Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Indra Greenberg, I live in Seattle, Washington and am going into my sophomore year of high school. I am the owner/creator of @catcallsofseattle, I am a passionate activist and love all the opportunity and hope my account has given people.
When did you start your account?
I started my account in February 2019 but didn’t get it up and running until I did my first chalking project on March 1st of 2019.
Why were you inspired to start an account?
I have been catcalled since I was 12 years old and have had countless scary moments while simply just living my everyday life. I realized a couple of years later it was time to do something when I came to the realization that It had happened so often that I no longer felt the need to tell anyone. A reoccurring thought in my mind was that it was just part of growing up, and there's really nothing I can do to stop these men from saying these things. I was initially inspired by the @catcallsofnyc page, I then realized Seattle had no active chalk back movement in play, thus @catcallsofseattle was created.
Why do you think “chalking back” is a good method to raise awareness?
I feel that putting a piece of art that represents something so significant, in such an unavoidable place is extremely powerful, seeing the chalk gives hope to survivors and reminds bystanders of what is happening in the area around them.
Why do you think ending street harassment is important?
Women have been over-sexualized since the beginning of time, we are working towards a future in which anyone can feel comfortable doing any everyday task at any time of day, without the fear of being assaulted or harassed.
What’s your favorite thing about your city?
I love Seattle so much, it's difficult to name just one thing, but I’ll try to keep it short. My city is constantly growing, we have some of the biggest companies started in Seattle which brings in many open-minded, intelligent people as well as abundant and accessible opportunity. Seattle is also built on native land which is unfortunate, but I love seeing Native culture incorporated into our urban city. The geography of Seattle is also absolutely gorgeous, there are so many beautiful parks and lakes and Puget Sound is also incredible.
How can your city better address street harassment?
I would like to see legal action be taken and available if the victim so chooses in extreme cases. Even though unfortunately, street harassment is so ingrained into our society I would also like to see it publicly addressed. Obviously, there are a lot of logistics that incorporate into either possibility but its certainly not impossible.
What do you hope is the outcome of your account?
Just spread awareness as much as possible and hope further opportunities come up as we go along to grow and continue creating. The best case scenario is that eventually, my city will make the acknowledgment I'm hoping for.
What’s the most difficult street harassment situation you’ve experienced?
I used to live in an unsafe neighborhood on the North end and I was walking home from the bus stop and there was a middle-aged man who had pulled his car without plates off the road to speak with me. When I told him I did not want to speak with him and continued walking, he followed me home and I walked around the block a few times, I then proceeded to hide behind a car until he drove off. This situation I was in is why I consider victims of street harassment “survivors” because it is really scary and can come down to a life or death situation.
What does being a part of this campaign mean to you?
This campaign empowers me as well as victims who encounter the chalk, it has changed my life for the better and continues to teach me things. The movement has given me a platform and has allowed me to speak for the silenced which is truly a beautiful thing.