New York hidden camera video

A new YouTube video that’s racking up millions of views shows a woman enduring a barrage of catcalls as she walks the streets of New York. Forum discusses the video and the problem of street harassment. We want to hear from you: how do catcalls make you feel? And what have you found is the best way to respond to unwanted comments?

Estelle B. Freedman, Edgar E. Robinson professor in U.S. history at Stanford University
Holly Kearl, founder and executive director of Stop Street Harrassment
Akiba Solomon, editorial director,

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    Would like to see a hidden video of how homeless, poor folks, well dressed men are treated in NYC because when we were in NYC we found very few friendly people, no smiles lots of profanity aimed at others. And if you do say hello or excuse me you get a look that is not the least bit friendly. I think NYC is simply rude to every one.

    • thucy

      That’s odd. I lived in New York for over a decade, and, quite aside from the street harassment, found it to be one of the friendliest places I’ve ever lived, all the way from the Bronx down into Manhattan and down into Cobble Hill and on out to Queens. I had a lot of young friends who felt the same way, but it is probably relevant that we were young and in living in the city we’d long dreamed of – we pretty much got back the happy vibe we were putting out.

      I think if you’re looking for a kind of bland friendliness, you won’t find it there. People can be rushed there, it is true. But I never lived in a city with so many people who cared. For every rude cat-call I suffered, there was an older woman who would invite you to the theater, or an immigrant family that would save you a meal during their holidays. Great working-class hospitality. The incredible diversity – not just ethnic but economic as well – was awe-inspiring. And you gotta love a town where admission to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with all its Mesopotamian, European, and Japanese treasures, is “suggested.” As in: “You’re broke, kid? Yeah. You’re still getting in.”

    • ES Trader

      I was in NYC for a full month and did not find that.

      in fact a bar tender bought a group of us the first round of beer when he asked me how I liked NYC when he discovered we were all from different parts of the country and I said, ” I thought San Francisco was expensive but it is a bargain next to NYC”.

      The bartender said he didn’t want us going back home to various areas of the country and telling everyone that.

      Another time when I went to the Amtrak window at Penn Station foe a ticket to Trenton, the clerk said he can sell a ticket to Philadelphia then I would have to get another train to Trenton or I could step down a few windows to NJ Transit and get a ticket to Trenton for about 1/2 the price.

      Over the course of a month I had many experiences like that in many areas of the City, including shopping at Bloomingdale & Macy’s where sales clerks were friendlier than in The City

    • Commnt8r

      I’ve never found that – it’s true that people can seem very focused on getting to where they’re going, but I’ve found many helpful, friendly New Yorkers.

  • thucy

    I’ve always found this “ugh” street harassment more in European cities (and admittedly in New York) where there is a serious pedestrian culture. Paris was a daily trial when I was living there, and didn’t end with verbalization – my girlfriends and I were routinely grabbed on the street in ways that were far more terrifying than lewd. One Sunday in Les Halles, a man walked up and, apropos of nothing, pushed me so hard on the chest that I was knocked over onto a market table. This was a shock for a Californian.

    White male Parisians, African male Parisians, Arab male Parisians – they really tried to reinforce masculine privilege on the street. It was traumatic at the time, but I finally (slow learner) took a cue from Parisian women: I learned to ignore it, never to take it personally, always to look straight ahead, and most importantly, to move with serious purpose. What else could you do? You weren’t going to change Paris, you were a “visitor”, and a privileged one, at that. After all, there were women with far worse situations in that city – refugees from the conflicts in the Balkans and all the former colonies.

    California is by definition more relaxed, but the lack of pedestrian culture here plays a role: I suspect the fact that men are generally tucked away in cars here eliminates a lot of the verbalization and grabbing. Which is to say: our men probably aren’t THAT much better, they just have fewer opportunities.

    • Beth Grant DeRoos

      Have the complete opposite experiences when staying with family and friends in Paris. Never been harassed or treated in an uncivil manner. Maybe it has to do with the arrondissement one is living in. Helps to not look like a tourist, and helps to speak the language.

