Stop Telling Women To Smile: A Street Art Initiative

Is there anything more aggravating than when a man says to you, "Where's your smile?" like women are supposed to be jolly and happy at all times. You know what's a surefire way to make us continue not smiling? Telling us that we should!

This comment, along with others about what we're wearing or inquiries for our names, is actually a form of street harassment. While we might just simply continue walking and ignore these lewd remarks, we always have a desire to fire back. And one woman, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, is finally speaking up.

Earlier this year, Tatyana began a public art project called Stop Telling Women to Smile, which features her sketches of real women expressing their comebacks to street harassers. She posted these wheat-pasted sketches around Brooklyn with text that illuminates what women are really thinking like, "My outfit is not an invitation," "My name is not baby," and "Women are not outside for your entertainment."

With the help of Kickstarter, Tatyana is taking her images countrywide in places like Baltimore, Kansas City, Miami and five other U.S. cities. She already reached her goal of $15,000, which will cover her travel expenses, documentation and poster materials. She wants not only to stand up against street harassment, but also to get a better sense of how it varies from region to region.

Fazlalizadeh says,

What do women who live in cities where public transportation is mostly used experience as opposed to women who live in cities where everyone drives? What's the slang? What do queer and trans women experience? What street corners are hot-spots for harassment in a particular city? What type of harassment specifically happens on those corners? And most importantly, what do the women who experience street harassment around the country want to say back to the harassers in these posters?"

She'll also be working with anti-street harassment activists, Stop Street Harassment and Hollaback, and hopes to be international in 2014.

Via The Daily Dot.