NEW YORK: A video showing a woman being harassed by men on the streets of New York has gone viral, provoking well known debate about harassment endured by women.
The video, lengthening about two minutes, shows actress Shoshana B. Roberts walking mutely in jeans and a T-shirt through Manhattan as man after man sties to greet her with remarks such as “hey, baby”, “damn”, “hey, beautiful”, or “damn girl”, “sexy beautiful eagle”, etc.
On her not responding, she is reprimanded for being unruly with comments such as “smile” or “somebody’s acknowledging you for being beautiful. You should say thank you more.”
Named “10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman,” the video has been viewed 12.8 million times after being uploaded to YouTube or Vimow on Tuesday. It was produced for charity Hollaback! which works to root out street harassment endured by women and minority groups.
According to the organizers, she came across more than 100 instances of verbal street harassment within 10 hours and tolerated numerous other winks and whistles.
Roberts said she had received violent threats online after views of the video escalated.
“The majority of the reactions by email were positive but unfortunately a few ones were negative, involving hurting me, killing me. I’m going to go to the police because I don’t feel safe,” she told AFP.
The organization said Roberts was also threatened with rape in some comments to the post.
The video filmed by Rob Bliss from a camera hidden in his backpack as he walked in front of Roberts. He wanted to show men “what street harassment looks like in plain broad daylight, how it makes people feel and leave it out there,” he told AFP.
“For women, I wanted to empower them a bit and talk about their own personal experiences. A lot of time street harassment is something they can’t remove themselves from.”
“You can very quickly feel objectified and it’s ugly,” added he.
Roberts said pestering is a phenomenon of our daily life.
“I’m harassed when I smile, and I’m harassed when I don’t. I’m harassed by white men, black men, and Latino men. Not a day goes by when I don’t experience this,” she expressed.