Quite recently, there has been a video circulating the internet of an actress secretly filming herself walking in Manhattan (New York) for 10 hours, and the 2 minute video immediately shows her experience of street harassment.
The non-profit organisation Hollaback…created this video in order to raise awareness and acknowledgment on street harassment, and I can say from experience (like most women) that the video got it about right! The video shows the actress wearing black skinny jeans and a black t-shirt walking silently while different men call out things from “have a nice evening, beautiful” to “damn baby, smile!” There were even occasions where men (whose faces were blurred out) would walk next to her for up to 5 minutes trying to talk to her/get her number, even though she was dead silent throughout.
I watched the video as soon as I saw it retweeted onto my twitter timeline and I immediately felt a sense of familiarity with the actress’ experience. However, in my opinion, someone calling out “hey beautiful” or “smile gorgeous” isn’t quite harassment, annoying yes, but harassment no. But the men who made remarks about her body and continued to talk to her even though she clearly wasn’t interested, were harassing her.
I define street harassment (suffered by women) as: unwanted attention from males when you clearly aren’t interested, whether you said no or not. This most times leads to them becoming aggressive and intimidating when they don’t get what they want. It’s a serious issue and I’m very happy this video has people talking about it. There have been situations where women have been physically abused and even killed because they said no. In my opinion this is all down to male entitlement but I’ll save that for another post.
So for the males out there, if the girl isn’t interested just let it go friend; there’s plenty more fish in the sea. Also, shouting things out from across the street is embarrassing, so please stop. To my fellow ladies, keep your head up, keep feeling beautiful and stay safe; don’t let the nonsense male attention define you.
Link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1XGPvbWn0A