      • thucy

        I speak French fluently, and worked for French companies.
        It happened in every arrondissement, but particularly the 7th, which is not exactly poor.
        You were a tourist there, an older tourist with children? Possibly this made a difference?

        • Beth Grant DeRoos

          Never been a Paris tourist. Family and friends homes in Paris since the early 1900’s. Have never had any problems in Paris be age five or fifty.

          • thucy

            I get that, Beth. You are saying that having friends and family there makes you a non-tourist. But did you ever actually live and work there for any significant period time as a young single female?

    • ES Trader

      opportunities?! LMAO !

    • Teri Adams

      I agree that we have less of a pedestrian culture but I have been at stop lights and men will hang out their cars and wave to get my attention. Make kissy faces or yell something dirty out the window as I pull away. I feel bad for women who think this is ok. To tie their self worth to being reduced to a sexual object is so sad. I have also been stared at the gym with my husband RIGHT NEXT to me on the next elliptical machine.

  • putdownmypants

    I have a sister who would tell me about her experience with this – maybe 6-7 years ago was the first I heard about it. It was only in the last couple of years that I realized how widespread this is. The video was nothing new to me. I read about and hear about this all the time. I actually got to experience this, which I never thought could happen, when I started paying attention while walking with my sister or with friends/colleagues. I thought my presence would stop the catcalls, because maybe they would think I was a boyfriend/husband – if they didn’t respect her, surely they would respect another man. Not the case. They said it was the same experience as alone, but, I guess less scary because they were less likely to be followed or touched.

  • Sean Dennehy

    There’s a Slate article showing that the video maker edited out the white men making cat calls, which makes me think there was an ulterior racial motive and the whole video is now suspect in my opinion.

    • thucy

      The toughest areas I had to walk through as a younger woman were the trading floors of the biggest international banks. All male, all white. All harassment. The women who worked those floors (as assistants) were young, beautiful, and tough-as-nails Irish-American Long Islanders married to firemen – no one messed with them. But it was a hostile environment for women to walk through. God knows it was probably killing the cardiac systems of the men themselves.

      • Idontthinkso

        “God knows it was probably killing the cardiac systems of the men themselves.”

        … we can only hope.

        • thucy

          you just made me laugh.
          The funny thing is that I later became friends with one of the traders. I learned from him how terribly the traders treated each other, in a constant effort to out-macho one another. It wasn’t his nature to be like them, but he did in fact develop cardiac issues from the constant stress.

  • Stephanie Corona

    I can remember getting cat calls as young as 13. Some of it is old culture – I’m a young Mexican American woman and I would get a lot of whistles from older Mexican men. That’s gross and inappropriate. But now as a 26 yr old young woman, I try to distinguish between inappropriate cat calls and men who simply want to acknowledge beauty when they see it with the hope but not expectation that they’re get acknowledged in return. To the men who say “Hey beautiful, have a nice day” I say “thanks, you too” and they go about their business. But immature men will take any little response as an invitation, and with these men I try to find the courage to have a conversation with them to educate them, but alas, sometimes I’m too scared.

  • Another Mike

    My sister was catcalled, back in the 70s, while wearing an army parka. So I don’t think the choice of clothing is that significant.

    • Strandwolf

      Catcalling is something else I think.

  • Maggie

    Is anyone asking how hard it would be to just NOT say anything to each other when we walk down the street? Come on people…let’s just bury our faces in our phones more so we don’t have to deal with the jerks of the world.

    • Another Mike

      That works, except for the jerks who want your attention at any cost.

      • Maggie

        iMace: for the @#$*@(#$ who won’t respect your disdain for human interaction.

  • Guest

    I was catcalled twice in the past month. Once when a car pulled up next to mine at a stoplight. the man was early 20s and white.

    The second time I was walking on the street in deep conversation with a friend. This time the man who imposed himself into my space was also white and about 40.

    I think it’s a power issue.

    By the way, I am 62!

