When Hollaback, an anti-street harassment organization, released a video of actress Shoshana B. Roberts enduring more than 100 catcalls while walking in New York City streets, we weren’t surprised at the amount of men dismissing how horrific street harassment really is.
We also weren’t totally floored when conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh joined in on the misogyny, mocking the now-viral video and reducing it to men just dishing out compliments.
For the record, that’s definitely not what went on in that video (watch below):
But Limbaugh just couldn’t wrap his head around why we were upset at these “polite” men.
“I was expecting some really boorish, sexist, dangerous, I was expecting some real real rotten conduct by guys and I didn’t see that,” Limbaugh stated, adding that while the video did capture some instances of poor behavior, “most of it, it was men being polite.”
We guess the stalker guy walking next to her for five minutes or the one voicing his insecurities who won’t stop talking to her are, you know…polite and not boorish/dangerous.
He then went on to defend the behavior of the men shown in the video — “You see a pretty woman, you react to it, ‘hey, looking good today’” — before seizing on its selective editing to point out that most of the men were minorities living in undesirable neighborhoods. “In the interest of accuracy, ladies and gentlemen the majority of men that are portrayed in this video are African American and Hispanic and I thought we were supposed to celebrate diversity,” he said. “Most of them are African American and or Hispanic.”
Spare us. While the video may display some racial bias, don’t be fooled. Street harassment spans all races.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “non-contact unwanted sexual experiences” — a category that includes harassment on public sidewalks — is the most prevalent form of sexual violence for both men and women. An estimated that 65 percent of women have experienced unwanted attention from strangers on the street.
Limbaugh may want to ask that percentage of women how “polite” those men actually are before he goes mansplaining again.
SOURCE: Think Progress | VIDEO SOURCE: YouTube | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty