Artist stitches catcalls into beautiful needlework


Images from Elana Adler’s “You Are My Duchess” project.

Playing off of the idea of a hope chest, artist Elana Adler has created a series of hand-stitched needlework samplers showcasing all the catcalls she’s received. Calling them a “beautification of an assault,” she explains the project:

It is a contemporary feminist interpretation of women’s work and an objectification of my personal experience. Each captures a moment, giving these words a visual presence, a power, and a state of concreteness. These words were hurled casually and heard quickly but required hours of time-consuming, careful stitching.

The project nicely conveys the cumulative effect of street harassment. “You read one sampler, ” Adler extplains. “Perhaps you are amused, but as you continue reading and consider the body as an entire collection, the response changes.” Individually, each comment might seem harmless enough–certainly they must to the men who so unthinkingly say them–but when you feel the constant barrage, when you’ve got a whole damn hope chest full of them, you start to see what “an invasion of personal space” they are.

Check out a few more of Adler’s pieces below and the full series here.





(h/t Jezebel)

Maya DusenberyMaya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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