People who are the greatest victims of street harassment (typically women and the LGBT community), know how annoying, frustrating, upsetting, offensive, and downright scary it can be. It’s not a compliment. It’s intimidation and a show of power by people who have no respect for themselves or others.
While a natural human instinct may be to respond to harassment in the same verbally aggressive manner in which one was harassed, it’s not only highly uncomfortable (especially for those who dread confrontation), but doing so might lead to additional verbal attacks — or even escalate to physical violence.
The Pop to Stop poster was created to provide victims of street harassment a visual, non-aggressive, non-verbal way to respond to harassers. The hope is that the poster will let the victim express their discontent in a calm, quiet, respectful manner that does not overly engage or anger the harasser to the extent that a verbal retort might.
Additionally, having the ability to respond to a harasser will help to regain some of the control and power that some victims feel they loose when verbally harassed. And even if they don't see it, others will, and that will make an impact.
Finally, similar to the recent trend of photographing harassers as a way to hold them accountable and possibly shame them for their actions, the act of calmly, proudly, and bravely displaying a poster in their direction will hopefully cause the harasser to experience some amount of discomfort, self-reflection, or embarrassment.
I believe everyone should attempt to make this world a better place by using the skills and resources with which they have been blessed. As a graphic designer, I have the ability to create visual solutions to problems I experience in the world around me. Thankfully, because I work from home and live in a smaller city, street harassment is not something I must endure on a daily basis... I'm not sure I could handle it with as much grace and patience as some women can. But throughout my life, I have experienced my share of street harassment as well as the sexual harassment and discrimination many women experience in our "modern" world.
This project is a merging of my love of design, my desire for respect and equality for all, and my need to do something for the greater good.
The Pop to Stop poster is uniquely folded using a technique called the Miura fold (named for its inventor, Japanese astrophysicist, Koryo Miura) that allows it to pop open, expanding to full size in one fluid motion, then easily contract back into a smaller, neatly folded shape that can slip into a jacket pocket or purse.
The posters have been designed with cool, calming colors and display a non-aggressive message using respectful language. This is done with the belief that it’s harder to objectify a person and dismiss their feelings when he or she shows respect for themselves and others… a trait harassers lack. Because sometimes, what can’t be done by force, persuasion, or logic, can often be accomplished by setting an example.