When I watched the street harassment video titled 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman, my first thought was, forget 10 hours, that is my experience as a woman walking the 10 minutes distance to my gym!
Catcalls and street harassments are daily experiences many women have learned to live with. Many of us have spoken out against this experience many times. However, are we ever taken seriously? No. Instead, trolls invade such posts with excuses like “Not every man”, “I am not your kind of feminist”, “This is why I hate feminists”… blahblahblah
Therefore, I was actually happy just to see a video documenting an actual experience of catcalls and street harassment going viral. In all honesty, I was not looking at the skin colour of the guys in the video, I was more about their words and often I went, oh, I have heard that or oh that is a popular one. I guess to me, my street harassers have one thing in common, they are men, they say the same shit, they want control, they treat me like objects, and they feel entitled to my body. They are men that feel entitled to my time, who feel they must compliment my body and they get annoyed when I don’t beam at their validation of my beauty. They get angry when I don’t smile when they command me to smile on the street while going about my errands, some even get violent when I don’t reciprocate their unsolicited attention. They do all these regardless of their skin colour. So nope, I was not watching out for skin colour of my everyday street harasser in that video because what binds street harassers together is not their skin colour but their male identity, male privilege or better put, misogyny.
However, I was glad when people started pointing out the racial aspect of the video, especially when the maker of the video was exposed for a similar racist editing he had done in a previous ad video and also a homeless man makeover ad video. The discussions were good and enlightening.
However, as a woman who is very much affected by this catcalling, street harassment culture, I am worried that in an attempt to call out racism, focus is being taken [Read more…]