Street harassment and social cohesion in Mexico City

For all the chatter about that recent video where the woman walks through New York City and is repeatedly harassed, I thought it worth mentioning there is a systematic study of this question going on at MIT economics (and elsewhere), conducted in part by job market candidate Sara Hernández, with numerous co-authors.  The paper isn’t ready yet, but here is the abstract:

This study seeks to document the frequency of street harassment and preventive measures women take to avoid it. It explores the association between experiences of street harassment and perceptions of social cohesion among women currently presenting for health care at public health clinics. The study was conducted in Mexico City, the most populous city in North America, which has a high documented prevalence of gender-based violence against women, ranging from 20-30% in a woman’s lifetime. Despite the pervasiveness of gender-based violence in the city, little is known about experiences related to street harassment. Data were drawn from a baseline survey among women currently participating in a randomized controlled trial in Mexico City (N=952). Current findings underscore the needs for programs and policies to promote the safety and well being of women and addressing community and structural-level forms of gender discrimination and violence.

I believe this issue will continue to receive more attention in the future.  The “flexibility” of the behavior of men — depending on social expectations for one thing — remains an underexplored topic in economics.

Comments

How do you "randomize" this trial? What is the treatment and what is the control?

without visiting the link nor any other data: the less harassment, the nicer the scenery.

Be careful--other people pointing this (really obvious) point are getting called racists. http://thinkprogress.org/culture/2014/10/30/3586858/joyce-carol-oates-thinks-theres-no-street-harassment-on-park-ave/

The idea that street harassment in NYC is the same across neighborhoods (controlling for construction crews and garbage men) is absolutely laughable. This kind of PC stuff should really be called out for the kind of crap that it is.

As someone who lived in Harlem, worked in midtown, and spent plenty of evenings in the East Village and Greenwich Village, yeah, absolutely. It's ridiculous and laughable.

But that doesn't matter anymore. The truth doesn't matter anymore.

Go ahead and say this anywhere. You'll be called a racist, a "mansplainer", a men's rights activist, privileged, or something else. Better yet, point out that extremely obese and old women don't get this same treatment. You'll get even worse. Some truths are uncomfortable, but they are nonetheless pretty damn obvious.

Nice

This is indeed obvious. But then you need to go a step further and think about why.

And why is almost everybody on this board apparently male...

And why is almost everybody on this board apparently male…

Isn't it obvious?

The funniest non-Slate parts of this for me was seeing people claim that pointing out that the harassment would have been even worse had she been quite attractive was "misogyny"

Mesa I implore you not to carelessly adopt their manipulative terminology. Street harassment is a made-up phrase for a non-problem.

My impression is that construction crews in New York used to do a lot of wolf-whistling, but that's been tamped down in recent years by threats to their jobs. Judging from this famous video, it looks like the most obnoxious guys currently are unemployed.

Perhaps we could threaten them with jobs?

Hoo! talk about lucky deuces . . . nov 2nd, at 2:22pm, a scooter home-run!

What does this have to do with economics. Why are we as a society letting economists define their sphere of study (and eventually influence) when it's clear that they intend to bring practically everything under it. Talk about mission creep.

Looks like economics to me ... studying how scarce resources are (mis)allocated and how individual behavior translates to overall (market) outcomes. Think of harassment as a tax that women face and social cohesion as a public good ... economists have tools to think about those issues. Also note that the research team includes more than economists. I agree economists are not the only ones who should be studying questions like this, but they certainly can contribute too. Too bad the paper is not posted yet to see the details, I bet that would make the economics in their study more apparent.

Bullcrap ... What's the scarce resource here? Politeness?

There seems to be an unlimited supply of obtuseness.

Imagine if that was your wife, girlfriend or daughter, and she was subjected to those things going to work or school. I'm not talking about some of the more innocuous comments, but the propositions and creepy stalking. What decisions of an economic nature would you make? Maybe to carry a weapon like that woman who was arrested in new Jersey. Maybe choose employment or schooling that avoids the need to be in those places, or transportation, or more likely finding somewhere else to live.

Everyone in the humanities defines their own sphere of study. Some psychologists like film studies, political scientists like psychology, anthropologists like economics.

Luckily for GMU economists, their department is part of the humanities and social sciences. Specifically, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (who I just noted is headed by Deborah A. Boehm-Davis, another person who made good use of the PR dept.).

What, does anyone honestly think that economics is somehow less a part of the humanities than philosophy or less a part of the social sciences than sociology?

Economists tend to be slightly less neutered by political correctness than other social scientists, so there is a lot of low-hanging fruit available to them.

Sociology has a well deserved reputation for being very ideological and not very scientific, so you'll look more scientific if you call yourself an economist or a statistician.

Amen. Economics as social psychology.

Think of harassment as a tax that women face and social cohesion as a public good … economists have tools to think about those issues.

LOL. No they don't. Economists are as blinkered by political correctness as anybody. Nobody's going to tell attractive women to avoid the diversity, or to live in places that look more like Portland than Mexico City.

But . . . But . . . I saw a napkin with a graph on it -- harassment on one axis and social cohesion on the other. Are you telling me that wasn't based on a scientific model and reliable data?

"Current findings underscore the needs for programs and policies to promote the safety and well being of women and addressing community and structural-level forms of gender discrimination and violence. "

Is the government really supposed to operate the "don't behave like an asshole" program? Isn't that a friends and family gig?

The “flexibility” of the behavior of men — depending on social expectations for one thing — remains an underexplored topic in economics.

Not just social expectations. But hang on, I thought that all people were fungible? Isn't that the basis of arguments in favor of illegal immigration and open borders? Of course in the real world we know this is not true. People bring very different "social expectations" with them, but I am a little surprised someone in the Ivory Tower would dare say so.

