I know you already saw the video, but here it is. A compiled ten hours of rando dudes greeting, following, hitting on, and catcalling one stone-faced woman.
With the video’s viral spread, of course, came the scrutiny of justice-minded internetters, who pointed out that the video had a suspicious dearth of white men, which is a fair point. There’s excuses by the filmmakers, thought pieces musing on the different cultures of misogyny, but the central point remains: hella men approach and even follow women without any interest shown. A possible directorial bias doesn’t make it untrue that women face an exhausting barrage of unwanted attention just for stepping outside (in case you’re wondering, yes, I did encounter someone who thought the video’s “racism” made its message unworthy). Some say women should be happy for the attention, because they, a lonely person, would totally love for someone to notice them. This sentiment wasn’t even honored with a hashtag. Others insisted that nearly all of the men were simply saying “Hi” to the woman as a warm, friendly gesture.
In any case, the video wasn’t enough to convince some dudes that an awful lot of dudes treat women in ways they wouldn’t dream of treating a fellow dude. Misogyny is still unacknowledged by many as a widespread problem in our culture. Obviously this happens every time someone suggests that American society has any sort of equality issue, but the video really was a well-put thesis statement, so seeing the reaction has been frustrating, to say the least. With all the stupid crap going on with #Gamergate, people insisting harassment is just part of being on the internet, you’d think harassment would be fully recognized as a problem when you can see it happening to a person in real life. But nope, there’s just a grip of people who think it’s totally respectful and non-sexual for someone to come up and greet you on the street without you even looking at them.
So here’s to you, dudes, enjoy these non-sequitur quotes from everyday real dude conversations!
There’s criticism that the tag plays on internalized homophobia, which like the race point on the video, is fair. It’s a fact that some guys will get icked out by the thought of “greeting” men like this. But again, it really does nothing to take away from the statement. The tag simultaneously plays on the jarring recognition of what exactly men are saying when they “greet” random women. It works perfectly well without homophobia, even if that may be a possible reaction.
Good job, Twitter. Keep tweeting, and keep dreaming, and maybe you can get guys like this to go away. Well, probably not, but at least you’re funny.