The act of “cat calling” has been around for ages, men aggressively attempt to catch the attention of a woman by shouting normally rude or vague comments, which normally results in the woman ignoring him or replying with a counter rude statement. Cat Calling can be embarrassing but most of all annoying. After years of women undergoing this unnecessary treatment, one lady decided to put this matter into her own hands and secretly record herself being “hit on” for ten hours straight while walking the streets of New York City.
For ten hours on the busy streets of NYC, Shoshana Roberts walked with just a pair of jeans, a crew neck t shirt and a hidden camera.
After being posted to YouTube by non- profit organization Hollaback, the comments and concerns instantly began rolling in. Concerns of how can a woman make it independently in New York City and comments on how can a man be so lusty covered the tabloids and media, only there was one problem – the posted video had been edited. During the YouTube posting Roberts can be seen visibly angered and annoyed by the comments made by black and Hispanic men. Which leads to the question, can decency be regulated? Is cat calling the bigger issue, or is it that minorities are still being looked down upon and highly publicized for their wrong doings?
Jeremy Weeks is a freshman majoring in Public Relations. He reenacts his first and last experience of cat calling, “I kept calling for the girls attention and for some reason I decided to try and get her attention by calling her as if she was a cat, copying the sounds a cat makes, and the girl went off.” Weeks states that he had a crush on the girl for months and decided to give cat calling a try. “I lost that opportunity to get to meet a cool person that day. Months of building courage was all put to rest over a stupid cat call.”
Weeks defines cat calling as a silly, childish thing that some men do to make themselves feel better, or to think women actually respond in a positive matter. When asked how he felt about the video being edited, Weeks had an interesting thing to say.
“It doesn’t come as a surprise to me anymore,” says a disappointed Weeks. “Everyman has done a fair share of cat calling in his life but of course minorities are being put on the plank as if they are the only ones who do this.”
Since this video has gone viral, there have been videos surfacing of gay men and lesbian women secretly recording society’s view of them walking the streets. The comments and stares are scary and shows just how far people will place their judgment in their mouths instead of their minds. Shoshana Roberts has gone on record to state her intent was not to single any one particular nationality out but to place an end to cat calling.
Others say differently. Many blogs and magazines have expressed their opinion on the so called “cat calling” video and label it “preposterous.” Tamika Franklin of “A Fendi Bag And A Bad Attitude” blog shares her opinion on what cat calling is verses what Roberts was trying to display in her hidden video.
“Comments and calls are going to happen. Uou either roll your eyes or you take it as a compliment,” says Franklin. “We’ve all been cat called, and it is done by all types of men.”
Franklin repeats the word “all” a few more times. “Watching the video and seeing that the cat calling was all done by minorities is a total disgust.”
Franklin goes on to explain her life as a woman living in NYC. “Cat calling is going to happen. Some men are going to be more aggressive than others. After hearing that the cat calling video was edited to make minorities the source of cat calling, I was not surprised.”
Franklin was then asked what her final judgment on cat calling is and how bad it has gotten after watching Roberts video, her response was very surprising. “It’s just a meaningless call. Get over it”.
Get over it are the response and answers of some, while we must stick together and end cat calling are the response of many. Shoshana Roberts’s intent of filming and posting this video was to demolish cat calling however, what turned out to be a successful, rightful project quickly turned into something bias and hypocritical. Roberts was able to gain awareness of harassment and cat calling but displayed this action in the wrong way. As weeks stated, all if not many men perform the act of cat calling at least once in their life however, all of them are not minorities. Some agree with Roberts while others may think her plan was simply to gain personal attention. Either way the cat calling/ harassment video has gone viral within the past few weeks displaying the public thirst of many.