About those walking in NYC for ten hours videos

If you haven’t seen it yet, a video of a young woman walking in areas of New York City for ten hours has made quite a splash. It is supposed to show How Women Are Constantly Harassed on the Street.

Maybe the advertisers are trying to tell me something, but every time I’ve watched it, it’s preceded by car ads – luxury cars at that (two Lexus, one Volvo). Not only am I not on the market for a car, I believe that you have to be insane to own a car in Manhattan.

But I digress.

The young woman (age in the mid-twenties to early thirties?) in the video is Caucasian, dressed in NYC casual uniform of black jeans and t-shirt, and numerous men during her 10 hour walk say hello, many say “God bless you”, a couple say “damn” (which among some in the Big Apple is the equivalent of hello) to her, about which we are supposed to be outraged.

The creepy ones were two guys who walked along with her, one silently for five minutes, another one trying to pick her up (and failing miserably). At that point, I wondered how much of the video was staged (I also want to know what camera they used, since it doesn’t shake).

As it turns out,

The one dude who turns around and says, “Nice,” is white, but the guys who do the most egregious things—like the one who harangues her, “Somebody’s acknowledging you for being beautiful! You should say thank you more,” or the one who follows her down the street too closely for five whole minutes—are not.

So, what “Hollabck! a non-profit dedicated to ending street harrassment” ended up doing is looking, shall I say it, “raaaaacist.”

Apparent from the video is also the fact that the men involved are not working. I wonder what the video would have been like if she had moseyed down Water Street, Wall Street, and the financial district, where everybody is on the job – even the guys girl-watching.

Heartiste of the pick-up manosphere looked at the video and titled his post “10 Hours Of Walking In New York City As A Racist White Woman.” Not one to mince words, his review is crude at times, but accurate in this,

Catcalling, if you couldn’t already tell, is mostly a non-asian minority thing. Only Mediterranean whites like Italians come close to expressing the… unsolicited robust amour… of blacks and guapos. And even then, the Italians in America catcall with a stylishness far removed from the ghetto version. It’s so rare for white men that I can’t honestly remember the last time I saw one catcall like those loping suitors in the video.

I’ve walked through numerous neighborhoods in the five boroughs, and that has been my experience, even in my advanced age.

However, to generate real outrage, the people of Hollaback! ought to have tried being a female American tourist traveling alone in Italy in the 1970s. They would have had their butts pinched enough times that they would had needed to edit the video standing up.

Aggressive catcalling does wear thin at times. Heartiste, again, makes a valid point,

The closest analogy for a man would be having to tolerate homeless bums begging for handouts every block.

but the Funny or Die guys went for the gusto,

Hey Harvard! Hey Harvard! Wanna network? Wanna network with me?

Sing it, Brenda!

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s Blog. She learned to handle catcalls by age 14, having grown up in Puerto Rico.