This Is What You Get When…

What happens when you take your 10 hours of street harassment footage and give it to a white male to edit? Well you get just shy of 3 minutes of almost benign catcalling and no white dudes shown even doing that.

What I would have then done was send it back with detailed instructions on what to do. Actually, I would have done that in the first place. Actually I would have done a whole lotta things differently.

It’s not surprising to me that Hollaback!  – who when asked WTF said they are indeed all for multiculturality and intersectionality –  still a very white cis female organization would make these kind of huge mistakes. We’ve seen it happen time and time again.

I would have been more bold with it. I would have had at the very least a 5 minute cut of the 10 hours, if not ten minutes. We all know people have the attention span of a gnat, so going for the near-3 minutes of say the average movie trailer was understandable.

But I’d have put the more disgusting commentary in the first 60 seconds. I would make sure that ALL the types of guys that engage in SH were represented within the first two minutes as well. I also would have released the full uncut 10 hours on a link somewhere to be available for those who wanted to peruse that as well. Or at the very least have available an edit that documented the 100 incidents, whatever length that ended up being.

Because there’s one thing that I know for sure. IF they had that actor walking around ALL boroughs and ALL areas of NY where street harassment is prevalent – she was subjected to some pretty awful things AND they came from all type of guys. All different races, all different walks of life.

I would have also put locations in my edited version as well. Just words on the screen saying, Wall Street, Bronx, Upper West Side, Harlem, Brooklyn etc. To not only show WHERE they went, but to show you how wide spread and prevalent street harassment is, no matter where you go.

I know it was difficult for that guy who edited the footage down to include dudes who looked like himself in the final cut. And maybe that’s the main problem with trying to end street harassment in the first place. Dude’s don’t want to look at themselves. Guys don’t want to take responsibility for the problem. They’d rather edit away any culpability and keep on doing what they do.

When given the opportunity to do something in the right direction, he not only edited out his race, but cherry picked and chose to not include the more horrible encounters that I know were caught on tape. You can’t tell me during that whole 10 hours she caught nothing but stares, and hello beautifuls and just that one guy following her for 5 minutes.

I’ve seen my share of undercover footage from NY and other cities around this nation and seen some crazy stuff go down. From white guys, Black guys, Latinos – you name it. And from rich college guys, guys in suits, blue collar guys, male teenagers, homeless men, dudes hanging out on the stoops. It doesn’t matter. So I know A LOT WAS LEFT ON THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR and you can’t tell me different.

I’ve read the articles, the blog posts, seen the footage, read the interviews, heard the stories, seen the tweets and I have my own experience under my belt to boot. Basically what the final cut of that video did was 1. Show Men Of Color to be the only guys in NY who street harass, 2. Water down the actual disgustingness of what guys say by selecting the least awful footage to include and 3. Create a whole lot of focus on pretty much anything but HEY GUYS WHY DON’T YOU JUST STOP STREET HARASSING.

So thank you edit-dude. And thank you whoever it was at Hollaback! who let that ish slide. Thanks for that. And for also having Feminista Jones be the one to catch hell from Black dudes on twitter by way of some weird convoluted thing – since she in no way shape or form had anything to do with that video – but she caught absolute hell for over 24 hours – prolly still ongoing  – on twitter because of it.

They went for the easy target, instead of confronting Hollaback! and/or the edit-guy – who was named in several articles I read about the video – they focused on Feminista and her #YouOKSis hashtag campaign against street harassment. It was that wonderful mix of white supremacy and patriarchy that had MoC taking the brunt and blame for street harassment, not FJ who is actually receiving AN AWARD for all her hard work in ending street harassment.

But again, we’ve seen this time and time again. And I, for one am sick and tired of it. Stop taking it out on Black women. Check yourself, check ya boys and step up and shut it down.

~*~

Videos of interest:

#YouOkSis Ending Street Harassment. This video didn’t get to go viral and have millions of views. Wonder why…

Definition of Street Harassment. It’s interviewing drunk college kids so view with a grain of salt. However, in vino veritas

Male dresses as a woman to explore Street Harassment. Kind of problematic, but whatever. Also the comments from the street harassers are in non-translated Arabic – but really, I don’t have to imagine that hard what they’re saying…

Exploring Street Harassment in NYC. NYU students take to the streets with hidden cameras. Interesting to note that in THIS video there are actual white guys shown harassing…

Sexist taunts halts French parliamentary session. Really dude? And don’t get it twisted. OUR own elected officials have come that incorrect many a time…

~*~

Links of Interest:

On Why We are Not Out Here Going Hard for Brothers over that Hollaback Video by Crunk Feminist Collective.

