I have been disrespected in a multitude of ways since the very first comment I made on the now viral and completely picked apart video of a presumably White woman walking through Manhattan and being cat called by dozens of Black and Latino men throughout the 10 minute video.
It has already been proven that all the Caucasian cat callers were edited out of the footage. It has already been noted that the company hollaback worked in conjunction with has been called out for racism on numerous occasions.
I’m hoping it goes without saying that the universally relevant issue of women’s safety and the sexual violence against women at the hands of not only individuals, but the city, state and federally sanctioned violence against women are deep concerns to me that directly effect me because I am a woman. But clearly it does not go without saying. Because the way folks came for me for pointing out the very obvious one dimensional nature of that video (read: the exclusively Brown skinned cat callers approaching this singular White female) was mind blowing.
I received a good 20 wildly disrespectful responses to my commentary on a link #ForHarriet posted asking the question, ‘is the message of the anti street harassment PSA getting lost in a conversation about race?’
I have mixed feelings about the video as a woman who experiences street harassment and the mother to a brilliant Black boy, fiancé to a wonderful and RESPECTFUL black man, father of a dutiful and responsible black man, and sister to a multi lingual college grad who also happens to be a Black male, none of whom would be caught dead following a woman down the street after their advances were rebuffed, if they dare stop a sista in the midst of her travels at all.
On one hand I hate that, to keep myself safe, I often have to engage in unwanted conversations and situations. I’ve had men lick all over their lips and stare me down, block my path repeatedly requesting my number, follow me, remove my headphones so I would be forced to acknowledge them and the list goes on. But these behaviors are not only exhibited by Black men and that is what I commented.
The white cat callers in the video were completely omitted from the final edit, creating a very one dimensional view of who gets harassed and who does the harassing, which I felt was unfair.
That doesn’t negate the importance of a conversation on harassment or creating safe spaces for women to live, travel, work, etc and assert their autonomy without being victimized verbally or physically, but its also not something that should be ignored or trivialized.
Being accountable for the messages you send is important and one positive message does not erase another problematic one.
Peep my commentary & the responses to it below. Did I miss something or are they tripping?
#hollaback #streetharassment #psa #womensrights #race #blackpeople #intersectionality #blackwomen