Every time a woman steps out of her house, she's faced with a potential barrage of whistling, sexual invitations, groping, and just about every other kind of harassment you can think of. Despite the ubiquity of street harassment, though, videos like "Dads React to Their Daughters Getting Catcalled" are a clear indication that some men still haven't gotten the memo.
The video's subject is exactly what it sounds like: Fathers being shown hidden-camera footage of their daughters being catcalled, followed, and in one memorable instance, moaned at. Despite the facts that 96 percent of women report experiencing street harassment at least once a year and 85 percent report being catcalled before age 17, the fathers all appear to be surprised by the extent of the attention their daughters receive just from going about their business in the city.
"Obviously they don't say any of that when you and I are walking down the street," one father says in response to footage of the lewd comments directed at his daughter, seemingly taken aback. "I didn't hear any of that on the way here." When his daughter admits that it's an everyday occurrence, he sits back, astonished and not a little concerned.
Another father initially falls into the trap that many men use to justify street harassment: Claiming it's a compliment. "She is beautiful. He's not lying," he shrugs. His daughter's face, in the meantime, takes "uncomfortable" to a new level.
He quickly changes his tune, though, when a man follows his daughter for more than three minutes, despite her clear disinterest in their one-sided conversation. Her head is down, her arms are plastered to her sides, and although she's politely thanking him for the "compliments," it's not hard to see that she just wants him to leave her alone. Instead, she gets an invitation to a threesome.
Although her father had been vocal about the other instances of harassment, he falls silent during this interaction. "That's upsetting me now... There is no shame," he says. "Our daughters, wives, and mothers are to be treated with respect."
As the Daily Dot points out, however, there is somewhat of a "duh" aspect to the video. While it's important for men to be shown that street harassment affects every woman day in and day out, why can't they take us at face value? Why do we have to resort to hidden-camera footage time and time again to show how our bodies automatically are assumed to be public property the second we set foot outside?
Hopefully, the fathers featured in the video learned something from the experience. It's easy for men to assume that harassment is something that happens to other women, not the ones they know and love. On the other hand, we shouldn't have to put it in terms of daughters, wives, and mothers for street harassment to be taken seriously. It happens to people — isn't that enough?