10 hours of walking in NYC, 100+ instances of street harassment; this shouldn’t be any woman’s reality

This video is impressively compelling! It was created by the group Hollaback!, an organization dedicated to ending the socialized normality of street-harassment. It’s an issue that seems so commonplace it leaves us, mostly women, feeling discouraged and systematically disrespected.

Here in this video, Hollaback! reveals how uncivilized our status quo of catcalls really is, and motivates us to take action! Shot over the course of 10 hours, the 2-minute video accounts for 100+ instances of verbal harassment experienced by one woman, dressed in jeans and crewneck t-shirt, during her silent walk through the streets of New York City.

Notice that she does not respond to any of the comments or compliments given by the unknown men on the street. She even endures one persistent man who tries to get her attention by walking alongside her for over 5 minutes. Another man, after complimenting her appearance, appears personally offended by her lack of acknowledgement. He keeps pressing: “[Is it] because I’m ugly?”…”I’m too ugly for you?”. Perhaps this man’s reaction unveils one true motive behind street harassment–the harasser’s ultimate desire is to feel his own appearance be validated by women he finds attractive.

THIS is the reason women fear walking home alone at night. THIS  is the reason women feel they must carry mace, tasers, or even guns with them for their own protection. Because such verbal, and possible physical harassment is widely permitted to continue on in the United States of America, over half of our population is literally afraid to go out for a stroll. I don’t know about you, but I think it goes without saying that walking around outside, un-accosted, should be an unalienable right that we all have the freedom to exercise, without fear of consequence.

If you are as motivated by this video as I was, you can check out Hollaback!’s website to get more involved in the fight to end street-harassment. Or, take a look at this video of another woman’s story, and the suggestions she gives to all who find themselves in this situation.