Cat Calling goes Viral

Original Video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1XGPvbWn0A

CNN Interview – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HI4DC18wCg

I already posted a video this week, but I found this video recently and wanted to share it with the class.  This week, a video of a women getting catcalled went viral.  The video was meant to portray what the average women goes through while walking in non-revealing clothes in New York City.  This same video was used as a feminist mantra of how women are street harassed and the various ways in which this harassment can occur.  Following the virality of this video, CNN hosted a live interview/debate in order to help express the opposing views of this issue.

The debate, I think, displays the polarization on the situation of street harassment.  We, as a country, have already lived through a street harassment scandal this very year, and here is another.  The question still remains, should women expect and accept this harassment, or should it become a taboo of society?  I believe the latter.  Some of the comments made in the video were a bit insane, especially the one about if a women doesn’t accept the comment to yell shut up and if that doesn’t work, then carry a gun.  Those are the options a women has?  I feel as if the topic of street harassment needs to talked about more often, especially with men and growing boys.  As one of the interviewees said, it is about parenting, but that is still not right.  Street harassment began and is perpetuated through culture.

3 thoughts on “Cat Calling goes Viral”

  1. I was shocked watching the CNN video that Amina posted. Maybe it is because I am a girl and have been catcalled before that I am partial. Or maybe it is simply because I find it so rude and disrespectful. Either way, this video, and the man’s views specifically were alarming to me. He begins by saying that women would not care if these men were good looking or attractive but because they appear to be from a lower class women see it as offensive. First off, how in the world would he know what women think? A repeated point stressed throughout the video that I will point out one more time is that this man is NOT A WOMAN. He cannot say how a woman should or would think or feel. He also talks about how this video is a parallel situation to the boy who cried wolf. That if women were to not get complemented as they walked down the street they would view that as abuse. WHAT? At some points in the video I really, for the sake of humanity, wished he were joking. Amanda brings up a great point in the video that Steve, as someone “of honor,” instead of arguing that women expect to be subjected in such a manner, should instead see that women do not like it and agree with that decision and attempt to reform it. This idea can be paralleled to an argument within a family. If the wife does not like something that the husband is doing he should not argue and say all of the reasons it is okay that he is doing said action. Rather, he should come to terms with the idea that his wife does not like being treated in a certain manner and reform his actions. This common back and forth that occurs in many households should be applied on a grand scheme in terms of catcalling. A majority of women do not like it; people should therefore refrain from doing it.
    Amina brings up a great point- there is serious polarization on this issue. Many men see no problem with catcalling while many females have had to face the problem for a very long time. This problem however has not had a very prominent role in media attention until now. Street harassment is an important issue that is often not brought up in school and largely ignored.
    What the woman in the original video experienced was not an isolated occurrence. It happens all the time. Everyday. Some women are able to ignore it and move on with their days. To other women, this catcalling has a severe impact- like the woman in Detroit who died from it. At the end of the day, it should not be a matter of what men think towards the situation. It is about the women.

  2. I honestly can’t believe that a portion of the US population actually believes that “cat calling” is a legitimate compliment. Steve has a clearly skewed perception of the idea of catcalling in general. From his perspective he believes that this type of attention is what women basically strive for on their way to work, school etc. walking through the city. When in fact Amanda attempted to explain why especially in a city like New York City walking is the only way to get around. A car is a privatized spatial space where people don’t have to worry about being harassed or uncomfortable. The fact that she has to walk around the city means she should be awarded a sense of privatized space where she doesn’t have to worry about feeling uncomfortable on her way to work. My only problem with Amanda is that she didn’t form strong arguments. She clearly seemed passionate about the issue but she spent most of her time rolling her eyes in shock at Steve’s words as opposed to actually confronting him systematically on the stupidity he began spewing out. Women don’t like to be catcalled because it means that they are being reduced to their attractiveness. While from an outsider’s perspective this seems like a compliment in reality it reduces women to mere objects that should be subjected. Catcalling epitomizes everything that’s wrong with how men think women dress/act a certain way to warrant attention. In reality, women like men want to feel a sense of respect walking through the streets of their city. Possibly the most annoying part of this video is when Steve said feminists and used air quotes around the term. His patronizing air and attitude honestly infuriated me. At the end of the video he tried to blame this type of “classless” behavior on parenting methods. When in reality the culture surrounding catcalling has arisen from years of men believing that it’s actually a suitable way to talk to women.

  3. I agree with you Amina that the topic should be discussed more. It is many times over-looked that women feel uncomfortable and like a piece of meat when they are whistled or looked at up and down by a man. While women are feeling uncomfortable by the situation men still then have the audacity to get offended if the women doesn’t respond positively to their remarks. It is sad to see that as of now the only way a women can address the issue is by ignoring it, telling them to stop, or carrying a gun. These options seem very bleak since women shouldn’t have to be put in those situations in the first place. In most cases ignoring it causes guys to keep doing it until they get a reaction. Telling them to stop could be dangerous since the women doesn’t know what kind of guys she is dealing with, and if he turns out to be a non-threatening guy he could also disrespect her for not taking his “compliment”. And carrying a gun could result in unwanted and unneeded situations. As we talked about in class, cat-calling has become more of a machismo thing instead of a way to get a females attention. As the guys said in class, cat-calling is usually done when there is a group of guys and they want to show off in front of their “homies”. If this is the case then why make the woman feel uncomfortable and unsafe, when the male can show off to his friends in a more civil way. What also brought me discomfort was watching the CNN new reporter say that women enjoy getting cat-called because it makes them feel pretty. It seems unsettling to me that he would think that women are shallow in a way that they care only about the way they look. Personally the times that I’ve been cat-called I felt uncomfortable because it was as though the only thing that I mattered for was my body. Usually when men cat-call they make sexual remarks at the women and that is not causing us to have any kind of attraction towards them. It only works to make us want to leave the situation right away. I would like to think that by addressing this issue through a video, people will become more aware about this issue and find ways to address it so that women’s options aren’t only to ignore it, tell them to stop, or carry a gun.

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