A hidden camera has recorded every catcall a woman in jeans and a t-shirt received while walking for ten hours through the streets of New York City.
Rob Bliss, the commissioned director of the video, captured via a camera hidden in his backpack what volunteer Shoshana B. Roberts experienced over ten hours walking through NYC. The footage was produced for the anti-street harassment organisation Hollaback.
Director Bliss was inspired by the experience of his girlfriend who had been harassed on the street.
Writing an email to the American weekly TIME magazine about the video, he wrote: “What I did was walk in front of her, with earbuds in and sunglasses on, with a hole cut in the back of my shirt, wearing a hidden GoPro camera. I didn’t have any contact with any of these guys, the whole idea was to be a stone wall and just let everyone else bounce off us”.
And what happened is simply wretched and startling!
In a press release which accompanied the video, Roberts said: “I’m harassed when I smile and I’m harassed when I don’t. I’m harassed by white men, black men, latino men. Not a day goes by when I don’t experience this”.
Roberts, who decided to participate in the Hollaback project to bring awareness to the issue, has been a victim of sexual assault on several occasions. Though during last month’s shoot she was able to capture the frequent comments from men using a microphone she carried in her hand.
It is sad and disheartening to realise that Shoshana’s experience is not unique.
A statement about the video on Hollaback’s website reads: “The experience of street harassment is different for everyone. Street harassment disproportionately impacts women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and young people. Although the degree to which Shoshana gets harassed is shocking — the reality is that the harassment that people of color and LGBTQ individuals face is oftentimes more severe and more likely to escalate into violence. These forms of harassment are not just sexist — but also racist and homophobic in nature”.