*yawn* Topics like this just draw out the white nationalist white knights out to defend the delicate sensitivities of young harlots.

Most of what this broad is subjected to in the video doesn't even approach "harassment".

I can't help feeling you are missing something here. Agreed most of the behavior is not harassment in any real sense. But still.

Where I used to live - a formerly White area that was in the process of becoming ever more "vibrant" - young men, not all non-White by any means, used to sit on the stoops, drinking, shirtless if the weather was at all good. And calling out to every young girl who walked past. Crudely.

This included pretty much everyone over the age of about 13. So school girls, in their uniforms so no one could miss their age, used to have to walk the gauntlet every day. I am sure there are slutty 15 year olds, but not many.

Call me old fashioned, but I don't think asking a 15 year old to sit on your face is socially acceptable.

And needless to say, the area was becoming more and more vibrant by the day as anyone with a 15 year old daughter chose to move to the suburbs.

But that's not what this video or the media furor is about.

It's about equating even the mildest of verbal approaches to young women to sexual harassment.

As for what you're referring to - it's obvious except to Salon.com and Huffington Post writers that guys in the ghetto take the sexual pursuit way too far. There's a broken windows element to it that hints at social dysfunction, as you suggest.

On the other hand, middle class guys in America seem to live in perpetual fear of approaching most young women and need to binge drink their way out of social anxiety. If you're a young man and on a daily basis you allow attractive, provocatively dressed girls to saunter on by without ever saying a word, there's something wrong with you. But that's the norm in decent America. There's a happy median between these two extremes.

It is exactly what this video and the media furor is about. I agree they are being hysterical, if you will excuse the phrase, about the mildest of social interaction, but it is a question of degree, not of kind.

And sure, we know that men from non-WASP backgrounds have different social expectations about what is or is not acceptable. So we emotionally cripple WASP males in childhood so they won't do this. Is there a happy medium? Only in the sense that you get to pick up more women if you are more forward than most of the other White males. While not being so crude that you feel you are behaving like the gentlemen from the Hood. But it is a race to the bottom. Being noticed because you are brave enough to ask a stranger for her number only works if other men don't. Once more men read PUA books and start propositioning women, you will have to ramp it up to stand out from the crowd. Which will cause further escalation. Until we are all behaving like the gentlemen from the Hood.

"need to binge drink their way out of social anxiety"

Interesting idea -- that the more neutered white college students, male and female, become by the constant indoctrination, the more they need to binge drink to get disinhibited enough to act like males and females ...

in vino veritas

The "media furor" is not coming from white nationalists.(however you define the term)

Yeah but it is a bit funny to see the Feminist Left eating itself through fighting over whether this sort of video picks on young Black males. I am especially enjoying the White Feminists insisting that this sort of cat call should be illegal.

Presumably they will call it the Emmitt Till Bill.

That video was shot in midtown Manhattan, hardly a ghetto.

Also I'm personally insulted by the argument that there's "something wrong with you" if you don't give women unwanted attention. It's merely a slightly nicer-phrased version of the "boys will be boys" argument, as if having a penis and being under 30 robs you of agency and free will. Give me a break, and since I'm assuming you are male (as am I), show a little self-respect.

I don't think having a penis robs you of agency and free will. But it does mean you are likely to appreciate a pretty girl as she walks past.

However we emotionally cripple young White males and make them feel ashamed of feeling that way about girls on the street. We make sure they are so ashamed of themselves they can barely speak to a girl in public. What is unnatural is the blanket ban on males expressing what they undeniably feel. To the point that girls can dress in a way that would have got a strip show closed down 60 years ago and still there's hardly a single comment from any White male.

Boys will be boys. That is a genetic fact that is not going to change. But by and large it is nicer for everyone if boys feel ashamed about that. Especially for young girls who want to dress like street walkers.

Agreed. If I anytime during my life acted as these men I would have been swatted across the head by the woman and men in my life, including men my age.

And I have had pretty well all the sex I can handle.

Whatever this woman and those who produced the video were trying to say, whether it was a slut walk type of message or just a general condemnation of the male half of the species, has been lost in the reaction. It has confirmed every bias everyone has.

A lot of the video was shot on 125th St., the center of Harlem.

You missed the part about "provocatively dressed," that's a key distinction.

Whether or not the areas qualify for the term "ghetto" the residents were certainly "vibrant."

That woman was hardly provocatively dressed. And while Steve Sailer just claimed that much of the video was shot in Harlem, the producers claim it was almost entirely shot in Midtown. And rewatching it, it sure as hell doesn't look like 125th St. I walked down that street from the Metro North to visit my brother in Morningside Heights many times.

In any case, I am disgusted by hypocrites that like to point out that women can and should take proactive action to reduce risk and conveniently ignore lecturing men on how their behavior is unacceptable. The "boys will be boys" argument is too often used to abrogate social responsibility and any hint of deferred gratification.

jtf- go back to salon.com

Clover - go back to your primordial ooze. I've been a "loyal MR reader" for a decade and intend to stay, regardless of how much you dislike having your presumptions challenged.

"That woman was hardly provocatively dressed"

I found it provocative. I thought it said "look at me!" in quite a loud voice.

The argument presumes men have the knowledge of whether or not women are agreeable to an approach. There is no such information available, absent telepathy, without first communicating. Your argument is the one being pushed around the femisphere: communication shouldn't happen absent consent. The argument is another logical step in the thought process that brought us consent being withdrawn without verbal or physical notice during previously consensual sex via DoE and California. But, of course, we can't communicate consent without communication, so is the argument that no communication should ever take place (as all first communications inherently lack consent), or that women should be privileged as the only legal instigators of communication?

>I believe this issue will continue to receive more attention in the future.

Yeah. Every even-numbered year in September and October.

