When a man is harassed on the street

My post (in Portuguese) on why women don’t like to be harassed on the street went viral this week. As expected, I received a lot of comments, from women that related to the text to men thinking we’re lying or over reacting and people giving some thought about how to pay compliments in a nice, non-invasive way.

Many of them shared this video with me, that puts a man at the women’s shoes and show the kind of annoying things we go through on a daily basis, and also a kind of violence that, unfortunately, many of us have suffered.

I found it very odd and improbable, exactly because those are not situations a man would go through, like having to look around before opening one more button of his shirt due to the weather, not to be mistaken by a provoking act and be harassed, or having his choices being questioned as been over or underdressed, as it happens with the Muslim guy on the video. Clearly that’s exactly the video’s goal: to cause awkwardness and make us think “that’s an absurd” and then go like “if we think that it’s absurd for a man, why would we consider it normal for a woman?”.

On the other hand, I think this film doesn’t really reflects the fear problem. The victim here is bigger and stronger than its harassers, when we know that the guys that harass us on the streets are usually bigger and stronger than us – they would easily be able to beat us up or do something else. Just the thought of it gives me the chills…

Anyhow, the movie promotes a good exercise: to put your self on the other side here. As I watched, I contemplated the happy thought of how cool would it be if we could go for a run shirtless on Summer days, as any man does, without being the target of verbal or gestural harassment (not even complaining about being looked at). And how awful it would be if we, women, were just as rude as some men are with us and harassed them, thought they only dress themselves and go out on the streets to be evaluated as sexual partners. Argh…

Well, what did you think of the video?

Back to Top