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Meet Jenna

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I'm Jenna. I am a rising sophomore in high school and I have lived in Los Angeles my entire life. I enjoy my time by conversing with friends and family, drinking coffee, binge watching Netflix shows, and writing. And, I run @catcallsoflosangeles!

When did you start your account?

I started my account in April 2019. 

Why were you inspired to start an account?

It all began upon my discovery of the catcalls of NYC account on my explore feed; I spent an hour watching their highlight stories, and going through their posts. I was completely in awe with the idea of using chalk art to shed light on and raise awareness of the extent of street harassment. For several weeks, I continued to explore the movement through all the other catcalls pages. Living in Los Angeles, cat calls are vastly prevalent, partly because it is a major city. I decided to contact Sophie, and it turned out that there was not an active Los Angeles account! Out of all the cities in the United States, I feel as though Los Angeles is one of the cities that majorly needs reform with street harassment, and starting a cat calls account is a great place to start.  I've been blessed to start this journey here to raise awareness, and to be a part of this community.  

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

I believe that "chalking back" is a good method to raise awareness because it catches the attention of people walking down the street. The colorful chalk make the derogatory words pop, and therefore allow people to truly understand how much of an issue it is. Also, I think when people see these words written on the sidewalk of a place they are familiar with, it is by far more impactful. 

Why do you think ending street harassment is important?

Street harassment has polluted our society, and should be stopped in order to make every human being on this planet feel welcome and safe. In a world where advancements are being made daily, it is still a concerning issue for women (and sometimes men!) to walk outside and frequently face cat calls and harassment. It is way more common then it should be. Everyone should be able to feel safe in a public space, comfortable in their skin and in their surroundings. 

What’s your favorite thing about your city?

My favorite thing about Los Angeles would have to be its diversity and laid-back vibe.

How can your city better address street harassment?

I think it's definitely a difficult situation to tackle. But, by first raising awareness, it motivates people to start speaking up and even intervene on a situation as a bystander. With that as a starting point, I would hope this awareness become more widespread and authorities begin to take action.

What do you hope is the outcome of your account?

Through my account, I genuinely want to raise awareness and exemplify the effects that street harassment has on people. Everything has its impacts.  I’d like people to understand that cat calls aren’t “just words”, they’re disruptive and demeaning. And, by raising awareness, I hope that our society works together to stop this behavior by speaking up. I want to make it clear to people who have been faced with street harassment that nothing is their fault. 

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

By far the most difficult street harassment I’ve experience was about one year ago. I was walking to a high school football game at another school when a guy (I’m assuming a high school student) asked my name and that my “ass looked good in those short shorts”. It was by far one of the most degrading comments I have ever received. I didn’t know how to react. I felt so uncomfortable. 

What does being part of this campaign mean to you?

This campaign is so important to me. I am so happy that I am apart of something I am truly passionate about. I think this is such a widespread and important issue that we need to handle, and I am beyond grateful to be working with such an empowered community. 


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