On t’watch | Montreal Anti-Street Harassment Posters

 

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These amazing posters have been popping up around Montreal. Since I’m a hermit I haven’t seen them myself but several friends have been posting the ones they saw to Facebook and Instagram so I decided to check out the on t’watch blog where you can see them all.

Instead of an about page, the main page of the blog displays the project’s intentions (a perfectly chosen bilingual word):

“Around the corner, leaving our homes, on route for work, never safe from the looks and the unwelcome comments that make you feel small. A walking piece of meat, of course they feel entitled to look and comment. We are taught to live in fear, always threatened with the possibility of being assaulted and never offered any tools to deal it other than ridiculous advice (never walk anywhere alone at night, don’t wear skirts, and lately, don’t take a taxi by yourself if you happen to be drunk, etc) that serves to reinforce rape culture and put the onus on the victim instead of targetting the rapists. Thus, perpetuating notions that it is normal to be accosted, that it’s in men’s nature, implying that certain behaviors are to be expected in public spaces.

The simple and oft banal fact that we are regularly bombarded with sexist ads and imagery condition our behaviors. Objectified, commodified, used to sell the norm, why is anyone surprised that most of us regularly experience sexual harassement and/or racism in the streets of Montreal? These experiences that are systematically invisibilized, denied, normalized; they are our daily experiences which we so often deal with in silence, unsure of how to respond. A symptom that indicates that our dealings with the Other are still tied up in the dynamics of domination that are easier to name than to deal with […]”

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(cont.) ” Unlike urban and street art, this project is one of reappropriation of the city not one of revalorizing or embelishment. Making these power dynamics visible, naming them, acknowledging that they exist, also allows for them to be destroyed little by little.

This is an invitation, to all people who are tired of feeling like a walking piece of meat, all those who dont know how to respond to those entitled morons’ gaze and comments, to any person that is sick of being a “victim”.

Here is your invitation to reappropriate our spaces, to create an environment of confidence to take ‘the power back, one of solidarity, but more so to reitirate that it is not our responsibility to alter the way we dress, where we walk, at what time, with whom, how we hold ourselves, who we look in the eye and how we are walking. It’s not up to us to fix our behavior, CONTROL YOURSELF YOU FUCKING ASSHOLES, and shut your mouth.” 

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Amazing stuff! I love that this blog is bilingual and that the posters each have an english and french version!  The proje(c)t page of the blog is also worth checking out.

They remind me a lot of Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s amazing Stop Telling Women to Smile project posters, which I’ve just realized I never posted about! I’ll be sure to make a future post just on her work which I’m so proud to have on my own walls at home.

VIA ontwatch | blog féministe / feminist blog.

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