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Women of Color Respond to Hollaback! Harassment Video

Nov 07, 2014

Street harassment has been a hot topic ever since a video went viral last week depicting one woman’s experience walking for 10-hours through the streets of New York, and the subsequent harassment she experienced.

But while the video, created by the anti-harassment organization Hollaback!, was an eye-opener for many, and launched a nationwide conversation about the issues women face in day-to-day life, it was also a reminder that some perspectives are often left out of these conversations.

In the video, a white woman is harassed repeatedly by men who are black and Latino, a fact that was later flagged as problematic. Hollaback! subsequently admitted they edited out instances where white men catcalled and harassed the actress in the video and apologized.

In an effort to make the conversation more inclusive, the women at Jezebel created a response video in which women of color share their experiences being bothered as they maneuver through the world--like one woman who was asked how she bikes in a skirt by white policemen, or another who said that white men have uninvitedly reached their hands into her hair at a bar. For many, harassment by white men is often the most striking.

"The point here is not to devalue or minimize the experience of women who strongly identified with [the Hollaback!] video," said one interviewee. "But it's to open the conversation, to make it broader."

Ironically, during this video, an older white man approaches a woman while she’s being interviewed and asks for a kiss. Watch the video at Jezebel.

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