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Cat-calling video creates controversy

A+women+with+jeans+and+a+crew+neck+walked+around+various+parts+of+Manhattan%2C+for+10+hours.+More+then+100+times+she+was+verbally+harassed+by+male+strangers.+The+video+is+able+to+compile+only+a+few+of+the+instances.+Photo+is+screenshot.
A women with jeans and a crew neck walked around various parts of Manhattan, for 10 hours. More then 100 times she was verbally harassed by male strangers. The video is able to compile only a few of the instances. Photo is screenshot.

by Brenda Montero, staff reporter

A women with jeans and a crew neck walked around various parts of Manhattan, for 10 hours. More then 100 times she was verbally harassed by male strangers. The video is able to compile only a few of the instances. Photo is screenshot.
A women with jeans and a crew neck walked around various parts of Manhattan, for 10 hours. More then 100 times she was verbally harassed by male strangers. The video is able to compile only a few of the instances. Photo is screenshot.

There were many comments said about a recently released video starring a woman who walked around New York City aimlessly for 10 hours. “I Hollaback” released the video in hopes of raising awareness on how women deal with men’s harassment daily. The white female did not speak to any of the harassers and wore casual clothes (a black t-shirt and jeans with sneakers.)

This video claims that she was “harassed more than 100 times in 10 hours.” She received numerous whistles, degrading comments and even a “why aren’t you talking back.” There was even a point in the video where it showed how the female was followed by the same male, even when she wouldn’t respond. In regards to the “hellos,” and “hey beautifuls” said by men to the woman in said video, she completely ignored all of them. After a while, they gave up when she wouldn’t respond.

“I think its gross that guys are cat calling girls because it shouldn’t be doing it either. I don’t think girls should be viewed that certain way,” junior Rosemarie Digoia said.

An article released on Splat.com argues that the video was biased due to its location consisisting of racially diverse neighborhoods. Only blacks and latinos were showed making inappropriate comments at the young women. The video makers responded to this accusation, stating that white men were also guilty of cat calling the young women, but there were situations in which an ambulance or a police car would pass, which needed to be edited out of the video.

In regards to the lack of credibility shown in this video, one would notice that it does have a racial bias. An important group of men were omitted from this video which would have made their overall message stronger. However, at the end of the day the video got its message across: women have to tolerate being cat called, usually on multiple occasions, during their day. Studies conducted show that between 80-90% of women have been harassed in public.

“I think its an issue that deserves more awareness. It certainly something that should be talked about more,” English teacher Ms.Destefano said.

It’s not logical when people argue that women want to hear this. They hold the belief that  cat-calling is empowering, playful, and it makes women feel good about themselves. However, it’s the opposite, as it can be degrading and embarrassing. As shown on  CNN, the same topic was discussed where there was some heat between two guests where one believed that women do not like the attention and the other believed that they did.

“I want to say that guys are going to be guys regardless of what you wear and do. Whether you wear a t-shirt or tank-top, they are still going to look at you. Although, I think its disrespectful that some guys go to the extent of following us females or touching us,” senior Daria Lee said.

People who argue that this is simply an “ego boost,” seem to forget that when cat-calling reaches a certain point, like a man following a woman, her safety becomes compromised. There was an incident in Detroit where a woman was killed by a man who catcalled her. Another incident showed that a man was severely injured because he stood up for a woman who received cat calls.

Telling a woman they want to sleep with her is not a compliment. Screaming “hey sexy” or “nice body” isn’t either. Instead of asking why the female doesn’t like it, or insist on why she should, ask why it’s okay for men to feel entitled to comment on a females body, when it is unwarranted and unasked by the women going about their daily routines.

A video that relates to the catcalling video came up on Comedy Central, called Jessica’s Feminized Atmosphere. This video shows a diverse group of people catcalling Jessica Williams, an African American actress and writer, who conducted a social experiment to present how women feel in their daily lives walking down the sidewalk. In comparison to the video released from ihollaback.org, this video shows the same strong message but with a more diverse approach.

There is always an appropriate way to approach someone and express interest while being respectful. Most women have no interest in being approached or looked at by men when they are minding their own business. If men want to approach women, they should think about how they would feel if they were approached the same way.

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