Think Street Harassment Isn't Real? Think Again.

Proof for the naysayers.

In October, a video of men catcalling a woman silently walking the streets of New York City went viral and sparked a renewed conversation about street harassment.

A set of street interviews recorded by local blog Gothamist and Marabigo, a production company, illustrates the divide in tackling the topic - and why it probably shouldn't exist at all.

The team approached New Yorkers with one big question: "Why do men harass women on the street?" The interviewees' answers were pretty polarized. Many of the men (who tend not to be as negatively affected by street harassment) didn't seem to think that catcalling could be harmful, or even that it happens all that much.

"I'm surprised to hear that. That's news for me," one man admitted after having apparently been alerted to the situation. "I'm a little shocked, actually." 

But if there's any doubt that street harassment is a daily, invasive experience for far too many women, the last few seconds of the video should eliminate it. 

On a bright sidewalk, with dozens of people milling around and a camera filming, a stranger apparently approached one of the young women and put his arm around her without his consent. 

Her discomfort in the clip is evident, and another woman has to intervene before he stops touching her.

It's a disquieting moment, and one that demonstrates what most women already know: Street harassment is real. It happens, and it happens often. It doesn't stop at "compliments." And it's only when we stop having a conversation about if it's happening that we can start having a conversation about how to stop it.



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