I'll be honest, the video "10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman." was a scary thing to watch on my Halloween. Even more so after reading the comments. Not because of what Shoshana B. Roberts went through, but because of how poorly-done it was. The definition of sexual harassment was amazingly twisted to the point where I wonder what does NOT count as harassment. Some of the editing left viewers to guess what happened. Many of the instances of harassment she included were a slap to the face of people who deal with real harassment. Really, a slap to any sane woman. And then she had the audacity to ask for money to somehow stop morons from talking like morons!
21 men interacted with Shoshana in the video. Four people looked at her for like one second or less, and two guys were off camera when they acknowledged her. All of whom simply greeted her or said she was beautiful. Altogether, there were four guys off camera, so we don't know what they were talking about. The guy yelling "Damn! Damn!" could have been talking about the price of some clothes, for all we know. Why bother to include them? I don't know too much about social experiments or PSAs, but I'm pretty sure the audience is supposed to have a clear idea of what's going on. She could have at least let the camera run continuously so we could compare the number of guys insulting her to those who ignored her. She certainly could have used the extra footage.
Yes, the way they looked at her can be a factor. However, the faces were blurred, so how can the viewers use that factor? Looking at a person walking by doesn't automatically mean eyes-to-ass; I'm only counting the guys who made it obvious what they were looking at. And many of the instances in the video were guys being too forward and/or rude, rather than sexual harassment. The closest things I saw to sexual harassment were two guys staring at her ass, three guys yelling out "damn!" and of course, the two stalkers.
Yes, the fact that she dealt with rudeness and sexual harassment at all – especially the stalkers – is screwed up. Anyone in their right mind can see that and will agree. However, the video itself doesn't even get the point it supposedly wanted to make. The title and the topic imply that all women living in NYC are subjected to sexual harassment every day. The text clearly states that she went through 100+ instances of sexual harassment over a 10-hour period, yet we saw a compilation that ran under 2 minutes of a whopping 21 instances in NYC, of all places! And only a handful of them were actual cases of sexual harassment, most of them were people being obnoxious, and most baffling of all, some instances were men complimenting and greeting her. I'm inclined to assume that besides the "countless winks and cat-calls" (which would be pretty damn useful in making the experiment more legit), what we saw was the worst that she encountered.
That's the main reason why so many men (and women) have a problem with the video. For many men, it has nothing to do with the so-called "male ego," and everything to do with extreme feminist agenda of claiming that everything a man does is sexual harassment, which we'll get into later. Judging by how many men she wants to incriminate just for talking to her, the actress is even worse than most of the guys we saw. Many of them had no obvious intentions other than to give a compliment, yet she lumped them into the category of "harasser" just for being polite. So who's really disrespecting who?
Videos like this and their supporters make it harder for actual victims to get help. What a rape/harassment victim already has to deal with is bad enough. The last thing they need is to have people judge them based on the actions of women who pull the "sexual harassment" card whenever they deal with rude men. Some of them don't speak out because of the attention hounds making them look bad. So thank you, Shoshana B. Roberts, for an amazing job of turning a serious situation into a cry wolf joke.
Amazing how they chose one of the worst possible kinds of people to conduct the experiment. If a casual "good morning" and being called beautiful is Shoshana's idea of sexual harassment, then she clearly has problems of her own. The video would make more sense if it said "10 Hours of Walking in NYC While Paranoid" and made the charity all about curing paranoia. If this is a "worst of" compilation, then she had it pretty good, compared to women who actually deal with strangers groping them, blocking their path, telling them to do sexual things, etc. on a frequent basis.
On top of her ignorance of what sexual harassment is, she chose to conduct this experiment in trashy areas with morons all over the place. Male or female, if you walk around a place like that for 10 hours, be very surprised if you don't run into lots of morons. I can tell you from experience that I could walk through NYC (and Newark, for that matter), and have people yelling at me and calling me "boy, nigga, my man, cuz," etc. Just as "sweetie" and "baby" can be offensive to some women, some guys take those names as insults. I bet I'd even have people following me around trying to rob me or something. Welcome to the ghetto, which is another issue in itself.
