BBC reporter Sarah Teale was recently filming a news segment in Nottingham, England about street harassment and was interrupted by a man harassing her on the street. Let me repeat that. While Sarah was reporting on street harassment, she became a victim of street harassment. I know what you’re thinking, and no: This was not the movie Inception and Leonardo DiCaprio had nothing to do with the incident.
On Friday, BBC Radio Nottingham released a Facebook video of the unaired segment. It shows Ms. Teale sitting outside of a conference on harassment of women (the plot thickens). Unfortunately, she forgot that, as a woman, being out in a public place, especially so close to a sidewalk, means that she is automatically up for commentary from men. I mean, obviously. Isn’t that why women leave their houses in the first place — to collect compliments or suggestions to smile from random male strangers?
“An online study showed a shocking 95 percent of people said they have been harassed, either jeered at, or had obscenities shouted at them in the street,” Sarah says in the video. “And a large proportion said they’d also been groped or grabbed inappropriately in public.”
Then, off-camera, a man yells a sexual obscenity at her. BBC has bleeped out his words, but you can tell by the look on Sarah’s face that it’s a textbook example of street harassment.
“Yeah, like that,” she says before looking back into the camera and shrugging, half infuriated, half defeated.
Sarah Teale’s reaction is all of our reactions.
Though Sarah appears to be alone in the video, it’s important to remember that she was filming something for television, which means she had a whole crew with her. If a woman with a posse, much less a posse holding professional sound and camera equipment, has horrible nonsense shouted at her in public, then what does that mean for the millions women who walk alone?
It’s incredibly unfortunate that this happened to Sarah: it’s not fair and it’s not warranted. However, this incident perfectly highlights a problem that women all over the world face. Anyone should be able to sit outside without worrying about random creeps getting all up in their business.
Check out the full video below.