A woman walking on the streets of Manhattan for a full day stands to get catcalled more than 100 times, according to a nonprofit group trying to end street harassment.
The group, Hollaback!, said volunteer Shoshana Roberts was catcalled by men 108 times over the course of a day as she walked around Manhattan earlier this year. That works out to about one catcall every six minutes.
A video of the day, captured on a hidden camera embedded in a videographer's bookbag, shows dozens of men asking for her phone number, telling her to smile and calling her beautiful. Hollaback! said that the 108 cases of harassment don't include dozens of whistles and winks.
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“I’m harassed when I smile and I’m harassed when I don’t,” Roberts said. “Not a day goes by when I don’t experience this.”
Two of the men in the feature are particularly aggressive. One says, “Hello, good morning,” and then proceeds to walk beside Roberts for five minutes. Another walks beside her for several blocks, asking Roberts if she thinks he is ugly and berating her for not talking to him.
Rob Bliss, the man who walked in front of Roberts throughout the day with a camera hidden in his book bag, said he volunteered to shoot the video because he doesn’t think men see the cumulative effects of catcalling.
“They see it as just an innocent compliment but are missing the forest for the trees,” he said. “I intentionally left out any messaging and just laid bare what it's like, so that everyone could objectively see the reality of this problem.”
According to Hollaback!, between 70 and 99 percent of women are catcalled or harassed while walking down the street at some point in their lives.