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Chances are you’ll have to be in a public space this holiday season. And if you’re a woman, that time shopping or on your way to a party could very well be interrupted by some catcalling. Despite women’s insistence that they are not fond of street harassment, that doesn’t stop catcallers from yelling “hey mama” or instructing you to smile. And when it occurs, women are often unsure how to address it.
That’s why New York-based comedians Nicole Pasquale and Iliana Inocencio humbly suggest you hand your aggressor a greeting card.
Hi friends! I’m currently at Planned Parenthood and thought I’d share something @ilianainocencio and I created to give out to the ladies who attended WOKE AF last Thursday (which BTW was awesome, thanks performers and audience!). This is a card to give out to any man who catcalls or harasses you, to get them to reconsider their actions. I don’t know about you, but when I’m catcalled I usually a.) Don’t say anything b.) Mutter asshole c.) Yell asshole. So if you feel the situation is appropriate (don’t give it if you think you’re in danger!) give them this card then say “You’re welcome asshole.” Iliana and I both have extra copies of these so if you’d like some just ask. It could be great holiday card for someone! ❤️🙌🏽🎅🏽
A photo posted by Nicole Pasquale (@nicolepasquale) on
In preparation for Pasquale’s Woke AF Variety Show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, the duo created a card that outlines the nitty gritty details of how catcalling perpetuates rape culture, complete with a handy chart that clarifies how “lesser,” harmless-seeming offenses support assault and violence. And they’ve even made it available as a Google doc so anyone can print and share it.
Inocencio told the Daily Dot, “A piece of paper gets guys thinking they’re getting your number, but then they read it and can do with the info as they like.”
Pasquale added, “I think it’s important to call out rape culture because people don’t understand it and don’t see how it supports sexual harassment and assault towards women. When a man yells across the street to a woman ‘You fucking sexy!’—something I saw yesterday—you’re saying it’s OK to sexually objectify a woman without any consideration for her feelings.”
Pasquale recalled a friend who defended herself against her catcallers: “These guys on her block were catcalling her daily. One morning she stood up to them and said something like, ‘What you’ve said to me makes me feel uncomfortable and unsafe. Please stop.’ And they listened to her! They said something like, ‘Oh, we didn’t know! Sorry.’ And now they’re friends. That gave me hope.”
So spread the wokeness; maybe a catcaller will see the light. Greater holiday miracles have happened.
Nayomi Reghay is a frequent contributor to the Daily Dot, covering body positivity, feminism, sex, relationships, and gender. She is also the author of the advice column “Swipe This!” A former New York Teaching Fellow, her writing has been featured in Reductress, Rolling Stone, Mic, Someecards, and more.