Bed Stuy/ Bushwick

Bed Stuy organization maps catcall patterns and talks back

But really though. Via Tatyana Fazlalizadeh.
But really though. Via Tatyana Fazlalizadeh.

It’s been a pretty great year for street harassment in Brooklyn…unless, of course, you’re the one doingthe harassing. From Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s much-discussed “Stop Telling Women to Smile” street art series, the Catcalls NYC Twitter, to the Harlow Project, a video campaign dedicated to telling stories of street harassment from around the world, women pretty much everywhere are making it clear that this street harassment bullshit ain’t cute. So instead of doing that whole pretend-to-be-on-the-phone-with-someone thing, we’re actually talking to each other about it and doing something. The Brooklyn Movement Center, who also brought you Anti-Street Harassment Week this past April, is trying to chart street harassment incidents in Bed Stuy, but they need your help.

The goal of BMC is to map a spectrum of street harassment incidents while attempting to acknowledge the endless nuanced layers of dynamics at play in each encounter. The chart they created reads more or less like a transcription of a walk home from the subway or a trip out to get groceries. Offenses range from eye-following to physical following, and BMC offers suggestions for possible responses on both the parts of the woman and the aggressor.

This is especially useful for those of us who are pretty much done being polite, but who also don’t want to resort to calling over those over-eager cop-types.

The BMC – unlike those guys who keep asking you why you’re not smiling – actually wants to hear your feedback on this, so feel free to let ’em know what could be improved or what they’re doing right. It could lead to a world where you actually feel comfortable walking around at any time you want wearing anything you want – and actually, that might be something to smile about.


  1. Davey

    Can women please present men with a definitive list of how they would all universally prefer to be treated? As a man, I’m fairly scared to look at or talk to a woman these days thanks to twitter feminism being so popular and don’t want to get accused of being a rapist. As such, I haven’t been laid in over a year now because I’m so confused what to even do. Thanks lot women, I’m trying to love you, but you’re making it pretty much impossible.

    • Hello Davey,

      “We” women aren’t a committee, we are human beings: diverse, unique, individuals – like you.
      Why are you asking for a list?
      Your request is really just sarcasm. It is trying to rewrite/ignore human beings’ attempt to be recognized – as just that – human beings with rights, into some overwhelming, incoherent, monumental task.

      This isn’t a task, this is life, this is about humanity and reality, and stepping back to see how sexism, the sexism that you are in your commentary using, is debilitating to everyone – you are limiting yourself by relying on sexism.

      So here is a spot on response to your “question” – try recognizing each woman for who they are – a person. And just like you, if you do not ask/want a man walking past you, for their thoughts about you, then clearly another human being feels the same way.

      Just imagine for a second how annoying and maddening it would be if you got up, were on your way to the park, work, meet a friend.. whatever… and the moment you step foot out your door, some larger than you man came up to you and was like, “Hey, honey – nice ass…” then five minutes later into your walk, another man walks up to you and says, “Mmm, mmm, mm nice legs…. nice dress… honey what you so up tight about? Smile, boy- dont be such a little bitch…”, then you finally get on the subway and sit down and sitting across from you poke each other and whistle and point at you, another man comes over to you and sits next to you, pressing his body into your space, over your neck, squashing you into your seat, and wants to know – your name, what you are doing, where you are going, and why not also indulge him – for he wants to know you age too…
      And this entire time this man is trying to press his body on yours… guess what – you don’t like it? You dont like your right to privacy, space, control over your body, and right to peace in general when you are out to be invaded, voluted, threatened.. and then you don’t like to be told you are the one who is in the wrong when you demonstrate to these men that they are the ones who are in the wrong… you don’t like any of this… So then, following your lead, my response to you is, “Well, honey – stop whining and make a list.” See how that goes?

  2. Ciara

    Another good mapping is and Hollaback is also all over the world in 64 cities and 22 countries. So, this is a great companion site that was started back in 2011 and has grown into a general mapping site, but also provides training and empowerment for combating street harassment.

  3. Yesterday, in Bed-Stuy, a 50(ish) aged man told me I looked nice, I replied the same to him. He started laughing.. wasn’t expecting that. Then he said he didn’t feel like he looked nice… My response was that it was hard in this summer heat for anyone to keep fresh looking.. to that he said, “What does your husband think about that.” Now this man had my attention. I turned to him and replied, “I could be gay, I think you should think twice about making assumptions about people.” He was even more taken by surprise – wasn’t expecting that either.
    Don’t these men see how ridiculous they are making themselves out to be. There is a clear difference between saying hello and being neighborly versus some man coming up to any woman, much alone one much younger than they, and sharing their “thoughts” about that person.
    Are you that insecure of a person that you approach a stranger, tell them what you think about their body, knowing they don’t give a damn about what you think… wow, and then you expect the situation to turn out well in your favor.
    Well, congratulations then.. I noticed… I noticed you for yet another insecure, sexist, pathetic, empty person that you are, and how too typical of a person your sexism makes you too.
    Men harassing women on the street is a form of trying to control women, our movements, our psychological and physical space of our neighborhoods, of our rights to live freely.
    It amazes me how many women have come forward to demand the police department from targeting and harassing men with their racist/gender-biased stop and frisk program, yet I do not see men coming forward in such numbers to demand that men stop targeting and harassing women from threatening sexism.
    We need to recognize each other’s humanity and all of us will be better persons and live out better lives.

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