When Republicans are polling well.

So the "flexibility" of women's behavior is adequately studied by economists?

Well I believe a lot of economists would like to offer young girls large-ish sums of money to find out. But their wives won't let them.

Ha! Thats easy one, though, the aggregate supply of youths increases.

This is a case of “you get what you ask for.” In all my life I have never seen this kind of random street harassment(by which I mean actual harassment) from a White person. I’m not saying it’s never occurred, I’m just saying I’ve never seen it, but I’ve seen it plenty from our “vibrant” populations.

In my observation, white middle-aged construction workers are actually the most likely to call out with crude and threatening comments. If we're going to make broad generalizations, I'd much prefer the "classist" argument to the racial one.

I'm told that happens. I think the difference is the white hardhats are tied to their worksite. The objectionable behavior here is the stalking by men who obviously have nothing better to do. Kind of hard to get your neighborhood described in gushing terms as 'vibrant' when single, unattached women don't feel comfortable walking around.

What this is really about is unwanted attention from men whom women consider beneath their pay grade.

I've heard that argument also and I don't buy it - or, if interpreted most charitably, I don't think it gives any useful information. If I were being charitable the statement implies that only lower status men make those remarks, in which case it's a restatement of the problem that's extremely likely to cause misunderstandings. If I didn't take that interpretation then it would imply that unwanted sexual attention from a well-dressed professional would be welcome on one's commute, which is both iffy and shows a total lack of experience of what people on a New York commute actually want.

Not sure what your word salad is about but I'll take a stab. I'm willing to bet very few women would broadcast their offense if George Clooney gave them a wink and called out 'Nice!' when encountering them in Harlem

What area of the country are you in where well-dressed professionals catcall and follow women down the sidewalk? If it's that common, I'm sure the makers of this video would have showed it.

Basically, I believe the "low status men" argument is either better stated as "high status men don't catcall" or means, essentially, "high status men catcalling wouldn't offend people." The former means the statement is an easily misunderstood tautology, and the second is untrue. Also George Clooney wouldn't get you too far, since most young women I know feel squicked out that the man hasn't looked in his age group in decades. Maybe Channing Tatum.

That being said, if Channing Tatum or George Clooney had a reputation for aggressive commentary about the women around him that are minding their own business, then the "nice" would be a lot less flattering and a lot more threatening. In fact I feel confident about a wider point, which is that an unsolicited compliment or aggressive flirtation is valuable from someone like that derives much of its value from its scarcity rather than the high status of the individual per se.

JTF, you claim the statement that "high status men approaching wouldn't be offending" is untrue, but your argument against it is one form or another of "they aren't high status". Harassment itself requires that the communication be undesirable, so it is tautological that an appreciated "catcall" isn't harassment. Another tautology: high status men are more desirable to women than low status men. Ergo the status of a man effects the likelihood that any approach would be unappreciated, and therefore the likelihood that it could be perceived as harassment.

Real against reality all you like, but it is impossible to eliminate catcalls as seen without seriously limiting the 1st amendment for either: all people, all men, or just low status men. Take your pick but don't pretend that feminists ate proposing to limit their own speech, or even the speech if their male allies (you).

In my experience, I've only witnessed it from whites in St John's, Newfoundland. Where there weren't any non-whites to do it.

I guess the niche has to be filled.

As someone with a daughter who is top of her class in math and science (in Singapore) I see isolated catcalls as a potentially low threat to her sense of self compared with the sewer of messaging from mostly women-controlled TV programs and magazines that insist she must wear certain clothes and make-up to be valid as a woman.

Is there a racial breakdown in catcalling in Singapore? I know my Chinese Indonesian wife has said she was only sexually harassed by native Indonesians in Indonesia.

test

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"Economic" Observations:

1. People are more likely to harass those not from their neighborhood, as the potential backlash cost is less.
2. This applies to visiting women walking through "foreign" neighborhoods, as well as workers on-site in "foreign" neighborhoods.
3. Lower income people have less to lose from uncivil behavior.
4. Lower income people in NYC are disproportionately non-white.

How come nobody else has observed that by dressing up like a whore and walking around the black and hispanic ghettos of town with a scowl on her face not acknowledging anyone, that surly jewish lady was engaging in harrassment herself? I guess that wouldn't fit the who-whom narrative.

Because your particular type of crazy is pretty uncommon, I believe.

LOL. I think there's something to his comment though. In the cultural milieu that has enriched us with 'twerking' and 70+% rates of baby momma-hood, I don't see the behavior in that video raising an eyebrow. Shoshanna needs to stick to her more restrained culture rather than pour herself into a pair of jeans and spray on a blouse and walk around the vibrancy.

I laughed at how they specified what kind of clothes she was wearing down the the cut (crew) of her Tshirt. But I guess they had a point because now according to the alt-right she was wearing a spray on blouse. Nothing makes me think more fondly of the paleos than seeing their competitors on the non-mainstream right start arguing about "sluts."

I wonder at your definition of "dressed like a whore"

Where do you live? An FLDS community? Saudi Arabia?

Girls here explained to me that they don't wear skirts and always dress fully covered to avoid harassment on the subway.

But I never see any catcalling or harassment at the National University campus or in Coyoacán or Del Valle or Roma/Condesa. Maybe out in Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl or Ecatepec or Chalco somewhere there are men who stand around catcalling, but they're not in the prosperous neighborhoods. That's the same impression I have of the New York video, too, in that the poor unemployed dominican and puerto rican men doing the catcalling don't look like they're from the Upper West Side or even Williamsburg.

And I do see girls at the opera, sometimes the National art-house Cineteca, the National Auditorium shows, and fancy parts of Polanco in short skirts and expensive shoes and purses. Those girls are not riding the subway.

