10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman

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10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman
10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman.jpg
Screenshot from the video
Directed by Rob Bliss
Starring Shoshana Roberts
Distributed by Hollaback!
Release date
27 October 2014
Running time
1 minute 54 seconds
Country United States
Language English

10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman is a video created for Hollaback! by Rob Bliss Creative and featuring 24-year-old actress Shoshana Roberts, and released on October 27, 2014. The video shows Roberts walking through various neighborhoods of New York City, wearing jeans and a black crewneck T-shirt, with a hidden camera recording her from the front, the two-minute video includes selected footage from ten hours, showcasing what has been described by some as "catcalls" and street harassment of Roberts by men, reporting there were 108 such instances. The behaviors included people saying "hello" or "good morning", comments on Roberts' appearance, attempts to initiate conversation, angry remarks, and men following her for several minutes.[1][2][3][4][5] As of March 2017, the video has received over 43 million views on YouTube.

Production and goals[edit]

Roberts said that she got involved with the video by responding to a Craigslist posting by Rob Bliss a few months prior, and that although Rob Bliss told her that this was potentially a viral video, she was skeptical but was open to giving it a try.[2][6] Rob Bliss himself shot the video by walking a few feet in front of Roberts with a GoPro camera in his backpack.[1] Bliss and Emily May (executive director and co-founder of Hollaback!, for whom the video was made) clarified in comments to the Washington Post that Roberts' dress choice (jeans and a tight T-shirt) was made so as to debunk the misconception that women only get harassed if they wear revealing clothing. Roberts also said that she experienced similar harassment every day on the streets of New York City as was shown in the video.[1][2]

Reception[edit]

The video was hailed for providing visual proof of what many considered an important problem relating to the treatment of women in city streets.[1][7]

Several commentators disputed the implicit characterization of many incidents in the video, such as people casually greeting Roberts, as harassment.[8] Others responded that, even though the words themselves may not seem like harassment, the social context, including that they were directed only at Roberts rather than at male passersby, made them harassment.[7][9]

Another criticism was that the video was racially biased because it depicted black men harassing Roberts, a white woman, even though the video creator said that she was catcalled by people of all races.[10][11][12] Hollaback! responded to the criticism by noting that this video was only the first in a series of many videos that would document different forms of street harassment, and said it regretted any racial bias in the video.[12][13] An analysis of the video documented that most of the scenes shown in the video were taken in neighborhoods with predominantly black and Hispanic populations, raising the question of whether the video was shot mostly in these locations, or whether harassment was more prevalent in these locations than in others.[14][15]

Some critics combined both angles of criticism, claiming that the comments that Roberts considered street harassment were so perceived by her (and by her audience) because of race and class differences between her and the men making the comments.[16] Others disputed the characterization of the video as racist.[17]

Roberts, the woman featured in the video, reported receiving death threats within days of the video being released, and said that she no longer felt safe.[18][19][20][21] Roberts later filed a lawsuit against the video's producers.[22] However, the lawsuit was dismissed before going to trial.[23]

In 2015, Roberts was named as one of The Forward 50.[24]

Response videos[edit]

