An Apology to Street Harassers

catcalling, street harassment, Hollaback video, 10 hours on New York City streets video

courtesy of feminist

Dear Gentlemen,

Please accept my apologies for overreacting to your innocent attempts to “be friendly” and to your kind “encouragement” regarding my looks.

I respect your goals of introducing love and improving my self-esteem in, what is too often, a cold, hard-hearted world. Why can’t more men be like you?

I’ve been watching you, and I was so pleased and impressed to notice that you direct your remarks to old men, women in wheelchairs, police officers, and toddlers who pass you by, so clearly you’re NOT simply trying to get the attention of an attractive woman you’d like to see above you naked.

Clearly you’re NOT singling out pretty females for your impressive persistence when ignored; I’ve seen MANY of you following a businessman with a briefcase around asking him why he won’t say ‘hi’ back to you. After all!  You’re just trying to be friendly! Oh, if I had a nickel for every time I saw you asking the guy selling hot dogs why he isn’t smiling, taking the time to explain to him that he makes so many people happy every day. Don’t even get me started on all the overweight women who callously reject your attempts to let her know she is just fine the way she is. What is WRONG with them???

I swear, I’ve even seen you befriend homeless people offering to take them to job training, and asking to help an elderly woman carry her bags to the bus! How can they miss the nobility of your motives? Why don’t they see you’re just trying to make the world better and make people other than yourself happy? How can they not see the innocence of your intentions? Again, I ask, what is WRONG with people?

Don’t they see how harmless and well-meaning your compliments are? After all, when your younger sister is the recipient of such remarks, don’t you beam with pride? Of course you do! You put your arm around her and say, “Way to go, Sis! You’ve made it!”

Why, if your friendly kindness was in any way untoward, you wouldn’t thank the other gentlemen who make similar remarks to your girlfriend! No, you’d get possessive and threaten to beat his ass! But that never happens – you always just wholeheartedly agree, and high-five the man for saying such nice things about your girlfriend (whose confidence, of course, is bolstered!)

The number of ways I’ve misinterpreted your “kindness” and completely non-threatening, non-intrusive, non-objectionable attempts to interact with me and other women on the street makes me want to weep for your suffering. How you’ve been victimized is an absolute disgrace. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive my self-involved obsession with personal space and safety. I don’t know WHERE I got my bizarre aversion to being asked if I “want some of this right here?” This feminist streak that makes me shrink inside at your displays of “appreciation” has GOT to GO.

How could I have misjudged you so? I have seen the error of my ways, and I promise to try to do better.


You’re right!  I really SHOULD smile!

Aliza Worthington grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and now lives in Baltimore. She began writing in 2009 at the age of 40. Sometimes her writing follows The Seinfeld Model of “no learning, no hugging.” Other times it involves lots of both. She blogs about Life, Liberty and Happiness at “The Worthington Post.” Her work also appears in Purple Clover. She has written for Catonsville PatchKveller, and has been featured in the Community Spotlight section of Daily Kos under the username “Horque.” Her writing has also landed in the “Winner’s Circle” on Midlife Collage twice. Her piece for The Broad Side, Leaving Gender at the Door, was chosen as a BlogHer Voice of the Year in 2013. Follow her on Twitter at @AlizaWrites.



  • Sexual desire is part of human nature. Men and women both act on lust. You’re retarded if you think it’s going to change. We are sexual animals.

    • No shit, it’s not going to change. But there are much better ways to go about getting a woman’s attention that being a dumb asshole.

    • zandarski

      Yes, sexual desire is part of human nature. The huge mistake you’re making is assuming that human nature is the sole factor influencing how people make decisions. Human nature isn’t the most influential factor in human decision making and debatably isn’t even valuable most of the time. Violence for example is also part of human nature so using your logic things like slavery, public executions and witch burnings should all still exist in full force. They don’t and let me tell you why. The second that humans became self aware, our intellect acquired the power to trump our instincts. Through education and social refinement we have learned as a society to overcome our primitive instincts and there is no reason whatsoever to assume that trend will not continue.

      In short, education trumps human nature and will eventually eradicate street harassment. Unless we all decide to go the easy rout and become cynical, scientifically ignorant know nothing but have an opinion about everything types.

      • Fan

        Well said!

    • IanKoro

      Are you under the impression that “speaking out against street harassment” is the same thing as “trying to eliminate sexual desire from human nature”?

    • stop making excuses

      Eating food and drinking water are also natural human desires but that doesn’t make it okay to go up to strangers on the street while they’re having lunch and harass them.

    • Jon

      If there was no distinguishing between good and bad ways to socialize, there would be no words like “tact” or “discretion.” Take anger for example: some people have a difficult time controlling their anger, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t try– even though it may be completely natural and hereditary that they have these issues. And if they realize they have an issue, the responsible choice to make would be to address it. We all have instincts and urges. Our ability to learn and adapt to our surroundings (which includes those who are around us) is in large what has made humans become what we are today. To shrug an issue just because its inconvenient to our own pride is irresponsible and degenerating, to others and ourselves. Imagine if we took the “it is what it is” mentality to other topics in history. We very well might still be living in the dark ages, if we even made it that far. Learn from our mistakes and move on. It truly is a scientific approach and tends to work out quite well. It really is amazing how many people there are that share no empathy at all with those who are uncomfortable with being objectified. It pretty much can be broken down to two categories: those who are clueless and innocently persist when they shouldn’t, and those who understand but simply could care less about how the person in question feels. Neither have an excuse.

    • Eyyyeh

      I think a human has more sexual agency than a dog though, don’t you?

  • Don’tCallMeBaby

    Actually, this piece isn’t passive agressive at all. It’s sarcastic. There’s a difference. See, the intent of this peice is to use a biting tone to point out that the true message of men who yell comments to women is “I WANT TO FUCK YOU WHETHER YOU WANT ME TO OR NOT!” That actually IS passive agreesive inasmuch as they use passive actions – words – to express an aggressive motive – sexual predation. As for the feelings of the men who yell stuff like “Smile, beautiful! Don’t act so mad, baby! Look at dat ass! I’d tap that!”, well they are certainly entitled to their feelings but maybe, just maybe, they could keep their feelings to themselves because the expression of those feelings makes other people uncomfortable? Maybe, just maybe, the outward expressive of sexual predation IS RUDE AS HELL AND NEEDS TO FUCKING STOP.

    • Oyster-shucker

      Stop being passive-aggressive.

      • Kate

        Don’t get sarcasm?

        • Yano

          noted. anyone else want more women in government?

          • Eyyyeh

            Yano, are you having a bad day or something? This reply doesn’t seem to have anything to do with her comment.

  • Jeff Thebod

    Interesting choice of words…”trying to get the attention of an attractive woman you’d like to see above you naked” and “Clearly you’re NOT singling out pretty females for your impressive persistence when ignored”. I take it the author feels that this is only the experience of attractive females. If you’re not being harassed when you walk down the street then you’re not pretty?

    • Joni

      I’ve never been the target of street harassment. I just thought I had Ugly Privilege.

  • Oyster-shucker

    Stop being passive-aggressive.

  • moderndemagogue

    Being hit on on the street does not constitute harassment. Your entire post argues against a straw man response.