In the districts of sex workers there are girls in skirts, but they're doing business there. The skirts look cheap and disposable; I don't think anybody rides the subway home in them.

Dear boys, girl speaking. Neither my clothes nor my presence in the public space imply consent for harassment. Second, what kind of action should I take? Verbally or physically attack a group of men catcalling me and risk being beaten up or raped? Are you fucking kidding me? You ignore opinions of women and suggest that you are the ones to decide whether women should feel threatened by catcalling. You delegitimize feelings of women by trivializing the problem. You blame the victim (she was wearing jeans and a T-shirt and minding her own business, how dared she?). Congratulations, you successfully demonstrated that street harassment is not limited to non-white, low-skilled males.

"Neither my clothes nor my presence in the public space imply consent for harassment"

I wasn't aware that consent was required for verbal communication.

Didn't you read the Constitution? Zeroth Amendment: A man may not hurt a woman's feelings, or, through inaction, allow a woman's feelings to come to harm.

You keep denying the existence of the problem by reframing "harassment" as "verbal communication". Do you really believe that you have the holy right to yell "nice ass" when I pass you in the street?

Depends. Do you have a nice ass?

Right, because the real problem is nerds on econ blogs harassing women in public spaces. Who do you think you are tut-tutting here? You think Dominique and his friends are going to click on Salon.com to watch this video and change their wicked, hate-riarchal ways? This is a liberal dog-whistle by women who want to live in hip, urban centers unmolested.

Same thing with the 'Take Back the Night' crusades, which are really just pleas for help from women college students victimized by off-campus predators.

I wonder how long before colleges disperse into suburban commuter schools instead of concentrated in city centers where they're feeding grounds for predators stalking naïve young people, like Haight-Ashbury in the 1960's?

"women who want to live ... unmolested". A terrible thing to ask, isn't it? Btw, nerds on econ blogs are part of the problem. This discussion makes me understand why nobody has ever helped me when I was harassed. You do not believe harassment is a problem. It is OK. I deserve it. I am naive and inappropriately dressed. Ad your prejudice, I am not liberal and I do not read Salon.

How are econ nerds part of the problem for not helping you? Aren't you a strong, independent, woman? Don't you need a man like a fish needs a bicycle?

You are part of the problem because you keep denying that street harassment is a problem. When a significant part of the male population believes that street harassment is a mere inconvenience, something to joke about, then we have a problem. Think about it this way. When someone tells a sexist joke, do you laugh or do you tell him: "Dude, that's not cool." If you laugh, you communicate that sexism is all right, that it is nothing to worry about. When I said that I understood why nobody helped me, I was not asking you to fight for me. I merely said that harassment was invisible to you because you did not view it as a problem.

Wife: "I look fat. Can you give me a compliment?"

Husband: "You have perfect eyesight."

Youare asking for men to fight for you. You think the vibrants in the video are going to stop if faced with a lecture about feminist theory from some random White guy?

Doesn't make sense. I think sexism is okay, but I pay all my workers equally. Am I "part of the problem" of Wal-Mart paying 70 cents on the dollar? Why? Please elaborate. Wal-Mart is underpaying, not me.

And it's people like Merci who keep denying who is causing the problem.

The harassment isn't invisible to me. I just get called a racist for noticing it.

OK, you want to be able to walk around wherever you want, dressed however you want, in front of lower-status males without getting catcalls, and you want the schleps from your own socio-economic tier to enforce the beatdown or to pay the taxes for all the cops who will. What you are being told is no thank you, and stay away from bad parts of town. You should also get married, preferably to someone who lifts or has a concealed-carry permit. It's like having your very own bodyguard.

I think she's saying that these lower-status males are capable of restraining their impulses, and should be encouraged to do so. To suggest otherwise is to engage in what GW Bush quite aptly called "the soft bigotry of low expectations."

.... but of course on the other hand, low impulse control is highly correlated with lower status, so perhaps they are in fact less capable of restraining their impulses than we might like. I really don't know. Maybe the impulse control literature could tell us something.

Straw person, Merci. As a man, I take offense at being associated with the weak arguments of all straw creatures who are constantly being destroyed and then belittled. Mt feelings are your fault because...

PS did you see the video of the man being street harassed? Is that "not a problem" because [insert faulty statistics or emotional appeal here]?

You should also get married, preferably to someone who lifts or has a concealed-carry permit.

Speaking as the biggest, strongest person in this thread (and no, I don't really need to think about it): give me a break. Getting married isn't going to stop it. Hanging around a large, strong male will reduce it, but a husband will wind up in prison on felony assault charges if he tries to stop catcalls completely.

"a husband will wind up in prison on felony assault charges if he tries to stop catcalls completely."

Should this be the case? Was it always like this? If it has changed, is that good or bad? For whom?

"Getting married isn’t going to stop it"

The National Crime Victimization Survey suggests otherwise, at least regarding actual violence i.e. actual crimes that cause actual harm.

How vibrant were these harassers?

Another "not liberal."

I think men get confused when women wear clothes that shout "look at me! notice me!" and then get offended when men cross the line and not only notice, but make their noticing audible.

And jeans and a t-shirt cry out for that, do they?

And how! It is (deliberately? unconsciously?) designed to flatter the wearer. You don't think so?

The things she was wearing? Hell no

I have much higher standard for provocative dress than form fitting, thin clothing, but the "jeans and a t shirt" argument is intentionally misleading when you ignore that the clothes were form fitting on a well endowed *model*.

First, why do Internet feminists insert "fucking" as an adjective with such frequency?

Second, there is no requirement to have consent in order to say words in someone's direction. In fact, that goes against the entire spirit of our 1st amendment. Aside from that, it is impossible to give consent to communicate prior to communication. How can we take seriously an argument that doesn't even consider its own implications? My guess: we aren't supposed to, we ate just supposed to nod our heads and agree that something must be done (to all men).

