CHALK BACK GLOBAL OPERATIONS INTERN

About Chalk Back

Chalk Back is an international youth-led movement committed to ending street harassment through public chalk art, digital media and education. Through our local Instagram sites, community events, cultural programming and anti-harassment workshops, Chalk Back members seek to influence cultural change within our communities.

Overview  

We are looking for an enthusiastic young activist passionate about ending street harassment. The Chalk Back Global Operations Intern will be a vital part of Chalk Back’s team. They will maintain international operations and communications and provide resources and guidance to “@catcallsof” accounts around the world. The intern will plan campaigns for the Chalk Back’s social media channels.


TASKS WILL INCLUDE 

  • Track and organize all new global accounts

  • Maintain contact and provide support for global accounts

  • Plan global social media campaigns

  • Plan Chalk Back social calendar

 

WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR 

  • A deep commitment to social justice and promoting equality in public space

  • An intersectional feminist lens 

  • Strong organizational and interpersonal skills

  • Strong writing and verbal skills

  • Knowledge of Instagram and Google tools

  • Willingness to learn and grow

The internship is unpaid but can be done for school credit. We are willing to offer mentorship opportunities, support and valuable experiences-- including invites to events and networking opportunities.

If interested, e-mail your resume and cover letter to sophie@catcallsofnyc.com

COMMUNICATIONS INTERN 2019

About Catcalls of NYC

Catcalls of NYC raises public awareness about street harassment by writing instances of harassment on New York City sidewalks word-for-word with chalk, alongside the hashtag #stopstreetharassment. The goal of the public art is to make passersby consider the experience of being harassed. The images, posted to Instagram, gather and illustrate how widespread this behavior is. The account is a platform to educate, create community and promote story sharing. Both digital and real life iterations elicit dialogue and empathy. The goal of the initiative is to encourage action through education and awareness locally and globally.

Overview  

We are looking for an enthusiastic young activist passionate about ending street harassment. The Communications Intern will be a vital part of Catcalls of NYC’s team and help respond to messages on social media, document and categorize reports of harassment, and collaborate on campaign organization, event planning and community outreach.

RESPONSIBILITIES WILL INCLUDE 

  • Respond to daily reports of gender-based street harassment

  • Organize reports in detailed spreadsheet 

  • Identify like-minded organizations and potential partnerships

  • Provide support for special events and campaigns 

  • Other communications related tasks as needed

WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR 

  • A deep commitment to social justice and promoting equality in public space

  • An intersectional feminist lens 

  • Self-starter with strong time management skills

  • Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills

  • Excellent written and verbal skills

  • Knowledge of Instagram and Google tools

  • Willingness to learn and grow

The internship is unpaid but can be done for school credit. We are willing to offer mentorship opportunities, support and valuable experiences-- including invites to events and networking opportunities.

If interested, e-mail your resume and cover letter to sophie@catcallsofnyc.com

Ann-Sophie's Story

Ann-Sophie’s Story | February 17, 2019

Gender-based street harassment is an epidemic affecting women, non binary, and trans folks in cities all around the globe. Join Catcalls of NYC writer Jessica Hutt in hearing first-hand accounts from people who are saying “NO!” to catcalling. In this interview, read the story of Ann-Sophie, a German woman who encountered catcalling for the first time very early on in life and has been dedicated to empowering women ever since.

Image courtesy of stock elements

Image courtesy of stock elements

Jessica Hutt: Where are you from?

Ann-Sophie Meyers: Frankfurt, Germany.

Hutt: How old were you when you were first catcalled?

Meyers: I think I was 14.

Hutt: What happened? Who catcalled you? What did they say/do?

Meyers: I can not remember the first time, but I remember that one time in the bus when I was wearing a skirt and tights, some forty year old guy asked me if I wanted to sit on his lap, because the bus was so crowded.

Hutt: How did the experience make you feel in the moment and after the fact?

Meyers: It took me long to realise what the man meant, but I felt dirty and got of the bus to walk home.

Hutt: How did you react outwardly?

Meyers: I did not really react, but some other men in the bus were laughing. I just walked home.

Hutt: Did you tell anyone what happened? If so, how did they respond?

Meyers: I told one of my friends. She told me that men are pigs and I should not wear skirts.

