Carlos Gamino is an attorney in the state of Wisconsin, which is a world away from NYC – but in Manhattan, a filmmaker captured something pretty engaging that’s gone viral: a video of a woman walking for 10 hours in several neighborhoods, during which she was whistled at, propositioned and generally harassed. Here’s Carlos’ take on whether this is something women in Milwaukee need to worry about and why the whole thing went viral.
This viral video, produced by an organization called Hollaback!, compacts 10 hours of walking into about 1:56 minutes, depicting various forms of harassment. The video has generated some backlash, though; many people argue that most of the comments men were making toward the woman were well intentioned and friendly. Admittedly, some of it really does seem that way – I can’t recall hearing anyone use “God bless you” as a pickup line.
There is a part of the video in which a man follows the subject, walking in step with her for about five minutes in an attempt to elicit a reaction; that’s almost certainly a form of harassment.
Catcalls, whistles and other flirtatious behavior that takes place while someone is minding their own business, according to the organization, is called street harassment.
Apparently, at least according to Hollaback!, street harassment varies based on population density. Milwaukee has nowhere near the population of New York City, so it would stand to reason you’re safer from street harassment here than you would be there.
Why Did the Catcall Video Go Viral?
The video is controversial, and you know how we all love a good argument. (Is that just the lawyer in me talking?)
Anything that shows real, authentic reactions is almost guaranteed to become popular – just look at reality television.
What Do You Think?
I’d love to hear whether you think this video depicts real harassment or if the people making comments are genuinely trying to be friendly. Share your thoughts here or on our Facebook page!
Carlos Gamino, Attorney