A Kickass New Project Is Shedding Light on Street Harassment

For all the women who have ever been told to smile by dudes you don't know.

A Kickass New Project is Shedding Light on Street Harassment
(Image credit: Marie Claire)

Do you walk out the door, bracing yourself for any comment a guy might throw your way? If you're a woman, odds are the answer is yes. In the U.S., 65% of women have experienced street harassment. In the world? Let's just say the stats are pretty bleak.

A new project by Brooklyn-based artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh shines a light on street harassment in Mexico City. Commissioned by Fusion to travel to create an installation of her acclaimed art project called, "Stop Telling Women to Smile," the 29-year-old traveled to the city to create and exhibit the project–the first time it had been shown outside the U.S.

Mexico City is notorious for its street harassment, where its rate of sexual violence against women has marked it as one of the highest in the world. To put it into perspective: The situation got so bad that the city started offering female-only cars on the city's subways and female-only buses–painted in the color pink–in 2008.

"People have asked, 'Was there one thing that happened that made you start this project?' And there wasn't. It's the sheer fact that it happens all the time," Fazlalizadeh told Fusion.

The project features 76 short stories of the individuals who spoke out against street harassment. And for Fazlalizadeh, thankfully, it didn't seem to be a struggle to get women to speak up: "I feel like people kind of have to warm up, because this is kind of private issue that women I don't think talk about that much outside their group of friends or whoever. But I felt like here, [in Mexico City], people jumped right in."

Learn more about the project and view the video here.

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Samantha Leal
Senior Editor

Samantha Leal is the Deputy Editor at Well+Good, where she spends most of her day thinking of new ideas across platforms, bringing on new writers, overseeing the day-to-day of the website, and working with the awesome team to produce the best stories and packages. Before W+G, she was the Senior Web Editor for Marie Claire and the Deputy Editor for Latina.com, with bylines all over the internet. Graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a minor in African history, she’s written everything from travel guides to political op-eds to wine explainers (currently enrolled in the WSET program) to celebrity profiles. Find her online pretty much everywhere @samanthajoleal.