Kit Steinkellner
July 29, 2015 10:03 am

It can be hard to explain to a male friend/relative/co-worker/significant other/person in your life just how upsetting street harassment is, because they’re almost never around to witness this unsettling act of aggression. As a woman, if you walk down the street with a man at your side, chances are low that you’ll have to deal with gross looks and creepy comments. Take the man out of the equation and have that same woman walk down the street by herself? Poof, just like magic, street harassment. Which, of course, takes the air out of catcallers’ assertions that their wolf whistles are “just a compliment.” If it’s just a compliment, why you don’t feel comfortable giving that compliment to a woman when she’s accompanied by a man? Well, of course it’s because catcalling is NOT a compliment, it’s a predatory act that occurs when the aggressor deems his target vulnerable, which often translates into a street harasser seeing a woman walking alone.

Activists have had just about enough of this, and in recent months, have started retaliating with a vengeance. From the Feminist Apparel’s signage campaign to the “Stop Telling Women to Smile” public art project, we’re seeing anti-street-harassment advocates find truly inspired ways to educate the public.

Big ups to Cosmopolitan for their recent (and completely genius contribution) to the fight against street harassment in the form of a video that helps boyfriends understand exactly what kind of harassment their girlfriends endure when they walk down the street alone. The video, entitled “Men React To Their Girlfriends Getting Catcalled,” is two must-watch minutes. Three couples participated in the video, Cosmopolitan filmed the women walking down the street and then played the results back for their boyfriends. The boyfriends, understandably, were upset, angry, and uncomfortable. They could not believe that the women they loved had to put up with this kind of harassment on a regular basis.

“That sucks,” one of the boyfriends commented. “I’m glad that people are making it an issue and, like, not standing for it anymore.”

We’re with you a hundred percent, Boyfriend in Video, we’re so glad that projects like these are helping people understand that street harassment is a real problem that needs to be eradicated.

Okay, video time!