Guy walking around NYC for 10 hours is the street harassment response for anyone who doesn't get it.
As a woman living in New York City, it's no secret that I've had my fair share of uncomfortable and scary experiences with street harassment. But after "10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman," a hidden-camera experiment documenting the experience, went viral, the responses were surprisingly mixed. One of the biggest complaints was "This isn't fair to guys!" Well, this parody does a pretty good job of explaining why the street harassment conversation isn't a two-way street.
OK sure, this video is a joke. But it's illustrating an important difference in the way women and men experience street harassment. What's absolutely not a joke were the reactions of so many who tried to legitimize the catcalling in the original video. Take a look at some of the comments from the original video...
"This isn't harassment. She should be happy she's being complimented!"
"Maybe if she dressed differently..."
"But she'd be complaining if she wasn't getting attention!"
Here's the thing that it seems most people who objected to the original video seem to not understand: There's nothing wrong with saying hello to a stranger or giving someone a compliment. But too often these comments are only targeted at women and very often lead to more invasive comments and behavior. On Twitter, #NotJustHello explored how many instances of assault and sexual violence started with men saying "hello" and escalated from there. It's pretty scary stuff!
No, not every man on the street is out to harass women, but ENOUGH are that it can feel really uncomfortable and overwhelming to walk down the street and decipher the nice guys from the creeps. It's a tough space to navigate, and that's why these conversations are so important!
Thankfully, the nonprofit Hollaback (which produced the original "10 Hours in NYC" viral video), is on a mission to educate and stop street harassment. You can read more about them here or even donate to their cause here.