Woman Spends Day Walking Around NYC, Is Catcalled Over 100 Times
There are the whistles, the stares, the exhortations to smile. Any woman who has ever walked down a busy city street knows the routine. Street harassment—euphemistically known as catcalling—is a daily reality for hundreds of thousands of women, who receive unwanted, unprompted male attention every time they leave the house.
In a new video, Hollaback, an organization dedicated to ending street harassment, provides an undercover look at how these interactions play out. Actress Shoshana Roberts spent 10 hours walking around Manhattan, dressed in jeans and a crewneck T-shirt. Her stroll was discreetly captured by the video’s creative director, who walked ahead of her wearing a GoPro camera strapped to his backpack. Over the course of the day, Roberts received over 100 comments from men, ranging from the relatively benign (“How you doing?”) to the downright creepy (a man who walks next to her wordlessly for five full minutes).
Whenever people speak out against street harassment, they’re met with a standard set of responses:
a) It’s meant as a compliment!
b) As long as they're dressed appropriately, women won’t receive sleazy comments.
c) What’s the big deal anyway?
This video tears down those responses in less than two minutes. Checking out a stranger’s ass is not a compliment. Reprimanding a woman for not smiling isn’t flattering. And a man forcibly inserting himself into a woman’s personal space simply isn’t okay. Catcalls are about power and control; they’re a way of saying to women, “This is our territory and you’re just passing through.”
Watch the full PSA below.