Now let's talk about one of feminists' least favorite topics: her clothes. First off, people who bring up the clothing argument are not saying that she should get harassed. And no one in their right mind believes that a woman is asking for sex by dressing a certain way. Here's the thing about clothes: certain things bring attention from certain people. If a muscular man walked around shirtless in an area full of scummy women, you better believe they would have more or less the same reaction as the guys in the video. If a man walked around a bad area wearing a suit or some $300 sneakers, he'd probably get robbed. Some perverts and rapists are triggered by clothes that show off a person's figure. If she wore baggy clothes, not as many of those guys would be staring. I'm not saying you shouldn't dress however you want, just don't get so shocked when people stare. And to say "what about rape victims who weren't wearing tight clothes?"is like asking "why would someone rob a house in the ghetto when they could just rob a suburban house?
No one should be harassed for any reason, however, the real world isn't that simple. There's a reason why people are told to dress modestly, don't walk alone, just deal with it, etc. It's because there are special groups of people in the world who don't care about morals, your emotions, or your life. They are called psychos and assholes, and they LOVE hardheaded people who hold onto that "just tell bad people to not be bad" BS. Generally, they're not going away anytime soon. You can scream "why should I do this, just because they do that?" all day. By that logic, a man should be able to compliment someone without worrying about her accusing him of sexual harassment, but... Like it or not, no one has a "right" to be safe. If you want to live in this world, you need to do your part, get some personal responsibility, and cut out that "oh, that's victim-blaming" bullshit. If you poke the beehive with a stick when everyone tells you not to, don't blame the bees when you get stung.
I don't mean to disregard women who actually do deal with the darker side of this issue. The fact that anyone has to at all is a major problem. But what can be done, that's not already being done? My point is, this scam of a charity does a terrible job of exposing the problem. She simply showed us a 2-minute compilation of New York life, made it seem like women are the only ones who put up with jerks, exploited some genuinely nice guys, and expects to get paid by the viewers. She didn't even let the camera run continuously so we could compare the number of guys insulting her to those who ignored her. She certainly could have used the extra time. The moral I got from the experiment is: guys, be careful of who you say nice things to. Some ladies will accuse you of harassment and label you as a predator.
Judging by the YouTube comments, Shoshana is far from the only woman this stupid. That's not to say all of the people against her were very smart; many were just as stupid as her supporters. Once again, that's not my point, so I'll leave it at that. Anyway, just when I thought I've heard it all in regards to society's love of being offended, I learned some amazing things while reading the YouTube comments. Take a look at some of the "wisdom" of those people.
"If she wanted to be complimented on the way she looks, and was genuinely interested in having a conversation where its not all about how 'sexy' she looks, it would be somewhere where she felt safe, where she wouldn't be FOLLOWED. NOT ON THE STREET. While you lot are arguing about what comment was more sexist or what race was shown more, you were missing the point of the video. Compliments on the street is highly unnecessary and creepy because there is no reason for them if the person is obviously not looking for attention." - So saying nice things to people is a no-no unless the person asks me to. Gotcha. Also, the point of the Hollaback charity is to stop people from complimenting one another one the street. Noted. I'll be sure to tell all the lonely and/or perverted people who would love to walk in Shoshana's shoes.
"if some of the shit you say are harmless compliments why dont they say it to other guys" - Because 'Hey, dude, you're beautiful. Have a good day,' that's why. Also, how do you know what they say to other guys?
"This woman in this video IS being harassed- not aggressively, but it is still unwanted and you can tell it is unwanted by the look on her face throughout the video (blank and staring straight ahead)" - 'Blank and staring straight ahead,' just as she was supposed to do for the experiment.
