'Hey, Powerful': What It's Like to Walk on the Street While Being Male
"100+ instances of verbal street privilege took place within 10 hours."
This week, a video went viral. A young woman, wearing a simple t-shirt and jeans, walked around Manhattan for 10 hours. She didn't interact with anyone as she walked. She didn't say anything as she walked. Yet she got more than 100 comments, catcalls, whistles, and other forms of unasked-for attention during the course of the day.
Now, the good people at Funny or Die have produced a semi-satirical response—a video documenting the same walking-on-the-street experience from the perspective of the adult white male.
"Hey, powerful!" people shout at him. And also: "You wanna network? You wanna network with me?" And also: "Hey, buddy, you want a Starbucks gift card? Yeah, you like that. You could buy a latte. Buy a latte with that gift card."
The Funny or Die production is staged, while Hollaback's is, it claims, documentary; it is a joke while Hollaback's is earnest. It is about #checkyourprivilege more than #yesallwomen. Yet the point is the same in both videos: that the simple act of commuting from place to place can carry cultural freight. That the other side of harassment is, often, privilege. That the experience of simply walking down the street can vary widely depending on who you are—or, more accurately, depending on how you look.