    Perhaps some of these guys are lying about just being friendly perhaps not, but inconsistent behavior doesn’t make their statement incorrect. People can choose who to be nice to, you’re not a bad person for being selectively nice.

    So basically, your logic is terrible, and even if it were sound, you need to argue against real responses to this video-

    Things like:
    10 or so interactions out of literally tens of thousands suggests society does not have a problem, but in fact is doing a pretty good job mitigating the behavior.
    We live in a free society where you are allowed to approach and talk to people. The ramifications of changing this are massive.
    It’s not harassment because the woman doesn’t indicate lack of interest. In fact the woman in the video specifically wants the responses in order to create this video.
    It trivializes real harassment, where there are real power imbalances, and potential danger of sexual violence.

    I am fine with the argument that you would like to be approached on the street less.

    I’m not okay with attributing it to me, my city, my culture, or calling it harassment just to be provocative.

  • femaleHere

    What a bunch of whiner victims. Choices, be a big girl & sort it out:
    1. Ignore the comments or “harassment” as you like to call it.
    2. Appreciate you got noticed.. Some day, you won’t be. No one will hold doors for you, ask you out or tell you how pretty you look. And by the way, being told you are pretty is a compliment. Appearances are the first thing we notice about each other.
    3. Some guys really do have good intentions. Get the brains to figure it out.
    4. Say “No” or “Please me alone” and get over it. Don’t worry how it makes him or anyone else feel. If you want respect, be honest to yourself and others and stop whining about whether or not you will be perceived as a bitch.
    5. Please, for the love of all things, stop being a victim.

    • Zoe

      It’s very sad that you think it’s that simple. I don’t need someone to acknowledge that I’m attractive to feel attractive. I don’t get validation from a random person on the street. I don’t appreciate when strangers feel it’s appropriate to give me their opinions about the way I look. I don’t appreciate being noticed because it is not my purpose in life. I’m living my life for myself, not for others.

      Further, holding the door open for someone is good manners. It should have nothing to do with looks or being a woman. And it’s sad you think everyone has the same shallow opinions that you do.

      Responding to these comments in person solves nothing. It doesn’t make them stop. And they’re not ok. They come from people who are forcing themselves into my life, if even momentarily. I should not have to live in a world where people think it’s ok to push their existence on me. I should not be forced to be flattered that a rude, gross, asshole of a person has complimented me. I should not be viewed as rude or a bitch for standing up for myself and saying that I’m not ok with these comments. I should be allowed to exist the way that I want to and street harassers prevent me from doing so. And it’s not ok.

      • Dave


        I appreciate what you just said, but the issue is not that You should not have to deal with it, or that They shouldn’t have to change.

        In what you said, you present the very problem; you said “I should be allowed to exist the way that I want to and street harassers prevent me from doing so.”

        Let’s just take the very first part of that statement, and apply it to any situation when someone has something happen to them that they don’t want; “I should be allowed to exist the way that I want to…” You are absolutely correct, 100%! You SHOULD be allowed to do this. You DO NOT deserve someone to harass you, you DO NOT deserve someone to impose on you… but the honest truth is, you DO NOT determine the character of another person, and you DO NOT have the right to change who they are… the same as they do not have the right toward you.

        So, this entire argument, the whole thing, it’s all predicated on the assumption that Women get to decide when/where/how they get approached. That indicates that YOU have the control to predict your future, you have the control to set your terms, you have the control to create your own destiny. This is awesome… if only for the fact that it is impossible.

        As soon as 2 people make the decision to live in a location that is anywhere close enough for them to have any interaction whatsoever, they FORFEIT the right to decide how that interaction happens. You cannot control how a man approaches you, because if you did, then you would be dictating Your will on him… in the same way you don’t want him to dictate the terms of your interaction! You are a walking and talking contradiction! You cannot say you want to live in a free-society where people, like yourself, have the right to say and do whatever they please at the time of their choosing, and then say that a man or anyone else for that matter can’t also make the same choice.

        It’s as simple as that.

        If you want to be up front about it, just admit you don’t want men, or anyone other than yourself, to have free will. Then you’d be speaking the truth, and I think we need to let the truth have it’s day.

        I don’t advocate harassment, I don’t think anyone deserves to be subjected to anything that anyone else wants to do to them that they don’t want done. That’s a fact, and that’s a principle of a Free, or Libertarian society, something I believe in.

        You want to know what the problem really is? It’s how we have completely and utterly MISSED the fact that this attitude of yelling absence statements at a woman is a product of a society with an underline culture of sex. You look around, and ALL the TV shows, Movies, Books, media of every kind… we buy up the Kardashians, we love the Jersey Shore, we stop the show over nude photos of celebrities… why? Because our culture, the American culture is absolutely obsessed with Sex.

        Until we can change that, then I’m sorry ma’am, but these kinds of things will continue.

        My belief, my Faith lies in the fact that I believe in God and I believe a Faith and reverence for God leads to the kind of life that rejects this kind of behavior. I think the only hope for humanity is God and applying the principles of Christianity to their lives… THAT, as simple as it is, would change the world.

        Thanks for reading Zoe.

        • Zoe

          That is a very good point. I appreciate you taking the time to write it all out and it’s given me a lot to think about, honestly.

          However, the one other point that I will make is how the attitude toward women needs to change. Human beings as a race have been evolving for millions of years. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to believe that this attitude to evolve in a certain direction.

          What I’m talking about specifically is the idea that women are sexual objects that exist to please men. While I don’t expect this attitude to change any time soon, I do expect it to change one day, and will continue talking about it. I can only hope that those who have different views will be as respectful and eloquent as you.

          • Dave

            I am glad I could help, and I implore you to Seek out God’s Love, and to put Him first. As it was said in the book of Matthew, Chapter 6 verse 33, “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

            I understand your point Zoe, and I know it comes from a position of fear and pain. I don’t want you or any other young woman to have to live in a society that harbors that kind of discontent toward women.

            I can promise you that whenever I see these things, I will do all that I can to stand up and reject someone who does this. But not just for the defense of women, but because of the Love of God for all of mankind. Of which, you are one.

            You are not an object, God Loves you and wants you to know how important you are to Him.

        • Rob

          May I point out that your religion, and the other two that walk hand in hand with it, both view women as having failed in the Garden of Eden. Women fucked up with the snake and the tree and they pay for it by being second to men in this world. Or am I mistaken?

          Disregard of women has been built into the foundations of every society on the planet.

          • Dave

            I’m sorry it took a while to reply, I was afk.

            Rob you are mistaken. I appreciate your input, but Christianity does not have the view of women that you’re describing, and anyone of any faith who expound that are speaking out of ignorance, fear, misunderstanding or malice in an attempt to deceive others into error.

            If you’d give me a minute, and you are not just being argumentative but earnestly are seeking truth, please grab a Bible or check it out online, Proverbs 31:10-31. This is the Biblical account of a Virtuous Wife, or a Godly Woman. You can see in the passages the strength and purpose that women fulfill. Then read Ephesians 5:21-33, this is instruction to a Christian Family. There you will find how the God given roles for men, women and children are complimentary, loving and good.

            A Woman, Eve, was deceived by Satan in the Biblical account of the fall of man in Genesis 3 and she gave the Fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil to Adam. This is correct, but it was not Eve that screwed up, it was the fall of Man-kind. Adam rightly took the fruit and ate it as well… we men are complicit in the disobedience that caused Sin to enter the world.

