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Cat-calling video causes battle of the sexes

by CAROLINE GAVURA Section Editor

It started out as a simple social experiment.

Shoshana Roberts was filmed for 10 hours walking around New York City. The four-minute video displays the numerous men cat-calling her as she walks past restaurants, construction sites, and different shops.

The video quickly went viral, being talked about on every major news network and hotly debated by bloggers, talk show hosts, and celebrities.

“That video disgusted me. No one deserves to go through that. One of the men even followed her around for five minutes; that’s scary,” said senior Tiffany Goncalves.

There have also been many recreations of the controversial video, the most recent of a New Zealand model walking the streets of NYC for 10 hours – and not being cat-called once.

CNN aired an intense debate between comedian Amanda Seales and author Steve Santagati over Roberts’ viral video.

“You know what’s funny is that you as a man, what your problem is that you should be embracing and welcoming to the fact that women are saying, ‘Hey, we don’t like this.’ Not arguing why we shouldn’t,” said Seales. “If we say we don’t like it and we are demonstrating that, then you should actually- as a man, who is a ‘Man of Honor’ and who wrote a book about this- should be saying, ‘Let’s discuss how we can make you all feel more comfortable.'”

The argument went on and on until Santagati finally suggested that instead of women being comfortable walking down the street ,they should just “carry a gun!”

It seems as though everyone has something to prove when it comes to this age-old argument about gender roles.

As a woman, I have mixed views toward Robert’s video. Although she had been walking around for 10 hours, the video is only four minutes long. It is easy to throw all of the worst clips together to make something shocking.

Also, the men of NYC do not exactly represent all of the men in America. It could be coincidence that the men in this video just happened to be out at that certain time in that certain area, which explains why the New Zealand model walked away unscathed.

However, I do like how this called attention to a large problem.

Cat-calling has been occurring for hundreds of years all around the world, and both men and women have been subjected to it. While some view the harassment these individuals go through on a daily basis as ‘compliments’, these comments in no way have a positive connotation.

The perpetrator is viewing the victim as a sexual object and is not respecting his or her right to walk down the street in peace.

“It is sad to think about how young I was when someone first made an inappropriate comment to me on the street. Young boys and girls should never have to experience something like this,” said an anonymous student.

Cat-calling is, for the most part, directed toward women, which is why this has become a men vs. women issue, but really it is right vs. wrong. No one – no matter their gender, sexuality, race, or appearance – deserves to be harassed or made uncomfortable in a public place. No one.

What are your thoughts on the cat-calling scandal?

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