Have you seen or heard about that video with the lady walking down the street for 10 hours documenting all the cat-callers making demands and expecting a response from a stranger? If you haven’t here’s a link to the 1 minute and 56 second video that as caused my feeling the need to disown my brother and unfriend several guys I once believed to be among the honorable kind.
So many people, men and women, have discussed this video in terms that confound me. Some focused on how saying “… a simple hi…” could be considered harassment. Some suggested that she must have had something eye-catching written on the ass of her pants. And then there were these responses…
It must be that I’m some special kind of racist where I didn’t care that all I saw were men of color… I was just glad someone was making a point to tell people that that crap needs to stop. Don’t get me wrong; I totally appreciate that other women of color are speaking out about their experiences with all men. I just can’t shake the feeling that the primary message and purpose of the video is being lost in a mass of projections and distractions.
I remember being a teen-aged girl in Brooklyn walking home from where ever; going to school, going to the store, waiting for the bus… and how many times it took random men grabbing at me before I finally started wearing headphones that weren’t connected to anything so that I might 1. deter them from speaking, but that I might 2. still be able to hear the ones who’d try following me home from a very few paces behind me…
Oh, and it was predominantly Black and Latino men. The Arab dude who offered to make me a comfortable housewife when I was about 14 comes to mind. I didn’t have to deal with white men until I started hanging out in the city or went to college in Buffalo.
All this outrage and upheaval by Black men about being demonized… Most of them were kind to that White actress compared to what I’ve received from “my own.” Has anyone mentioned how offensive that Black men are often more respectful, kind, and appreciative to white women when compared to Black women? Or the fact that lighter skinned women of color are almost always held at a higher regard just for looking closer to white?
Like seriously, don’t insult my intelligence or YOURS by acting like you don’t know or recognize that the shit in either of these videos is real and needs to be acknowledged… You’ve ignored the point if all you can do is focus on the color of the men in the video because it might seem like a reflection of you… your brother, or your home boy who does that shit all the time and you think its funny.
Just by your being man and my being woman doesn’t give you or any other man the right to say anything to me. I woke up with all of my part in tact; I know by boobs “titties” are huge and “dayum” worthy; I don’t need you telling me to smile; I wasn’t angry before you started yapping at me, and your demands make me want to put my spiked heel through your eye; I am not your “Mami,” your princess, your chocolate goddess, or your negrita. I don’t know you. Stop talking to me. If you kept your disgusting thoughts and gestures toward your minuscule dick to yourself, you wouldn’t have cause to be angry or call me an ugly bitch.. as if I should be honored that you noticed me at all… Have you considered fucking yourself? I hear it can be quite the enjoyable experience. You should go try today.
Seriously people. I’ll be the first one to cry racism or hoax when when what I really mean is bull shit. This is not one of those times. We should be thanking Shoshana Roberts for taking part in the video and subjecting herself to the objectification. There are 2 simple facts that need attention in this video: 1. she’s a woman; 2. she didn’t ask for or request any of the attention she received. Ok, make it 3 things: It needs to stop.
Do More. Require Better.