Three Decades of Street Harassment by Pia Glenn via xojane.

Yo, I SAID You’re Beautiful Though! by Pia Glenn from Valid Magazine.

#DudesGreetingDudes Is One Guy’s Flawless Takedown On Catcalling.

Storify of Feminista Jones’ tweets that drops MUCH science on Street Harassment.

Also sadness that I had to retweet the tweet that said: RT if your first street harassment experience happened when you were under 18 years old.

(9 or 10 years old, a neighbor kid, prolly 15 or 16 years old grabbed me around my waist, pawing at my non-existent breasts while saying the awfullest things) When that tweet came down my time line it had over 600 RTs. Less than 24 hours later I saw it again, and it was over 2K and climbing :(

And seeing that grinning, smirking white male mansplaining away street harassment on CNN and then saying for women to just “go get a gun”. Right. So I can catch a 20 year prison sentence for firing a warning shot like Marissa Alexander? How about you guys just stop street harassing. How about that?

YouOkSis

____________________________________________________________

I wanted to write something about street harassment in general but this is what happened instead. For those who don’t realize just how pervasive this is, I ask you to take the time to read the links and watch the videos.
Perhaps when I’m not so mentally exhausted, I’ll write the post that is still clamoring within me. These past two weeks or so have been TIRING seeing guys just not getting it. “Why can’t I just say hello?” My response: “Why can’t you just go about your day and not bother another stranger on the street, subway or bus?” 
To quote N’Jaila Rhee who co-hosts the TWiB After Dark podcast with Feminista Jones: “…Because I’m not decoration…” and also we can’t tell the difference between the for real just friendly guy and the guy that’s going to go ballistic. #SorryNotSorry but YOU LET IT GET TO THE POINT WHERE YEAH YOU CANNOT JUST SAY HELLO. So go out and FIX IT and END STREET HARASSMENT and then we can all say hello to each other on the street again without worry or fear.
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About Awake BW

Like my writing? Support & Donations accepted: paypal.me/AwakeBW Black Celibate Buddhist Nun Insomniac Wordsmith Womanist Our Lady Of The Two Black Cats Educated Bodhisattva This Week in Blackness Podcast FOREVER! #TWiBNation
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7 Responses to This Is What You Get When…

  1. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

    Why give it to a woman at all? I believe I would have gotten a woman to do the job, not a man. I doubt any of them can be trusted at all. :(

    • Awake BW says:

      I think you meant “why give it to a ,man at all” – hate it when I typo on comments!
      For me, man or woman, I’d have had explicit instructions for them to follow with payment (if there was any) upon job completed to my satisfaction.

      Point is so many of those sorts of groups (predominantly white cis female) tend to just assume/trust that their white male counterparts are going to always do the right thing.

      Also, it was ON THEM to make the decision to accept and distribute the end product – which they did – instead of sending it back. Because to them, it was done up just fine. The discrepancies had to be pointed out to them before they got it. But by then – damage already done.

      • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

        How awful of me! Yes, I did mean that. My life is over-the-top crazy this week; please forgive me.

        As a journalistic project the people should have put all their biases aside and done as asked to represent the truth.

        Again, I do apologize for the faux pas (royal screw up). <3

        • Awake BW says:

          Oh hey Jackie, I was commiserating with you! like, “I hate it when that happens” type of thing, so no need to apologize. I was with you all the way, and knew exactly what you meant. Typos happen :)

  2. Tim says:

    Lol. Sorry, white guys don’t typically don’t cat call girls, no matter how much you want it to be true to prove your point. I have been around white people all my life and have never heard a cat call from one of them, ever.

    • Awake BW says:

      That something hasn’t been observed by you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I’m not wishful thinking. I’ve been catcalled and street harassed by white guys, Black guys, all sorts of guys. As for this particular incident – the video in question – the edit-dude has already stated there was footage of white guys catcalling. He chose not to include those encounters.

      I’ve lived around white people my whole life too. Went to predominantly white college. Lived overseas in East Africa. Traveled through France and other European countries. Males of varying ages, walks of life, nations and nationalities cat call. My experience and the experience of countless others both anecdotal and evidenced by being on tape. My wish, if anything as clearly stated in this blog post and the many others I’ve written on the subject is that for it to stop. That is all.

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