  • A spoof Funny or Die video showing a man walking around for ten hours in NYC and getting harassed was picked up by many media and news outlets as visual evidence of the difference in the way men and women are treated in public spaces.[25]
  • Comedian Scott Rogowsky also made a spoof video showing 10 hours of walking through NYC as a Jew.[26][27][28]
  • A man dressed as a hipster also made a spoof video, walking through the streets of Austin, Texas.[29]
  • A male model walked around New York City for three hours, recorded via hidden camera by Model Pranksters, was shown to have received over 30 catcalls, many of them qualitatively similar to what Roberts received. The video was taken as evidence that an attractive man in a body-flattering outfit could get harassed in much the same way that many women did, but commentators noted that whereas harassment was a reality for almost all women, only extremely good-looking men had to deal with it.[30][31][32]
  • A video was shot in Auckland, New Zealand, with a very similar setup to the original video, featuring model Nicola Simpson. The video reported no catcalling instances, and noted that she was stopped only twice, once by somebody asking for directions and another time by somebody who complimented her on her appearance but followed up by apologizing for stopping her, the video was cited as evidence that harassment is not an inevitable reality of life but rather dependent on the culture in a region, and that it was possible for big cities to have substantially lower levels of harassment.[33][34][35][36][37][38]
  • A woman walking around New York City, initially dressed in ordinary Western clothing (for five hours) and then in a hijab (for another five hours). Although she got harassed in a manner similar to Roberts in the first five hours, she didn't get harassed in the next five hours, the video was created by Karim Metwaly and the woman in the video was a friend of his. The implied message in favor of wearing the hijab was critiqued by commentators, who argued that such messages continued the tradition of blaming the victim and requiring women to be the ones to adjust their behavior while being judged by the male gaze, a problem allegedly prevalent both in the West and in the Middle East and other Islamic countries.[39][40]
  • A woman, Pooja Singh, dressed in miniskirt and a tank top was filmed by IndieTube walking through the streets of Mumbai, India. Although a few men looked at her covertly, nobody approached or harassed her, the video ended with the note: "Not even a single incident of woman street harassment took place in a city that has diversified culture, demographics and economy. The female citizens are safe, respected and treated unbiased in this city which never sleeps." Multiple commentators were pleasantly surprised and praised Mumbai residents for their civility and for minding their own business.[41][42]
  • A man dressed in a stereotypically gay manner walked around New York City for 3 hours, recorded by hidden video. The creators identified over 50 instances of street harassment faced by the man, the video was cited as evidence of the existence of openly expressed homophobia in society.[43]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Sieczkowski, Cavan (October 28, 2014). "Watch This Woman Receive 100 Catcalls While Walking Around For A Day". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Butler, Bethonie (October 29, 2014). "The story behind that '10 hours of walking in NYC' viral street harassment video". Washington Post. Retrieved April 14, 2015. 
  3. ^ Alter, Charlotte (October 28, 2014). "Watch This Woman Get Harassed 108 Times While Walking in New York City". Time Magazine. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  4. ^ Grinberg, Emanuella (October 29, 2014). "What 10 hours of street harassment in NYC looks like". CNN. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  5. ^ Ryan, Andrew (29 October 2014). "Now Trending: Woman harassed more than 100 times walking streets of New York". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  6. ^ Hoby, Hermione (December 17, 2014). "The woman in 10 Hours Walking in NYC: 'I got people wanting to slit my throat' The video exposing 10 hours of sexual harassment in New York in October has now had nearly 40m hits. But what was the impact on struggling actor Soshana Roberts?". The Guardian. Retrieved April 15, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Kottke, Jason (October 29, 2014). "Ten hours of walking in NYC as a woman". Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Catcall video reaction: Is 'hello' in the street sexual harassment?". Christian Science Monitor. October 30, 2014. 
  9. ^ Alvarez, Alex (October 28, 2014). "Relax, it's a compliment". Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  10. ^ Rosin, Hanna (October 29, 2014). "The Problem With That Catcalling Video". Slate Magazine. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  11. ^ Automnia (October 28, 2014). "Why you shouldn't share that NYC catcalling video. The video, and its director, are not what they seem". Storify. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b "Video Calls Out Catcallers, But Cuts Out White Men". National Public Radio. November 1, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Statement about recent street harassment PSA". Hollaback!. October 30, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  14. ^ Moore, Chris (October 29, 2014). "Does This Street Harassment Video Really Represent NYC?". Mass Appeal. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Turns Out That Catcalling Video Was Mostly Shot In Minority Neighborhoods". Liberty Viral. November 4, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Uppity, White Liberal Upset About Being Catcalled By Minorities In NYC". Liberty Viral. October 29, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  17. ^ Chok, Vera (October 30, 2014). "Harassment and freedom of speech". Retrieved April 13, 2015. This video and the point it’s drawing our attention to is not my idea of a liberal, racist, or neurotic video. 
