In anticipation of Anti-Street-Harassment Week starting April 7, Hollaback!PHILLY, an anti-street-harassment advocacy group, is re-educating the sidewalk masses, superhero-style. This year, they are working with Philly artist Erin Filson to design a series of crowd-funded comic books that should shed light on what street harassment looks like and what we can do about it. We sat down with Hollaback!’s Anna Kegler to get the scoop.
City Paper: Tell us a little about the comic book.
Anna Kegler: The comic book focuses on three different characters whose stories intertwine. The two female characters, Red and Yellow, both experience street harassment in different ways, and the male character, Blue, learns how to intervene when he sees street harassment happening. We wanted to create a story that shows characters thinking and talking about street harassment in a very real way.
CP: Why a comic book?
AK: Comic books are a great way to engage youth. … Street harassment tends to [provoke] pretty heavy conversations, and [though] this comic book is definitely more serious than lighthearted, filled with empowered characters, [it’s] a less intense way of engaging the issue.
CP: What are everyday actions that citizens of the sidewalk can take?
AK: Notice street harassment, call it what it is and don’t ignore it. Responding to street harassment can be as nonconfrontational as talking about it after the incident is over to walking up to the conversation and interrupting it with something as simple as asking her for the time.
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