The Daily Show’s Jessica Williams Breaks Down The Absurdity Of Catcalling


Catcalling…it’s the bane of our existence as women, right?! Sure it seems harmless, but it is often seen as a gateway habit to much bigger, more serious problems like harassment, sexual assault and even rape. Is there a solution to stop the ridiculous mostly male-driven epidemic? We can’t think of a one-size-fits-all approach, but there are women and organizations who are working hard to flip the script and educate the masses on the brevity of this problem.

We’ve seen how one New Yorker decided to turn her daily street harassment into a photography project, taking pictures of her catcallers in an effort to turn the attention back on them and ask them “why do you do it?”

We’ve seen pop culture website Buzzfeed hilariously show what guys are really trying to say when they yell obscene things out to women on the street. But this was more of a light-hearted approach to give the message that it shouldn’t be taken seriously.

And in the UK we’ve seen the Guardian film an experiment of their own where a young women drives around catcalling men in the same manner they would to a woman to see their reaction. Clue: a lot of them were taken aback and offended. Duh!

It is a conversation we need to be willing to have out in the open without making excuses. Sure, not all men do it, just like not all women are harassed every day. That doesn’t mean the issue isn’t real.

The Daily Show’s Jessica Williams, who often heads up pieces commenting on gender issues in a hilarious yet intelligent way, decided to tackle the issue not only of catcalling, but how the media treats this topic.


She started off the video below taking on some news media programs who basically trample all over the women who are victims and say that THEY are the real victims who live in a “feminized atmosphere”. Wow…

In the video below there are clips of some female news anchors saying catcalling to them should be taken as a compliment, and that men don’t mean any harm. But when Jessica gathered a room full of women in New York to seriously ask them about their experience being harassed on the street, an alarming number of them expressed how unsafe it made them feel.

Why should we be forced to brush off street harassment as a “bit of harmless fun” because some news anchor hasn’t felt threatened? Why do we clutch our purses tighter and walk briskly at night on city streets in fear that someone may come out and attack us?

The other sentiment expressed by the group is how they should respond. They feel like the men get away with the catcalling if they don’t respond, but if they do say something back, they fear for their safety. Does that sound like it came from nowhere or that it should just be brushed off as “complimentary”?

And when a clip of one male news host claims that catcalling is “provoked” Jessica very intelligently explains that a woman daring to wear a dress, a t-shirt, a pair of jeans, a jacket, basically anything, should never be considered fair game for harassment.

The question is, should women be allowed to walk down a street wearing whatever they want and not feel afraid of what men migt say and do? Yes!

Should the media stop playing down the experiences of everyday real women who are sick of being told to just get over it and take it as a compliment? Hell yes!

Check out the video below to see why catcalling and street harassment is not something to be tolerated in society:




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