Ladies, have you ever avoided going into a store, crossed the street, or pretended you couldn’t hear…simply to get away from a man that just wouldn’t stop trying to get with you? Did you know his annoying persistence was called street harassment? Well “Stop Telling Women to Smile” is an art project bringing awareness to your experiences. Stop Telling Women to Smile is a street art series by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (picture below), that places drawn portraits of women, accompanied by captions that speak directly to offenders, outside in public spaces.
This project attempts to take the voices and faces of women who have been victims or witnesses to street harassment and put them in the streets–In hopes of bringing awareness to the feelings, shame, and hurt that women are subjected to in the very streets that they live in and travel daily.
The project is saying that street harassment is not okay. That feeling entitled to treat and speak to women any type of way, is not okay. That demanding a woman’s attention is not okay. That intruding on a woman’s space and thoughts is not okay. That women should be able to walk to the train, to the grocery store, to school – without having to cross the street to avoid the men that she sees already eyeing her as she approaches.
This is Ms. F’n Write telling men its not always what you say its how you say it, think before you open your mouth and that could make the difference in harassment and getting to actually know someone new. I took the liberty of finding a video that explains street harassment in a humorous manner which sometimes helps people to treat serious matters as they are…SERIOUS!