            In no way are women Disregarded. There is a plan of Salvation and Hope for ALL men and ALL women who would turn their lives over to the Love of God, repent of their Sins, ask for forgiveness, be baptized and reborn for the forgiveness of sin and then to walk in the fullness of God’s Glory for the furtherance of His Kingdom here on Earth.

            Not a kingdom of man, but a Spiritual Kingdom in which men and women are equal in the eyes of the Lord.

            To say otherwise is falsity, lies and deceit.

        • dirigent

          Dave, I’m an atheist, and would never treat a female stranger in that way – it doesn’t take faith, just a little empathy. As for faith in God leading to rejecting lousy behavior, I’m not sure all the children that have been molested by priests would see it that way. As for men having free will – of course they do. And many of them use their free will to act like assholes. You can’t legislate against it, but you can certainly speak your mind about it. But of course, you are just an apologist for the right to be an asshole – great, if that’s what you want to use your freedom for, but frankly it seems like you could maybe come up with a better use of your time.

          • Dave


            You intentionally mistake what I said to fit your own view of Christianity.

            I abide you only to say that You have the right to believe what you want, but I caution you in your attempt to betray others.

            If you intentionally cause someone else to stumble and betray them to sin, you are calculable. (Mark 9:42)

            I will entertain your inquiries if you have a true heart looking for salvation of The Lord Jesus Christ. All who believe in Him have the opportunity for salvation if they have a contrite and penitent heart.

          • dirigent

            Hey, Dave, how do you know what my intentions are? And thanks for “abiding” me, whatever that means, even though your book has convinced you that I am “calculable,” whatever that means. I am not making “inquiries,” of course, I am simply reacting to the nonsense you just posted (as is my right – just think of me as saying “hey, baby, nice ass” to you as you walk by on the street). And if I did want to make “inquiries” into the subject of Jesus, I certainly wouldn’t make them to someone who defends the rights of jerks to act like jerks then blames it all on a lack of faith in Jesus. But I don’t, so you can go back to your little stall and pray for “a contrite and penitent heart.”

        • Zaold

          “but the honest truth is, you DO NOT determine the character of another person, and you DO NOT have the right to change who they are”

          Unless Zoe is calling for any kind of legal action, yelling “this is bad behavior, and should be condemned by members of society” isn’t forcing anyone to do anything, nor having someone ‘change who they are’. It IS calling for a change towards how people operate in a society, however.

          Consider, say, racist remarks. It is legal to yell racist obscenities at someone, just like it’s legal to catcall. It’s not legal to punch someone for catcalling, or punch someone for yelling racist obscenities. (Although I’m certain there’s a lot of discression on this)

          In that sense, no one can ‘force’ another person to not be racist, they can’t use violence, or can’t have the government step in and arrest someone for yelling out blatantly horrible things.

          But do we go around condoning people shouting racist things? We condone their RIGHT but that doesn’t mean we should sit quiet and pretend that the words themselves, and the motivations behind the words, don’t need to be shouted down.

          Changing the way society percieves something requires diologue, it requires people opening up and saying “this behavior upsets me, don’t do it”.

          No one has the right to ‘force’ anyone to do anything, but so long as we live in a society, there is an obligation to advance better collective lives.

          The people who catcall might suffer by being told that their behavior is inappropriate, but I think empathy sides with the people who have to stand it, rather than people who feel the need to do it.

          I would defend a Neo-Nazi’s right to protest in front of a Jewish Synogogue, doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be shouting at them from the picket lines. Defending people’s rights isn’t the same as arguing their behavior isn’t inappropriate, shallow, and beliefs deeply mistaken.

        • speakeasy25

          @Dave–What a complete crock of rape culture, male entitlement horseshit.

          • @speakeasy25, calm down there you man hating tumblr activist – if you have any arguments that stand against Dave’s points you are welcome to give them.

          • Eyyyeh

            Dave’s sentiments are much more dangerous than they seem because they deny female discomfort for male convinince using the “that’s just how men are” trope. This morally makes men out to be nothing more than animals and justifies bad behavior as some kind of uncontrolled impulse. Assuming that you are male, you definitely should think better of yourself right? You’re a freakin human being not a dog!! You can do better!

            These sentiments also contribute to sentiments that allow men to rape. If you don’t believe me, read this study,

        • Eyyyeh

          That sounds awfully defeatest for a person who believes in god :(. You see the problem has very little to do with sexuality and more to do with a sense of male ownership over women. You can see this in the similarity of this behavior in the US and Pakistan.

          In the US women are treated as sex objects whose sexuality and human agency is considered irrelevant outside of male sexuality and human agency. In Pakistan women are treated as male property and have the same features as the average woman in the US but to a much more horrible extreme.

          These two women mistreating cultures run along the same theme. They both deny female agency and reject the idea of making the outside tradicionally male sphere comfortable for women.

          Now there are other cultures that have oodles of sex related media advertising etc but have better regard for women. One example is Finland. In Finland if you are a beautiful woman, what happens when you walk down the street *cricket chirp* absolutely nothing. No comments, no staring, no unwanted attention. This is because Finnish women are seen as human and the concept of the golden rule applies.

          People like me and Zoe just literally want freedom to move around without the threat of harassment or unnecessary attention. We all want respect as human beings.

      • ChrisW

        We live in a free society where people are allowed to approach other people and speak as long as what they are saying does not promote or incite violence. If you are offended by that, say so and move on. If they continue, then it becomes harassment and that is not Ok. God bless the first amendment. We must take the good and the bad. Making it aware that many women are not comfortable with this behavior is fine.

    • Stephanie Rudat

      1. I think the woman in the subject video did a great job ignoring the attempts to get her attention. She didn’t acknowledge them. Simple.
      2. Telling women to appreciate being objectified dilutes the self-worth of all parties involved. You are implying that gentlemanly behavior will come to a halt once a person is deemed “unattractive” by some which pathetically suggests that beauty diminishes with age. My grandmother would wholeheartedly object to such an insinuation.
      3. Those with good intentions are intelligent enough to communicate such genuinely.
      4. Again, the woman in the subject video clearly did not care about the feelings of any of the men she continued to walk away from without acknowledging them. Consider what the response would be today if she’d turned to any one of them and told them to leave her alone. Ask a woman who does this. I’ll tell you that this type of response is often deemed as confrontational.
      5. Who says any woman is declaring themselves a “victim” here? On the flip, are you?

      • Terri

        She did do a great job of ignoring the harassers. Did people notice the reactions? Name-calling and following, to name two. Any woman can tell you that those, as scary and humiliating as they are, are mild compared to how guys react if you actually tell them to stop. It gets much uglier and can end in assault or even murder.

        Check out “When Women Refuse” on Tumblr, and related hashtags on Twitter. Masses of stories of how male harassers react when women actually verbally resist.

        Show your good intentions by not assuming a total stranger on the street needs to know your opinion.

        Thanks for your comment, Stephanie Rudat.

    • Kate

      Somebody isn’t pretty enough to get catcalled so thinks that women who are must be whingers hey? Get over yourself, people are allowed to be upset when others are rude to them regardless of how old or frumpy you are.

