What happens when men are shown what the women they care about go through just by walking through the streets of New York City? Cosmopolitan magazine decided to find out in a new video.
"I'm getting pissed off," Seth, one of the men, said as he watched his girlfriend get catcalled on video. "I'm not happy with this."
Street harassment and catcalling are problems most women are already familiar with. Particularly in major cities, women regularly get unsolicited comments about their looks and experience other forms of harassment just by walking outside.
But since the victims of this harassment are women, it's generally difficult for men to understand just how pervasive the problem is. So when the men in the video were exposed to how their girlfriends are treated, the responses ranged from anger and disgust to surprise and support.
"It sucks," Jon said. "I'm glad that people are making it an issue and not standing for it anymore."
Cosmopolitan isn't the first to put this kind of harassment on video. Last year, Hollaback, an organization that wants to end street harassment and intimidation, produced a video in which a woman walked through New York City for 10 hours. The hidden video camera placed in the backpack of a man walking in front of her recorded more than 100 instances of verbal harassment. After the video went viral, the woman in it received rape threats on YouTube.
Kelsey McKinney wrote for Vox about the several layers of discrimination that the video and response revealed: "Women are forced to feel uncomfortable and scared for walking down the damn street. Then when one woman takes the time to show just how uncomfortable those interactions are, people threaten to physically assault her. If the video reminded us that women are constantly made to feel unsafe when they leave the house, the response is a reminder that women are constantly made to feel unsafe when they simply turn on their computers."