Hollaback’s look at street harassment goes viral

The video that has now been viewed more than 30 million times shows a young women walking through the streets of New York for 10 hours while being secretly filmed. The video shows lots of men trying to interact with the young woman. This video has caused a debate about whether this is classed as street harassment or not. We put the video to our panel to get their opinions…

The Video Raises Important Points 

Many felt that this video is a great way to showcase that sexism and harassment for women is still an everyday occurrence. They felt that the video highlights important issues that need to be brought to people’s attention and dealt with.

“A lot of women actually go through what the lady is going through in the video…I think it’s great to raise awareness to lots of people who maybe think shouting a comment out to someone is flattering and actually it’s not, it does scare people a lot of the time.” (Katie, 25, Wallsend)

“That video is probably quite typical of any city…she wasn’t dressed provocatively or anything and I think that shows that people do harass women.” (Emma, 30, Chatham)

Video shocks many 

Many of the panel found the video to be quite shocking and surprising.

“The video is obviously quite shocking and as a girl I think that is realistic to how it is.” (Chloe, 22, Manchester)

“I’m really shocked by the amount of cat calling the lady gets during this video, it just seems so inappropriate…it’s totally unacceptable and now that I have a daughter it worries me.” (Chloe, 31, Bromley)

“I can see why this video has gone viral because I think it will be quite shocking to a lot of people.” (Emma-Louise, 23, Spalding)

Not a big problem in the UK 

Some of the panel felt that the problem wasn’t as big in the UK. They felt that the video of the woman is New York was something that they couldn’t imagine happening to that extent in the UK. Others were unsure as to the size of the problem in the UK.

“I must admit i’m quite surprised. I never expected the reactions of people on the streets to be like that. Maybe it’s in America, maybe it’s over here. I’m not sure but it definitely needs highlighting and I think that video does that.” (Alex, 34, Horwich)

Others felt that this was something that they could imagine to be happening in the UK to the same extend as it was seen in the video.

“That video is seriously shocking, you think it doesn’t really go on in this country to that extent and you see something like that and think that it is a really huge problem.” (Katt, 33, Chester)

Wouldn’t count it as harassment

A few of the panel members decided that after watching the video they disagreed with the closing comments on the video and would not count it as harassment.  They suggested that people passing comments at one another on the street could not be harassment as people were just voicing their opinions and expressing freedom of speech.

“People weren’t being rude, they were just complementing her so I don’t know if I would call it harassment.” (Cazz, 33, Canterbury)

“I was quite surprised at the end that it was classed as verbal street harassment. I wish i’d get harassed like that in the street all the time.”  (Jennifer, 33, Manchester)

Many of the people that didn’t count this as harassment felt that the comments made by the men were actually quite flattering and would take them as a compliment.

“I don’t think the things that have been said on that video are harassment at all. I think they are compliments if anything and the person should be flattered.” (Amy, 29, Ulverston)

Not shocked by the video 

Some of the panel, especially the female panel members, were not at shocked by the video as they were aware that this was going on or had been a victim to the same kind of cat calling on the streets themselves.