Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi, my name is Maga, I’m 23 years old and I’m from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’m a dancer, currently studying Tango at the National University of Arts, in the folklore department. I’m a feminist and LGBTQ+ activist and I try to fight eveyday for women rights.
When did you start your account?
I became part of the team in november 2020, saw the account on instagram and contacted Nati to join them on their movement.
Why were you inspired to start an account?
I think street harassment is a big deal and no one seems to really care here, if you are being harassed and try to search for help on the street nobody will listen or take you seriously. We are just “used to it” and it’s something that “just happens”, and I’m not okay with it. So this is why I was so excited to join this account, to find a place where we can make street harassment visible and try to raise awareness about it.
Why do you think “chalking back” is a good method to raise awareness?
I think it’s a nice and pacific method to give visibility, we just “draw things” in public spaces but it makes people see us, and hear us. It makes it really hard for all those people to ignore all the terrible things we have to hear, see and live everyday. This way we get people to start talking about street harassment, to send us their stories, to share their experiences and feel less alone in this.
Why do you think ending street harassment is important?
Because it is violent, sexist and even terrifying sometimes; women should be able to walk on the streets without worrying about what men will say, or being afraid they touch you or try to get you in their car. Because a lot of this happens when you are underage and you don’t really know how to react. And because this is the first step to rape and abuse, and this is when we should step up and establish that this is not okay, and we do not have to tolerate it at any age, in any context.
What's your favorite thing about your city?
My favourite thing about Buenos Aires is how diverse it is, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, you always find your place. Even though I’m not a huge fan of big cities, I do like how many great places we have here to study anything we want to and all the different cultures and places you can get to know in just one place.
How can your city better address street harassment?
The first thing would be to acknowledge it as an issue, as a thing that happens daily and means a lot for women, so when somebody gets harassed other people around could help
them or at least try, and so when you reach a cop, for example, they wouldn't laugh at you and could do something instead (i hate cops but it’s literally their job to protect us).
What do you hope is the outcome of your account?
I hope we can raise awareness, that when people read us they’ll start thinking that this is not okay. That young women will know they’re not alone, and maybe older women will stop thinking “it’s flattering” to receive this kind of treatment. And most importantly, that men will start to think they’re doing it all wrong and this is not acceptable from them in any situation or place.
What's the most difficult street harassment situation you’ve experienced?
When I was 15 years old I took the subway to school everyday, always full of people because it was rush hour. Everyday, at least once, a man would rest his penis in my back, sometimes this lasted ALL the time we traveled. The subway was completely full, I was so afraid I couldn’t speak up, and I ended up crying while walking from the station to school. No one ever tried to help me or all the other girls that go through this everyday, they see it but prefer to pretend it is not happening.
What does being a part of this campaign mean to you?
To me, it means to start changing the way society sees street harassment. If we try hard enough, more people will talk about this daily, at school, at home, to their friends and relatives. I think we can build a better future if we speak up, and eventually stop street harassment, step by step.