    • Dani

      When a man says “nice tits” to me as I’m walking down the street it is NOT a compliment. He does NOT have good intentions. WHY SHOULD I APPRECIATE THIS??? I have NEVER had a stranger on the street tell me I was pretty. The fact that you think all the harassers are calling women pretty is absolutely ridiculous. Stop making excuses for these idiots. And no, you CANNOT say anything negative back without being called a bitch or further harassed. I sincerely hope you are not really a woman.

    • Another female

      Okay, but what about all the times when someone makes you feel incredibly uncomfortable with their comments and you are not able to tell them to stop?

      A few summers back I was working a food service job where this one older guy would come to the counter literally every day and tell me to “smile more,” explaining that I was so much prettier when I smiled. At first, it bothered me that he not only demanded good service from me, he was demanding I be pretty for him. But, I decided it wasn’t worth risking my job over to say anything to him. Then one day, my dog died and I was feeling really sad. This guy walks up to me and tells me to smile, same as every other day. I pretty much lost it on him, and explained to him that I didn’t appreciated being spoken to like that– it made me feel incredibly self-conscious and panic every time I saw him walk up to the counter. He was extremely confused, and told me to “take it easy” because he was just trying to “be nice”. I got fired later that day, after he complained to the manager.

      My point is, unless women speak out about how they are made to feel uncomfortable in every day situations like these, “nice men” will never understand the effect their words have on us. It shouldn’t only be the individual’s responsibility to correct someone who makes them feel uncomfortable. There should be a greater general awareness of what is appropriate and what isn’t.

    • areyallserious

      Yes because women don’t risk getting hurt or sometimes killed by just saying no, so simple! Why didn’t we think of that:

  • Jeff

    Of course the reason for the comments is that guys find women attractive. There is nothing wrong with that. Neither is telling someone “hey beautiful” sexual harassment. You are downplaying real violence and rape if you throw a few guys trying to flirt into the same category. Even if it are stupid remarks. It is not the same as harassing someone. The only case of harassment in my opinion was the guy following the girl for minutes. If guys would stop talking to females they don’t know entirely because their “smile, beautiful” is considered harassment women would change their opinion after a few weeks.

    • Stephanie Rudat

      Suggestion: Take a lesson in manners.

  • You’re right, ladies. Some men can be idiots and big-mouthed. But, see, when I was a kid, I was picked on RELENTLESSLY. The other kids would threaten to kill me, make fun of my clothes, hair, teeth, glasses, shoes, arms, legs, books, music preferences, hobbies, voice, mannerisms, walk, face, mouth, nose, eyes, fingers, pocket-flaps, shirt decorations… you name it. If I had something or was involved in something, you can bet I was told how stupid, idiotic, gay, queer, wussy, loserish, whorish, dumb, faggoty or useless it was. Over and over and over and over. And if I DARED to say anything back to them? They’d threaten to kill me. Beat me up. Rape my mother. Rape my sister. Shove dead things into my mouth.

    And do you know what my mother used to tell me to do? IGNORE THEM. Yeah. I know, right? Like, how could I be expected to just IGNORE threats on my life? Or IGNORE threats on my sister’s virginity? My mother’s decency? The structural integrity of my anus? I’m supposed to IGNORE THAT?!?!

    But, see, I did ignore it. And eventually, I grew up. And then I wasn’t afraid of those kids anymore. Because they really DON’T grow up. They stay the same: immature, childish, petulant, bullying. They just find new targets.

    While I don’t disagree that it can be nerve-wracking walking past bullies and children that act in this way, I certainly DO disagree with your overbroad generalizations of men. Not all men act this way. In fact, the vast majority of men do not. I’ll bet that for every one man you passed that acted like a childish bully and hit on you, you passed a hundred that went about their business and ignored you. You walked around New York City for most of a day, and encountered, what, a few dozen men that catcalled you?

    And did any of them tell you they’d kill you? Did they threaten to rape you? Did they demand you blow them before they bashed your skull in? Did they tell you that you were a fat, four-eyed, sloppy, stinky, faggoty little turd-brain loser whore?

    No. They told you to smile. Fine, you don’t like being told to smile. To that end, I’ll give you the same advice my mother gave me. IGNORE THEM, and they’ll simply forget you in the next few seconds when some other good looking lady walks by.

    Is that so hard?

    • Youallputwomen’ssuffrageactiviststoshame

      You couldn’t have worded it better!!! I noticed in that video that even a few older gentlemen said “Good morning!” or “Have a nice day!” which was called “chivalry” back in the day as they were raised, but now it’s counted as “verbal harassment.” These people are so unintelligent in the ways the approach the whole situation. Ignorance sometimes isn’t bliss.

    • A Visitor

      I respect this.

    • Stephanie Rudat

      If you know of an in justice and do nothing about it you are part of the problem.

    • Terri

      Jose, you don’t notice a couple of huge holes in your story. My heart goes out to you for your childhood experiences. The point is, you grew up and it stopped. But men, in general, will always be bigger and stronger. Women, in general, will never be able to get out from under the fear that always accompanies harassment by someone bigger than you. Never. We will live out our whole lives being hit on by people bigger and stronger than we are. That alone is completely different than your experience.

      “Just ignore him” is what all our mothers have taught their daughters to do because they had nothing effective to offer. But now, we’re done with using an ineffective tool. “Just ignore it” — did you watch the video? Ignoring it didn’t help her at all! She was harassed over and over and over again. Ignoring it didn’t change ANYTHING. And it never will. Now we’re fed up, sick and tired of being bugged on the street, and we’re sick of being quiet when quiet doesn’t accomplish a thing.

  • Marissa

    I’m shocked by how many people refuse to see the point, even after such an entertaining and direct satire.

    To all the men crying, “People are sexual beings and men have the right to say whatever they want to women, even if it makes them uncomfortable”: remember that same attitude is used to justify rape in many places. If you have a pretty good idea your opinions about a random stranger aren’t welcome, the respectful thing to do is keep the opinion to yourself. Just like you would if it was another dude. It’s a matter of basic respect.

    And to the women crying, “Be grateful, it’s a compliment!”: you have serious self esteem issues if you depend on the crude sexual remarks of passers by for validation. I prefer sexual approval from my lover who resepects me, and I expect other people to respect that I am not interested in them just because I happen to be walking down the street.

    Street harrassment makes a lot of women, including me, very uncomfortable. I have not seen any convincing arguments about why it’s such a benefit to society that it should be continued. The people it’s directed at generally find it rude and threatening. Having a larger, stronger stranger demand your attention on the street because he desires you sexually is sketchy. What fabulous benefits will be lost if men just keep their comments to themselves? None. But if men can just treat women on the street with enough respect to leave them alone, a lot of women will feel safer in the cities they call home. That’s a benefit worth speaking up for.

    Thanks for writing and sharing, Ms. Worthington.

    • Michael

      For god’s sake please stop comparing some dude saying hi to you on the street to rape. You women are just down right DESTROYING any woman who has been the victim of such a horrible act when you compare what you saw on that video in any way, shape, or form to rape. Rant over………..

      • Trish

        No. What is DESTROYING those of us who have been through such a thing is being told to just IGNORE the large man angrily shouting at me for not stopping to talk to him.

        Or the one who followed me for several minutes to tell me how great my ass looked in these jeans and what he’d like to do to it.

