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Friday, October 31, 2014

Hanna Rosin On ‘The Problem With That Catcalling Video’

The video of a young woman walking down the street in New York City, getting catcalled over and over, has been everywhere this week.

It’s started a lot of conversations about street harassment and what many women experience on a daily basis. It’s also started some conversations about race.

As writer Hanna Rosin put it in Slate, it’s not just a video of a woman being harassed by men as she walks around New York City: “More specifically, it’s a video of a young white woman who is harassed by mostly black and Latino men.” It turns out that many of the white men who catcalled the woman were edited out of the video.

The writers says that this omission highlights the fact that, “catcalling has always been an uncomfortable feminist issue because of the class and race dynamics involved.”

According to Rosin, a more accurate representation of catcalling already existed — a Daily Show segment by Jessica Williams called “Jessica’s Feminized Atmosphere.” The video, which Rosin described as “extremely effective” despite its issues, has spawned a Funny Or Die parody called “10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Man.”

Here & Nows Robin Young talks to Rosin about her piece in Slate.


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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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