This October, an organization called Hollaback produced a two-minute video entitled “10 Hours of Walking NYC as a Woman.” While the video brings up the serious issue of sexual harassment, it doesn’t show that anyone of any race, gender or sexual preference can be a victim of sexual harassment.
I visited the website and it was clear that it was geared towards women. The testimonials of those who support Hollaback were mostly female. The organization says it is geared towards stopping street harassment, yet they forgot it isn’t just women who are sexually harassed — it can be anyone.
Sexual harassment is not just confined to young, pretty females walking down the street. This can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Jade Parker, a volunteer at the Women’s center, recounted an experience her boyfriend had while working as a chef.
“He had a female co-worker who would make sexual comments and slap his butt. It took a little bit but finally the coworker was fired,” Parker said.
This situation shows that sometimes we don’t take the situation as seriously when it comes to men. According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2012, approximately one in 20 men and women faced some sort of sexual harassment or abuse.
Sexual harassment isn’t a new problem, but social media has brought it to light in ways that have never been seen before. This video could have been very progressive and helpful if it would have shown more diversity in the people walking the streets.
Most of the video showed people saying hello. Presenting this as sexual harassment could cause a misunderstanding of what sexual harassment is. It was clear that the feedback of the video was not positive. In fact, most men and women had the same opinion: It didn’t show men in a great light.
At some point we have to stop putting issues in a box of male, female, homosexual, etc. and start realizing that sexual harassment doesn’t always affect just one person or one group of people. When are we going to stop putting down another person for our personal gain on an issue? This video wanted to prove that sexual harassment needs to stopped, but then it showed men in a horrible light. We need to make a change for everyone. Sexual harassment incidents can be lowered if we look at it as a problem for all.