So this guy Rob Bliss of the Washington Times decided one day to attach a camera to a backpack and walk in front of Shoshana B Roberts and film her ordeal as she walked through Manhattan for 10 hours and was the victim of Street Harassment. I have already written a blog about Street Harassment and you can read it HERE, the article has since been rewritten with the old copy still intact followed by the updated version. There are Three points that I wish to raise in this blog as a response to this video. First, in 10 hours of footage, THIS is the final result. I would hardly call this street harassment as almost everyone in the video was being friendly. Second, I find the video to be a tad racist for showcasing only blacks and other dark skinned minorities as surely there had to be at least one white man still in Manhattan. Third, this video portrays the woman as a helpless victim, not once did she speak or retort or stick up for herself if she thought she was being disrespected.
Street Harassment or Being Friendly
Ok so the video edits were a bit hard to follow but this is how I broke it down.
10 instances of comments on her body. Most were about how good looking she was, one was about her jeans. In 10 hours she was only able to get 10 comments on her body. Not one single instance of someone mentioning sex, or what they wanted to do to the body. Most of the comments were about her butt, and a few simply said Damn!!!
5 people objected to being ignored. And vocalized their objections. Nobody called her a bitch, or any vulgar name. Just 5 people did not appreciate someone ignoring them.
16 people said hello or some version of hello, such as good evening, or how are you doing?
One person asked for her phone number and was one of the 5 who objected to being ignored. A simple , "No thank you," would have been the appropriate response.
Finally one person walked right beside her for 5 minutes while she ignored him. This is NOT rational behavior. No sane woman or even man would do this. Nobody likes being followed by a stranger. A rational person would have stopped, changed direction, or walked into any of the stores to get away from this man. Nobody would have knowingly let a stranger follow them for 5 minutes without seeking help. This was just sensationalism.
In the end far more people were just being friendly than commenting on her looks. Even those who did comment on her looks did not do so in a vulgar way that we all know men do. We have all seen it, and it is not pretty. There is a difference between complimenting someone and cat calling. If you don't know the difference read THIS. This video failed to reach its target, which is why the ratings have been disabled and most of the comments are calling bullwinkle.
Despite the videos claim at the beginning of the video to walk through all parts of Manhattan and the claim at the end that all backgrounds, Rob Bliss decided only to include the blacks and other dark skinned minorities in his video. This despite the beginning of the video where Shoshana Roberts is adjusting the backpack camera in the "white part of town." So either white men decided to ignore her or Rob Bliss decided to showcase only the blacks for shock value. After all here is a poor defenseless white woman in the "wrong" part of town. Oh noes!!!
Women are Not Victims
Last time I checked women don't come with a warning label.
Why didn't this woman fire back at the men who commented on her looks? Why didn't she tell the guy who wanted her phone number to buzz off? Why didn't she take appropriate action to distance herself from a man who was clearly following her? I know women are the weaker sex, but they are not so weak they can't take care of themselves.
In the real world, a woman would break out some pepper spray or a simple kick to the pills to deal with someone who was following her. In the real world a decent human being would respond when someone says hello, or good day. In the real world a lady would say "thank you", or "buzz off" depending on the type of comment on her looks.
Street harassment does happen. However, this is NOT it. It took ten hours to get this footage of ten comments on her body and none were even vulgar. I have seen guys strait up tell complete strangers that they want to have sex with them or worse. I have seen men ask women if they spit or swallow. THAT is street harassment. It is not right and I do not endorse it.
However, saying hello is NOT harassment. Saying someone is pretty is NOT harassment. Asking for a phone number is NOT harassment. This video fails.