'Hey beautiful!': The struggles of being a woman walking through New York City
By RYAN GORMAN
A new video has revealed the daily grind women in the big city face from catcallers while simply trying to walk from place to place.
Shoshanna Roberts, 22 and from New York, teamed up with filmmaker Rob Bliss to create "10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman."
"I didn't think it was really possible for guys to see what its actually like when you're harassed," Bliss told AOL News.
He directed and produced and created the idea. Footage was shot from a camera mounted on Bliss' backpack as he walked in front of a silent, stone-faced Roberts through several Manhattan neighborhoods.
"I wanted guys to see what it's like from a third-party perspective," he continued. "To feel the collective weight of it all ... and really see how it would grind on you."
Roberts is shown walking through a wide variety of areas including Harlem, Greenwich Village (right past the AOL newsroom), SoHo and Times Square.
The reactions were often similar no matter the location.
Several guys would whistle at her, shout that she was beautiful or ask how her day was.
Some persistently followed her down the street asking for her number.
Roberts never acknowledged or responded to the men, leaving one guy to wonder out loud if he was ugly.
"All the comments on how you look, or if you should smile ... it grinds on you," said Bliss.
The filmmaker agreed that not all of the attention was bad, but that the collective weight of it starts to weigh a person down.
He used the example of a guy just saying high, or calling a woman beautiful. Those comments on their own are harmless.
Also harmless is a guy genuinely interested in talking to a woman, unless she clearly is not interested.
One such situation occurred when a guy silently followed Roberts down several blocks on 125th Street in Harlem. Roberts was visibly disturbed by the creep, but he eventually (and harmlessly) disappeared.
"It can be, in certain situations, a little skeezy," Bliss added.
The video was made to benefit the non-profit foundation Hollaback, to give women the gift of safety while walking down the street.
"Do these guys really care about how she's doing or do they just want to get her phone number and take her out on a date?" Roberts asked.
At a certain point, it becomes obvious the men's intentions do not matter. They are just one among many on any given day.
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