Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Emily and I am 20 years old. I am currently studying to be a veterinary technician and work at a small sanctuary with primates. I also do non-invasive research and intern/ volunteer at Zoo Miami and a wildlife rehabilitation center. Although I spend a lot of time with animals outside of my house, I also have multiple pets, and over 15 species of plants. So not only am I a crazy cat lady (7 cats) but I am also a crazy plant lady. When I’m not busy taking care of my pets and plants, I enjoy hanging out with my friends, and being out in nature!
When did you start your account?
I began this account on February 26, 2019.
Why were you inspired to start an account?
I was inspired to start this account because I saw how united it made feel people, that they weren’t alone. That street harassment is sadly very common, and something IS being done about it.
Why do you think “chalking back” is a good method to raise awareness?
It’s a good way to raise awareness because it puts it right in front of people’s faces. Anyone can see a chalking, doesn’t matter where you’re from, who you are, or how old you are, you may find it right down your street!
Why do you think ending street harassment is important?
It’s important because people should not feel uncomfortable walking down the street. You should be allowed to walk to the store without someone screaming something at you, you should be allowed to go for a run around your neighborhood without someone whistling at you as if you were a dog. That’s why important because we should feel safe.
What’s your favorite thing about your city?
I have two favorite things about my city. One of them is the variety of people that live here. There are so many unique and beautiful people here of all different cultures and it’s so beautiful having the opportunity to meet these people and learn more about their cultures as well. Another one of my favorite things is the nature. You can have a beach 20 minutes away, or go to the swamps and see some alligators in the Everglades. There are also so many gorgeous flowers and plants!
How can your city better address street harassment?
My city doesn’t even addresses it at all. Some kids are raised thinking that it’s a normal part of life to whistle at someone on the street.
What do you hope is the outcome of your account?
I hope the outcome is to start gaining more awareness in my city. I hope people also feel more empowered to say and do something when someone harasses them.
What’s the most difficult street harassment situation you’ve experienced?
The most difficult thing I dealt with was actually with my best friend who is the co-owner of this account. We were walking to the store, it’s a 15 minute walk. As we were walking over there we heard men in a SUV playing loud music and they started screaming at my friend and I. They drive by and we literally think nothing of it because it’s so usual to have someone scream at us or honk. So we’re about to cross the road and I start hearing the music again and I tell my friend “Am I going crazy or do you hear the music again?” And as we walk across the street we see the men again in their SUV and that’s when the come up to the stop sign, and we keep walking and all we hear is “Hey! Hey! Alright fuck you then bitch! You’re ugly anyways!” We hear the tires screech and as their driving past us something hits the back of my leg and I feel water, and it’s because they threw an open water bottle at my leg. My friend didn’t even notice and when we were walking back home we grabbed avocados that were on the ground, in case something happened again. I always think back to that moment and wish that I was fast enough to take a photo of their license plate.
What does being a part of this campaign mean to you?
It actually means so much to me to be part of this campaign. I think it’s so important to get more awareness about street harassment and catcalling. It makes me so happy to be part of this community, and to be part of a huge change. Hopefully all the hard work that we’re all doing will one day pay off!