The Problem With That Catcalling Video 11

The moral of this video is this: If you walk around NYC for ten hours you’re going to inevitably run into some horrendous creeps. If they aren’t aggressively yelling compliments at women, sometimes in a rapey fashion, they’ll be asking you for money or calling you ‘tough guy’ or ‘fag’ or whatever else losers do.

Its good this video is drawing attention to the plight of women who have to put up with this. Unfortunately this particular source lacks all credibility based on what I saw at the :38 second mark where a guy asks “How are you this morning?” in a pretty normal tone.

This is really making me rethink those “100+ incidents of verbal street harassment” the filmmaker claims.

Progressives have a tenancy to get wound up. Usually it results in a good fighting spirit in the quest for justice, but often it just perverts a cause by involving well intentioned people who are either too rabid or too impressionable to separate reality from the very broad ideals they’ve been assigned.

Looking into vaccine manufacturing is a good thing. Deciding you’re smarter than your doctor, refusing to vaccinate your kids, and putting entire populations at risk is taking it too far.

Documenting perverts on the street is a good thing. Saying that someone who says “Good morning” is a sexual deviant is taking it too far.

Sometimes when you strap on a scowl and power walk through the ghetto you’re inviting unwanted attention. People might be apt to ask how you’re doing because you look like you’re about to go shoot up a mall or something.

Not that this excuses in any way the creeps who were harassing this woman. But I’ve found New Yorkers are actually pretty friendly in my experience. Someone asking how you are doing should not be seen as a threat regardless of gender.

The problem with this progressive tendency to jump the shark on these issues just gives fodder to misogynists and idiots of all types who are going to claim you’re distorting reality to back up your agenda.

In this case they are right.

Its a general tendency of progressives to talk down to and not respect their audience. I do it all the time.

I’m pretty sure I know the difference from a creep following a chick around and a dude who says “How are you this morning.”

The chasm between these two incidents is roughly equivalent to that of advocating for animal rights versus calling people who eat meat murderers.

This criteria seems to characterize just about every dude in the world as a street harassing catcalling scumbag because he has said hello to a stranger, instead of focusing on the more nuanced issue of what growing numbers of women are vocal about experiencing, which they find offensive, invasive, or harmful.

But it can’t be “How are you this morning.” That’s not the way the world works. Your parents would have probably never met. You don’t get to appropriate normal societal interactions to back up your point. Its not fair to anyone involved and doesn’t further the conversation. It undermines it.

It just leads to articles like this. I invite you to skim through this missing all the points involved and say I hate women, because that’s how open minded people handle their business sometimes.





Matt Ralston is a comedian and writer based in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewRalston

11 thoughts on “The Problem With That Catcalling Video

  1. Reply reader Oct 31,2014 4:23 pm

    Where in the video does it say the guy who said “good morning” was a sexual deviant? All the video did was document the wide variety of things that were said to a woman who walked down the street. It’s up to the viewer to draw conclusions. You’re making a straw man argument to criticize progressives. It’s weak and it undermines all the conclusions you’re trying to draw.

    • Reply Matt Ralston Oct 31,2014 7:18 pm

      That’s incorrect. The video says it documented “100+” instances of street harassment and is absolutely defining the good morning as harassment. You’re wrong. But thank you for reading.

      • Reply J242 Nov 1,2014 7:43 pm

        “You’re wrong. But thank you for reading.”

        Wow, you really are quite full of yourself aren’t you? You nit-pick ONE shot and use it to discount the entire message of the video. Good for you. I’m sure you’ll print out a self-appointed award to put up next to all your “participation” trophies on your shelves.

        • Reply Matt Ralston Nov 1,2014 10:11 pm

          My point was that THAT misappropriation diminished the entire point of the video. I apologize if I came off as arrogant. Its just the way I feel about it.

    • Reply Matt Ralston Oct 31,2014 7:19 pm

      It is progressive to criticize progressives when they do stupid things.

  2. Reply J242 Nov 1,2014 7:39 pm

    You are an idiot if your hang-up is the “How are you this morning? comment. While yes, it was in a relatively “normal” tone it was thrown out when there was no engagement from her. Imagine this scenario if you will:
    You are at a movie (let’s say a horror film) and the person in front of you turns around and tries to strike up a conversation about economics.

    Why? You are there to watch the movie, if you wanted to discuss economics you’d be attending a lecture on the topic right? So, what reason does someone have to make a one-sided social connection attempt to a complete stranger (walking at a decent pace) that makes this acceptable in your eyes? His TONE? It pisses me off when I’m trying to go about my day and someone tries to butt in and “make a connection” of any kind unless there is an invitation of some sort like being in a social setting. Walking down the street en route to work, or home, or getting groceries I’m not always in the mood to strike up a conversation and generally just want to get to where I’m going.

    What would be REALLY interesting to see is if they filmed the same guy that you believe was just being a nice person and see if they said the same thing to men, “less attractive” women, etc. If it showed that he behaved the same way with everyone you might actually have a point regarding him specifically but that’s just the needle in the haystack when it comes to this topic.

  3. Reply Ben Nov 1,2014 10:45 pm

    Man, J242, you really know how to work an argument. You got a blogger who is apologizing for his tone (which is really hard to control) and then you open up another comment by calling him an idiot. You must win a lot of debates that way. Sad. Wait, sad and pathetic. Matt, why do you even respond and give this person a sense of purpose?

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