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This Woman Is Taking Selfies With Her Catcallers To Show Men That "It Happens Everywhere"

"They really didn't care about me. They never realized that I was unhappy."

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This is Noa Jansma, a 20-year-old studying design in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Like many women who walk down the street, she's often shouted at by catcallers. So, to respond, she decided to spend a month taking their photos.

@dearcatcallers / Instagram / Via instagram.com

"We were talking about this topic in class," she said during an interview with BuzzFeed News.

"I realized that half of the class, the women, knew what I was talking about and lived it on a daily basis. And the other half, the men, didn't even think that this is still happening. They were really surprised and curious. Some of them even did not believe me."

So, she decided to show them. During one month, she took 24 photos of the moment she was catcalled by one or several men. She posted these photos on her Instagram account, @dearcatcallers.

@dearcatcallers / Instagram / Via instagram.com
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"I thought men would be suspicious of me, that they would understand my motives when I was taking selfies with them. So I was kind of fearful," she said.

@dearcatcallers / Instagram / Via Instagram: @dearcatcallers

"But most of the time they have their thumbs up, they're happy because they honestly think that they're complimenting me. They really didn't care about me. They never realized that I was unhappy," she added.

@dearcatcallers / Instagram / Via instagram.com

She adds captions explaining how she was harassed.

"Hey sexy girl, where are you going alone?" she wrote along with this photo.

"Slowly following me 2 streets shouting 'sexy!' and 'wanna come in my car?'" she captioned this one.

@dearcatcallers / Instagram / Via instagram.com

"Weheeee horny girl."

@dearcatcallers / Instagram / Via Instagram: @dearcatcallers

She did not even take pictures with all of her catcallers.

@dearcatcallers / Instagram / Via instagram.com

"Of course, my safety is more important than this project," she said. "I didn't take photos when I was catcalled in the dark, in little streets."

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Most of the messages Jansma received have been positive. She also noticed that some men thanked her for opening their eyes to the problem.

But she has also been harassed online.

"I've been called an attention whore or a liar," she said.

"This project also allowed me to handle catcalling: They come in my privacy, I come in theirs. But it's also to show the outside world that this is happening so often," she said.

@dearcatcallers / Instagram / Via instagram.com

Though she has stopped taking pictures, she'd like to hand over the reins to other women, in Europe and around the world, to continue this project.

"I'm not the subject. The subject is catcalling. I also want to show that this happens around the world. But I want to make sure that responsible women do it, because what I do is a bit risky."

This post was translated from French.

Jules Darmanin est journaliste chez BuzzFeed News France et travaille depuis Paris.

Contact Jules Darmanin at jules.darmanin@buzzfeed.com.

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