“Hey girl, let me holla atchu”

I feel bad that I haven’t posted a blog in a minute. I’ve been working on some things. Mainly, trying to develop another video blog to post, as well as trying to come up with some ideas of what to discuss. And thanks to the internets, something has gone viral for me to discuss.

Enter this video:

Peep the video if you haven’t, it’s interesting. It’s short too for those of you that don’t enjoy anything past 5 minutes *lol*

Essentially, this young lady walks “around NYC” for 10 hours as her boyfriend films (via a hidden backpack camera) all of the cat-calling she receives from men. You can click here to read more about the purpose of their video. It’s an attempt to make more people (though I’m guessing mainly men) aware of the “harassment” women endure as they are casually walking down the street. It highlights the fact that when this happens, many women feel unsafe and feel the unwanted cat-calling could possibly lead to unwanted advances (or worse).

Let me jump right in and say that this video hits home for me. When I lived in the city (Harlem), I would undoubtedly receive the same type of “harassment” from men. Now, I’m using harassment in quotes because some people may not feel the type of “call outs” she received were harassment. Personally, I DO feel harassed when men do this to me. But, to each their own. For me, it angers me and frankly, it made me not want to even go anywhere. I was SO thankful to move out of that neighborhood. However, as I pointed out to my husband, that type of harassment happened outside of our neighborhood. I could be in Times Square or in SoHo. It happened all over the city! In this woman’s video, she was mainly shown walking in Harlem (125th st), where there is (for some reason) a large amount of men just hanging out on the streets. [Sidenote: Does this whole, dudes hanging out on the sidewalk in front of businesses/on the corner happen in other cities? This did not happen in Detroit, nor do I remember seeing this in DC. Although, I could see it happening in some DC neighborhoods, but it didn’t happen where I lived.] 

Some people have stated that the harassment is probably worse in the Harlem area, given the amount of people that are out. That could be true, however, this is NYC. There are hundreds of people EVERYWHERE, hence the reason I know she probably gets the harassment in a variety of locations. And for me, living in NYC made the harassment worse given that everyone walks everywhere, but I definitely received this when I lived in Detroit and DC. The bottom line is, if a man wants to holla (cat-call), he’s going to do it, no matter what.

I read a few comments on the video and some folks stated that the harassment wasn’t even that bad. In fact, some women even commented that they would love for a man to say “hey beautiful” as she walked by. And there were some people that stated that depending on where you live, most of the cat-calls would be received as just people being friendly.

To the women that would enjoy receiving cat-calls, I have to say “to each their own”. I would like to ask though, if any woman would enjoy receiving the calls if the man were unattractive? What if it were a homeless man? Do those things matter? What if you responded to the person and they immediately decided to follow you, like the one man did in the video? Then what? Do you still want to receive the calls? Because, I have been in situations where I have responded back by saying “hello” (as I kept walking), only to have the guy keep talking to me:

“Hey, where you going!?”
“Wait, let me talk to you!”
“Let me get your number!”

Listen, where I’m from, any guy that tries to holla at you on the street, is USUALLY looking for a bit more than just a “hello” or “hey” back. And if you don’t want to give more, then you’re up a creek if you want to keep things moving and he doesn’t. And these days, you NEVER know what a guy will do if you don’t answer or if you do respond and keep walking. In my opinion, it’s better not to respond. However, in some cases, I’ve been called a bitch for not responding. So, it’s almost as if I can’t win when the cat-calling happens, and that’s sad. It’s sad that there are so many men out there that don’t see or understand how awkward and unsettling it is to be on the receiving end of their calling. Yes, some guys are just trying to be nice, but even still, I feel like the purpose of them trying to speak is so that the woman will respond. And if she responds, he has an opportunity to advance further (i.e. trying to get a conversation going, trying to get her number, etc). I mean, think about it. A guy sees a pretty girl. What’s the point of just saying hello just to say hello? Now in the south, there is more of a chance that they really are just being friendly because EVERYONE I’ve ever encountered in the south was that way. Men to women and vice versa, as well as men to men and women to women. People down south just speak because it’s polite. However, when I lived in MI, DC and now NYC, it’s another story.

Long story short (too late), I hate the “hey girl”, “hey gorgeous”, “hey mama”, “hey queen”…. “hey fill in the blank with any sort of descriptive word for an attractive woman“. I’ve heard them all. Like I said, that woman’s video is pretty much point-for-point what I experienced in NYC (and other places). It was/is not fun. OH, and don’t let me walk down the street in shorts or a skirt. In fact, I didn’t if I could help it. If I wore shorts, guys acted as if I were a deer and it was hunting season. Terrible.

Ya know, I get it. I’m attractive. I honestly have enough self-esteem to know that. I don’t need 10838747521 dudes telling me. I just don’t. I sound ungrateful. But, I’m not. I think my parents did a good job telling me I was a pretty girl, so I don’t need anyone else telling me! *lol* If anyone told me I was unattractive, I’d laugh and say, “My parents think I’m cute and that’s all that matters!” #justsaying 🙂

What are your thoughts on the video?

-t

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