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Meet Carmen

Tell us about yourself.

My name’s Carmen, I’m 17 and I’m an activist. I attend high school and I represent students there. 

When did you start your account?

I started my account in April because I wanted to raise awareness in my city.

Why were you inspired to start an account?

I found catcallsofnyc a year ago and I’ve always wanted to start the project in my city since then, but I thought it wouldn’t have been supported by palermitans because there weren’t many pages in Italy.

Why do you think “chalking back” is a good method to raise awareness?

Because it reminds people of their childhood and it creates sort of a contrast between those memories and what we chalk.

Why do you think ending street harassment is important?

Because it is part of rape culture and it is part of the definition of sexism and patriarchy. In 2019 women must be and feel free to walk safely and not to be judged because of their bodies. We need to fight against the belief that women are objects and recognize their rights. 

What’s your favorite thing about your city?

Its history, architecture and art, but also activists and food. 

How can your city better address street harassment?

Raising awareness is a great start, but movements like ours should be more supported by citizens. Many people don’t know what catcalling is and ignore what we do. If journalists and politicians helped us to spread our message, it probably would be heard by more women and men.

What do you hope is the outcome of your account?

I hope we can change people’s mentality and help women of our city to empower and feel safer. 

What does being a part of this campaign mean to you?

It means that I’m doing something concrete to fight against patriarchy and free everyone, including myself, from this prison made of sexism. 


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