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Hollaback to catcalls

Street harassment has a lower negative impact on pedestrians who respond to it, according to a study by the ILR School’s new Worker Institute.

Researchers analyzed descriptions of street harassment experiences submitted to Hollaback!, which offers street harassment victims free smart phone apps to post their experiences online.

Findings include:

      • Street harassment is under-researched but prevalent for many New York City residents.

• Emotional reactions to street harassment vary but any harassment – verbal, groping, assault – can produce feelings of fear, anger and shame.

• Targets who photograph the harasser or report harassment to officials appear to experience less negative emotional impact than those who don’t.

• When bystanders fail to act, their presence tended to compound targets’ negative emotional responses.

• Bystander interventions that had a positive influence on targets could be as simple as a knowing look or a supportive statement.

• When a bystander took action by confronting the harasser, harassment was more likely to stop.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, street harassment targeting women and LGBTQ people is the most pervasive form of sexual violence and the least legislated against.

 — Mary Catt


2 Responses to “ Hollaback to catcalls ”

  • june

    The way street harassment is described by this author, I would think she was describing raaaaaaappppppeeee.

    Over-sensitivity and catastrophizing seem to play a huge role in “street harassment.” Women are “creeped” out by just about everything, so I imagine socially awkward lonely men falling prey to street harassment hysteria and legislation.

    If legislated, I would imagine many men being arrested for just attempting to meet a woman on the street, even if they’re not call calling, whistling, or doing any of the hundred thousand behaviors defined as street harassment.

    Men have the burden of picking women up because women won’t do it, and street harassment hysteria will without a doubt increase E-harmony’s subscribers.

    Any type of legislation that would proscribe street harassment would be equivocal and allow the subjective over-sensitive catropshizing nature of the “victim” which is generally female to act as high court.

    Street harassment hysteria is very popular with misandrists, radical feminists, and liberals. Generally the ruffians who make up this group despise the constitution as this document was created by men, so I imagine the first amendment being totally disregarded in street harassment legislation. This malignant group is the impetus of street harassment hysteria, and maliciously re-frames a lot of innocuous behaviors as baleful to target, imprison, and disenfranchise men who are seen as a privileged class that must be subverted.

    If her highness says it is street harassment, then so it is. If she says blue is red, then so it is. If she says 2 + 2 is 5, then it is.

  • Putu

    I am not allowed to use the word r a p e in this comment…

    R_ape culture is diminishing the gravity of any sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, or culture of actual or potential coercion in any way.

    R_ape culture is people objecting to the sexual assault being called oversensitive, rather than people who perpetuate the r_ape culture being regarded as not sensitive enough.

    R_ape culture is the objectification of women, which is part of a dehumanizing process that renders consent irrelevant. R_ape culture is treating women’s bodies like public property. R_ape culture is street harassment and groping on public transportation and equating women’s bodies to a man walking around with valuables hanging out of his pockets.

    Street harassment is usually not a product of socially awkward men trying to meet women on the street. It is aggression and disrespect that leaves people feeling vulnerable. I don’t want to be picked up on the street, I don’t want to be “appreciated” on the street, I don’t want to be eye-fu_cked. It does not make me feel pretty, and I am not smiling shyly when I walk away. I am uncomfortable, I feel singled out, and it makes me feel like mutilating the aggressor for a long time.

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