These Street Signs Are the Perfect Cat Calling Take Down

Source: Feminist Apparel
Source: Feminist Apparel

New Yorkers are getting a blunt reminder about something they really shouldn't need reminding about.

Signs proclaiming "No Catcall Zone" and "No Catcalling Any Time" are cropping up in Manhattan and Brooklyn. 

A photo posted by (@) on

Clothing company Feminist Apparel placed more than 50 such reminders around the city with messages modeled on traditional New York City street signs, with some adding bizarre graphic stick figure imagery. 

"We timed the putting up of the street signs in accordance with Anti-Street Harassment Week, with the goal simply being to raise awareness of Anti-Street Harassment Week and create some further dialogue surrounding the issue," Alan J. Martofel, a production coordinator at Feminist Apparel, told Mic by email.

The project was launched in collaboration with the Philadelphia-based Pussy Division, which Martofel describes as a "feminist guerrilla collective." Together they hope to have at least one sign up in every borough of the city by the end of the week. 

The issue of catcalling and other forms of everyday sexual harassment women face received new attention after video of Shoshana Roberts being catcalled while walking in New York City went viral in 2014. Roberts, an actress who is also trained in martial arts, told the Guardian she still found the experience terrifying.

"We need to tell these people, 'Stop doing this,'" she said. "It can escalate so quickly."

Source: YouTube

That escalation can often take the form of physical violence. In 2013 a 14-year-old Florida girl was choked until she lost consciousness after she refused the advances of her harasser. Last March in Chicago, a Chinatown resident was followed by a convicted sex offender who then broke into her boyfriend's home and raped her.

In a survey involving over 800 women, all but three said she had experienced some form of street harassment, with more than a quarter reporting they had been assaulted by a stranger in public.

Some, like those at Fox News, don't think catcalling is a very big deal. "Let men be men," Kimberly Guilfoyle guffawed with fellow co-hosts. But she's wrong; it is a very big deal, and society cannot hope to tackle larger issues of sexual assault if it allows casual harassment to go unpunished and unnoticed every day. 

h/t Gothamist 

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Jon Levine

Jon Levine is a staff writer at Mic, covering politics and people. He is based in New York and can be reached at JLevine@mic.com.

MORE FROM

8 of the biggest moments from the 48th NYC LGBT Pride March

The biggest Pride event in the world was a sight to behold.

Movement for Black Lives activists disrupt Minneapolis Pride to protest Philando Castile verdict

Protesters reportedly held signs with messages like "No KKKops at Pride."

Protesters reportedly arrested near NYC's Stonewall Inn, Pride March endpoint

The reason for the arrests were not immediately known.

Marchers arrested in Istanbul as Pride parade continues despite cancellation

The organizers' decision to move forward with the previously cancelled march led to clashes with police.

Car slams into Eid celebrants in UK, injuring 6; police say terrorism isn't suspected

Police say they believe an Eid celebrant was behind the wheel of the car that injured six outside a mosque.

Oil truck explodes in Pakistan, killing at least 153

The deadly fire broke out as residents rushed to collect the leaking oil from the overturned tanker.

8 of the biggest moments from the 48th NYC LGBT Pride March

The biggest Pride event in the world was a sight to behold.

Movement for Black Lives activists disrupt Minneapolis Pride to protest Philando Castile verdict

Protesters reportedly held signs with messages like "No KKKops at Pride."

Protesters reportedly arrested near NYC's Stonewall Inn, Pride March endpoint

The reason for the arrests were not immediately known.

Marchers arrested in Istanbul as Pride parade continues despite cancellation

The organizers' decision to move forward with the previously cancelled march led to clashes with police.

Car slams into Eid celebrants in UK, injuring 6; police say terrorism isn't suspected

Police say they believe an Eid celebrant was behind the wheel of the car that injured six outside a mosque.

Oil truck explodes in Pakistan, killing at least 153

The deadly fire broke out as residents rushed to collect the leaking oil from the overturned tanker.