Watch: Men Accidentally Catcall their Mothers In Genius Video on Street Harassment
“You wouldn’t want someone to speak to your daughter that way.”
“Imagine someone said that to your sister.”
“Would you talk to your mother like that?”
These are some of the ways women respond to street harassment to make offenders understand why catcalling is so harmful. After all, if men can imagine the women they respect being harassed, maybe they can learn to respect all women.
A new PSA put this concept to the test. A new project by the boxing company Everlast claims they researched chronic street harassers and then found their mothers for a little experiment. The project was shot in Lima, Peru, where 7 out of 10 women experience street harassment, according to the video.
The mothers were given mini-makeovers and sent to walk down the street, passing their sons. Without fail, their sons whisper vulgar remarks, unknowingly, at their own mothers. The mothers then reveal themselves and proceed to flip out on their sons, screaming everything you’ve always wanted to scream at your street harassers (but can’t because some women have actually gotten killed when they did). “We women can wear whatever we want!” one mother yells. “How can you be harassing [women]? Aren’t you ashamed?” shouts another.
Some notes about the video. One: it could be kind of fake. As one writer at The Guardianwrote, “The scenes are incredibly staged, the acting barely hitting the heights of a school play.”
But more importantly, viewers must remember that men shouldn’t have to imagine women as their relatives to muster up respect for them—women should be respected in their own right.
The video, however, is crucial in re-sparking dialogue on street harassment, so this violence doesn’t get normalized. And for women who have been subjected to catcalling, the video is also extremely satisfying.