نومبر 19, 2014

New video shows men defending their right to harass women on the street

 


Why Do Men Harass Women On The Street? by Gothamist




This new documentary was also filmed in New York, and Gothamist says  it is attempting to find out why men catcall women.

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"Now that we've all established definitively that street harassment is a widespread problem for women in NYC, it's time to look at its underlying psychology," Gothamist writes.

"Why do men do it and what effect does it have on women?"

Some of the responses they got from men were eye opening.

 "It's my right as an American citizen to place whatever I want to say," says an older man.

"Do you understand what I'm saying? If you have a beautiful body, why can't I say something?"

A younger guy conceded that he knew women din't like it, and it rarely worked, but he did it anyway.

"Girls don't really like guys on the street, I always try to talk to girls on the street though," said the man. "It's not something that works too much."

Another young man said he thought guys did it to prove themselves to other male friends.

Perhaps more disturbing, a number of the men and teenagers interviewed for the video said if girls didn't like catcalling it was their own problem, or their own fault.

One guy says, "If she's uncomfortable, that will probably be her own personal issue, she's probably insecure."

A group of three young teenage boys said if a girl dressed in tight clothing she should expect to be catcalled.

"It's my point of view, when a girl comes out, in public, with tight leggings and you can see something back there; I'm saying something," says one of the boys.

Another teen adds: "If you're trying to walk out, and not have guys to try and track you then try not to wear tight clothes."

However when the group of teenagers is asked whether they'd be OK with someone doing it to their sister or their mum, the answer was an emphatic no.

"If you think about it, yeah, you're still doing that to somebody's sister or mother and that's wrong," said one of the teens.

Debjani Roy, deputy director of the advocacy group Hollaback told Gothamist that the group's efforts to educate people on street harassment had shown some promise.

"I've seen, you know, the light bulb go off in someone's mind," she said.


Belief system: This man says it's his 'right' to catcall women on the street. Photo: Gothamist


However she said the biggest problem with catcalling was that it had unfortunately become a normal part of society.

"There are some people who might say, 'back in my day, you would just say 'thank you' and move on,' and it wasn't such a big deal  – and some people nowadays will say it's not such a big deal," said Roy.

"That's for you to decide. But our philosophy and stance on the issue is that this is something that happens in a culture that has normalised it for such a long time, in a culture that is patriarchal and misogynistic and has taught women and girls to deal with it."

She also said catcalling was an ineffective way of approach a woman.

"It's not effective," she said. "According to all the stories we've read and people we've spoken to, it does not work."

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