Stop Telling Women To Smile: Stories of Street Harassment and How We’re Taking Back Our Power

Seal. Feb. 2020. 256p. ISBN 9781580058483. $28. SOC SCI
In 2012, portrait artist Fazlalizadeh created a street art series of posters in Brooklyn called “Stop Telling Women To Smile,” depicting drawings of women responding to street harassment. Fazlalizadeh centered her work on the experiences of women of color, who, she explains, are often left out of the conversation of harassment in mainstream media. Powerful and effective, the project quickly grew, as people shared images of the artworks on social media and journalists began covering the story. Part 1 of this book profiles the women depicted in Fazlalizadeh’s art. Part 2 delves into the reasons she decided to turn her art into activism, featuring a clear message to men about the crucial role they play in addressing this ingrained and pervasive problem. Fazlalizadeh concludes with a hopeful vision of a better future; her affecting and empowering artwork appearing throughout.
VERDICT An important addition to women’s studies, art history, and political collections that will also be valuable in more general public library holdings.
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