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Where are the white men in the New York catcalling video?

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(CNN) — The discussion surrounding a video of a woman being catcalled on the streets of New York has a new element to the conversation: Where are the white men behaving badly?

The video was posted by Rob Bliss on behalf of the anti-street-harassment group Hollaback!

Bliss, who was inspired by the experiences of his girlfriend, tracked volunteer Shoshana Roberts as she walked through the city over the course of 10 hours. The video shows her being greeted by mostly black and Latino men with calls like “Hey, baby,” “Damn!” and “What’s up, beautiful?” Some of the men even follow her.

In a Slate article titled “The Problem With That Catcalling Video,” writer Hanna Rosin notes that “The one dude who turns around and says, ‘Nice,’ is white, but the guys who do the most egregious things — like the one who harangues her, ‘Somebody’s acknowledging you for being beautiful! You should say thank you more,’ or the one who follows her down the street too closely for five whole minutes — are not.”

Bliss told Molly Mirhashem of New Republic that there were white men recorded during the project, but most of the interactions didn’t work for the video because they were too short or there were were problems with the audio and/or video quality.

“We didn’t set out to make this a perfect representation,” he said. “We worked with what we had.”

Some critics have questioned the disparity on social media. One tweeted, “To demonize men of color as the only perpetrators of aggression towards women is patently false and irresponsible. #Catcalling.”

Another person tweeted, “I just got an attitude from an older white male ,I didn’t say good morning. #Catcalling since everyone wants to make this a race issue.”

Rosin points out that Bliss, who heads the marketing company Rob Bliss Creative and told New Republic “I make viral videos for a living,” has been accused of not being inclusive before.

In 2011, a blogger wrote about the Grand Rapids Lip Dub video project, which Bliss hosted. Directed on the streets of the Michigan city, it featured participants lip-syncing the words to Don McLean’s “American Pie” and according to the Grand Rapids Press was one of several community events Bliss organized.

But a blogger identified as “kswheeler” wrote that the result didn’t exactly reflect the racial makeup of Grand Rapids at the time: 57% white, 18.9% black, 13% Latino and 1.62% Asian-American.

“Otherwise, Grand Rapids looks like Oz,” the blogger wrote. “And the people look like they’ve been reincarnated from those peppy family-style 1970s musical acts from Disney World or Knott’s Berry Farm.”

Thursday morning on CNN’s “New Day,” Roberts discussed her experience with the catcalls, noting that because she was carrying two microphones while Bliss walked ahead of her with a backpack camera, “We had great audio.”

As for the racial makeup of the men who attempt to interact with her, she said they were “men of all colors — in my experience every day, men of all colors. It doesn’t matter what size, shape, color.”

CNN’s Jamie Gumbrecht contributed to this story.

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20 comments

  • female

    Oh, please. Almost all the sexual harassment and discrimination I have experienced in this life as a female was perpetrated by WHITE males. And, frankly, many white women are horribly sexist, too. So the reason most of the perpetrators in this video were non-white has more to do with the particular location. I wish I had video of the lifetime of hooting, honking, comments and other garbage foisted on me by white men while I was just trying to live…

    • festy

      You stupid women are too stupid to understand that some people are shit, some women are shit and some men are shit. But when a man acts bad you sexists blame all men. Then you pretend like life for men is perfect and we dont have to deal with you rude bitchy women as well as the guys who want to fight us for no apparent reason (usually the same guys catcalling you). So if you think words are worse than punches kill yourself now because you have no chance in the real world.

      • LISTEN

        STOP. The majority of people experience some form of oppression due to race, sex, class, or a combination of factors. No one is attacking you personally or saying you have not suffered. All we ask is that you be aware of the oppression faced by those different from yourself, and have some compassion for Christ’s sake.

  • Jim

    The reason why most of the harassers in the video are black is because… most of the harassers were black.

    Predictably the politically correct crowd have a big problem facing this reality, instead blaming the video for being racist. Now one of makers is forced by them to grovel and spew lies about background noise, so as not to be seen as racist.

  • Justin

    So very simple and very obvious answer. This woman has dark skin, not sure if she’s black or Hispanic but it doesn’t matter, and white men are not very interested in blacks or hispanics. And, they don’t need to be because white men can actually get a date with a white woman

  • richard

    She’s an actress. This is setup. White men are raised to be more polite and this is very well reflected in this video. Plus most white guys don’t like the bigger butts it’s a black thing I think

  • Alex H.

    I’m probably one of the few who didn’t even think of race when I saw the video. I categorized them all as men. Not one time did I even think of the fact that most of them were black or latino, and so what? Many men of all races have been guilty of this.

  • Jaywhoo

    Its really simple. Want to know why latino and Black men compliment??? Because its a cultural thing in these places to do so.. I know because I am a Latino male and in Latin America some women even feel BAD when men don:t acknowledge them . In white conservative North America the white dudes don’t catcall because its a cultural thing. They just wait till your drunk then try to take advantage of you. Yeah some of the stuff is creepy but about 70% is normal.

  • grok

    These bits of typical male wisdom came from
    DuhNigreus, who said the following, “You’ve undoubtedly copulated hundreds of blacks and Mexicans. Congratulations on your HIV+ status.” October 30, 2014 at 8:46 AM
    And, not to be outdone, festy, who uttered this profound statement, “You stupid women are too stupid to understand that some people are shit, some women are shit and some men are shit. But when a man acts bad you sexists blame all men. Then you pretend like life for men is perfect and we dont have to deal with you rude bitchy women as well as the guys who want to fight us for no apparent reason (usually the same guys catcalling you). So if you think words are worse than punches kill yourself now because you have no chance in the real world.”

    Hm. No, I actually found the sexist behavior of men so disgusting that I never did get involved with them. I’m a human being, probably more so than either of you. I spent my life being treated as less than. I spent my life working, studying and trying to enjoy things despite the discrimination and degrading behavior of men. I’ve done well for myself and am glad I avoided having men in my personal life. Festy, if you have to “deal with rude bitchy women,” I’m guessing from your words here that it’s your fault they act that way toward you. And I certainly hope your life isn’t perfect. As for you telling me to kill myself, I’m just now starting to enjoy more of life because I’ve learned to overcome. You, on the other hand, sit there in your privilege and rely on it. You’re pampered.

    • Jaywhoo

      The patriarchal nature of modern western society unfortunately has fomented the lack of respect towards women perpetrated by Men like many of the comments i the video BUT and big B BUT some women need to get off their high horse in terms of attempting to make males become less male and more like them. We are Men. Biologically we are different and social we are different. Look at the animal kingdom. Gender roles exist. I have no problem recognizing and fighting for the end of oppressive patriarchy but I have a problem with radical feminists trying to eliminate gender and maleness. The universe was created with both of us and we have to learn to live together.

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