Stop Telling Women to Smile Favorite 



Mar 1 2013


Brooklyn, NY

Stop Telling Women to Smile is a street art project by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh that addresses gender based street harassment.

Street harassment is a serious issue that affects women world wide. This project attempts to take women's voices, and faces, and put them in the street - creating a presence for women in an environment where women are a lot of times made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe - outside in the street.

The project is saying that street harassment is not okay. That feeling entitled to treat and speak to women any type of way, is not okay. That demanding a woman's attention is not okay. That intruding on a woman's space and thoughts is not okay. That women should be able to walk to the train, to the grocery store, to school - without having to cross the street to avoid the men that she sees already eyeing her as she approaches. That making women feel objectified, sexualized simply because they are women, is not okay. That grabbing a woman's wrist to force her to speak to you is not okay. That requesting for a woman to "smile for you" is not okay - because women are not outside on the street for the purpose of entertaining and pleasing men. That it's quite possible women are wonderful, happy, intelligent human beings that simply want to move through out the world comfortably and safely while wearing their face however the hell they want to.

A lot of people will not agree with this project. A lot of people, men AND women, will not understand it. And that's okay. This project is not asking for there to be zero interaction between men and women in public spaces - it's asking for the interaction to be respectful and safe. This project is not to persuade women to feel offended. Rather, this project is for those who do feel offended by unwelcome aggressive treatment from men.

It's my hope that some women will walk pass these wheat pastes and feel empowered. That men will at least take notice and consider what the posters are saying. And that the conversation about street harassment will continue to be enlivened and hopefully produce some sort of solution.

Posted by LTomasetti on