"Stop Telling Women To Smile" in Mexico City

The movement against street harassment has been revitalized thanks to the efforts of organizations such as Hollaback and the “Stop Telling Women to Smile” project. Recently Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, the 29 year old creator of “Stop Telling Women to Smile," collaborated with Fusion to created "All The Time. Every Day". The resulting project is stunning multimedia project that explores the experiences of women in Mexico City using posters, pictures, videos, and short essays.

In Mexico City, with the help of Fusion editor Anna Holmes, Fazlalizadeh met up with dozens of women living in Mexico City who shared their experience of street harassment. Fazlalizadeh made sure to talk one-on-one with local women because any time she takes her project to a new city, she goes empty handed, depending on the women who live in these cities to provide the inspiration for new posters. In one of Fusion’s videos, she states: “I go with no posters. I create all new posters when I get to a city using the women that live there.”

Especially since this was the first time Fazlalizadeh took STWTS outside of the US, it was important for her to understand the unique experiences that women in Mexico city would face. In one of the "All The Time. Every Day" videos, Fazlalizadeh explains:

[W]hat do women who live in Mexico City go through? What are their experiences, what are their stories? How is what they experience different from what I experience? How can I reflect those differences in these pieces?

According to Fusion, harassment is so bad in Mexico City that the city offers female-only cars on the subway and pink female only buses. Here are some comments from a few who participated in Fusion's project:

I was wearing a skirt and riding public transportation, and a man put his hand all over my butt and he also lifted up my skirt. – Jessica
[T]he catcall I most commonly hear is, “Yes, I’d stand in line to get to your ass.” - Jocelyn

But even as the women recount some of the harassment they've received, the resounding message of the posters and the project is that that women will no longer suffer in silence.

Today, you will not stop me anymore. -Anahí

Make sure to explore “All The Time. Every Day.” It’s inspiring to to hear women speaking up against street harassment, even as they recount some traumatizing experiences. Hopefully people who fail to take street harassment seriously will pay attention to what these women are saying.

Image: Fusion Video Screengrab