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Meet Rosalía

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hey, My name is Rosalia. I'm 23 years old. I work as a digital creator and communication consultant. I love writing, making audiovisuals, but what I love the most is being able to help people through my passion.

When did you start your account?

I was invited to be part of this almost a month ago.

Why were you inspired to start an account?

Since I was a little girl my mother always thought I was unstoppable, and also that there are no rules to follow to be who you really are or want to be. But then, while growing up the world started getting smaller in terms of opportunities and freedom. I couldn't really understand why, until I realized that it has to do with me being a girl instead of a boy. However, I learned the hard way that people will always want to make you smaller if you act or look different because it happened to them and became a circle that will only end if you decide to stand up. I want to help others to learn what I did in my fifties, but didn't know the exact name of it: Feminism.

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

When it comes to street sexual harassment, there are many questions about how, when, why, what & who. How is a "compliment" sexual harassment? When did it all start? When will people, especially women, be able to walk on the street feeling completely fearless and free? Why does the man feel the need to harass women on the street? and the last two ones, but most importantly, what are you going to do in order to make the street be a safest place for women, and who are you going to be in this play? The one who just stares, or the one who stands up to make the difference? The one who teaches her daughter to be soft, scared, silent, and just keep walking? or the one who will teach her to be herself by being her example, and by making streets safer with actions and powerful words?

Chalking back is a response to a man who thinks he owns the streets. You might try to keep our mouths shut, but we will always find a way to speak out and let you know that what you do has a name, and should be penalized as in many other countries is. We expressed our repression on the streets floor in which it all starts.

Why do you think ending street harassment is important?

Any normalized violence within a society not only represents a danger to the group or community violated but also for society in general. Because collective development based on equality and social welfare is not capable of being achieved if a part of those who make it up is harmed as regards the inhibition of your rights. 

This situation of violence is undoubtedly important to make visible and make efforts to reduce it as much as possible, for the reason that, as has been shown in many Latin American countries and the whole world, it is not only about "Harmless compliments", but also from chases, touches, smears, photographs or videos without consent, among other practices carried out in street sexual harassment.

What's your favorite thing about your city?

I love the warmth of people, the beaches, and its history,

How can your city better address street harassment?

Through home education, educational campaigns, laws, and the implementation of protocols.

What do you hope is the outcome of your account?

To be a huge community (that feels like a family) of women and men determined to make the streets safer for anyone, regardless of gender, culture, religion, sexual preferences, etc.

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

I think that answer can vary a lot. I have experienced stories of others through their words, and my ears burn as if I was the one in the situation. I have seen the harassment in front of my eyes and it has happened to me. But honestly, it bothers me twice as much to hear the stories of others, because I am filled with the same helplessness that I have felt when a man has touched me without permission in the streets, and I am filled with the impotence of not having been able to help her and neither help me in those moments when I was vulnerable and no one would help me.

I have been touched, catcalled, leering looked, and being told things that were far away from being a compliment. 

What does being a part of this campaign mean to you?

It means that sooner or later you will always find a way through the right track. Since I did my thesis about street sexual harassment in my country, I kept thinking about ways to do something bigger about it, this is it. Being part of this means everything, cause It's a way to help others through my passion.

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