New blog layout coming soon. For now, just scroll below for the latest videos. Before you do, though, a few quick notes:
First and foremost: I do not share these videos as examples of egregious chauvanism or severe street harassment. Rather, I simply started filming any time a stranger made an unsollicited comment about my appearance, merely to document for some male friends that this is not an unheard of or even rare experience for many women in public spaces. Although several of the videos did arise from attempts to touch me or graphic inappropriate comments, some of them are simply casual demonstrations of male privilege and the attitudes underlying the same. So, please don't bother emailing me about how a particular video "isn't even harassment," because the project is geared at documenting a systemic issue rather than drawing attention to a particular interaction in isolation.
Second, although I use Youtube's face-blurring option, it is an imperfect and imprecise tool and I have no control over which videos blur better than others. Going forward, if I continue filming I will be filming feet only to avoid these inconsistencies.
Finally, these videos are NOT representative of what I hope or intend for the average person giving harassers a card, but are instead a way for me to personally explore why certain men think it is normal, positive behavior to comment on a strange woman's appearance as she walks by on the street unaccompanied.
Commuting home from work on Friday evening, I ran into this guy at my bus stop. His voice is very low and gravelly so it's hard to catch everything on the audio but I hope he goes on to put that freestyle skill to something more productive than commenting on strange women's bodies.
Stranger calls me a "bitch," explains: "'Bitch' means that you're sexy."
Walking home on the same day as the preceding video, I passed this guy on the sidewalk tonight who out of nowhere called me a bitch. I hadn't made eye contact or done anything as we passed. His explanation? "'Bitch' means that you're sexy." When I told him that was inappropriate, he told me to smell his ass.
Another guy willing to risk getting hit by a car to hassle a woman he finds attractive
This guy had all sorts of disturbing opinions, including offensive comments about any women he didn't find attractive.
"Ron the Model Scout"
Ron put the "street" in "street harassment" by literally trying to stop me to talk in the middle of a crosswalk. Once we did get to the curb I was rewarded with a lame pick up line and some of the usual excuses. Hilariously, Ron was not comfortable with the idea of taking one of my cards, and put a lot of distance between us after I tried to give him one. In the end of the next video, he greets the second man I encountered a moment later, and together they wave around my card and have what seems like a lovely chat.
"Love the Dress" (IMPORTANT: Read the context.)
The important takeaway from this video is: context and delivery matters. Depending on the tone and manner of delivery, I might not find a comment about my fashion choices, or a simple hello, uncomfortable at all. But what is not clear from this video is that this guy unexpectedly stepped out of a doorway, was up in my personal space, reached out to me to touch my arm as he said it, and gave me an intentionally, dramatically long once-over before he said it. He the continued walking with me to insist it was a compliment after I said I didn't want to be spoken to by strangers.
After I gave him a card and got to my stop, I kept filming to see how he reacted to the card. You'll see that the guy from earlier down the block, Ron, walked over and started bonding with the guy, presumably over their shared experience of being chastised by me.
A few minutes after parting ways with "Ron the Model Scout" and "It's a Compliment" guy, this man came over and stood at the bus stop. We had a nice conversation with a group of people at the stop--he gave one person directions for which route to take, we talked about where we were all headed, what kind of day we'd been having; at one point, a woman near me talked about her busy night and he pantomimed playing a sarcastic violin, making us all chuckle. So far, so good.
Unfortunately, once he asked for $.50 for bus fare and the rest of the group left to get on their respective busses, he immediately switched gears, and standing very close to me gave me a once-over and said, "Damn!"
I told him why that change in tone made me uncomfortable and at the end, it seems to dawn on him, "That ain't even cool, is it?"
"Minnesota Chicks are HOT"
I almost made it all the way to my office in peace this morning when I passed these two businessmen who loudly faux-whispered "Minnesota chicks are HOT" at me. I wish I had the composure to remind them that some day we may be across from one another in a professional setting, and that this type of interaction makes it hard for me to feel like I would be treated with the level of respect or dignity people hope to encounter in colleagues.
Ah, Jared. Theologian. Constitutional Scholar. Smoker. Total stranger. Our time together was so short tonight as I walked to my bus stop and tried to mind my own business before you started shouting at me. I'm just glad I had my cards and phone at the ready so we could both have memories to take away from these special, fleeting moments.
After multiple instances of street harassment in a 5 minute walk down Nicollet Avenue, I decided enough was enough. And that's when I met Umar.
Guy says he can "Smell my womanhood."
Walking to my bus stop after work this guy started telling me to sit on his lap, then said he could smell my womanhood because he is "a wolf." Not great audio and unfortunately I got a better shot of my chest than his face, but live and learn. My favorite part is he thought I was giving him a card so he could call me.
Bigots Booted Off the Bus
These winners were hollering at me and another woman on the bus and then immediately turned it into an opportunity to loudly disparage gay men. Huge gratitude to the Metro bus driver who removed them from the bus.
Conversation with a street harasser in front of the Wedge