    • Another Mike

      The Chronicle’s Jane Ganahl wrote wistfully about the aging process a dozen years ago, proud that her “legs are still decent enough for [her] to get whistles from construction workers — the old yardstick of mass appeal.”

      • thucy

        Yuk. Really? I guess that is why women prefer to read The New York Times.

      • diwilson

        Well my reaction was definitely NOT pride or gratitude. This has been going on since I was a teenager. It has always made me feel awkward and uncomfortable. And believe me, it has nothing to do with my figure. I have grey hair and I am 50-60 pounds above the “accepted” norm. It was rude and a way to pull me out of my own personal space and into theirs. Entitlement. Ugh.

  • Sam Badger

    I think the fact that the video featured a woman who is white but “coincientally” edited out most of the non-working class and White men causes the video to make a dangerous (and perhaps unintentional) implication regarding the relationship between men of color and poor men, and women. It undermines the whole purpose of the video, which is to expose structural sexism, by (again, hopefully unintentionally) playing on those stereotypes of race and class.

  • Patricia

    The portions of the video edited out were white men – have heard it’s because of sound quality…. My experience as a white woman who has constantly been harrassed on the street, since I was 12 years old, every day, no matter where I was or what I was wearing – is that I am accosted way more by black men and latinos. HOWEVER, I was raped twice when I was 12 and 20 and attempted rape when I was 16 – and they were all WHITE men….

  • WOW! looks like not much is different for women on streets of Tehran (capital of #Iran) and New York City. I guess we should feel blessed since we are NOT #acidattack ed in the US!?

  • Felicity Dashwood

    Stop making this about race and distracting us from the real conversation here. That Slate article clouds this very simple issue.
    This happens to me ALL. THE. TIME. and it is rarely flattering, always embarrassing, sometimes scary. Some of these men are polite, but the majority are misogynist and presumptuous. We don’t want your attention we want your respect.

    • This is about basic human rights and gender equality rights.

    • Teri Adams

      Exactly! This isn’t about race!! It’s about sexual harassment. It is scary. It is exhausting to have to walk around with your guard up. I have learned to walk with purpose, my head up and a no nonsense look on my face. The harassment is not so frequent.

    • Idontthinkso

      The video made it about race, tell it to the producers who didn’t include a walk through other neighborhoods. And I think reasonably intelligent people are perfectly capable of thinking about multiple issues at the same time, and consider where they may intersect. Are you?

      • Felicity Dashwood

        Personally, I don’t care what color a man is when he yells at me in the street. I just want to be left alone. That’s why this isn’t a race issue for me.
        According to an interview on ATC or Morning Edition (I can’t recall which) with the Hollerback spokeswoman they walked through several neighborhoods, including Midtown and lower Manhattan, where you’ll find every creed and color of man.
        The motives of this project are clear to me: documenting harassment in the streets, not painting a racially balanced picture of Manhattan men. The producers of this film may not have executed it perfectly but I believe they succeeded in documenting the most common and obnoxious forms of harassment.

  • Teri Adams

    I am a Mexican American woman who gets stared at by old Mexican and even get whistles. I am NOT a dog. Don’t whistle at me. If you respond then they call you names. They insult you. If you don’t acknowledge them or glare then they call you dirty names. Why do men think this is ok? You are not really asking me out. I would NEVER date someone who treated me as an object. Your guests are not defending women. They are hemming and hawing “Well its ok to say I look beautiful or hello beautiful.” is still harrassment!

    • Nina

      I agree the guests on the show were weak in their defense of women.

  • howdyrich

    Something I think is profound in this video is the highlight of intent vs impact… even if there’s a man who had the intent of ‘just to be friendly’ or ‘pay a compliment’ – the accumulation of the barrage of these incidents and the impact on this woman, and many women (and some men) as targets of street harassment, is powerful.

