Street Harassment Isn’t Something to be “Thankful” For

More and more videos depicting the kind of harassment women are subjected to on a daily basis are appearing on the interweebz, and this one is by far one of the best.

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Uhh, no dude, she doesn’t, so why do you insist on harassing her?

An NYC woman walked around for ten hours in Manhattan with a hidden camera focused on her the entire time. The video features only some of the 100+ instances the woman, Shoshana B. Roberts, endured while walking in complete silence during the experiment.

For 10 hours, Rob walked in front of Shoshana with a camera in his backpack, while Shoshana walked silently with two mics in her hands. ~ Hollaback

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Operation Street Harassment, commence!

The combination of her keeping silent, plus her wearing a very basic outfit of jeans and a crewneck t-shirt, really drives the point of the video home – this kind of harassment is not asked for or invited like what popular media would have you believe, it happens because those who’re causing the harassment choose to harass.

Not all of the harassment is verbal either. Though catcalls like “Somebody’s acknowledging you for being beautiful—you should say thank you!” are nothing to scoff at, the video even captured some creepy follower who followed Ms. Roberts for several minutes while she walked.

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This silence is far from awkward; el creepo stalker dude felt it was his right to follow this silent woman for as long as he liked.

The scary thing is, this is just one example of what happens to many women, all over the world, often.

Put together by Rob Bliss and Hollaback, this PSA highlights the impact of street harassment very well. Bliss said he wanted to create this because:

…I think a lot of men don’t understand the collective weight that this harassment causes. They see it as just an innocent ‘compliment’ but are missing the forest for the trees. ~ Rob Bliss

He brings up a great point, for while some of the comments may “seem” innocent enough, like the standard “hey, what’s up girl?” or “how you doin’?”, the fact of the matter is they’re uninvited comments that are ultimately harassing the person they’re directed to, regardless if the people saying them mean for it to be a “compliment” or something else entirely.

Need I remind you that this woman received over 100 harassing remarks in ten hours? That works out to about one harassing comment/action every five minutes. How can that be viewed as anything BUT harassment? Regardless of whether you’re in the “better” or “worse” part of town, this level of harassment is never ok.

See for yourself:


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