        What is destroying me is having to stamp down my fear of reliving the past every time someone feels like he has the right to invade my space and demand my attention just because I am also in a public place- and then, when I or women like me say “Hey, we don’t like this. It’s kind of a problem,” we are called impolite, bitches, and self-entitled. If that’s not bad enough, you want to tell me I have no room to discuss how this attitude could relate to rape?

        How about you let us express how this feels? Because the “You women” you speak of are the same ones in this conversation.

        • Fan

          I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments.


        • Michael

          Trish I never said that you have to talk to the rude assholes, it’s those that simply say hi and keep walking who want nothing more than to say hi that are getting trampled in this. I agree that there are a ton of fools out there that over step the line everyday and I’m with you on calling them out but to make it seem like every man that says hello wants to get in your pants and saying that is akin to rape is downplaying what a horrible experience rape is. I am all for women having their rights but there is an extreme that some of you are taking it to and that is disturbing to me.

      • K


        From your name and response, its clear that you haven’t walked in the shoes of women in this position. Might be a good time to listen and try to learn how these comments are perceived by recipients. Too many men don’t seem to get how it feels; maybe this national conversation can help them redirect their energies into less scary, more fruitful strategies.

        No question, rape is a terrible, life-changing horror show. Minimizing the frequent harassment of many of us won’t stop rape or prevent either from occurring. More awareness is important in both instances.

      • CS

        She didn’t compare it to rape, she said it was “the same attitude used to justify rape” which is 100% true in my experience as a victim of multiple rapes and a woman who is catcalled daily. “Us women” ARE the ones who have been victims of such a horrible act, and that is the VERY REASON catcalling feels so threatening to us.

        • Michael

          And I never said “cat calling” is ok, I’m merely stating that there are guys who merely say hello and we get the same treatment as the guys who are saying “hey nice ass” and the like. I was raised to be polite and respectful, hold doors, say hello, let ladies go first, etc….. However, now my actions are seen as some thug wanting to have my way. I was raised as a gentleman and will continue to be one. I’m sorry if my comments were perceived as elitist or that I could care less about your feelings. I have a 10 year old daughter so I have the fears of her being attacked but at the same time if she acts like she is high and mighty and ignores even the kindest hello I feel that is also wrong.

          • But why is “ignoring the kindest hello” supposed to be such a bad thing?

            Maybe, as I am walking down the street, I don’t give a rat’s hat about some guy’s theoretical kindness. Maybe, as I am walking down the street, avoiding eye contact, acting “high and mighty,” I am thinking of how I just got fired, and mentally revising my resume, worrying about how I am going to pay my rent. Maybe I am hearing-impaired. Maybe I am thinking about my sister’s cancer diagnosis.

            Why should my world, my thoughts, my need to focus on MYSELF, be subject to being interrupted by the “kindness” of strangers, because I happen to be walking down the street?

            And do you know what often happens if a woman DOES smile, or says “Good morning to you too” in return? Yep, now she is FLIRTING back, so it’s not unusual for a man to take that as an invitation and run up to her, possibly grab her arm, and ask for a date (or propose a quick blow job in an alley).

            I hope for the sake of your daughter that instead of teaching her not to be “high and mighty,” you teach her to be wary of strangers who cross the line when she is sending out clear signals, “I’m busy/preoccupied, leave me alone.”

      • Eyyyeh

        This is what she is referring to:

        It’s a good read especially for someone who wants to be informed about the subject.

  • AshamedToBeASouthernWoman

    Watching the original video that lead to this did make me shake my head at some of the people, like the one following her for a few minutes. It’s people that THAT you should be a snarky bitch to. However, people saying ‘hello’ or ‘have a good day’ as they pass you do not make them harassers. Hell, they’re probably from the south.

    What a cold, icy world you people in the north tend to be, oh wait! I’m sorry. If I group a bunch of people based on my personal thought and opinion, that would make me the same opinionated asshole like you, my dear.

    Here in the south, I was honestly raised to be a polite girl. Hold the door open for everyone, say my hellos, smile, and be pleasant to people. And as such, I do. My brother is the same way, a wonderful gentleman. He’s slowly becoming like you because of how many women yelled at him, thinking his actions were degrading in some form. The man’s gay, for starters, he don’t want any of you, he’s just being nice. We both saw very few wrong things in the video. Someone’s certainly feeling a little self-entitled to think that every male that says ‘hello’ to them that they feel ‘OMG SEXUAL HARASSMENT OMG ALL MEN ARE PIGS’, you’re no worse than the people you criticize.

    Keep up your good work, my self-entitled product. In time, your example will turn people just like you, antisocial twits that think a smile means ‘incoming rape’. Get a grip.

    • Michael

      Thank you for bringing some common sense into a world that is severely lacking it. I was raised the same way and I’m from Jersey. I say hi and hold doors and be as nice as possible with no expectations that any kindness will be brought my way because I know the world is full of people who are all about themselves and think that everyone wants them. It is a sad sad day when a video like this is made and it is inferred that every man who says hello is now trying to rape you and get with you, smh, a dam shame.

      • Trace Myers

        This is bullshit. Watch the video again. They were saying hi to her because they wanted to fuck her. How many people do you say hello to walking around in New York?

        The hello’s were the least offensive gestures, but how unempathetic can a person be to misunderstand what the video suggests? She can’t leave her apartment without being reminded that she’s just a walking fuckhole.

        • Michael

          I say hello to almost everyone I see no matter where I am, so yeah, I can say that not every hi or hello wants to fuck you, maybe you need to get off your high horse, not every guy wants you…..

          • dirigent

            Wow, Michael, you must be a real laugh riot on a crowded subway…..

          • areyallserious

            Michael, look, ugh, I see you commenting a lot and I see where you’re coming from. I understand that to you, it seems like women being vocal about not liking cat-calls on the street goes against your idea of being a gentleman, and if being a gentleman is important to you I understand why you would want to defend that.

            First of all, most women have experienced enough cat-callers and experienced enough gentlemen to know the difference. If you open the door for me, smile, and go about your day, then cool, thank you that was nice of you. If you say hi in a non-aggressive, non-threatening way and go about your day, as long as you don’t feel entitled to a response, then cool. We really aren’t talking about you in this conversation about cat-calling. Not to mention that a lot of us are trying really hard to make that distinction so that the right people and the right problem are addressed. Why? Because if you are a genuinely nice person, then you will recognize that deliberately making another person uncomfortable for your personal gain is something that needs to be addressed, and we would be thrilled to have you on board.

            The issue we are trying to solve is that women’s bodies are often treated as public domain and that needs to stop. We see it happen all the time (e.g. the Jennifer Lawrence photo theft, for a easy-to-notice example), and if you don’t see it then it’s probably because you don’t experience it first-hand. But that doesn’t mean that there’s no problem. I am an able-bodied person, and if a disabled person told me that they face a serious problem that is pervasive in their everyday lives, I wouldn’t be able to relate to them, but that doesn’t mean their problem doesn’t exist. Also, since I’m a nice person, I wouldn’t dismiss their problem and tell them to try harder to avoid it, I would do what I could to help them.

