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CATCALLED was created by Sonia Saraiya and a dedicated group of women writers in New York City in the summer of 2012. All of our participants committed to writing about their experiences with street harassment and the larger issues of safety and vulnerability they felt as women in New York. The project spanned the month of August 2012—summer being the season of catcalling, for better or for worse.

I provided some materials and worksheets for the participants to frame their entries, but each woman’s voice is indelibly her own. Logs have been proofed for typos, spelling, and anonymity, but little else. The highlighted sections in each log is each participant’s own annotations of their work, reflecting passages that are especially meaningful to them.

This project is not intended to be a scientific view of the statistics of street harassment, nor is it intended to be universal. Rather, It is an effort to explain how the culture of street harassment affects women on a regular basis—whether they are catcalled or not, whether they feel unsafe or not, whether they respond or not. Often, we find, many men (and some women) have trouble understanding why catcalling is so frustrating or hurtful, why it is more than just an annoyance. Maybe this will help.

Above all, CATCALLED is an attempt to put human voices to women who often remain silent as they try to survive their daily lives.

For more information about the methods or to contact the founder, email me at sonia catcalled org.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


This entirely volunteer-run project was put together with the dedication of many incredible men and women who generously donated their time and expertise to our little project. In no particular order:

Kyle Warren, developer, both front-end and back-end, jack-of-all-trades and programming hero
Eunice Hong, editor-in-chief and extension of Sonia's brain
Gabrielle Moss, publicity-marketing pixie dream girl
Kirk Shimamoto, UX designer and willing conscript
Tanya Saraiya, outsourced visual artist
and our eleven women across New York who contributed their voices and time.

Of course, this project owes a great deal to all other street harassment projects that have gone before it, especially Hollaback NYC. For more information on how to protect yourself from harassment and methods to cope with catcalling in your neighborhood, check out their website.