Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hey I’m Keyanna, I'm 14 and live in a small town south of Montreal. I started this account hoping to make a difference in the world. I’m in a Visual arts program at my school, I’m obsessed with Robb Nash, Panic at the disco, Alec Benjamin and My Chemical Romance.
I'm Cassandra, I grew up in Montreal and go to a music program in my high school. I used to love going on walks all the time but it happens less often now that I get catcalls I started getting catcalls at around the age of 10 and I hope that being a part of this will help speed awareness about catcalling.
When did you start your account?
Around two and a half months ago
Why were you inspired to start an account?
We were inspired by the original catcalls of nyc account and noticed that there was not one for Montreal/The South and North shore area. We talked to a lot of people including some close friends of ours and found out that lots of people from our hometown had experiences like the ones that are talked about in the nyc account including personal stories.
Why do you think “chalking back” is a good method to raise awareness?
Because unlike some method of raising awareness, we find it’s very raw and writing it on the side walk, more people can see other peoples experiences and realize that this isn’t a way to treat human beings. People get harassed daily and never talk about it because they think they can’t do anything, chalking back gives people a voice and in the process wake cat callers to realize they have problems.
Why do you think ending street harassment is important?
Because we should all be treated with respect no matter who we are, comments or actions like this shouldn’t be normal to people just trying to get through their day, in some cases these experiences traumatized the person and that just isn’t right.
What’s your favorite thing about your city?
I love all the history and feeling of community Montreal and the shores have to offer. There’s so much diversity in the community and you don’t have to be ashamed of your religion, sexuality, skin tone, ect. Even my school on the south shore are open to almost anything unlike a lot of countries (sexuality, mental health, actually making a change in the world).
How can your city better address street harassment?
I think the city as a unit should start being more open and actually talk bout the problems instead of pretending it’s not happening. Just to start focusing on the real issues, instead of what condos they should build next.
What do you hope is the outcome of your account?
I just hope it get the conversation about sexual harassment and assault less stigmatized because it’s so common these days yet people are still scared to talk. There are a lot of closed minded people in my area still so I hope seeing the chalk over the streets open peoples eyes to what they really do others.
What’s the most difficult street harassment situation you’ve experienced?
Cass: I was in class and one of the guys smiled at me and I thought he was being nice because he was a classmate and so I smiled back. At the end of the class when we were dismissed he came up to me and pulled me aside and said “do you work on a chicken farm cause you sure know how to raise a cock” and when I walked away he said it was a joke even though he sounded genuine when he said it, he is still in our class today and I always feel super uncomfortable around him because of what he said.
Keyanna: One day when I was walking around St. Eustache on a busy street with a few of my friends, we were on the side of the water when a few guys start riding their bike past us, I didn’t think much of it but they past us about 4 times. There was three guys all looking roughly 15-16, they came up to me asking me stuff like “you got a vape”. That guy was getting really close to me so I was getting ready to run away with my friends as they were already up the hill where we needed to go. He whispers something to the effect of “hey, we should go to my *special area*” then he winked and was bout to grab my waist when I bolted. My friends knew I got pulled over by those guys but I never actually told anyone what he said yet cuz I was embarrassed. But I know now it’s not my fault but now I’m way more aware when I'm walking on the streets especially alone.
What does being a part of this campaign mean to you?
Being part of this campaign means that we can spread the word about stories like ours and make people aware that these things are happening and that it’s not right