10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman: The Controversy

by Kari Giovanelli, Staff Writer

For those of us who spend a large portion of our lives on the Internet, you may have come across a recent viral video exposing verbal harassment of women. The video shows a time lapse of a hired actress walking down the streets of New York. Totally silent, wearing a crew neck T-shirt and jeans, and staring straight ahead at the camera planted in front of her. It seems fairly normal, but as the video goes on, more and more men are shown catcalling at her and using derogatory pick-up lines. Yet, how accurate is this video in portraying the verbal assault women face, if any, on a day-to-day basis? For the sake of length, the argument of whether or not women enjoy being hollered at will be saved for another time.

Still, there are other groups who argue that the portrayal of the actions of men in this video are not correct. One argument is that this is a very narrow and selected group of males that were chosen for this experiment. Some argue that by walking through the more rundown, slums of New York, she is getting attention from a less respectful crowd. They also argue that no white men appear in this video; instead Latino and African- American males were pointed out, thus making the point of the video invalid because it was not concise with all men.

Further still, some claim that the woman, the actress who was subjected to catcalling, was not a depiction of normal women. They say that by wearing skinny jeans and a tight-fitting top, she is asking for attention. Others point out the writing across the backside of her jeans was what was drawing negative attention to that area of her body, along with the top extenuating her already large breasts. Men have defended themselves saying that if it was a normal girl- not a beautiful actress with fashionable and form-fitting clothes- the men in the video would not have had the same reaction.

The final argument is that this video was made by a group who funded the production of this video to make a statement. Many people question if some of the men in the video were planted there to rile up other men or to fill the gaps. They also wonder how accurate the portrayal is due to the fact that it is coming from a biased group.

With all these questions and uncertainties, it is hard to make out how truthful and reliable this video is. Although, it did its job by going viral and getting people to talk about it. We would love to see what you guys, our readers think about the video’s validity as well as your stance on the issue of women being cat called by men. You can watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1XGPvbWn0A and go ahead and comment below