Artist Mirabelle Jones was catcalled for eight hours straight to highlight street harassment. Photo: Instagram/robotdiva
San Francisco artist and activist Mirabelle Jones says she is sometimes catcalled up to 20 times a day.
And, to make a point about it, she spent eight hours in a display window in her underwear. During the performance art piece, called 'To Skin A Catcaller', recordings of real-life catcalls played from speakers while Jones walked around in front of a wall covered in slurs, in a room filled with razors that hung from white balloons.
She crowd-sourced the catcalls through an online survey and recorded herself yelling them.
She wanted to emphasise the violent and exposing nature of street harassment.
Jones told Mic some of the women who wrote to her had experienced physical violence, stalking, verbal abuse and even assault.
"Many [victims] were left with feelings of anger and helplessness," she said. "It is inexcusable to me how tone deaf society can be to taking an issue seriously which affects so many of us in a very visceral way, and which impacts our daily lives."
She said she was once followed to her car by a group of men whose catcalls she had ignored.
"They surrounded my car and would not let me leave. I was afraid they were going to break the windows or try to hurt me physically." The experience left Jones feeling trapped, a feeling she hoped to convey with the confined space of 'To Skin A Catcaller'."
Despite the quite obvious statement she was trying to make, some men not deterred and proceeded to catcall her during the performance.
"One man stood licking his lips at me for a full 10 minutes."