By now, you've probably watched the video of Shoshana B. Roberts walking through New York City for 10 hours. During that time, Roberts was on the receiving end of quite a few catcalls — 108 instances of them to be precise. The video was made to serve as a PSA about street harassment. Unfortunately, it has also become a PSA about Internet commenter harassment.
After the video started making the rounds, Roberts began getting rape threats from YouTube commenters. The post we wrote about the video received comments like, "Take a taxi next time and shut the f*ck up," and "With a body like that, she will get catcalled, no matter where she goes." The point: It has been missed.
Funny or Die decided to chime in with a PSA of its own in the form of what the site does best: a parody video. In "10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Man," a man wearing jeans and a crewneck T-shirt — the same outfit Roberts wore for her video — spends 10 hours walking through the same city streets.
Even though it's a scripted parody video, the message is clear. The experience he has walking around as a male is much different than the one Roberts had. These are just a few of the fake catcalls he receives:
"Hey Harvard! Hey Harvard! You wanna network? You wanna network with me?"
"Hey man, high five!" accompanied by the caption, "The same man has been high-fiving him for five minutes." This is meant to mimic the moment in Roberts' video when a man walks silently by her side for several minutes.
Back in the Funny or Die video, our subject receives Chipotle and sunscreen. He's offered a job. He's carried in a chair when he looks tired. He's hailed as the king of New York. After the video ends, some text on the screen notes that, "100+ instances of verbal street privilege took place within 10 hours. This doesn't include the countless Bud Light Limes, fist bumps, and small business loans that were offered. If you want to help, please do nothing. Leave the patriarchy in place."
Again, this is satire. Still the message is clear: A male walking through the streets of New York City would have a vastly different experience than the one in the original PSA from Hollaback! — even if they are wearing the exact same outfit. Sigh.