  • disqus_63X8zNMKNl

    I still remember the catcalls I got when I was 14, a very shy and completely naive girl. I’d walk by a downtown construction site, say, and have the usual whistle and catcalls. Sadly, it made me feel shame more than anything. I felt there must be something I was doing that drew the calls. As I got older, the calls turned into something more like staring, and approaching. That got pretty creepy! Actually, now I like the “Hey there!” sort of thing, but am still creeped out by men, strangers, who come up and insist on my phone number, don’t get it, then sort of hang around glaring for a while. (This happened in a college class for older adults.) Now, as I age, I don’t miss the catcalls, but I am aware that older women become like some alien species–not attractive women, not men, not anything, really, to the men we pass by.

  • ES Trader

    when the point of race is introduced, why does everyone back off? not pc ?

  • Sam Badger

    I remember once my family was inner tubing down a river in the rockies and a couple of kids (incidentally, the white ones which the video overlooked) catcalled my young cousin and another relative from the shore. Another male relative saw this from the bluff and wanted to teach them a lesson. He went up to them and catcalled at them, and they freaked out and jumped in the cold river with their clothes on. It’s funny that these young men were willing to oppress women, but as soon as the shoe was on the other foot, and they were the “target” of an older, presumably gay man, they freaked out.

    • thucy


  • Nina

    I’m really fed up by cat calling. Recently had my rear-end groped and when I yelled at the man that is was “not ok”. Another man watching laughed. I yelled at him and suddenly felt like I was a crazy women and it wasn’t ok that was being treated this way. I was also followed and harrassed down the street in downtown SF and no one helped. The police seem pretty apathetic and I’m pretty angry that this isn’t being addressed. I want to see arrests! Touching and following down the street is sexual assault and harrasent and it is illegal!!!

    • Another Mike

      Groping goes way, way beyond calling. Being followed goes way beyond calling.

      • Mrs. Eccentric

        but many times the groping, following, etc. begins with catcalls. So that is why many women start to get freaked by the catcalls. It is difficult to tell which catcaller will turn into ‘worse’, and you never know what will provoke one of these guys.

        • Another Mike

          I suspect — I hope — that the elderly Mexican guys are remaining on their park benches, not chasing after women 1/3 their age.

      • Nina

        Exactly! But even being called beautiful and comments on the body are quite invasive. I’m just trying to live my life and go about my day. It’s exhausting to always have my guard up! I just want to be free to walk down the street without being harassed.

  • fakeanonymousguest

    panhandling is street harassment too

  • Kaitlin Cawley

    I think both sexes suffer from living in a male-dominated
    culture. Men internalize the expectation of being aggressive and in control,
    and women internalize the expectation of being attractive and submissive. Women
    are the direct victims of both of these expectations, so they lose more. But
    this doesn’t mean that men win. I don’t think most men want to be harassers. To
    me the one-sidedness of cat-calling represents the sexual repression of both men and women. It’s a lose-lose.

  • Michelle

    Culturally speaking, nowhere are catcalls more rampant than in Southern college towns with a fraternity culture. It’s interesting, because Southern fraternity members consider themselves “gentlemen,” heirs to a culture of chivalry.–yet their treatment of women is often abysmal. I’ve lived in Miami, NYC, San Francisco, and the deep South, and catcalls have been plentiful everywhere. It is not only an urban phenomenon.

  • Sonny

    I wanted to apologize as a young adult male because in my younger days I am definitely guilty of behaving in similar ways. The video acted as a reflective mirror to a problem I see with males. I behaved the way i did because of the culture I was surrounded with, where boys would check out women as they walked by. It was as I began developing closer relationships that I learned how damaging my actions were. I try remind my fellow male buddies that women are not objects to be judged, starred at, or “holla”ed at. I am trying to create a culture where men do not get away with objectifying women, and my hope is that some reconciliation can begin to happen for women knowing that there are men out there who respect women and want to spread that around. So again, I want to first apologize for my wrongful attitudes in the past.

    • thucy

      It’s not a small thing you’re doing in trying to change your friends’ attitudes. It takes courage. Your discussions with your friends about why this is harmful will ultimately be more effective.

