Day Two of my exercise in patience. The second day of recording catcalling while I delicately crutched down 17th Street in Oakland was much quieter than Day One. However, it's undeniable that people on the street are more aggressive when I appear vulnerable. Is it because vulnerability is approachable? Is it because I can't run away? It it because of the irresistible feminine charm of my new hardware?
Highlight of some really supportive and really foul tweets I received in response to Day One:
I don't mean to condemn any person who makes any unsolicited comment on the street. I also don't mean to condemn these specific individuals for their comments, and I believe all of their intentions were benign. Some of them seemed to have sincere empathy. However, I'm almost certain that all of these men only considered their actions - if at all - in a vacuum. My concern isn't that these individuals are committing singular dastardly acts, but rather that their actions, in sum, render it impossible to make a banal daily commute home without feeling subject to scrutiny based on physical appearance and comportment. At best, it's disruptive, at worst, it's threatening, and either way, it's constant.
It's hard to ignore that these comments are motivated by gender: "Babe," "Sweetie," "Linda," "Honey," "Ma." The choice tweet above clearly is too: "trolling for a rich prince to rescue her." The term male privilege has been so haphazardly used that it feels trite and divisive, but I hope the map reveals that most young women lack the basic privilege of privacy.