20-year-old Noa Jansma, like many women, can barely leave the house without catching a lecherous stare, a whistle, or a vulgar pickup attempt.

"Catcalling," as its known, is a well documented phenomenon. In 2014, a viral video showed a woman walking the streets of New York for a day and getting harassed by countless men, sparking widespread discussion and opening a lot of eyes to the epidemic.

Three years later, though, the problem persists while most advice for women still centers around various ways to ignore the offenders.


Jansma decided to try a new tactic to deal with her harrassers: She posed for selfies with them.

#dearcatcallers "I know what I would do with you, baby"

A post shared by dearcatcallers (@dearcatcallers) on

The experiment, called "Dear Cat Callers," lasted a month.

When she was stopped on the street, Jansma asked the men to pose for a photo with her. Most happily obliged.

She even included snippets of what they said to her.

Why "Dear Catcallers"? To send them a message.

"It's not a compliment," her Instagram profile reads.

#dearcatcallers "weheeee horny girl"

A post shared by dearcatcallers (@dearcatcallers) on

The selfies, she writes, don't only help bring awareness to the problem (and the creeps behind it) — they reverse the power dynamic and put her back in control.

Take special note of her stoic, fearless expression in most of the photos — despite many of the men asking her to "smile" or putting their arm around her. Some are totally oblivious to her anger.

The project may be a dangerous one, but Jansma appears to be quite comfortable with sharing the frame of a photograph with her harassers.

Nog een keer #dearcatcallers *psssssst, kissing sounds and whistling"

A post shared by dearcatcallers (@dearcatcallers) on

The photos also put a face to the gross and frightening behavior.

#dearcatcallers "hmmmm you wanna kiss?"

A post shared by dearcatcallers (@dearcatcallers) on

Catcalling isn't just an annoyance. It's legitimately harmful to women (and people of all other genders, too).

The emotional toll of being constantly terrorized by strangers on the street can't be overstated. Catcalling also rightfully fosters more anger and suspicion toward men in general.

In some places — including Amsterdam, Canada, and areas in the United States — street harassment is even illegal. But it's tricky to enforce, and rolling out bans on this type of behavior will take quite some time.

#dearcatcallers

A post shared by dearcatcallers (@dearcatcallers) on

The response to Jansma's project has been astronomical, with her account gaining over 100,000 followers in a month.

That Jansma could collect so many photos and stories in such a short time is alarming. That thousands and thousands of women across the world can easily relate to her experience is even worse.

Now that the initial project is over, she hopes to hand off the account to women in other countries so they can share their own photos.

Every woman who stands up to her harassers will be taking a risk, but campaigns like Jansma's help make more people (men, specifically) aware of and disgusted by the problem. The more that happens, the more likely it is that catcallers become the ones who feel uncomfortable being out in public.

Courtesy of FIELDTRIP
True

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities due largely in part to social factors such as inadequate access to housing, income, dietary options, education and employment — all of which have been shown to affect people's physical health.

Recognizing that inequity, Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson sought out to help his community maximize its health during the pandemic — one grain at a time.

Johnson manages FIELDTRIP, a health-focused restaurant that strives to bring people together through the celebration of rice, a grain found in cuisines of countless cultures.

"It was very important for me to show the world that places like Harlem want access to more health-conscious foods," Johnson said. "The people who live in Harlem should have the option to eat fresh, locally farmed and delicious food that other communities have access to."

Lack of education and access to those healthy food options is a primary driver of why 31% of adults in Harlem are struggling with obesity — the highest rate of any neighborhood in New York City and 7% higher than the average adult obesity rate across the five boroughs.

Obesity increases risk for heart disease or diabetes, which in turn leaves Harlem's residents — who are 76% Black or LatinX — at heightened risk for complications with COVID-19.

Keep Reading Show less

Eight months into the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are feeling the weight of it growing heavier and heavier. We miss normal life. We miss our friends. We miss travel. We miss not having to mentally measure six feet everywhere we go.

Maybe that's what was on Edmund O'Leary's mind when he tweeted on Friday. Or maybe he had some personal issues or challenges he was dealing with. After all, it's not like people didn't struggle pre-COVID. Now, we just have the added stress of a pandemic on top of our normal mental and emotional upheavals.

Whatever it was, Edmund decided to reach out to Twitter and share what he was feeling.

"I am not ok," he wrote. "Feeling rock bottom. Please take a few seconds to say hello if you see this tweet. Thank you."

O'Leary didn't have a huge Twitter following, but somehow his tweet started getting around quickly. Response after response started flowing in from all over the world, even from some famous folks. Thousands of people seemed to resonate with Edmund's sweet and honest call for help and rallied to send him support and good cheer.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

The subject of late-term abortions has been brought up repeatedly during this election season, with President Trump making the outrageous claim that Democrats are in favor of executing babies.

This message grossly misrepresents what late-term abortion actually is, as well as what pro-choice advocates are actually "in favor of." No one is in favor of someone having a specific medical procedure—that would require being involved in someone's individual medical care—but rather they are in favor of keeping the government out of decisions about specific medical procedures.

Pete Buttigieg, who has become a media surrogate for the Biden campaign—and quite an effective one at that—addressed this issue in a Fox News town hall when he was on the campaign trail himself. When Chris Wallace asked him directly about late-term abortions, Buttigieg answered Wallace's questions is the best way possible.

"Do you believe, at any point in pregnancy, whether it's at six weeks or eight weeks or 24 weeks or whenever, that there should be any limit on a woman's right to have an abortion?" Wallace asked.

Keep Reading Show less

When it comes to the topic of race, we all have questions. And sometimes, it honestly can be embarrassing to ask perfectly well-intentioned questions lest someone accuse you of being ignorant, or worse, racist, for simply admitting you don't know the answer.

America has a complicated history with race. For as long as we've been a country, our culture, politics and commerce have been structured in a way to deny our nation's past crimes, minimize the structural and systemic racism that still exists and make the entire discussion one that most people would rather simply not have.

For example, have you ever wondered what's really behind the term Black Pride? Is it an uplifting phrase for the Black community or a divisive term? Most people instinctively put the term "White Pride" in a negative context. Is there such a thing as non-racist, racial pride for white people? And while we're at it, what about Asian people, Native Americans, and so on?

Yes, a lot of people raise these questions with bad intent. But if you've ever genuinely wanted an answer, either for yourself or so that you best know how to handle the question when talking to someone with racist views, writer/director Michael McWhorter put together a short, simple and irrefutable video clip explaining why "White Pride" isn't a real thing, why "Black Pride" is and all the little details in between.


Keep Reading Show less