            The people we are trying to address are entitled men who see women’s bodies as public domain and thus believe that not only are they entitled to comment on them, but they are entitled to a response. Not only is it tiring, uncomfortable, unwelcome, and degrading (I’m just trying to go about my day, why do you feel like I need and/or would appreciate a comment on my body when I’ve never met you?), but it is also sometimes scary. I was once cat-called and followed by a group of men who would not leave me alone, and they were all at least 50 lbs bigger than me (not hard to do, since I am very small). Just in October, a woman was killed for not giving her number to a guy ( Ignoring or saying no can lead to nasty responses, and smiling or talking back is seen as flirting but if we tell them we’re not interested, then we’re teases and bitches and that leads to nasty responses too. There’s no way to win without addressing the people perpetrating the problem, which we’re trying to do.

            I’m sorry you believe your kindness is being mistaken as harassment. We’re not trying to beat down kind people who happen to be men, we are trying to stop harassers from harassing. Just saying though, I don’t know you, but if you really are a kind person, then you should at least be able to sympathize with the women who really do feel threatened or scared on a fairly regular basis. You won’t be able to empathize, since you haven’t experienced the kinds of things we have, but at the very least, can you please stop telling us that our problem which we insist we do have doesn’t really exist?

          • areyallserious

            Also, this has some really good comments and discussion points

    • dani

      I used to be polite and respond nicely to strangers greeting me. However, it led to a few of them to believe I was interested in them or open to conversation. These strangers got in appropriate and scary really fast once I allowed that opening. While it is only a few crude men out of many, I prefer to ignore most strangers (at the risk of being called names – which has also happened) rather than possibly open myself up to a scary situation. Blame the few jerks and the others who ignore their actions, nit the Wo.en who have become gun-shy as a result of those few jerks. You have no idea what those women have experienced to cause them to react that way

      • K

        You and me both. Responding to the “Hi!” guys in a friendly way has led to bad situations too many times. I’m still friendly in other settings but male strangers on the street don’t get much of a response from me. I wish it didn’t have to be this way too.. but the risk is much too high. Too many guys run with any opening they see.. and its dangerous to be on the other side of that exchange. Wish guys could experience the same; many would be surprised by how scary it can be to walk down the street. And maybe they’d start to see why a harassment approach doesn’t attract most women.

  • Seriously?

    Here’s the short version of what I’ve been seeing since this video was released:

    Thousands of women: Oh yeah. Guys yelling stuff at us on the street. We hate that. Makes us annoyed or uncomfortable or scared. Wish guys would cut it out.

    Thousands of Men: What? We can yell stuff if we want! Don’t hate it! Like it! Stop hating it! You don’t get to hate things that we like to do! You’re too sensitive! Don’t tell us to stop doing things! Your feelings are wrong!

    Who’s being too sensitive? Who’s operating without manners or respect? Who needs to think about the effect their actions and words have on others?

  • El Dudarino

    Calm down. You’re probably too fat for anyone to be cat calling you anyway.

    • Dave

      It’s comments like this that perpetuate the problem.

      I don’t know how or why the moderators allowed it, but that is totally an inappropriate thing to say.

      A woman should be allowed to be who they are in as much as a man should be allowed to be who he is. Fat, Ugly, Fit, Attractive… what does any of that matter when the character of the person is terrible?

      Stop looking at women who defend themselves as victims or man haters. Look at yourself and ask if you have the courage and countenance to be part of the solution and man up. You stop your friends when they say stuff like that about women, just like I am to you now.

      The issue here is that our culture breeds this kind of behavior, and until we realize that the primary contributing factor here is that we have turned away from steady and wholly good principles like, Love your neighbor as yourself, then we are doomed to see a world going more bad.

      I am not a white knight, I am a realist who knows that the world sucks because we have turned our back on God. And you sir should be ashamed to say something like you just said.

      • Kate

        LOL God? Seriously? You know that’s just make believe right?

        • Dave


          God The Father is not make Believe. That is a lie and that lie comes directly from Satan.

          I don’t know if you’re honestly seeking my response, and I apologize that it took a while, I was away. But I would share with you what I know and what I believe if you wanted to hear it.

          But know now, God is Real, Alive, and wants you to know you are Loved, Adored, and made with a special purpose in His Kingdom.

      • areyallserious

        Dave, thank you. Thank you so much. Kate, come on man, let Dave do Dave. You go Dave.

    • CS

      Mods? Hello? How is this comment still here?

      • Aliza Worthington

        I’m actually the one moderating these, and I like to give assholes enough rope-a-dope to hang themselves. Especially if they are proving my point for me. I have not approved comments that were completely obscene or incoherent, but I’ve allowed much more offensive comments than this one stand. (See the very first comment…) However, your point is taken to heart, and I really appreciate it.

        • Dave

          Ms (or Mrs, I’m sorry I don’t know) Worthington,

          I very much appreciate your article above.

          I have read a lot over the last few years, watched many videos speaking toward this subject, and finally I decided because of accounts like this to do what I should have been doing all along.

          I don’t know if you are one of Faith, but I implore you to consider that God designed all women, all men, all of mankind to Love one another. The deception of Satan to sway men into actions like the ones you referenced in your article are blatantly wrong and the ramifications of a culture without the good and right principles of God.

          I want you to know and rest assured your voice does not fall on deaf ears. Men like me exist in the world, fighting to demonstrate that it is nothing inside of a man, or in any person that derives goodness, but that all goodness comes from God, as read in James 1:17. All good things are from Him.

          Men, and Women of this world who model their life on the righteous principles of The Lord will not act in this way. Does that make sense? Sin is what drives men to be like this, and our culture promotes it.

          Good men will prevail with God’s help alone, for the Light always will overcome the darkness. Philippians 4:13 and John 1:5

          Thank you for writing.

        • CS

          Fair enough. I don’t envy you the task of wading through all of these comments. Thank you for taking it on and for helping those of us who care about this conversation by posting in the first place!

  • A Visitor

    This entire article reeks of utterly terrible logic.

    If you want to promote antisocalism as a solution to your ‘issues’, step one would be to stop blogging forever.

  • MoveAlong

    You will never, and I say NEVER, stop me from saying something to a woman I find attractive enough to pursue a conversation. But then again, the women I view as attractive tend to be smart enough to realize the difference between genuine interest and harassment. In other words, none of you victim-minded females!

    • Don’tCallMeBaby

      Oh lord. The “I get to talk to teh ladeez” argument. Yes. You do. If you are in an appropriate venue and start the conversation politely, you may talk to the pretty girls and maybe they’ll like you, what with them being so intelligent and not victim-y. There’s nothing wrong with walking up to a person at a party or what have you and saying “Hi! I’m Joe. What’s you name?” and seeing where things go from there.

      There IS something wrong with seeing a woman walking down the street and, out of the blue, shouting “Hey baby! You’re looking fine! Hey! I’m talking to you! Look at me!”. That’s not normal human social interaction. It’s a man being a dickhead.

      No one is asking you to abandon pleasant conversation with the opposite sex. We’re asking you to make sure it actually IS pleasant and a conversation, not a one-sided bombardment of sexual propositions.

    • Trace Myers

      By never relenting, you become one of the people who is unempathetic to the fact that that person you’re harassing hasn’t yet been treated like a person that day. To you, and to the ten guys before you that morning, she is a walking fuckhole. Time and place are of utmost importance when choosing to talk to a person, for whatever reason.

