By now most of us have seen the video by Hollaback that features a woman walking down the street in NYC being catcalled by men along the way. The video went viral very quickly but many are saying that it does not accurately depict what is really going on out on the streets. The video shows a white woman walking along the streets of New York City, minding her own business, while men wolf-whistle and cat-call from the sidelines. One of the biggest problem that some are having with the video is that the white men harassing this woman were edited out. The only men shown harassing the woman were black males and Latino males.
Jezebel conducted an interview with some women of color who wanted to speak out on the issue. They said that they do not feel that the video was showing the whole story or showing things from a minority woman’s perspective. One woman said that she is harassed by white men more than any other race. Another stated that she felt very uncomfortable when men would approach her and felt that they were trying to play on her exotic features as she is from India. One black woman named Thanu stated that she was riding a bike one day while wearing a skirt and two white police officers pulled over and began making fun of her and harassing her about it.
Jenna, another one of the participants in the video that was produced by Collier Meyerson, said that watching the original video made her really uncomfortable, but not for the reasons that you would think. She stated that it really put minority men in a bad light and reinforced the stereotypes that are out there about black men.
The women also speak about how this is not just an issue for women while walking out on the street but is an issue in bars, clubs, and workplaces. They stated that they didn’t want to lessen the value of the original video but feel that it did not accurately depict real life. The video doesn’t depict real life in another way as well. If she had been walking along the streets of a rich neighborhood such as in the upper East side of Manhattan or even a place like Beverly Hills, would the cat-calling be as prominent?