Street Harassment Is Life Threatening

Street HarassmentSomeone had to do it.

Shoshana Roberts, a 29-year old actress residing in New York City, recorded an experiment on street harassment. She installed a hidden camera and had it record 10 hours of her walking the streets of Manhattan.  She experienced everything from the casual “what’s up,” to the more threatening act of being followed for several minutes by numerous men. She did not respond to any of these comments, maintaining her composure, a straight face, and avoiding eye contact, yet the comments continued. In a matter of 10 hours, she experienced 108 catcalls from men of different racial backgrounds.

As I watched Shoshana’s video, I remember my own experiences of being catcalled. Although I have been harassed on numerous occasions, I vividly remember one that was the most threatening to me. I was a sophomore at Spelman College at the time and meeting friends across campus one Friday evening. A man in a car with three other men approached me in a Black SUV. “Hey,” he said as he was driving alongside me.Read More »