Whistling construction workers are not welcome at the MarketFair Mall in Princeton, New Jersey. Not even fictional ones. The mall removed a controversial construction sign that read: “We apologize for the whistling construction workers, but man you look good! So will we soon, please pardon our dust, dirt and other assorted inconveniences.”
Holly Kearl, founder of Stop Street Harassment, wasn’t amused by the off-color humor.
“The sign normalizes street harassment and sexual harassment that happens in public spaces,” Kearl told ABCNews.com. “It’s not OK, it’s not a joke and it’s not a compliment.”
Kearl started an online petition to remove the sign, which she says is equally offensive to construction workers.
“The sign assumes all the construction workers are harassers and don’t respect women,” she said. “And that’s very unfair.”
It was her first petition and she wasn’t expecting much but the response was overwhelming. The petition received over 1,500 signatures in 24 hours. She informed the mall, which said the sign would be gone that night.
“This is what online activism looks like,” said Kearl.