      I’m surprised by how many comments I’ve read coming from women who are jealous enough to say, “be happy you got the attention.” To them I say: what you wish you were is both a blessing and a curse, and your ability to empathize is too poor to place yourself in a situation wherein you are just a walking sexual plaything to any passerby.

  • MoveAlong

    Furthermore, how would I have ever achieved even the first steps to a date had it not been for my acknowledgement of my perceived infatuation with said attractive female. My dear fellow humans with a varying chromosome, if I find you attractive something shall be spoken! If you say there is no reciprocal feelings or attraction, then so be it! But that will hardly stop me from approaching you to begin with!

    • Eyyyeh

      But I bet life would be a lot easier on you if the onus to act wasn’t always stuck on the dude right? Like what if a woman was interested in you and came up to you and chatted with you?

      Basically what catcallers, rapists, and other unsavory types who don’t respect women as people do, is they tarnish the image of the average man. This means that if a woman finds you attractive, she is forced to automatically assume you could be dangerous for her because of these common types of trouble. But if we as a society make great strides to see everyone as a human being before anyone else, then people won’t have to make self defense judgments about each other and can all live safer and happier.

  • SaNMan

    I have never catcalled a women in my life, so I have nothing to apologize for. If you watched the video youll notice all the perps were not-whites. White men win again.

    • Kate

      I dub thee an asshole, ever wonder why you have no friends?

  • sezit

    Here’s how we can know that the guys saying that it’s no big deal are full of crap: just imagine that a straight dude minding his own business is walking thru an area with a bunch of gay men, and the gay men were as forward and agressive to that one straight guy as straight men usually are to women. Especially if they were large gay guys. You straight guys would be comfortable having all those gay guys fixate on you? Follow you? Pester you? No way. That doesn’t happen, tho, because men move thru the world knowing that they own their own space. Women move thru the world knowing that many men feel entitled to crowd them, or demand their attention, and if the woman challenges the wrong guy by asking him to back off, he might threaten or actually harm her.

    • MoveAlong

      Well I’m a bisexual male and would love to be hit on by male or female alike. Whats your point?

    • jerry

      straight guy, get hit on by gay guys all the time. i used to live next to “boys town” in chicago. i have never even thought that it was weird or uncomfortable and i have been groped before too. i asked that person to stop. one time i was approached in a forest preserve all by myself in the middle of the woods and thought i would certainly be raped. i got my phone out, told the guy i am not interested and i talked to him like a human being and nothing came of it. he was bigger than me, but it really doesnt matter if the guy has a weapon…or if its a girl with a weapon (unlikely). women need to get off this bullshit. if oyu want men to not notice you, cut your hair, buy a fake mustache or just get fat. you aren’ the only ones being bothered on streets, its super fucking common, especially in new york, and especially if you are attractive and even more so if you are wearing tight clothes….

      • Eyyyeh

        I’m not sure how else to say this but how do these events happening to you make it alright for them to happen to anyone else?

        The whole point is that they shouldn’t happen to anyone.

  • Josh

    Oh, joy! Let’s keep beating this dead horse!

  • Evan

    This entire thing should have been focused on inner city life, particularly new york city life. She’s trying to make a point about people in NEW YORK harassing women as they walk down the streets and she doesn’t even mention or consider that this is perhaps a NEW YORK, or inner big city, cultural problem.

    This is catching so much flak from the public because she fails to make this very important distinction. Nobody can empathize with her because this isn’t an issue in other areas of America. I’ve lived everywhere from a small town in Washington to the outskirts of San Diego CA to the inner city of San Diego, CA to Seattle, WA to Portland, OR to Austin, TX. I’ve spent a great deal of time walking the streets of these cities, with and/or next to beautiful women, and the problem you’re addressing – I just don’t see it.

    Maybe it should comes with the territory of living in a city such as new york, where socio-economic-class is so drastically divided. Individuals who generally grew up around less class and thus experience a different culture growing up. I suspect this type of socio-eco-class / cultural separation is probably pretty god damn prevalent in New York. Should this be surprising considering how expensive it is to get by in a city such as New York?

    With this newest tongue in cheek article I just think it’s this type of shit that is giving the whole feminist movement a bad name and a bad stigma. I love a strong willed woman but when ignorance is the coat of choice for a strong willed woman holding a loudspeaker I think those around her will be eager to argue their just as valid points of view, if not desperately try covering their ears…

    • K

      Wish it was only a NYC thing as then one could just address it there. But I’ve personally experienced this unsettling behavior in quite a few cities, big and small.. and it is so uncomfortable to be targeted in this way. Always wish they would stop but yet feel powerless to do much it other than speed up and hope they go away.

      Sad that some guys don’t believe the numerous women speaking out, simply because they haven’t seen it when accompanying a woman friend. But this stuff typically this happens when a woman isn’t accompanied by a guy so male lack of awareness isn’t surprising. But why would these women make it up? And the video? This stuff happens all the time; there’s no need to fake a video.

      Frequency of behavior doesn’t make it right. Many women don’t like this scary kind of attention and some are trying to raise awareness so the pattern can change. And, if women don’t like it, its prob not the best strategy for men who want to connect with them. Why not reconsider how we treat strangers on the street?

  • Tommyhanksy

    What… Just… Don’t feed trolls, people. Sigh… I guess I am about to too.

    Simple fact: this person doesn’t like it when someone catcalls her. She’s entitled to her opinion. The fact also remains that she is one of many, many people who feel the same way.

    It’s not enjoyable at all to be repeatedly catcalled in the same manner that it wouldn’t be enjoyable to be repeatedly hugged. Once, twice, that’s still cool. But OVER AND OVER AND OVER? That’s just annoying. And scary. Especially if this person/s target the same kind of person/s all the time. It’s like a serial killer. Someone you do not know suddenly follows you around a couple of blocks? I’d be running to the police station.

    It’s not okay to just compliment someone to get into their pants. Or at least it’s not okay to the person being complimented. If you compliment everyone, all the time, then you’re an amazing person and you deserve a wonderful life. Seriously. But these men on the streets don’t. They target the beautiful, the sexy, the babes and only them. It shows you what their intentions are.

    I am a man, 21 years old. I punched someone who was repeatedly catcalling my girlfriend because she was uncomfortable and scared. Get off your narcisstic, hubristic, self-centered ways and think of that person you’re catcalling. She hates it. Why keep doing it?

  • Lewis

    Men are men, women are women. It’s a natural product of the pecking order. Stop trying to defeat nature.

    Across the entire animal kingdom, there will always be dominant males, and dominant females. The dominant males act confident to get the attention of the dominant females, it’s pretty much just common-sense.

    Of course you could say that we’re quite a way off your typical mammal, but that doesn’t matter whatsoever, you just got to suck it up. It’s a dog eat dog world, and just as much shit gets thrown at men as it does at women, except no-one gives a fuck because men are supposed to just “man up” and deal with it.

    • Eyyyeh

      What I’m getting here is that someone who feels as though their own problems in life are overlooked is overlooking another person’s life problems. I’m pretty sure that its absolutely awful to not be cared about and I’m sorry that you feel that way. It’s also natural to provide love and care to others in our own species. Nature is much more varied than many would have you believe and I think you would enjoy reading about bonobos to see another way that is natural for apes to behave.