First, why do Internet feminists insert “fucking” as an adjective with such frequency?

That one's easy: combination of vulgarity and their attitude towards sex.

From the video it looks like the men have nothing to do, they are just posing in the street: unemployment of casual jobs. They got time to do catcalling because mom at home is cooking and washing their clothes. I've never been to NY but Mexico City is like that. Parents never push the children out of home. Offensive behavior has no consequences because mom loves them and they have a warm bed and fresh food for life.

The small comments in the NYC video seem harmless at first. Who wouldn't want to be complimented? But imagining the same things coming from gay men would make me really uncomfortable, especially if it happened on a daily basis.

I think getting "really uncomfortable" if a gay man says hello to you is the definition of "homophobia," which is not a word I typically use.

I think there's an important distinction. If someone sexually interested in me and physically intimidating this particular ten-stone nerd said "hey baby" to me I would be uncomfortable not because the person in question was interested in men. I'd be really uncomfortable because they're interested in _me_.

I see what you mean, and perhaps to a certain extent that is being homophobic. In the context of the video though, it's not just one casual "hello" but several throughout the day that make for the discomfort. A greeting from anyone is nice and appreciated, but when it happens consistently, delivered with a not-quite-innocent tone in a city not known for its neighborliness, I'd get a bit uncomfortable. How would you feel/react in this situation?

"city not known for its neighborliness" -Move?

I've been hit on by gay men before. I found it flattering, and wish that women could be as forward sometimes.

My experience is different from a women's in a couple important ways, though:

1. I'm reasonably sure I could have held my own in a physical confrontation with 90% of the men who approached me, had it come to that.

2. When I got sick of it, I could easily end it by avoiding a few very specific areas.

This is frustrating because I feel like it plays into the culture wars, but may not be related to that at all. We saw the dropoff in crime in the 90s after getting rid of leaded gasoline and paint. Is it not possible that this lack of impulse control is caused by a similar environmental toxin? It would actually be a more logical conclusion to jump to if this is happening more in some neighborhoods than others.

Part of the reason I've taken this view is that I'm a male jogger and while I don't frequently get yelled at I do occasionally. And the thing that has always struck me is that people doing it don't seem rational or in control. They don't seem to care if I hear. It's completely unclear why they're shouting at me or what they hope to achieve. I can't really buy into this being cultural. It seems to be more akin to a disorder like Tourettes.

LOL. Yeah, it's these environmental toxins called crack and booze. When you use them a lot, you become schizophrenic.

How long have you been pondering this?

If your theory were correct we would of course see incidence of the problems at the same level in ultra-wealthy neighborhoods.

Huh? Ultra wealthy men are high on crack and mad dog at 11 AM?

I guess that makes me middle class. Sigh. They keep moving the goalposts.

"We saw the dropoff in crime in the 90s after getting rid of leaded gasoline and paint."

No, there are many reasons it dropped off:
-DNA testing
-Compstat
-More cops
-Waning of the crack epidemic
-Locking more people up
-(insert your pet theory here)

Demographics...most criminals are young men, with the Baby Boom aging there are less young men proportionately. Look for crime to tick up again with the Millenials getting into the prime criminal age.

Uh... you might want to look up how old the millennials are. The tail end of that generation is in its teens and the majority are in their twenties, so your predicted crime wave should be happening right now.

Do a significant percent some women take words that others consider harassment as a compliment? There is an old joke that some construction worker see a woman coming and say let's keep quiet and give her a complex.

That is except for the last guy who followed her, he was just creepy.

BTW in my youth I was occasionally cat called by cars of girls (usually walking around Newport RI) and I loved it. Also one night walking in Moab UT with my 2 sons and my wife, some girls in a car called out to one of my son twice (we knew they meant him because the mentioned the shirt he had on), we all took it as a compliment.

Yep, exactly the same situation, certainly no differences at all, cool and relevant anecdote.

Right, it was vastly more dangerous, as Floccina was being harassed by a GROUP of women, any number of whom could have been armed. We really need to address Floccina's feelings immediately. I would suggest immediately banning all groups of women, because that poses a threat to individuals. My feelings take priority over ALL Constitutional rights, after all.

This is exactly the attitude that gets the manosphere its bad rap. It's not a matter of rights, or equivalence. It's common freaking sense and courtesy. Men who catcall or aggressively proposition women are douchebags. Women doing it to men are not a threat. There are 2 genders, and social norms are different. Lower class norms are different from middle and upper, and many (most?) lower class norms are douchey in this area. Lower class men are disproportionately nonwhite, and tend to be encountered in lower class parts of town. If you're a guy, knock it off. If you're a girl, understand where this stuff is likely to happen and avoid it if it bothers you. Lower class girls (like lower class boys) are kind of screwed, and need to grow a thick skin, and usually do. Why is this hard?

Except the whole purpose of these retarded anti-Raep campaigns is to get ammo in the culture wars to pass new ridiculous laws targeting the exact upper middle class white men who don't catcall, such as "pay equality" and college rape mandates and higher taxes to fund the feminazis who push this garbage

Msg, what makes you think the Manosphere disagrees with you? What exactly makes you think SJWs are on-board with any common sense solution? I agree, this stuff is easy as hell to "solve" or at least make manageable, but the SJWs aren't invested in "solutions," they are invested in vitrol and ideology. None of the stuff they spout is even REMOTELY accurate, starting with the 70 cents on a dollar claim and going right to this street harassment crusade. It all takes a kernel of truth re: gender unfairness and spins it into an epoch-defining issue.

The guy who "followed" her quite obviously had figured out what she was doing and was mocking her.

What is funny is that I do not think a man has ever attracted a girl that way. They do not stop and say "I am glad you called out otherwise I would not have known how you felt and I am looking for a man."

