Never before have so many people watched an expressionless woman in a nondescript outfit traipse through New York City. Millions of people viewed a viral video that showed the woman getting all manner of uninvited and unwelcome compliments during hours of walking in the Big Apple.
The video was a brilliant stunt by the anti-street-harassment group Hollaback! and prompted the Great Catcalling Debate of 2014.
The video was taken as an indictment of the boorishness of men, a charge for which millennia of human history had already provided more than ample evidence.
There is no excuse for catcalling. There is no reason to shout at random women -- ever. There is no reason to comment on a stranger’s personal appearance -- ever. There is no reason to go out of your way to make someone else feel uncomfortable on the street -- ever.
These are things that used to be self-evident to the gentleman, who not only wouldn’t holler at a woman, but, once upon a time, opened doors for her and yielded his seat to her. The gentleman was a product of culture. He reflected society’s interest in the imperative once identified by Thomas Sowell: “Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late.” Especially the males.
This is not the language of Hollaback!. It breaks out every “-ism” and phobia in the book to condemn catcalling. It can be, according to the aggressively politically correct feminist group, “sexist, racist, transphobic, homophobic, ableist, sizest and/or classist.” That pretty much covers the bases. It would be much easier to say that it is rude and uncouth.
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