  • Ehkzu

    re:a caller saying his experience was of black and Latino men being the primary harassers and a guest saying “I don’t buy into this idea that black and Latino men do it more.”

    It is soooo politically incorrect to bring this fact up, and your guests’ verbal gymnastics show that. Of course boorish white men harass women and of course many black and Mexican men don’t–but if you’re going to be honest, street harassment in America comes disproportionately from blacks and Mexicans.

    It is also true that street harassment is vastly worse in mostly white countries like Italy and in Egypt–as one guest mentioned–it’s unbelievable by Western standards. And most Egyptians are white.

    Meaning it’s cultural, and in macho cultures it’s more likely–and black and Latino cultures in America are very macho, while Egyptian culture is even moreso.

    As for the callers and writers observing that women are over-reacting to getting compliments, I’d say go look at the video. If you compliment a woman on her having won the genetic lottery–and it’s the bazillionth time that women has has a stranger impose his presence and his desires on her–she’s going to react differently.

    This reminds me of the experiences of women entering a Planned Parenthood clinic. It’s one thing to have an anti-abortion protester quietly offering to talk about it (the way the Supreme Court majority apparently believes that’s what’s going on) vs. screaming insults in their faces and making it a gauntlet of screamers.

    It’s the experience of having to navigate through a gauntlet of unwanted attention from strangers that makes women react so negatively–not just a given experience, taken in isolation from the context.


    I’ve traveled a fair amount in the third world, and cultural interpretations are often very different. In India, for example, if a woman is standing alone on the street and a man asks her for the time–and she tells him–he’s likely to interpret the fact of her answering him in ANY way as a direct sexual invitation.

    In many countries there’s a large contngent of young men who cannot be dissuaded from believing every unaccompanied female tourist came to that country for the sole purpose of having sex with them. In Bali, for example, the Japanese government has complained about female Japanese tourists being harassed by the local Kuta Cowboys (Kuta is the tourist zone; Kuta Cowboys are men who live by providing a “friends with benefits” deal to visiting female tourists for the duration of their stay).

    • Idontthinkso

      Meanwhile the same kind of harassment happens constantly in corporate offices, perpetrated by middle aged white men. What’s your point?

  • Curran

    It is absolutely wrong. I come from a country where street harassment is a much bigger problem. The street harassment behavior goes beyond mere catcalls and is much coarse. I remember stepping in to stop random strangers from indulging in it. Most times it worked. Why is that in public spaces the other people don’t think it is their obligation to stop a bad behavior such as this when it is taking place. The family and community members should stop the members of the society (who are often men, younger men) from behaving in this fashion.

    There were earlier comments about callers pointing to mating ritual as one of the contributing factor to this kind of behavior. I heard your guests dismiss the link between the two very casually. More repressed the society is sexually , the more street and other forms of sexual harassment. The men are often expected to be more assertive in approaching a woman even in an open western society. I have heard many times my women friends lament about certain man that they might be interested in not making advances. A lot of women I speak to admit that there is a certain double standards that gets displayed by woman. If the advance is by a stranger she likes, then it is commented upon and seen in a positive light. If the same advance is by a stranger she dislikes then it is seen negatively as sleazy, rude, unwelcome interruption, harassment, etc. Men are not mind readers. As a society when you expect men to behave in certain way, it is not surprising that a small minority won’t know how to do it with finesse. This is not to excuse the men who indulge in harassment. But at the same time societal expectations can’t be ruled out completely in terms of being a contributing factor. There is no one factor that is responsible for any human behavior. It is multitude. Street harassment is not a unique problem to NY or any one place. It is very wide spread in many parts of the world.

    • Another Mike

      Is Rome, Italy, where a mid-fifties woman I know was groped on a bus a few years ago, a sexually repressed society?

  • Sandra Wong Orloff

    A pretty simple rule of thumb – this comment I’m about to make, would I be okay saying it, or hearing a man say it to my wife, mother, sister or daughter?