I completely agree! This doesn't work. These guys just ran out of ideas. I think Seinfeld had a few jokes along these lines.

Catcalling is as much for the catcaller as it is for the catcalled. I doubt there's any actual strategy to "successful" cat calling, ie getting laid. Getting any sort of reaction would be considered a "success" for the cat caller. Its more like online trolling than online dating.

The amount of male whining here is amazing, but exactly what I expected when I started reading these comments. The utter ineptitude and ignorance on display makes me embarrassed for most of you, especially the 'us poor neutered WASP men' gang. Of course, I used to be sympathetic to that line of thought, until a successful 'ladies man' explained the social code to me. And the scales fell from my eyes.

Since that time, I've watched thousands of male-female social interactions. It's amazing how powerful the mechanism is, and how most men never get it, and continue to make fools of themselves and/or harass women who just want to be left alone. It easily explains why what many men see as innocent, or even complimentary, gets interpreted as annoying at best, and harassment most of the time, by women.

I could explain the secret to all of you, but then you'd just kick yourself for wasting your youth thinking women were being mean to you.

Let me put this another way. Those of you who think those men of color in that video who are harassing the woman are successful at getting women are probably wrong. What you're seeing are repeated examples of guys who don't get it, and who have no social repercussions for not getting it. If you want back and interviewed them about how often that kind of behavior led to a successful interaction, you'd find a virtually zero success rate.

The problem for women is that most men don't get it. Women don't necessarily 'get' men any better, but at least they're generally not obnoxious and threatening about it.

Let me put this another way. Those of you who think those men of color in that video who are harassing the woman are successful at getting women are probably wrong. What you’re seeing are repeated examples of guys who don’t get it, and who have no social repercussions for not getting it. If you want back and interviewed them about how often that kind of behavior led to a successful interaction, you’d find a virtually zero success rate.

I think you're wrong. They don't get middle and upper-middle class women that way. Women in their own station I imagine they do fine with, like most aggressive men.

You're corresponding here with men on the right side-IQ distribution, some of them (not me) very high on that scale. That's not who's standing on sidewalks making catcalls. And I personally am not going to bother lecturing low-status men on female empowerment. I'll tell my wife and daughter to stick around me or other male family members or friends and not go wandering in sketchy parts of town. If you're one of those hysterics who thinks 'there oughta be a law!,' I can tell you the only people who would obey it would be us, and the effect otherwise would be the greatest stop-and-frisk sweep of American cities in history. OTOH, that might not be a bad idea but I doubt such laws would last beyond the first motions hearing.

There's definitely a racial aspect to some of it. The vibrants know they'd never succeed with White women that way, it's a way of expressing their racial aggression and grievance.

@AG - " Women in their own station I imagine they do fine with, like most aggressive men" Nope. I've spent plenty of time with both high and low status guys, and the women they 'get' or don't 'get,' both in the US and in other countries. You and others here are of the mistaken impression that women who are not white and middle/upper class respond to different things when approached by men, and are somehow turned on by aggression and rudeness. You're probably also the same ones who think women only want bad boys, or only want rich guys, or some other silliness. The guys in that video pull the same crap on women of color, and they get the same lack of response. Though you are correct that part of what these men are expressing is anger (which is why it's so comical to see people here and elsewhere trying to claim that these guys aren't harassing the woman in the video).

It's apparent that men who tend to be ineffectual with women misread what men who do know how to engage with women are really doing. And they misread why they're ineffectual.

It's really not complicated, and it's the kind of thing we all understand in other spheres (like what separates an effective salesperson or an effective communicator from the ineffective ones). But when it becomes a male/female thing, most guys brains short circuit. And it sure is entertaining, at least from the standpoint of not having to deal with the garbage myself.

Catcalling is a form of IRL trolling, not a dating strategy. Not surprisingly, the same people who complain about online trolling are the same ones complaining about it in real life. Their solution is a law and social pressure, a more practical solution would be to ignore it and move on.

Yes, ignore it and move on. That's what the woman in the video does, and it's what women learn they need to do from an early age, even if they're not white and middle class and not walking through crummy parts of NYC. What I think you're missing, though, is the number of men, including MR commenters, who think this harassment is no big deal, and/or an effective way to meet women "if you're one of those people." A few have gone further in revealing their own inadequacies by implying that women bring this behavior on themselves. What I'm commenting on is that the losers in the video and some of the commenters here are equally inept in their approach to talking to women.

And if you're getting from my comments a desire for new laws or social pressure, you've completely misread me.

Cat calling a random woman walking down the street is probably not going to be "successful" other than just trolling them. A good opportunity for a lower class man to get on the nerves of some upper class snob. A small victory for the poor man.

Doing something similar to a girl, maybe a "shawty", who is more familiar with you is probably more likely to "work" in the sense of communicating your desire and getting her attention away from the other rubes, especially if they don't speak up.

RE: Bringing it upon themselves? There is a reaction to every action. if they wore and behaved more modestly, they'd likely reduce the amount of unwanted attention they get. I have a feeling that the level of modesty required for that would simply be unfashionable for most.

I did not get that from your comments.

Catcalling was only part of what happened in the video. In any event, my comments are more about various men's reactions to the video, not about women's reactions to being harassed on the street by strangers.

"There is a reaction to every action." Sometimes not. The woman in the video practiced what women usually do: don't react. Some men got the message, and quit, though not until they'd made asses of themselves. Some got angry and escalated their behavior.

Ultimately, for me, it's the reaction of men, including educated, intelligent men, to this video, that's more fascinating than the behavior of the men in the video.

have you ever been in a fight?

