28-year-old Minneapolis resident “Lindsey” (who goes by only a first name to keep her anonymity) has been confronting catcallers with anti-harassment cards and secretly recording their reactions.
The pocket-sized cards are part of Lindsey’s project – Cards Against Harassment – whereby women can distribute messages to street harassers and confront them without talking. The idea formed after an incident several weeks ago when Lindsey was standing on an escalator and a stranger began touching her hair and calling her “blondie,” according to Buzzfeed. When she told the man he “could just say ‘hi’ next time,” he began screaming at her and calling her ugly.
Since then, Lindsey estimates she has handed out about 25 to 30 cards.
In one of Lindsey’s encounters, a man exclaims, “Minnesota chicks are hot” – and when she confronts him, he says he’s surprised that she is offended.
“The irony is not lost on me, that a man who gave me unwanted attention is now upset he may get unwanted attention,” Lindsey says of the fellow in the “Minnesota Chicks are Hot” video who has since contacted her.
In another incident, Lindsey hands a man one of her anti-street harassment cards to which he surprisingly invites her to his house and adds, “Women are put on this earth to satisfy men, so if she feels offended she should have never been born.”
Another man tells Lindsey she looks like a model, but once she tries to hand him a card he simply refuses to take it and says, “I just gave a compliment.”
“The theme I hear the most often is that they truly, genuinely think it’s a compliment, and they are shocked, ” she says. “If that is true, then simply telling people it’s not a compliment may go a long way.”
To download the anti-harassment cards below, visit the Cards Against Harassment website.