Hutt: Do you believe that catcalling is a compliment?

Meyers: It’s not a compliment. Men are not allowed to sexualize woman or little girls.

Hutt: Do you go out of your way to avoid situations in which you could be catcalled?

Meyers: I did not take the bus for a very long time after the incident.

Hutt: Did you feel the need to change your behavior after the experience?

Meyers: I stopped wearing skirts or tight shirts, and now I always carry my keys in hand [in case I] need to punch someone.

Hutt: What do you think can be done to end street harassment?

Meyers: Educate men and empower women.

Hutt: Why is it important to end street harassment?

Meyers: It’s not okay that women are scared all day long because men are sexualizing them. That needs to stop because the next step is rape.

Want more stories? Keep checking the Catcalls of NYC blog for new interviews with badass people sharing their personal experiences with street harassment. Special thanks to Ms. Meyers for telling her story and speaking out against unsolicited sexual advances!

Angela's Story

Angela’s Story | January 13, 2019

Gender-based street harassment is an epidemic affecting women, non binary, and trans folks in cities all around the globe. Join Catcalls of NYC writer Jessica Hutt in hearing first-hand accounts from people who are saying “NO!” to catcalling. In this interview, read the story of Angela, a Filipina woman who has encountered sexual harassment and victim-shaming multiple times throughout her life.

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Jessica Hutt: Where are you from?

Angela: I'm from Manila, NCR (National Capital Region), Philippines.

Hutt: How old were you when you were first catcalled?

Angela: I was a 15-year-old high school student when I was first catcalled.

Hutt: What happened? Who catcalled you? What did they say/do?

Angela: I don't recall much [from] when I was first catcalled because many years have already passed, so instead, I'm going to share something more recent. This happened more than over a year ago; I was in my last year of college. My classes end late in the afternoon, so by the time I made my commute home the skies were already dark. I was crossing the overpass bridge, not far from our school, when a man said, "Hi miss, ang cute mo". (Translation: hi miss, you look cute.) The stairs of the overpass bridge were narrow, so he was very close to me when he said that. I tried to ignore him but he started following me. He kept harassing me while I kept walking until I reached the jeepney stop.

Hutt: How did the experience make you feel in the moment and after the fact?

Angela: I was really shaken up and scared. I kept going back to that moment and asking myself what I did to invite that kind of attention. I kept asking myself if it was my fault because I kept remembering the other times when guys faulted me for their actions.

Hutt: How did you react outwardly?

Angela: I had my phone on one hand; the flashlight on and a call away from 911 in case something happened, and a pen in the other. I didn't confront him because I was so scared that he might get aggressive and do something to me.

Hutt: Did you tell anyone what happened? If so, how did they respond?

Angela: When I got home, I told my brother. I was relieved that it was just him at home because I was too vulnerable to weather my mother's penchant for victim-shaming. He was very angry on my behalf and comforted me as best as he could.

Hutt: Do you believe that catcalling is a compliment?

Angela: Catcalling has never been nor will it ever be a compliment. It's an unsolicited action from men who feel entitled to take up our time and emotional well-being just to express that they are sexually interested in you.

Hutt: Do you go out of your way to avoid situations in which you could be catcalled?

Angela:  I avoid it as much as I can. I always have my commute fare easily accessible. [In this situation] a ballpen was hidden in my pocket and my phone [was] in hand.

Hutt: Did you feel the need to change your behavior after the experience?

Angela:  I'm usually in my school uniform so regardless of how I dressed I was catcalled and harassed often. I always carry a retractable baton and a switchblade in my bag and walked close to people in groups.

Hutt: What do you think can be done to end street harassment?

Angela: Pass legislation so that street harassment is not allowed and is a jailable offense with a hefty bail amount so offenders will take it more seriously. Improve security infrastructure like building light posts in dark streets and installing more CCTV cameras. A cohesive education for early, intermediate and tertiary levels that any form of harassment is bad and about the steps they could take to help stop the offender and what legal steps the victim could take after those kinds of situations. And it shouldn't stop there, this kind of education should also be shared by leaders in communities. Every citizen should be educated on this matter and what they can do about it.

Hutt: Why is it important to end street harassment?

Angela: It's important because everybody has the right to feel safe.