If you mean fistfight, not since I stomped Frankie H. in the 7th grade. Since then I've manged to find easier ways to win out over inferior rivals. Why do you ask?

lol @ "ignore it and move on. That’s what the woman in the video does"

Does Mr. Internet White Knight forget that this behavior is exactly what miss scowling jew bitch was hoping to capture on film when she set out on her little ghetto safari? If someone walked through a ghetto black hood wearing a confederate flag t-shirt and captured video of all the blacks chimping out and getting violent and angry, would you frame it the same way?

Yes, we all get it Kevin, you know everything and everyone, and you are always successful with women. The guys who make these unsuccessful catcalls ate just hopeless idiots, and really, they shouldn't be bothering nice women. As I earlier demonstrated through more than just assertions (see your posts) and as you continue to provide evidence for: the intent of anti-catcall is to prevent by law or social pressure, men whose approach are likely to be unsuccessful, from approaching.

In related news, the people making the argument that "good morning" is sexual harassment are claiming that Lena Dunham's lifelong sexual abuse of her younger sister is a-ok. Draw your own conclusions.

thomas, you seem like a guy who is at least sincere, so I'll give you one last response. First, I never claimed to know everyone and everything. I just try hard to consider other ideas, and not spend my life confirming my existing biases.. And I haven't always been successful with women. I was too shy for much of my life, though that period was useful to observe how clueless most guys are when it comes to women. Maybe I also grew up with more empathy for women by seeing the stuff my mother and sisters had to deal with -- it never failed to surprise me how easy some situations were for guys, and how fraught the same situation could be for women. And I've learned merely pointing that out to other men often elicits a weird, blind rage. Kinda sad, really.

Anyway, I suggest you spend less time thinking about feminists and some group who are supposedly trying to take away your right to say 'good morning' to people you don't know and what some internet trolls think about Lena Dunham, and spend more time on your own life. You might also accept that most interpersonal communication is non-verbal, and start to learn how to parse and act on that non-verbal communication between men and women. Trust me, you don't need telepathy.

Kevin, thanks for your response, I do appreciate it. Unfortunately, I've heard this argument before: men who oppose feminist political movement are inadequate, underdeveloped, or consumed by hatred. I would argue that because of the difficulty that you've seen your female relatives go through, you should be especially apt to perceiving when something is a true difficulty, and when it's not. Because you seem interested in pursuing logical dialogues, I would suggest that you consider for a moment just how legislation affecting this could be crafted without serious 14th amendment concerns. Out of my own concern, I would suggest that you consider that there are people who both, A. acknowledge that (as in this case) the cumulative effect of communication is negative, B. believe that there isn't much we can do about it besides personally refraining or stepping in during serious situations, who aren't C. consumed by hatred of women. I would place myself in that category, which, if you're familiar with internet dialogue you'll understand, places me squarely in the crosshairs of feminists. Moderation is the enemy of extremism.

Thomas, do you really think that legislation on this is remotely likely? I can't imagine that happening, even in places like San Francisco or Portland. I hang out with plenty of liberals/progressives and trying to legislate this kind of behavior away isn't on anyone's radar.

I also don't think men who oppose feminist political movement are inadequate, underdeveloped, or consumed by hatred. I think they're simply grossly out of touch, because I don't think there are any real feminist political movements that have had any traction in years. Feminism as a mainstream concept is dead. Worrying about being in the crosshairs of feminists seems as pointless to me as worrying about the war on Christmas whenever one hears someone say 'Happy Holidays!'

There was some vibrancy at my high school, and I could totally imagine those people responding positively to catcalling. If 95% of the time it doesn't work, that means it works 5% of the time and these are people who tend to have a lot of time on their hands.

Yeah, that's the way to succeed with women, by leaving them alone.

It's part of the secret.

So it's binary for you, Clover? Harass them, or ignore them? Is it that hard to see there are other possibilities?

Though, frankly, leaving them alone works better than harassing them. But it's not the right answer, or at least it's not the most effective technique.

I'd like to hear these wondrous "possibilities."

Okay, here you go:

If a woman refuses to make eye contact, she's telling you to leave her alone. Trying harder to get her attention will only make you seem like a bigger, scarier jackass. This is what was played out in the video, and which you can see played out repeatedly at any party involving singles.

If a woman does make eye contact as you look at her, two things can follow. First, she might continue to stare back at you. This is rarely a come-on. You've probably creeped her out, and she's signalling that she isn't afraid of you.

It's more likely, though, that she'll break the initial eye contact relatively quickly. Then one of two things will happen. One, she does not look back at you again. Instead she turns to her friend, or the drink in her hand, or looks anywhere but towards you. What do you think this means, Clover?

If you guessed that she just signaled she's not remotely interested in you coming over to talk to her, you would understand something that 19 out of 20 guys don't get. Hang out in a bar or club sometime and watch the interactions. You'll see guy after guy crashing on the rocks trying to get conversations started with women who had already signaled their lack of interest.

Or she might glance back at you a second time. If this happens, it will happen just moments after the first look. Now you can do one of two things. You can smile and look confident, and see if she returns the smile. If she does, than you have an invitation to go talk to her. If she doesn't smile, then you're dead in the water. This is where the guys who get it separate themselves from the rest of the pack who usually go home alone.

If the woman is more aggressive, she might even smile first on that second locking of the eyes. But even the most aggressive woman is rarely going to initiate. You have to go over there, across no-man's land, and prove yourself worthy.

If a man doesn't get this clear but subtle set of cues from a woman that it's OK to engage, he's going to spend the evening making a nuisance of himself at that party, or on the street. And then he'll complain that women are bitches, and come up with silly excuses why the guys who are successful at meeting women had some unobtainable edge.

