Why hello there gentle readers (and a big thanks to John Zande for bringing this video to my attention). Today were going to look at one of the fundamental differences between the lived experiences of men and women in public. We’re also going to look at some of the horrible things misogynistic, entitled men say when they see a version of reality that doesn’t agree with theirs. These are the same dudebro’s that cry foul when women post videos on you tube and decline to open the comment section. So, let us watch the video and then digest some of the comments I annotate from said video.
A handy refresher about Helen Lewis’s Law -“Comments on any article about feminism justify feminism.”
**UPDATE – A big thank you Bleatmop for this information – Shoshana has also been receiving rape threats due to her participation in this video. See the story here. **
This video is a PSA about street harassment and this definition is from their blog Hollaback.
“What is street harassment?
Street harassment is a form of sexual harassment that takes place in public spaces. It exists on a spectrum including “catcalling” or verbal harassment, stalking, groping, public masturbation, and assault. At its core is a power dynamic that constantly reminds historically subordinated groups (women and LGBTQ folks, for example) of their vulnerability to assault in public spaces. Further, it reinforces the ubiquitous sexual objectification of these groups in everyday life. Street harassment can be sexist, racist, transphobic, homophobic, ableist, sizeist and/or classist. It is an expression of the interlocking and overlapping oppressions we face and it functions as a means to silence our voices and “keep us in our place.” At Hollaback!, we believe that what specifically counts as street harassment is determined by those who experience it. If you’ve experienced street harassment, we’ve got your back!
Is Shoshana’s experience unique?
The experience of street harassment is different for everyone. Street harassment disproportionately impacts women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and young people. Although the degree to which Shoshana gets harassed is shocking — the reality is that the harassment that people of color and LGBTQ individuals face is oftentimes more severe and more likely to escalate into violence. These forms of harassment are not just sexist — but also racist and homophobic in nature.”
Shoshana noted, “I’m harassed when I smile and I’m harassed when I don’t. I’m harassed by white men, black men, latino men. Not a day goes by when I don’t experience this.”
Yes, well, lets take a peek at what the enlightened you tube commentators has to say. I went through the comments and came up with 5 rough categorizations of comments that I screen-capped: Clueless Dudes, Entitled Males, FreezePeach, Misogynistic ManSplainers, and Victim Blaming. Some comments could be in more than one category, but divisions needed to be made somewhere (it’s such a pleasure seeing so many graduations of misogyny). Oh yes there are a smattering of non vile responses, but those are for a different post.
So here we go, category one – Clueless Dudes.
Clueless Dude Analysis/Response: Wow, so much fail, so little time. Let’s respond in order.
#1. Women in public are not obligated to say or do anything. The men in this video were trying to elicit a response or commentate on her physical stature. This is not conversation, it is harassment.
#2. Should we speak in nothing but hyperbole when defending the status-quo that benefits you so much?
#3. Would it really make your day if so many of these comments were preludes to asking for sex or touching that you have not asked for? The good ship male experience sails in the calmest of waters.
#4. Ah, you’d be surprised what a relief it is for many women who age out of, or fat out of or whatever out of, the category of women who get unwanted male attention. The transition from harassment target – girl I’d like to fuck – to invisible to the male eye penis is a reality for almost all women.
#5. Would any comment sections about female harassment be complete without some evo-devo-pysch bullshit? Let me know how your hunt goes Jonny Tan whilst the females gather roots and berries… (pro-tip: That whispering you hear is civilization and progress proving your low opinion of males and humanity comes directly from your rectum).
Category Two - Entitled Males.