Friday, October 31, 2014

Walking Down The Street

My alarm had gone off for the fifth time and I was just about to hit snooze again before I groggily realized it was 10:30 am. My 10am class was well underway and it would take me at least 45 minutes to get to Columbus Circle. I threw on a hoodie, some ill-fitting jeans and my workout shoes rushing out of the door.

Right before the train station, there was a man standing outside of the apartment building. He was looking up at the building talking to someone hanging out of the window. I looked up in the direction then proceeded to carry on with my run/walk towards the station. As I passed him he licked his lips and said, “if you weren't rushing off to work, I’d stuff my dick in you.” My mouth nearly hit the floor, but his statement only helped me walk faster. I ran down the steps, slid my metro and hopped on the arriving train.

hollaback NYC catcall video image

This is only one of many experiences I have had walking down the streets of New York. This week a video was published of a young woman receiving endless catcalls from men on NYC streets she walked for 10 hours. The young woman did as most of us do, she kept her eyes on where she was headed and didn't say a word. Some of the cat-callers expressed anger at her for ignoring their compliments while one man followed her for 5 minutes. 

Watching the video I couldn't help but wonder, “Is this supposed to be groundbreaking?”

I’m not the most well-traveled person in the world, but I can tell you that New York City men are one of the most aggressive breeds in the United States. They have no issues with expressing how they feel about you and your wardrobe without any filter. The experience I had mentioned before is one of maybe a hundred occurrences I have had while simply walking down a block. I know that when I plan on going out with friends and I decide to “show my stuff” a little I am going to hear something from someone on the street.

No matter what there is one point to be made from this: some men are completely unaware of how to use their brains. It is fine to think whatever you want about the beautiful woman that walked by you on the street and keep that shit to your goddamn self. It should not be a woman’s fault that she decided to “look good” today so she has to just deal with your comments. There are nuisances to oppression and this is another representation of that. Women are oppressed by the male gaze.

Unfortunately, I don’t believe anything will be done. This video will make its rounds throughout the media, and I will still have to warn my friends about catcalls when we plan a girl’s night in the city.

Watch The Daily Show version here:

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