The Cardinal Times

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Catcalls of PDX showcase sexism in Portland

Anecdotal messages
about people’s sexual
harassment experiences
were written on Portland
sidewalks by the @
catcallsofPDX Instagram
account. Lincoln’s
SAFER club created
the account this year
in order to spread
awareness about sexual
harassment.

Photo Courtesy of catcallsofpdx Instagram

Anecdotal messages about people’s sexual harassment experiences were written on Portland sidewalks by the @ catcallsofPDX Instagram account. Lincoln’s SAFER club created the account this year in order to spread awareness about sexual harassment.

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@Catcallsofpdx is a new instagram account, created by the members of Students Active For Ending Rape, SAFER, that is used to expose instances of sexual harassment in Portland and draw attention to how common street harassment is.

SAFER mimics the idea from another instagram account they found named “catcallsofnyc”. The owner(s) of the account go around New York City writing in chalk what cat callers have said on the sidewalk where the incidents have occured. Members of SAFER direct messaged the owner of catcallsofnyc to get help starting their own account for Portland.

“The way the account works is that people [direct message] us their experience with street harassment specifically the location of the incident and what was said to them,” says Joe Schlechter, a senior. “We go there and write the text of the cat call… [on the sidewalk] and then post a picture of it on instagram.” The owners of the account, Joe Schlechter, Julia Ziegler, Maggie Satchwell, and Tori Siegel, will also add @catcallsofpdx and the hashtag #stopstreetharassment.

They have volunteers that help write the messages around downtown, but weather conditions have proven difficult for them because they use washable chalk.

Their idea has inspired many to volunteer and help write people’s experiences around Portland. “… [T]here are many people who want to contribute…,” says Schlechter. “…[W]e have been brainstorming the most organized way to get volunteers involved and we would appreciate the help.”

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