A comment on the reactions to “10 hours of walking in NYC as a woman.”

I think the problem that some men faced when watching the video was that they felt like they were being generalised as being predatory if they wanted to get to know a pretty girl. We know not all men are like that, that not all men would ever mean harm to a woman or anyone else for that matter. These men are our friends and family. Unfortunately, at face value on the street, we have no idea what sort of a person could be talking to us. Dangerous people can look like anyone. We all just want to get from A to B safely, so unfortunately we have to question anyone’s intentions (including strangers who are women).

We have to be especially cautious as there are those sorts of people that victim blame if there is an incident e.g. they shouldn’t have stopped to talk to that person, they were being careless, if they ignored it nothing would have happened. I agree, men should definitely have the right to talk to women they find attractive (and women to men), but I think the circumstances really make a difference.

Approaching someone at a bar or a party is definitely acceptable as people feel well surrounded (usually by friends) and therefore feeling more secure in the environment to talk to a stranger. Also, because they are at the event with the purpose to socialise. Approaching someone on a street is different though, it’s an open space where we are sometimes alone. We are aware that there are cases of abductions and assault that take place in broad daylight. If we are walking on the street we are most likely in the middle of doing something, going somewhere and just want to get on with our day. Everyone is naturally suspicious of strangers because that is a basic survival instinct.

Not that I’m saying people can’t talk to one another, it just needs to be done so that everyone feels comfortable with it e.g. when there are lots of other people around, keep a respectable distance, introduce yourself, don’t comment outright on the persons appearance (unless it is something like commenting on a cool accessory like a bag or some shit). I think if you tell someone outright they are beautiful, it implies a level of attraction that then suggests possible action to be taken, pursuit or more. If you get to know the person first and you both feel safe in each others presence then I think it’s better to say something like that then. Not that all people will react the same, but better to be cautious.

Sorry for the rant but it’s been bothering me that the video meant to do good is causing more divide.

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