I think holding a conversation with someone you disagree with is one of the best ways to overcome your differences, but what if the differences are violent in nature?
My friend was relaying one of their many stories of street harassment. I’ll admit, I had no idea it happens as much as it does, and every single day for some people. I felt ignorant, ashamed and couldn’t stop thinking about it. So when my friend reached out to ask where we’d go to lunch, I posed the idea to them. “What if we make stickers that say Catcalling Is Harassment, simple and bold?” — they said Okay!
The husband of another friend worked at a print shop and offered to print off a few hundred. Similar to the BLM wristbands, I passed the stickers out for free, they were widely accepted and then–
ALL OF THEM WERE RIPPED DOWN. ( Mother F^@%*&’S!!! )
It wasn’t something I expected. Later I’d find out that the first few were printed on a specialized vinyl that makes it easy for removal, but still… Why would someone intentionally remove this particular sticker and leave up so many others? You’re gonna leave up someone else’s sticker, but go out of your way to defaces these?
The roots of the problem ran deep… In the next batch, I sourced 3,000 printed on paper. I figured if someone was going to tear them down, then there should be a lot more for them to remove. I distributed them to local coffee shops and had to resupply almost daily. They appeared everywhere, but still defaced and torn off. Eventually, the weather would take its toll on the paper stickers.
I knew there had to be a better solution, and then it came — tamper resistant stickers! (Thanks Trevor ;) Sometimes referred to as eggshell stickers. These flake off into little pieces when someone tries to pull them off. I found a supplier and we printed a lot.
In total there are somewhere around 20,000+ of these stickers in circulation. I made the designs public on my blog and I’ve heard from a few people outside the USA who were printing them on their own.
In later versions, I added the hashtag #catcallingisharassment to see if other people would share their stories and photos.
Some friends called out of the blue to tell me one was in a movie (one scene):
Local interview about the stickers: https://pittsburghstickerproject.weebly.com/home/starting-a-conversation
Original blog post with downloads: https://projectileobjects.com/2017/06/13/catcalling-is-harassment/