Want more stories? Keep checking the Catcalls of NYC blog for new interviews with badass people sharing their personal experiences with street harassment. Special thanks to Ms. Malano for telling her story and speaking out against unsolicited sexual advances!

What would you say to your younger self the moment you were first catcalled ? 

Read below for a compilation of advice from women to their younger selves at the moment when they were first catcalled. Thank you for sharing your support and wisdom with everyone.

  1. “You’re stronger than them and they know it.” — Kaylee

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2. “Don’t give them the attention they so desire.” — Lily

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3. “Don’t blame it on the way you dressed, blame it on the way they think.”

This doesn't define your worth in any way. Keep your head up and your self esteem high-2.png

“It's ok to walk away from people who harass you regularly. ‘Fuck off’ is an acceptable response to harassment.“

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“This doesn’t define your worth. Keep your head up and your self esteem high.”

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"Men are trash. Don't let their bullshit affect you.” — Stephanie

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“Don’t just walk away from the boys at school. Tell them it’s not okay.” — Sarah

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"Don't act like nothing ever happened, it will break you. You're not the person who has to be ashamed."

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Anna's Story

Anna’s Story | January 19, 2019

Gender-based street harassment is an epidemic affecting women, non binary, and trans folks in cities all around the globe. Join Catcalls of NYC writer Jessica Hutt in hearing first-hand accounts from people who are saying “NO!” to catcalling. In this interview, read the story of Anna, a German university student who is all too familiar with the realities of seuxal harrassment and the pain it can bring.

Image courtesy of Thais Ramos Varela

Image courtesy of Thais Ramos Varela

Jessica Hutt: Where are you from?

Anna: I am from Germany. More specifically, I am from Mainz, near Frankfurt.


Hutt: How old were you when you were first catcalled?

Anna: I was about 14/15 years old the first time I remember being catcalled.


Hutt: What happened? Who catcalled you? What did they say/do?

Anna: At that time I had blue hair, so I was used to people staring at me. But one time, on my way home at my local train station, two grown men started staring at and following me. They yelled at me in a language I didn’t know. I don’t know what they really said, but I was totally scared when they followed me to my platform. Eventually, they left me alone.


Hutt: How did the experience make you feel in the moment and after the fact?

Anna: I was really scared and angry. [I was] scared of what they could do to me and angry because I thought “they’re grown men. Why don’t they act like adults?”. Later, I learned a lot of adults act like that.


Hutt: How did you react outwardly?

Anna: I am not really sure because it was so long ago, but I think I walked faster and tried searching for other groups of adults so in case something happened, there would be somebody around.


Hutt: Do you believe that catcalling is a compliment?

Anna: I’m not scared of compliments and they don’t make me feel threatened. Catcalls make me feel like that, so I don’t see them as compliments.


Hutt: Do you go out of your way to avoid situations in which you could be catcalled?

Anna: I used to barely go outside, especially with colored hair because it would attract so much more attention. The older I got, the worse it got. I’m 21 now and I’m still afraid to go out at night because I get catcalled or threatened every time. I barely wear the short pants or crop tops I love so much because I know it makes it worse. I stopped riding my bike last summer because I am easily scared by loud noises and was afraid that I would fall off when catcalling cars honked at me.


Hutt: Did you feel the need to change your behavior after the experience?

Anna: At night I still hold my keys between my fingers. Sometimes in the summer if I'm really paranoid or scared I'll carry my arts and crafts cutter in my pocket at night.


Hutt: What do you think can be done to end street harassment?

Anna: I think the best thing you can do is teach boys (and girls) from a young age about this issue. Also, a lot of my (boy) friends became educated simply through hearing about my and other girls’ experiences and started speaking up for girls.


Hutt: Why is it important to end street harassment?

Anna: I want to be able to enjoy life (especially at night time) like boys are able to. I want to feel good in my own body and wear what I want without being scared of being a potential rape victim. I want to dance in a club without being touched. I want to ride my bike without being afraid of every truck because the driver might honk at me just because he thinks my booty is nice and I could fall off and injure myself badly. I want little girls to enjoy their childhood without being overly sexualised by pedophiles. I really just want to exist as a human and not just a thing to whistle at.


