Harassment of woman walking through NYC ‘shocking’

By Efrosini Costa

Harassment of woman walking through NYC ‘shocking’
An online video of a young woman being harassed as she walks the streets of NYC has been labelled as shocking.

Clad in black jeans and a crewneck T-shirt, Shoshana Roberts is shown walking silently through New York City.

During the 10 hours of filming Robert’s receives more than 100 comments from male passersby and even more winks and wolf-whistles.

The young lady decided to create the video with her filmmaker boyfriend, Rob Bliss, after becoming tried of being shouted at and approached by men on the streets.

Roberts is subjected to men she doesn’t know yelling out things like:  “Hey, baby,” “Hey, beautiful,” “How are you this morning?” and “Have a nice evening” to try and engage her.

Shockingly, one man walked beside her for several minutes after making a comment.

Women’s rights group Hollaback says that street harassment is a serious issue in the city. The group has started using the video, which has had more than 8 million views so far, to highlight the sort of harassment women experience every day.

“I have to say I live and breathe this every day and yet still for me, it’s shocking to see that number,” said the group’s founder Ms Emily May.

“Because you start to do the math and you’re like, 108 times in 10 hours – that’s like once every five minutes, and I mean, that’s insane.

“That’s more than a quality of life issue. I mean that’s a really serious issue and it’s a form of sexual violence.”

Hollaback says  the film is ‘hitting a nerve with people who had experienced street harassment’ as well as others who believed it was acceptable behaviour.

“We’re seeing … a fair amount of people who think that street harassment is okay and acceptable. Unfortunately we’ve seen violent threats against Shoshana in some of the comments and we’ve had about 10 different harassing phone calls here in our office today.”

“Most men are not street harassers and that street harassment really ruins it for the nice guys,” Ms May said.

“You know, we all want to live in a world where you can say, ‘Good morning’ and ‘How are you doing?’, ‘You look great today’ to our neighbours as they walk down the street.

“And as long as street harassment is as persistent and pervasive as it is, as a woman, you’re just bracing yourself that each comment is going to escalate into something far, far worse, and that’s a world that nobody wants to live in.”


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