  • Another Mike

    So much of catcalling seems to be to get women to respond to the catcallers’ commands. This is a powerplay, not an abstract appreciation of beauty.

  • Ben

    Has anyone considered gentrification’s role in this topic? Many of these comments are coming from regions (Mission District, Harlem, etc) that have recently become occupied by a new class of residents who arent used to this type of communication. Not that all catcalling is non-violent, but I do believe that a good deal of it is viewed differently in different cultural contexts.

  • Cat

    Picking up one of the earlier caller’s comment, there is perhaps a lack of societal (cultural?) guideline that shows what IS acceptable means for boys to express compliment or call female attention. Where do we “teach” this (other than etiquette school)? Schools? Home?

    • Another Mike

      Hmm… home training.

      When I was 15 or so, my dad and I, with two of his friends, were working on cars in our driveway. A very attractive young woman walked by. All three of the old guys (from my point of view) stood and watched her pass, in reverent silence.

      • thucy

        Right, and she wasn’t creeped out by THAT. I have had that happen, it is not “reverent”, it is clueless.

        • Cat

          Easy up a bit, thucy. The woman was probably none the wiser; she may have been walking on the other side of the street, even. I’ve watched nice looking people walk by (from a distance). Looking is perhaps respectful in this scenario.

          • thucy

            I think looking is fine, but the notion that a woman walking by doesn’t notice four men put down their tools simultaneously to stare at her backside is not realistic, is it?

          • Cat

            Sure … No more realistic than the driver of shiny red Porsche would notice the same men stop and quietly watch him drive by.

  • Rachel from Oakland

    I have experienced catcalling my entire life, multiple urban settings and countries. In the most extreme circumstances, being chased my a man masturbating. I used the only defense I had in the moment. Remove their anonymity. Photograph them. It immediately deters their actions.

  • Nina

    I also want to emphasize how little is being done by law enforcement and how disheartening it is to learn that often those who are meant to protect us are participating in the sexual violations. Like the CHP officer who allegedly stole nude pictures from the phone of a women arrested for a DUI.

  • ChazzBear

    Watching the video with my partner last night had both of us confused at two things. 1) There is a some serious entitled men out there and have blantant disregard towards how to properly approach women or people for that matter in a way of mutual respect and non sinister ways. And 2) Seems some men, even if they’re pleasant and courteous get generalized into the creeper/street harasser/ill intentions group just for being courteous. What a shame! I myself say hi to both men and women, make eye contact and also *gasp* open the door while checking my patriarchy. Yes I open the door for both men and women. Does that make me a street harasser? No. It just says I practice common courtesy and general respect for my follow citizen.

    While I do support campaigns of social justice, I also still believe in contributing to society and not creating a wedge in raising awareness between good intentioned people and the goal of the campaign. Do you really want to create a world where people can’t talk to each other and people assume the worse of their follow person?

    • Teri Adams

      I too open doors for people or hold doors for everyone. That is courtesy. BUT if you hold the door for me and look me up and down as I pass that is harassment. (Not saying you do.) I walk my dog and greet other people who are walking. That is okay. It is NOT okay to compliment my body while I walk down the street.

      • ChazzBear

        Indeed Teri. That would be ill intentioned people. I use to work security at a live music venue and let me tell you. I’ve gotten more then my fair share of cat calls and harassment from mostly women and sometimes men. I’ve been pulled into a booth at the bar and groped and man handled by women. So yes it goes both ways and the messed up part of it. It’s deemed more acceptable by society that if privileged women think they can do that and get away with it. Double standards maybe? Nah, it’s ok, I’m a dude and I can deal with it right??

        • thucy

          Okay, you were physically tough enough to work as a bouncer, but simultaneously so weak that women were powerful enough to overpower you, pull you into a booth and grope you.
          sorry, but i’m skeptical about one or both of your assertions.

          • ChazzBear

            I’m sorry your skepticism has skewed your snap judgement on me.

