Drawing The Line: When Is Harassment Actually Harassment?
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I’m sure many of you have seen this interesting video, as it has generated over five million YouTube views in a single day and is climbing fast.
Before I get into the topic at hand, I have made it very clear in past aticles that I am against street harassment and men really need to pull back on the reins when it comes to making women uncomfortable in public. Thankfully, awareness of street harassment has spiked drastically due to quite a few viral YouTube videos showing women wearing hidden cameras while walking around a city (usually New York City) and documenting their experiences.
The reason I bring this up now though, is the most recent video, published just yesterday (10/28/14) has received a lot of scrutiny. Not just from men – but also from women.
While there are quite a few men who cross the line in this video – like the man who walks silently beside this woman for over 5 minutes without saying anything (Which would even make me wonder what the hell he was doing), or another who walks beside her and talks to her without her responding at all…there are also quite a few men who tell her to have a good day and keep moving along about their business.
To keep things in perspective, this footage is taken from over ten hours of walking through the streets. They have edited it down to under two minutes. Two minutes, much of which we can all agree is harassment. But some of it, we are not so sure.
While we need to work to eliminate all forms of street harassment, we also have to make sure our efforts are put in the right places. If we continue to vilify all social interaction with a stranger and classify it as being harassed, nobody will ever make eye contact, approach someone new they are attracted to, or be willing to make new friends.
Some say the line is drawn when someone is made to feel uncomfortable. The issue there, though, lies in different levels of tolerance for everyone. For people who have pure intentions of simply delivering a compliment to an attractive stranger – how will they ever know what kind of response they will be met with? This will easily lead to people simply keeping to themselves.
Take a look at the short two minute video here and leave your thoughts in the comment below. When is harassment actually harassment?
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