  18. ^ "Woman In Street Harassment Video: 'I Do Not Feel Safe Right Now'". National Public Radio. November 1, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Shoshana Roberts: Actress who highlighted street harassment receives rape threats online". The Independent. October 29, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  20. ^ McKinney, Kelsey (October 29, 2014). "The woman who made a video about catcalling is already getting rape threats". Vox.com. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  21. ^ North, Anna (October 30, 2014). "When Street Harassment Continues Online". New York Times. Retrieved April 14, 2015. 
  22. ^ Burke, Kerry. "'Walking in NYC as a Woman' catcall video actress files suit". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
  23. ^ Roberts v. Bliss et al,, No. 15-CV-10167 Document 62 (S.D.N.Y. 2017) (“The Defendants' motions to dismiss Plaintiffs Lanham Act claim are granted. Plaintiffs state law claims are dismissed without prejudice, and she has the option to replead them in the New York State courts, the Clerk of the Court is respectfully requested to close the motions pending at Docket Numbers 37 and 43 and close the case.”).
  24. ^ November 11, 2015 (2015-11-07). "Forward 50 2015 –". Forward.com. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  25. ^ Mosbergen, Dominique (October 30, 2014). "This Is What 10 Hours Of Walking In NYC As A White Man Looks Like, According To Funny Or Die". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  26. ^ Dicker, Ron (November 3, 2014). "'10 Hours Of Walking Through NYC' As A Jewish Man Goes A Little Differently". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 14, 2015. 
  27. ^ "WATCH: What happens when a Jew walks in NYC for 10 hours? '10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Jew' shows comedian Scott Rogowsky being urged to daven, do a mitzvah and sniff an etrog". Haaretz. November 4, 2014. Retrieved April 14, 2015. 
  28. ^ Ghert-Zand, Renee (November 4, 2014). "10 hours of Chabad 'harassment' in NY. NY comedian Scott Rogowsky pokes fun at ultra-Orthodox group's outreach efforts on city streets". Times of Israel. Retrieved April 14, 2015. 
  29. ^ Schroeder, Audra (November 6, 2014). "Finally, the dangers of walking in Austin as a hipster are exposed". The Daily Dot. Retrieved April 14, 2015. 
  30. ^ Smith, Kevin (November 1, 2014). "Man Gets Harassed Over 30 Times In 3 Hours Walking In NYC (Video)". Elite Daily. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  31. ^ Wheaton, Oliver (November 1, 2014). "Video of a man getting catcalled in New York stirs up harassment debate". Metro. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  32. ^ ""Hot Male Model" Endures Sexual Harassment On The Streets Of New York". Instinct Magazine. November 3, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  33. ^ Clifton, Derrick (November 4, 2014). "A Model Recreated That Catcalling Video in New Zealand — And the Difference Is Telling". Mic.com. Retrieved April 14, 2015. 
  34. ^ Kutner, Jenny (November 5, 2014). "New Zealand model re-creates viral catcalling video, does not get catcalled at all. The issue isn't "boys being boys." It's deep culturally embedded sexism". Salon. Retrieved April 14, 2015. 
  35. ^ Dicker, Ron. "New Zealand Tries Filming A Catcalling Video And Something Amazing Happens". Huffington Post. 
  36. ^ Taylor, Victoria (November 5, 2014). "SEE IT: 'Catcall' video recreated in New Zealand, gets different results. The New Zealand Herald filmed model Nicola Simpson walking around Auckland with a hidden camera to see how people reacted, the final product is worlds different from the viral video recorded in New York City". New York Daily News. Retrieved April 14, 2015. 
  37. ^ Thackray, Lucy (November 5, 2014). "No catcalls or sleazy comments… just a man who stopped to ask for directions: Watch what happens when a New Zealand model walks through busy city streets in a remake of New York harassment film". Daily Mail. Retrieved April 14, 2015. 
  38. ^ Ryall, Jenni (November 6, 2014). "A woman walked the streets of New Zealand and nothing happened". Mashable. Retrieved April 14, 2015. 
  39. ^ Mastracci, David (November 7, 2014). "The Trouble with Street Harassment videos, hijab or no hijab". The Islamic Monthly. Retrieved April 15, 2015. 
  40. ^ Devos, Siel (November 20, 2014). "UK: 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman in Hijab". Stop Street Harassment. Retrieved April 15, 2015. 
  41. ^ "Watch: A woman walks around the streets of Mumbai for 10 hours to recreate the viral NYC video, doesn't get catcalled even once!". IBN Live. November 11, 2014. Retrieved May 15, 2015. 
  42. ^ Duggan, Adam (November 16, 2014). "Woman walks through Mumbai for 10 hours in vest top and mini-skirt and receives NO sexual harassment... in stark contrast to similar video shot in New York". Daily Mail. Retrieved May 15, 2015. 
  43. ^ Murdoch, Archie (November 18, 2014). "Three Hours of Walking in NYC Dressed as a Gay Man". MassAppeal. Retrieved April 14, 2015. 

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