Hollaback, an advocacy group trying to end street harassment, hired 24 year-old actress, Shoshana B. Roberts for a sort of public service announcement.
She walked through the streets of Manhattan for 10 hours and received a shocking 108 comments from onlookers. Now, you may ask, what outfit would elicit this kind of response; a fitted black tee, dark jeans, and tennis shoes, also known as the “nothing-exciting-is-happening-today” outfit for many twenty-something’s. Though some of the comments she received were not harmful, saying things such as, “what’s up beautiful have a good day,” and “how are you this morning,” most of the commentary included aggressive remarks on her body, clothing, and expression.
The video went viral just hours after its release and sparked a dialogue among the watchers. Some people were supportive, some had opposing viewpoints, and most notably rape threats were posted on the video. Why is it that society cannot even discuss the topic of a woman being harassed without men posting menacing comments? Though this video should be taken with a grain of salt, it still gives a general view of what it is like to be a victim of street harassment.
This video, though shocking, is not altogether unexpected. It has become a part of our culture to expect rude comments while walking down the street if you are a female. This kind of behavior would not be tolerated in the workplace or in the classroom, yet on the streets it is generally accepted. To some men it may seem like an insignificant act, but when women are regularly being hassled just for walking down the street, it becomes a question of our safety.
Now, I know all this information about the objectification of women in today’s patriarchal society is probably harshing your mellow so I included a few fun photos.
Images courtesy of: 6abc.com, ihollaback.org, and tumblr.com