  • Sure while there might be a lot of people who treat Aliza Worthington as more of what she thinks as a sex object in her mind. She can be as defensive as she wants. That is fine. Just don’t lump every man who ever interacts with you, in any possible way, in the same category. Such as simply giving you a tasteful compliment. I’m sorry that I didn’t do that.

    The super-majority of men that live in the United States have a good conscience. They have manners. They are willing to help those in situations when needed, such as ” help an elderly woman carry her bags to the bus”. If people ask for help, others generally will if they can. Or find someone who will. People help others BECAUSE THEY CAN. It isn’t like men think of bending over for the needy so they can bend the you over later… You are framing men as our thought processes think of helping the elderly is pre-requisite to get a woman’s attention. If you have to think about every man in that way, you should not be in journalism. Because you are giving bad information that shapes how people perceive others.

    Sure when Shoshana Roberts (the woman in the video) may have decided to use her stomping ground as Manhattan, you will come across more people. But how many men did she walk by in 10 hours??? This was just a shock and awe video. The video states she is wearing jeans and a crew-neck t-shirt. But she is wearing very tight form-fitting clothing made by a high-end brand. The makers of the video hired an actress (yes she is pretty), so it wasn’t just your average plain Jane. If she did the same video wearing loose-fitting clothes from lets say “Wal-Mart”, this number would have likely been a lot smaller. I think she should post the entire 10 hour video. May be boring and uneventful, but it will serve the purpose of how proportionate interaction to incident really is… I am not saying what was shown was excusable. It certainly isn’t. Women (and men) should be able to walk around the city not feeling threatened.

    But not every woman has the same ego as you do. Also, when an “overweight” woman who you know dresses up in a “group”, and you give her a compliment of “you are looking nice tonight”, it can be a huge boost of confidence for her. The reason behind it wasn’t to get to the hottest one in the room. Just because it was an overweight woman they should simply assume the comment is not genuine and take it as an insult? While it is up to each woman to decide, most men are not that way. And I hope some views can change to have a more positive outlook for men. Maybe a 29 year old’s view is too old-fashioned, and not progressive enough for this article.

    When women tell me that I look nice, as a man it makes me feel good. Like I did something right that day. Maybe you shouldn’t think that you do everything right when you look in the mirror everyday when you wake up in the morning.

    From the honest everyday young man who you don’t speak of from the mid-west that puts food products on your plate.

  • I wish I could see the full video and how it was edited. There has been talk about racial bias in the editing process. Based on how it looks in the video, she is clearly giving off nonverbals that she does not want to be approached. If that is how it happened, its terrible. And yes there is a difference between saying hello, or something else innocuous – people (all people) should be aware of non verbal cues. I think the people talking about a hello not being harassment are missing the point. But I also think that people on the other side that say a hello is harassment are also missing the point. Yes it is obnoxious and/or annoying when people miss nonverbals. But it isn’t necessarily harassment. It drives me nuts, for example, when I am in a store, have my head down and earphones in, and 5 sales people will stop me to get my attention and ask if I need help. It is not harassment even though both men and woman sales associates are missing the obvious that I am browsing and don’t need/want help. But it is not harassment. Nor is a simple hello, left at that, constitute harassment. Annoying and frustrating, sure, but harassment no. There is a lot of behaviors that go well beyond a simple hello, and that is the real problem. The objectifying comments. The guy who followed her is down right scary. The fact that on a random day anyone has to deal with that kind of harassment is sickening. And yes, too many men in the context of this discussion are wrapped in there own preconceptions and in some cases entitlement and privilege. That said I see the same thing from plenty of women in the context comments that come from these discussions. There are woman in the various discussions that seem to attack other woman if they say they like the attention. They are being shamed for their opinion and having their self esteem questioned. I find that shameful and just as much a sign of entitlement and being wrapped in your own preconceptions as the men who need to justify that every hello is not harassment.

  • fully

    for those of you splitting hairs over the difference of rude remarks/following and just saying ‘hello’ or ‘have a nice day’ and can’t understand why the latter isn’t acceptable here you go:
    It is somewhat appropriate(and even for some it might make them uncomfortable) to say ‘hello’, etc when in a place of business, or conducting business, or standing in line for a coffee or movie….
    But when I’m booking down the street minding my own business and you are stationary there is no reason on God’s Green Earth for your ‘hello’ to be met with any acknowledgement or courtesy…It is not welcome, it is creepy, it is annoying, it is intrusive. I am not going to put on the brakes and stop and talk to you. Stop it and stop assuming it is a ‘right’ for you to approach strangers, in every setting, and talk to them. There are places designed for strangers to approach one another, by mutual agreement implied by being in such place (parties, pubs, museums) THE STREET IS NOT ONE OF THEM. when a group of people asks you to stop bugging/harassing them then FUCKING STOP IT. we don’t care what your motives, reasoning, intentions are….that is the point. We feel upset because our need for privacy and safety is not being met. END OF STORY.

    • I can’t say I agree with your statement here. There are definitely people on the internet, playing up the hello is not harassment issue. While I agree hello is not by default harassment, it certainly can be. But when you start talking about the street not being an acceptable place for meeting/interacting by default, I think you are going in the wrong direction. The place isn’t particularly relevant, with certain exceptions. Like every social interaction people need to pay attention non verbal communication. If someone feels like talking, they will make it obvious. Just because I (or anyone else) goes to a party, pub or museum, I am not signing a social contact that I want to interact with everyone or anyone. That guy or girl at the bar/pub/museum who has their head down, is not making eye contact, and is generally showing they are closed off, does not want to interact. But there is nothing wrong with talking to someone on the street by default. You can be in the street/park/nontypical social setting where eye contact leads to eye contact, then smile to a smile, a hi to how are you. To I’m John Doe – I’m Jane Doe, to coffee, dinner, whatever. The key is the nonverbal communication that opens the door for verbal communication. It is about respecting peoples boundaries. In most cases the place shouldn’t be the primary factor, it is about social cues they are giving off.

  • DA

    So while I agree with the points on this article, I can’t help but wonder, who is it for?

    It’s clearly supposed to be directed at men who catcall, but if any of them were here and had to read this purely sarcastic piece of crap, what would it change exactly?

    I see plenty of women agreeing in the comments, and plenty of men who argue with those women. Was that the point of the article? Let’s slag off the men and provoke fights between men and women on the Internet?

    I also don’t get why it’s the recipient or observer who always seems to assume a man approaching a woman he is attracted to is purely about sex. It’s not. It’s a man approaching a woman he is attracted to, that’s how attraction works, and I don’t support anything that suggests men are not able to approach women and should die alone.

    As for THESE types of approaches, the persistence, the following, this weird concept of compliments being used to get some kind of obligatory response from a woman. Obviously these are not okay.

    Men if you see a woman you like, and you have the courage to walk up to her and try to start a conversation, go for it.

    But, when she says no, it’s not because she has a boyfriend, or because she’s a lesbian, or because she’s playing hard to get. It’s because she has a human being with other shit to do. You tried, there are other women, don’t waste her time trying to turn a no into a yes. And don’t just use the exact same line on every woman you pass because you heard somewhere it’s sexy, talk like a human being for f sake.

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