A Voice for Men has an excellent video post up today, a response to the much viewed “10 Hours of Walking in NYC” that is being used by the Hollaback organization to showcase the harassment that women face every day. But as AVfM points out…the supposed floods of verbal assaults really aren’t there. Take a look:
For what it’s worth, I watched the entire original video too…and the AVfM narrator was right. Only 1 of her encounters could have been said to be truly harassing, but even that one tugged on my heartstrings a bit. The man *does* walk next to her for over a minute, and switches between complimenting her body (not in a crude way), asking why she isn’t speaking to him (it’s a “silent walk”, she doesn’t say anything during the video), and saying that the reason she’s acting coldly to him must be because he is too ugly. He does eventually get tired of this, and simply walks away. You’re telling me that a man who calls a random woman beautiful, wants to know why she isn’t at least adhering to common courtesy by acknowledging him, and then assumes out loud that the reason for her bitchy attitude is his own body is an example of street harassment?
Now, I get that it’s a “silent walk” through NYC. But some aspects of it are kinda suspect. For example, she only walks through the less affluent streets (as far as I can tell)…streets where, yes, guys tend to hang out/loiter before heading to work. What demographic of men? Mostly black or hispanic. I think she gets hit on by 1 white guy the entire time. In other words, she is in neighborhoods where there are a plethora of men hanging out, with a demographic that tends toward being more vocal than whites when complimenting women. Hmm…
Also, she quite frankly has a look on her face that would freeze water, a “do not f-ing mess with me” look. A look that says she is in a piss poor mood. What do men generally do when they see a woman in distress (emotional, in this case)? They reactively try to make her situation better. Okay, so one guy does yell out to her “smile!”, which (to me) is very slightly insulting…if I’m having a bad day, it’s not my job to pretend to be happy unless I’m at work. But what do the majority say to her that is so offensive, so harassing, so sexist?
“Have a good day”
“How’re you today/doing”
“Hope you have a nice night”
The horror. The chauvinist, misogynistic horror. So gentlemen, please be careful out there. Apparently saying “Good morning” to a (female) stranger on the street is now harassment. Gods forbid you smile at her…