"Speaking as someone who has dealt with this type of behavior from men on a regular basis, I can tell you that they are not "just being nice", or simply "greeting her" with good wishes and "blessings" from God. The only reason they are saying these "nice" things to her is because of the way that she looks." - They're not just being nice because the only reason they are saying nice things is because of how she looks? Excuse me?
"if an extremely overweight woman or a very unattractive women or a man walked on the side walk they would not get the same remarks. It's not a simple have a good day behind it is trying to make an un obvious gesture to engage a sexual occurrence. If your denying this then realize they know nothing about this women and they met her on the street. She could be crazy, married ect. This is harassment. Im a teenager and this is clear." - Says the person who somehow knows the dark intentions of men he/she knows nothing about.
"But they are only saying "Good Morning" to attractive women. If they were saying it to everyone, then you might have a point." - What exactly is YOUR point?
"The homosexuals suggesting that their interactions result in greater harrassment are also a bunch of fucking idiots. There are still a great majority who believe homosexuality is nutured condition as opposed to an inherent preference. So until the majority are educated on homosexuality and its place in the animal kingdom, homosexuals will continue to experience the imbalanced harrassment from the ingnorant." - Holy shit, this person actually made excuses for extreme homophobia, while claiming that Shoshana's onscreen experiences are worse than those of the homosexuals!
Seriously, why am I seeing people whining about compliments and bringing up male entitlement and all that crap? I'm not even talking about the women who are referring to the jerks who say that, I'm talking about those who lose their minds at the idea of a man complimenting a woman in the most polite way possible. I'm talking about people who literally compare a shy "hello" to being groped on a bus. One genius actually asked why men think they're entitled to a woman hearing them tell her she's beautiful. Why are you entitled to acting like a lunatic when someone gets the nerve say something nice to you?
And then there's the accompanying argument: "Well, the only reason they're talking to her is because they think she's attractive." And this is relevant because...? Women do the exact same thing; it's called human nature. I imagine some of you are capable of being attracted to people, which brings up the question of what you do when you're infatuated with someone, if not at least stare. I'm betting most of you don't fantasize about fat, disfigured, or plain-looking guys, so who are you to complain about men who like the stereotypically attractive women? If someone is attracted to you, of course they'll pay more attention to you than someone they aren't attracted to.
As for people claiming "oh, I deal with guys like that all the time, and the ones being nice to her just want sex," that's bad, but this isn't about you. We don't know what the men in the video really intended, and to judge them based on your experiences with other men is foolish. Going by that logic, let's assume that every woman with a boyfriend just wants his money. Let's assume that every woman who wears a miniskirt is asking for sex. Let's assume that every woman who complains about sexual harassment is full of crap. Just like you, there are a lot of guys who can attest that those women are pretty common in their lives, but as evidenced by many of the other comments, it doesn't make it okay to judge all women that way.
Many men are taught to hold doors open for female strangers, pay for our date's stuff, and constantly go out of our way to help with a female's self-esteem issues. Often, these lessons come from our own mothers, sisters, and peers. Just as some women feel they're entitled to the "I'm programmed to fear men, so therefore, I have a right to an attitude" excuse, they can shut up and accept the "men are programmed to be extra nice to females" excuse when they get compliments. And on the subject, how is a programmed man supposed to know a woman is so sensitive that she'll turn a "you're very beautiful" into a terrorist threat? When Hollaback makes a PSA that teaches our sons to beware of women like this before they get pepper-sprayed and arrested for saying hi, then we can talk.
Speaking of entitlement, who are you to speak for all women? If you have issues with men, fine, but don't put your umbrella over every other female. There are so many insecure women and girls who think they're ugly. So many girls who want boys to notice her, and even get depressed from loneliness. A casual "you look beautiful" can brighten up a whole day for some people. And yet here you are, literally telling and even scaring guys into believing that all females are prone to and are obligated to snap if a man tries to be nice. I'm sure those ladies thank you very much.