Want more stories? Keep checking the Catcalls of NYC blog for new interviews with badass people sharing their personal experiences with street harassment. Special thanks to Anna for telling her story and speaking out against unsolicited sexual advances!


How to Fight Street Harassment with Chalk

Catcalls of NYC was started in an effort to raise awareness about street harassment. The Instagram account is used to create community, share stories and provide a space to talk about street harassment. The public chalk, on the other hand, is used to grab passersby and make them think about the experience of being catcalled. The sidewalk chalk illustrates the vulgarity of the words and the scope of the problem of street harassment.

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Starting a “catcallsof” account is a great way to do this in your community. Both the Instagram account and the public chalk are important parts of running an account. But, if you’re in a place where its difficult or impossible to chalk, sharing stories digitally is another option. If you feel uncomfortable chalking, reach out to others in your community and ask for help.

As more people around the world join the movement and begin chalking, I wanted to compile a list of advice for running a “catcallsof” account. Over the past three years, I’ve learned a lot about chalking and engaging with people in person and on social media. I want to share with those starting out so they can use the tips I’ve learned over time.

I’ve been so lucky to gain a community through Catcalls of NYC and meet people from different places and backgrounds that I never would have met otherwise. As of now there are “catcallsof” accounts in more than 20 places the country and 25 places around the world. From Iran, to California, to London and Ohio people are using their “catcallsof” accounts to fight back against harassment. I hope that many of you will join us in taking to the streets, creating community and ensuring that our experiences be heard (or rather, seen). Join us in chalking back. And if you do, here are my tips:

1. Keep Calm and Chalk Back

I am very angry about street harassment. The comments people submit to me on a daily basis are disgusting, violating, objectifying, etc. I hate that so many people, women, girls, non-binary and trans folks, have to deal with this behavior. But when I go out to chalk, I try to leave this anger at home. I give passersby the benefit of the doubt. I am open to conversation. And if someone gets angry at me for what I’m doing, I try to take the highroad and disengage. Your safety always comes first. So if you feel uncomfortable talking to someone, try to ignore them.

2. Educate

Chalking is a great way to get the word out about the “catcallsof” project. When people stop and look at the chalk, tell them about your account. Explain to them that you’re fighting back against street harassment by writing the harassing comments where they originally happened. Tell people it’s a global movement. As much as they’re willing to listen to you, talk. 

3. Respond to Haters on Instagram

First and foremost, this account is about education and raising awareness. Insults and comebacks feel great. Witty jabs are fun. But it’s important to balance that out with dialogue and productive conversations. It’s okay to disagree with someone, but if they mean well and want to learn, it’s best to engage them in conversation and hopefully make them see your side of the argument. Some people are genuinely ignorant about catcalling and street harassment. If these accounts can be used to educate them and make them aware of the problem, that does a world of good.

5. Gain Media Attention and Followers

Email your local newspaper. Email national news sources. Plan an event to engage your community. Post as frequently as possible. Respond to people’s messages and comments. Message other feminist accounts on Instagram and tell them about your account. Ask them to share. Street harassment is an issue that so many people deal with. If you reach out to others, they’ll want to help get the word out.

6. Have Fun

Maybe it sounds lame, but, have fun! Street harassment is a serious, difficult and upsetting topic. But running a “catcallsof” account doesn’t have to be. Chalking back is empowering. It’s a method of reclaiming a spot where someone was harassed and creating a beautiful chalk writing. Enjoy it. 

Cassie's Story

Cassie’s Story | January 8, 2019

Gender-based street harassment is an epidemic affecting women, non binary and trans folks in cities around the globe. Join Catcalls of NYC writer Jessica Hutt in hearing first-hand accounts from people who are saying NO to catcalling.

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Jessica Hutt: Where are you from?

Cassie: I’m originally from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, but I have been living in Nashville, TN for about 10 years.


Hutt: How old were you when you were first catcalled?

Cassie: I was 11.


Hutt: What happened? Who catcalled you? What did they say/do?

Cassie: I was going to the pool, and this boy who was probably 15 or 16 whistled at me. He was cute, and I was young and thought it was a type of compliment, so I smiled.


Hutt: How did the experience make you feel in the moment and after the fact?