            I was walking by their booth and picked up a glass off the floor in front of their booth. while bent over they grabbed my belt and pulled me into their booth. It was then I subdued one and my partner came by and subdued another while we proceeded to remove them from the property. Yes all 6 of them were removed. Any more questions?

          • thucy

            Yes, I do, and probably so do other women. You claimed a “double standard” when the reality – that is, all available stats – indicate that the overwhelming number of aggressors are men, and the victims female.
            I’m not seeing a double standard, even in your anecdotal incident.
            And I wasn’t making a “snap judgment” of you, merely analyzing your contradictory statements.

          • ChazzBear

            Where am I contradictory?

            I’m not disagreeing with you about “overwhelming number of aggressors are men”. Are you trying to put words in my mouth? I never said anything that it was even close in numbers. But I have dealt with it more then most men my age. Does it matter to you? I don’t really care. Your assumptions and false analysts make me wonder if you’re just a typical angry internet troll.

            I was raised by a strong woman, four sisters, a daughter and a new baby girl granddaughter. and I support most of this campaign. All I said is people shouldn’t assume all people saying hi has a sinister motive.

            Done answering your questions. Not sure what you’re hunting for but you didn’t find it here. You’ve got the wrong person. Good day!

    • Another Mike

      Then there is the friend of mine who holds doors for women so he can check out their derrieres as they pass in front of him.

  • Strandwolf

    Okay the term “catcall” has morphed recently. Not sure if that was dealt with in the show.

  • Bruce Ludlum

    This is a job for Google Glass. Spread a rumor that faces in Google videos are automatically identified, thus allowing victims to shame miscreants by notifying their mother, wife, or sister. Then sell dummy Google Glasses which could worn by women, or maybe everyone, keeping the man on the street on their best behavior.

    • thucy

      Great idea, but if said men had good relationships with mom, sis, wife, and cared what they thought, they probably (?) woildn’t be doing this.

  • Lunachicky

    I’ve been getting unwanted street harassment since I was 13 too. As a young girl with Puerto Rican and Sicilian roots, my backside developed well before the rest of me did. Do you know what it feels like at 13 to *feel* adult males eyes on your ass? And sadly, the majority of those adult males were men of color (Latino or African American). I had my Colombian girlfriend teach me how to say “Don’t look at me, you son of a bitch” in Spanish just so I could feel like I had some power back when they made comments as I walked by.

    Even today at 37, as I walk around Manhattan or Brooklyn, headphones in so I can pretend I don’t hear it and sunglasses on so I can pretend I don’t see it. I’ve almost convinced myself that “I’ve learned to stop noticing it”. But that’s bullshit. Because I feel the eyes every day, whether I hear it or acknowledge it. And I hate every second of it.

  • Allan Reynolds

    it would seem the predominant offended party here are young and quite attractive women really maybe 1% of the female population. While the comments to these women are definitely in bad taste and uncalled for and certainly unwanted I see women on the street who go to great lengths to make themselves alluring and sexually attractive ,a good thing. Why is it a suprise that men all men short fat ugly and old are naturally attracted to these women along with the handsome young sucessful people they are hoping to attract. If you are going to make your self attractive expect a lot of men not just the group you select to be attracted to you.

  • Rodrigo Silveira

    I’m a male. Excellent show. I agree with the call for more respect to people’s space, particularly with respect to the show’s topic. I also agree with the call for us, particularly men, do educate their kids, particularly boys.

    But wait. How about the barrage of sexual explict content to which kids are exposed on TV, magazines, social media, and so forth? What is the point of me spending a few minutes teaching a young boy about respect when by the end of the day this boy will have been exposed to hundreds of impressions with women exposing themselves as sexual objects?

    We can’t be sending mixed messages to our youth.

    • Another Mike

      This is so wrong in so many ways. The most important thing is that the women on the street have nothing to do with the women in TV, magazines, social media and so forth. I guess if your kid sees Lindsay Lohan walking down the street, it MIGHT be OK to catcall her.

      The second thing is that what other people do or don’t do doesn’t change what behavior is acceptable. As my mom always told me “If Billy jumped in the lake, would you jump in the lake?”