Up above Thomas said "The argument presumes men have the knowledge of whether or not women are agreeable to an approach. There is no such information available, absent telepathy, without first communicating. " This is the problem. Women communicate this information quite clearly. An amazing number of men just don't get it. And then they double down on their ineptitude, and get ugly, which we see lots of here in this series of comments.

You're like the psychology grad student version of Smoove B.

Ad hominem? That's the best you can do?

When I was in the dating market(nearly a decade ago, I hear it's gotten even worse since then) I observed it very differently. The stuff about eye contact sounds like BS to me.

The vibrancy in the video is perfectly aware the girl isn't going to go for them, the ones that continue the pursuit do so for reasons of racial resentment.

And in the case of the 95% of men you are complaining about about, according to your "theory" their complaints would be the same if they followed your "advice" they would simply complain that women refuse to make eye contact with them.

"You’ll see guy after guy crashing on the rocks trying to get conversations started with women who had already signaled their lack of interest. "
Is that what you think? I'm a 27 year old guy. I spent a lot of time this weekend hanging out in the urban meat markets. How many times do you think a guy crossed this proverbial "no man's land"?
The only guys who did were the obvious creepers, who instantly harassed the girls. They rolled alone, were largely short, or too old, or obviously out of place, and immediately started getting physical with the girls.
Other than that, none, not one, not a single approach by a guy to a girl. All the approaches were girl to guy.
You are so out of touch with the real world it's funny. UMC guys are terrified of approaching women. The social and legal risks are astronomical.

Clover, Beta, you sound like the usual whiny ass guys who aren't getting any. Really, I hate to put it that way, but I still go to bars and clubs with younger, single friends and colleagues, and I'm not wrong.

Clover, you're correct that women are very adept at sensing men who are weak, who lack confidence, who think that a woman should be excited because they bother to groom themselves, pretend to be polite, and have a job. These are the types who lament that it's only the bad boys and 'vibrant' types (to use a new slur I learned from this thread) get women. Anything to avoid admitting that they aren't at ease with themselves and have little to offer a woman, at least at her first glance. It's not just ethnic jerks hanging out on NYC streets who signal they aren't worth the time.

Beta, I don't know what UMC guys refers to. United Methodist Church guys? Regardless, I was hanging out with a confident young guy this weekend at a Halloween party, and he had no problem crossing no-man's land and getting digits when he got the green-light look back. I suppose in a place where the guys are too timid to make any move, the women have to, but your "The social and legal risks are astronomical" comment kind of gives away that you're looking at this with a bias that puts you in the loser category.

lol at getting "digits", what an out of touch buffoon

Kevin, you're either lying or deluded.

But at least Kevin admitted, probably by accident, that the problem was "ethnic."

The SWPL is the cuckold of the world.

Also-rans in the the internet troll department. Also-rans in the realm of understanding and connecting with women. Do you see the pattern yet?

I'm actually Vladimir Putin. No wait, I'm Channing Tatum. No wait, I'm Roosh. No wait, it doesn't matter who I am, it doesn't matter if I am winner/loser, it's actually entirely besides the point. You're tossing out ad-homs to invalidate all male criticism. How's 'bout you stay on topic, lover-boy? These confident men crossing no man's land, how many would you say they are?

My anecdote is about all men, and all men in my social group. UMC=Upper Middle Class, try to keep up. Standard terminology in the Econ blogosphere. Your "retort" is that you and your "confident" friend had no problems, therefore there are absolutely no problems at all, and any man who disagrees is in fact a loser and not confident. I guess they just aren't real men, so you can wash your hands of them! Nice little trick you got there! Seen it before, Kev.

Beta, I really don't get your hostility. I've lived in middle class, lower-middle class, and upper middle class worlds, on both coasts and north and south. I find your supposed concerns about social and legal (!!!) concerns related to talking to women absurd. Yes, if a guy is a dick, if he can't read the signs and is, as you described, a creeper, then his reputation will suffer. But if he's just clueless and doesn't get it when a woman doesn't want to talk to him but he tries anyway, well, that's just a typical evening at a party or a club for most women. It's simply no big deal. Unless the douche is doing stuff to women at work, then there might be legal issues, but even then most guys get away with it.

"These confident men crossing no man’s land, how many would you say they are?" Not many. Not many men get it. I certainly didn't for most of my life. I was one of those nice guys, on the sidelines, trying to figure out what I was doing wrong, hoping a woman would approach me. And when I was a youngster I was so shy even that was scary. Believe me, I know how hard it is, or at least how hard we tend to make it for ourselves. But the pattern of nonverbal communication is clear if you look for it, and once you recognize it it's funny how obvious it is. Seriously, go hang out at a club or bar and just watch. It's great sport.

And confidence is just a part of it. It also helps to actually be interested in other people, and to have more on your mind than getting laid. Anyway, I hope your UMC pals good luck getting up the courage to risk the imagined humiliation of talking to some women. Reassure them it gets easier, especially if you pass on a few useful tips.

Please, identify the "us poor neutered WASP men gang"

Go on. I want to see you point them out in this thread.

If you set a camera loose on NYC streets for 10 hours you can frame any story of stupid behavior you want to capture.

Yes men in NYC of all classes and races act like fools...you can go to a fancy restaurant and there will poor judgement.
In fact most men comment but most men have common sense to think it or say it at whisper level...is that harassment?
Same thought but different expression.

Is a lack of social grace harassment?

I saw a very tall man (6ft 7in or so), white, walking by NYU and using his height to run up behind girls and look down their shirts (summer time) from above...he never said a word...would not have made that video...

A better argument is does street harassment have some parallels to crime victimology (think street muggings)
I know some really attractive women that never have this issue and some not so much and get it all the time...my generalization is the difference in their self-esteems and how they command respect...this is not giving a pass to men or saying it is the girl's fault.

2 minuets of walking in NYC as a "Finn":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5mmp-uwNNY#t=59

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