Before Street Harassment went Viral…


The video is from Nuala Cabral. I used to see her all the time at a coffee shop in U City. That coffee shop was  where I experienced most of my brushes with intellectual greatness, including saying “Whassup” to Marc Lamont Hill.

I didn’t know her name then. I think she may have been a friend of a friend.

I didn’t know about Walking Home. It was a short film about street harassment that she created in 2009. It lacks the brick to the face subtlety of the most recent 10 Hours, 103 cat-calls video. It’s sweet and painful. You need to watch it.

If it weren’t for Linda Swartz, my new FB friend, I wouldn’t know about her now. I was trying to think of  a woman who had photographed her struggle with street harassment in Philly. Turns out, it wasn’t Nuala.

The woman whose name I couldn’t find  was Hannah Price. She was a transplant from Colorado who turned her camera on the city and the men who cat called her. Some of her photos are below. You can find more of her work at her site. She really captured West Philly.

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If you are wondering why they are all Black, it might because it is a Black neighborhood.

Then there was the Stop Telling Women to Smile project from  Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. She’s based in Brooklyn but by now I think her illustrations have been plastered to walls all over the world. I saw the one below on the wall of an abandoned masonic temple on the corner of Glennwood and Moreland in East Atlanta. It lasted for about two weeks.

East Atlanta? Stop Telling Women to Smile

East Atlanta? Stop Telling Women to Smile


Stop Telling Women to Smile

Stop Telling Women to Smile

Here are three women of color who grappled with street harassment years before it went viral. Your outrage at the latest racially charged and ethically questionable video from Hollaback is justified. But that doesn’t get us off of the hook. We need to talk about this.