Cassie: In the moment I thought it made me more mature, because I had only ever seen women get catcalled. It was almost like a right of passage or something in my mind back then. Now looking back it makes me sick. While I looked much older than I was at the time (I looked like I could’ve easily been the same age as the boy), it’s still wildly inappropriate for him to have whistled at me like a dog needing to come home.


Hutt: How did you react outwardly?

Cassie: I gave a small, quick smile and then I walked a little faster.


Hutt: Did you tell anyone what happened?

Cassie: I’ve never really told anyone, my mom was around though and told the boy to shove it.


Hutt: Do you believe that catcalling is a compliment?

Cassie: I did, I thought it was like a reaffirmation. Now I think it’s derogatory. Women are humans, created to be the equals of men, not possessions.


Hutt: Do you go out of your way to avoid situations in which you could be catcalled?

Cassie: I don’t really [take measures to prevent] getting catcalled, more just for my general safety. Common things, like parking close to whatever place I’m going to, making sure I’m in a place that’s well lit, holding my car keys a certain way.


Hutt: Did you feel the need to change your behavior after the experience?

Cassie: No, never. I have pepper spray, but I’m more likely to punch someone than use it, and where I work, I’m not permitted to have it. As far as dressing, I will always dress in a way that makes me feel good, mostly because I’ve found that I’ll get catcalled whether I’m wearing something with my tits out or a literal trench coat.


Hutt: What do you think can be done to end street harassment?

Cassie: Honestly, calling out those who catcall. I’m an outspoken person, so I’ll usually cuss whoever it is out without thinking twice about it. Showing them it’s not consensual, not a compliment, and overall not okay.


Hutt: Why is it important to end street harassment?

Cassie: Because I shouldn’t wish to have sons one day just because I don’t want another little girl to go through what I have. If any kind of sexual harassment persists in our community then it perpetuates the idea of women only having worth if they are deemed desirable, objectifying them.


Want more stories? Keep checking the Catcalls of NYC blog for new interviews with badass people sharing their personal experiences with street harassment. Special thanks to Cassie for telling her story and speaking out against unsolicited sexual advances!

BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO CHALKING BACK

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Hi everyone! We're so excited about the event this coming Saturday. Here’s some more information about what to expect the day of and a few chalking tips so you’re all prepared to have a ~badass~ time. 

1.    Community

This event is about building community. It will be a way for us to support each other, vent about experiences we’ve had and share the ways we’ve learned to respond and cope with the behavior. There will be allies at the event who haven’t dealt with street harassment. This is a great opportunity to share with them what you’d like to see from a bystander, and what you want active ally-ship to look like.

2.    Chalk

This event will be an opportunity to chalk your own catcalls. As we all know, these comments can be extremely vulgar. When I chalk, I use asterisks to bleep out the curse words. I firmly believe that children should be educated about this behavior and that the chalk is an opportunity for that.  But I also don’t want to be responsible for a 4 year old asking her mom what “F - U - C - K” spells out. Whether or not parents explain the project to their kids should be at their own discretion.

As much as I want people to be outraged by the words, I don’t want that to turn into anger towards us. I want this to be a peaceful and educational gathering. Engage people. Explain the project to them if they seem interested. And if someone seems confrontational, try to ignore them. 

3.    Support

Catcalls of NYC is run purely on a volunteer basis. We will be selling feminist merch in hopes of making back the money that was spent on the event and saving up for more chalk and future initiatives. A portion of the profits from the Femininitees' Cats > Catcalls tee-shirts will go to a feminist organization. If you’re able to donate, it will go straight back into the project. Catcalls of NYC is growing rapidly and the more resources we have, the more we can continue to make change.

Thank you and see you Saturday ❤️

Catcalls of NYC 

CHALK BACK

Hello fellow activists!!
 

We are thrilled to announce our first chalking event next month. "Chalk Back" will be on July 21st at 12pm in Washington Square Park. Come out for an opportunity to share your story and chalk a catcall. Have your voice heard, raise awareness and speak (chalk) back against harassment that has been normalized for far too long.

We will have exciting merch, goodie bags and free chalk. Come get involved with the cause and meet amazing people working hard to end harassment on the streets of NYC.

Stay tuned with updates on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Get your free tickets on Eventbrite

Sincerely,

Catcalls of NYC 

 

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