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Meet @catcallsofPDX

When did you start the account?

Winter 2018-2019

Why were you inspired to start the account?

Catcallsofnyc really inspired me to start the account. People don't think catcalling happens in Portland and this belief frustrated me as from personal experience and my friends experience I knew this was false. Being in High School, the catcalling on minors and young girls in particular is prevalent in Portland and is disgusting to see. 

Why is chalking back a good method? 

It forces people to recognize that a problem exists and they can't ignore it/look away. The documentation on social media makes the effect long-lasting and supports people who experience this type of harassment. It grabs attention and reminds people that harassment can happen everywhere.

Why is ending street harassment important? Catcalling and other forms of street harassment make it hard for people to feel safe and enjoy their days. It is disruptive, dehumanizing and terrifying. Harassment is not a joke and people need to take it seriously. Normalizing street harassment normalizes rape culture and we must prevent all forms of sexual violence. 

What is your favorite thing about your city?

I feel like people are accepting of differences and there is a positive, kind vibe. Portland is so unique and I love it. 

How can your city better address street harassment?

We in Oregon, do not have specific laws and legislation about street harassment, this makes it extremely difficult to confront the issue legally. 

What do you hope is the outcome of your account?

We aim to give all voices a platform to be validated and feel heard. We also hope to raise awareness and inspire people to take action against street harassment. 

What’s the most difficult street harassment experience you’ve experienced?

One time I was at the beach with a group of friends sitting around the campfire. Both of the guys in the group went surfing, leaving the 4 girls alone by the fire. A man pulled up in his car near us and attempted to offer us what looked like alcohol which we declined. He pulled his car close to us, so that we were in clear view from his car. He was obviously masturbating while staring at us creepily. It got so bad to the point where we had to move one of our cars to block his view. 

What does being part of this campaign mean to you? 

It shows us that we have the power to bring attention to important issues as a collective. It also shows us that we aren’t alone in this fight and have so many people supporting and fighting with us.


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