about he got “play” by street harassing women and so it works and he’s not changing. He don’t give a shit how the women really feel about it. He can’t grasp the concept of women being kind because they’re terrified of what will happen when they say no or ignore him or walk away from him. And he’s too myopic, patriarchal, cowardly, immature, and dull to think of other ways to meet and chat with women.
Well here is the proof. Here is the proof of why women are terrified of you.
I don’t want to hear shit about, “Oh, but that’s an exception! That ain’t me. I’m not out to hurt nobody! I’m a gentleman. If she says she’s not interested, then I just walk away.”
You’re missing the point and you’re missing the point intentionally so that you don’t have to change, so you don’t have to be denied, so you aren’t cut off from what you THINK you’re going to get by street harassing women.
You’re not fooling ANYONE but yourself.
Steel yourself for this story and please send your thoughts and well-wishes to the family of Mary “Unique” Spears, who leaves behind three children and a fiance because some man had to prove just how fragile a construction manhood is. Who died for no good reason. Who had her whole life ahead of her and who had a family and who was loved and cherished and handled warmly (like Ntozake Shange said).
Fuck this entire world.
Fuck all the dudes who street harass women because they think it’s ritual and think it’s their right and think that the women should be flattered and think that they’re entitled and think that they’re harmless and think that’s it’s benevolent and think that this is guaranteed access to sex and so must be preserved and think that if they don’t harass then they miss an opportunity for love/sex/ego-boost and think that this is their biological imperative and that that this is what it means to be a man and think that it’s anything other than the most pervasive aspect of rape culture that it is.
Because of you, women are dying—emotionally, physically, psychologically, spiritually.
I hate you.
May the terror you visit upon these women be visited upon you threefold.
For every woman you harass, may a cop knock you upside your fucking head.
Until you stop.