Viral video addresses catcall problem

10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman is shown in a two-minute You tube video by raising awareness of street harassment.- Courtesy Photo
10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman is shown in a two-minute You tube video by raising awareness of street harassment.- Courtesy Photo

By now you have most likely seen or at least heard about the viral video of a woman being catcalled as she walks through New York City.

A note at the end of the video said the woman was catcalled over 100 times during a 10-hour period.

This video frustrates me to no end because I know that strangers in a faraway big city aren’t the only ones harassing women this way, but I am sure people I associate with in Hattiesburg are also guilty of these actions.

I have no idea what compels someone to harass another person in this way. It could be a result of sexual frustration, a poorly executed and infinitely unfunny joke, an attempt to impress friends or an impulse to embarrass and demean someone else. The only thing I do know for certain is that this behavior is completely and utterly unacceptable.

There is no positive outcome for this disgusting and egotistical behavior. I do not know a single woman who has ever responded positively by being harassed on the street.

I do, however, know multiple women who have been made to feel uncomfortable as unwelcome comments were hurled at them as they traveled to their respective destinations.

Under no circumstances should a woman be expected to have her time wasted by these rude and hurtful comments.

What is most heartbreaking to me about this issue is the fact that I know catcalling is a nearly nonexistent issue in the male community. It took the release of the aforementioned viral video for my friends and I, some of whom I have known for most of my life, to have a serious conversation about the problem.

Catcalling is viewed as a bit of a joke in the college age male demographic. I have been a bystander to catcalling before while in college. It was supposed to be a joke, but I watched as the poor woman became visibly uncomfortable as the guy yelled at her from a balcony.

If I am ever in this situation again, I will not stand idly by as I watch someone demean another person.

Meanwhile, I know that catcalling is something that affects the women in my life on a nearly daily basis. I have had multiple female friends tell me that catcalling is something that they are accustomed to, that they plan their day around to avoid.

This is unacceptable on every level. No one should ever be made to feel uncomfortable because another person could not resist their sexual urges to harass them, and no one has the right to invade someone else’s space.

As a man, I feel that the male community should take more pride in itself than to allow for its members to treat women in such a way. While catcalling might be a joke to you or your friends, it can be an embarrassing and painful ordeal for the person on the other side.

I urge anyone that sees this behavior to stand up for the rights of the person on the other end of this malicious behavior.