      • Rodrigo Silveira

        It is time we stop partioning ourselves. There is no difference between Lidsay Lohan and my daughters, they are Americans. This is the United States of America. One country. Indivisible. With justice and liberty for all.

        The women on the street who are cat called are women like the ones who choose to appear in the aforementioned contexts where they choose to use their sensuality and sexuality as part of the message being impressed on our kids. That is the fundamental point of my argument. We are one people. We are Americans.

        The same is true of me, my son, and all young men who crossed my path, every single one of them. No exception. We are are man. We are one people. We are Americans.

        This is not about Afro-Americans, Latin-Americans, White-Americans. This is about Americans. This is about America.

        We simply can’t tell our kids, men and women, that is NOT OK to disrespect each other’s own personal spaces and at the same time insinuate ourselves as objects for desire and conquest. The results are out, the discussions at today’s show speak for themselves. The contradictions of our own hypocrisy are catching up with us. We do not like what we see.

        We must stop sending mixed messages to our people, particularly our own youth. If we do not want to be objectified then we must not sell ourselves as objects of consumption.

  • Jonnie

    Over-educated paranoid women…give it a rest. It’s a public space where people have freedom if speech, if you don’t like it, stay home with mommy and daddy.

  • “A classic assertion of privilege”! Male privilege 🙂

  • Abdul Kafi

    I cant wait till the video of a guy walking, being NICE/Goodlooking, either gets a ‘cat’ call from a ‘W’omen or ‘Any!’ thing from a ‘W’omen. Equality? No.

  • LF

    Whenever I hear cat calls on the street, I think, “What a pathetic loser” and keep walking. Criminalizing this behavior seems over the top to me but if someone follows you that is a different matter. Following and harassing is very different from making comments from afar.

  • Debbie

    I listened to the call in show. I am incredibly dismayed and wonder: Have we lost all rights gained women in the 1960s and 1970s in America?

    Two of the participants said that women need to ‘put on a face’ that shows others that she is not to be disturbed, or to take karate lessons because there’s ‘a way to carry yourself in the world’ that tells others to leave you alone.

    There are so many things wrong with this.

    First, who is to say which type of face I need to put on to be effective? If I am not extreme enough, or too extreme in my facial gesture, am I then to blame?

    Second, this is blaming the victim. Note WHO is the aggressor? The women for walking down the street? NO!

    Third, don’t ALL people have the right to walk without undue difficulties? Would we tell our elderly the same thing if they are going out – that in order to NOT be attacked or robbed, they need to ‘put on a face’ etc??!?! Are we saying that the DEFAULT is to incur aggression, and that the way women act or look is the determining factor if they receive the aggression or if a man chooses to pass them by?

    Fourth, why are we singling out women? Do we tell any man that he, in fact, is to blame if he is pick-pocketed because he was not wearing the ‘right face’ or standing a certain way in the world? Do we tell anyone vulnerable to aggression, that it is their fault if they are on the receiving end? Check out what we are advising women to do by instead, aiming that same advice at a man or another minority. Would we tell black people that they must ‘put on a face’ in order to be equal? NO! Because that is wrong!

    It sickened me to hear the women presenters still perpetuating a myth imbedded in misogyny that is so deep in our society still, after all the fighting through history by feminists. Women have the same exact rights as anyone.

    Point is: misogyny, blaming women, gender inequality is continually perpetuated in very subtle ways. Subtle ways are the most dangerous because they go hidden for so long, doing their damage the whole time, leaving us unconscious of the effects, and in fact, the effects are accepted as ‘normal’.

    Very disheartened and wonder if this world will ever become a good place to live for ALL.

  • wandagb
  • MattCA12

    No gentleman behaves in this way, nor does he tolerate those who do. Fathers, speak up. Your sons are watching.

  • menloman

    Women that went into a bunker over Bill Clinton’s sexual harassment now go ballistic because a Latino man whistles at them. How selective.

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