In spite of polar belief, Hollaback’s release of a video they produced of a woman walking the streets of Manhattan for 10 hours reveals that men sexually harassing and intimidating women is a widespread daily reality. Hollaback is an organization determined to irradiate street harassment and intimidation (catcalls). Their tagline: “You have the power to end street harassment.” And so in August this year, they planted a camera in the backpack of a man who was walking a few feet in front of a woman, dressed in unassuming jeans, and a crew neck T-shirt, and recorded the incessant ‘attention’ she attracted from men.
The ‘attention’ included a man pursing her along the street for up to five minutes.
What’s particularly alarming about this video is the repeated assumption from catcalling men that the woman would or should be flattered by the attention. In fact, one man even calls after her, “somebody’s acknowledging you for being beautiful!,” as if she were being unappreciative.
The final frame of the video is a slate that reads: “100+ instances of verbal street harassment took place within 10 hours, involving people of all backgrounds. This doesn’t include the countless winks, whistles, etc.”
The overall impression of this video is that women continue to live with the daily predatory threat of men. And that men, generally speaking, feel entitled to behave in a predatory manner. Which ultimately means that they feel entitled to make a woman uncomfortable, disempowered, and even unsafe.
Feature image source: businessinsider.com