By Rebecca Ibarra and Lore Croghan
They made their chalk talk back.
Fed up with wolf whistles and creepy come-ons from strangers, a group of Bedford-Stuyvesant women answered their tormentors last week by scrawling scolding messages on Fulton Park’s pavement with bright-colored chalk.
A pair of community organizers who’ve decided to take on the men who talk fresh or get grabby with women on Brooklyn streets threw the chalk party to draw attention to their campaign.
“I think sometimes the issue of street harassment gets reduced to catcalling,” said Anthonine Pierre, a founder of the Brooklyn Movement Center, a Bed-Stuy community group.
“But it is so much broader than someone yelling, ‘Hey baby’ down the street.”
Overly friendly comments can escalate into situations that feel life-threatening in the blink of an eye, she said — as women who have been followed, pushed, spat on or circled by men know all too well.
Fellow organizer Marly Pierre-Louis, a former aide to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, joined dozens of women and girls in writing, “I am not your mami” and “Don’t ask me to smile” on the pathways of the Fulton St. park.
“It’s so creepy when you’re walking down the street and some random guy asks you to smile just because you’re walking with a serious face,” said Ashlee Perez, 16, who checked out the slogans with friend Narrissa Miguel, 15.
The pervy problem of street harassment has spawned advocacy groups like Boerum Hill-based Hollaback!, which has a phone app for posting photos and descriptions of unwanted encounters with rude dudes.
International Anti-Street Harassment Week, which Brooklyn Movement Center’s chalk party was part of, drew participants from 19 countries from Poland to Peru.
Fulton Park is a real hotspot for harassment, neighborhood women said.
“Around here, you get it a lot,” said Tahira Huff, 20, who was followed home a few weeks ago by a man who kept firing off lewd comments and haranguing her to respond.
“I felt scared,” she said. “I had to call my dad and get him to meet me at the door.”
Some men joined the chalk party to say they were supportive of the women and posed for pictures next to a signboard that read, “I am an ally.”
“Speaking up is important,” said Brian Stanley, 32, who was looking after his 6-year-old daughter. “These men are encouraged by women not responding and by men not admonishing their behavior.”
But a few male party crashers dished out vulgar comments, which angered the organizers.
“We told them to stop,” Pierre said. “It was a harassment-free zone.”
This article was originally published on nycdailynews.com.