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Meet Paula

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  I am 20 years old, mexican and catalan. I am now studying political science at the UVA in Amsterdam. I joined catcallsofams in oct/nov 2019 but have been a follower since 2018. Why do you think “chalking back” is a good method to raise awareness? Chalking back is not only a way to express our frustration and resentment towards catcalling and verbal harassment, it is also a good way for people to gain courage and increase their self esteem. Indulge in this confidence that we all have and should be able to express. All in the most creative of ways Why do you think ending street harassment is important? I believe this should end, not only because of my personal experience but because streets are pathways we use everyday and alleys we go through as well. Life would just be way better if we could get through our day without a stranger wanting to say something useless. What’s your favorite thing about your city? Amsterdam has a very nice feeling, biking around everywhere and the people are very kind. My favourite thing is the architecture and the old buildings. At night, some of them are lit so nicely. How can your city better address street harassment?  The city should gather statistics about street harassment and publish them in order to raise awareness and show how big this problem is. It would also be nice if they helped stigmatize this. What do you hope is the outcome of your account? That it becomes a safe space, intersectional and feminist, where we don’t only talk about street harrasment but other important issues that our followers would not necessarily feel comfortable talking about outside social media What’s the most difficult street harassment situation you’ve experienced? Here in Amsterdam I finally feel safe enough to go back home alone after a night out. Many times there have been men approaching me to ask to go home with me or just to talk to me which has made me very uncomfortable. But when I lived in Mexico, I cannot pick out one. Maybe once in summer I was walking to the gym and a car stopped and catcalled me, I was wearing headphones so I could not listen. I went to the gym by car after that every time. I live 5 minutes away. What does being a part of this campaign mean to you? Catcalling has become a part of culture in many Latin American countries, yet women still feel incredibly uncomfortable.  This even leads to rape or murder in many cases. Sadly it is a problem that has not yet been addressed or considered by many people important, and I feel the responsibility to share this information to raise awareness and do as much as possible. I do this through my creativity and with an amazing team.


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