Attention Americans: This is What Street Harassment ACTUALLY Looks Like


A recent viral video of a woman walking down the street in New York, posted by Hollaback, sets out to expose the evils of catcalling. The video quickly went viral and Hollaback is using this viral exposure to push for legislation to “end catcalling.”

This sounds all fine and dandy to someone who doesn’t think past their own self-serving single layer government protected bubble of happiness. However, in reality, responding to someone’s speech with government force is horrific.

By Matt Agorist via The Free Thought Project

Sure, catcalling can be offensive, rude, derogatory, (insert negative connotation here) and it should most definitely be stigmatized and frowned upon by society.

However, non-violent speech does not directly violate or threaten the rights of any individual. Those who call for quelling the free speech of another person through the initiation of government force, are far more dangerous to society than a homeless drunk man vomiting up whatever lewd thoughts pop into his head as a pretty woman walks by.

Imagine for a minute the reality of making cat-calling illegal and the resultant black hole of bureaucratic entanglements. Court systems nationwide would be filled to the brim. The already over-stressed justice system would come to a grinding halt prosecuting “speech crimes.” More non-violent human beings would be incarcerated and the room for abuse by law enforcement would be pushed to the limits.

The negative consequences associated with using government coercion as a means to shut people up are endless and frightening.

Equally as concerning as the free speech issue that would arise from outlawing catcalling is the fact that Hollaback seems to think that telling a woman she’s beautiful is more dangerous than actual street harassment; police brutality and sexual abuse.


Sexual misconduct is the second highest of all complaints nationwide against police officers, representing 9.3 percent in 2010, according to an unofficial study.

In 2010, 354 of the 618 complaints involved non consensual sexual acts, and over half of those involved were minors.

Last month we reported on an officer in charge of a rape case who is accused of stalking and sexually harassing the victim.

In September, Oklahoma made headlines with three serial rapists in 3 weeks, all officers, as well as one police chief molesting children.

Also, last month an ‘Officer of the Month’ brutally raped a young woman on the hood of his car, at gunpoint. 

In July, a former New York Police Department officer convicted of planning to kidnap and rape women before killing and eating them was set to go free after a federal judge overturned his conviction.

Or how about the police officer that was found guilty of raping a girl with a pencil; she was 5!

But no, Hollaback wants you to believe that we need this same group of people, with such rapacious sociopaths in their ranks, to enforce laws designed to ‘protect’ women from words.

Below is an eye-opening video created by Carey Welder. She nails the hypocrisy and ridiculousness of calling for an end to catcalling versus calling for an end to unnecessary and often violent police harassment.

This article originally appeared on The Free Thought Project.

  • Buddy

    This is ridiculous. Whats the argument here? Of course the ever growing police state is terrible. So is sexual harassment. You’re basically stating that anyone raising awareness around issues that aren’t directly opposing police brutality are void. Your just using a viral video to charge hits on your website. There is no argument here and shame on you for downgrading the harassment that woman go through on a daily basis. You are taking the side of these misogynistic chauvinists that are saying that woman are being too “sensitive”. How about not attacking another group and make your point for harassment by authorities, you may just make a case without belittling woman.

    • PunkRockLibertarians

      I disagree. The article isn’t downplaying the fact that the harassment women experience is bad, it’s pointing out the hypocrisy of asking the government to intervene using its own private army of thugs that brutalize and harass people every day. -JS

      • Thor

        Wow very well said. Catcalling is of course disgusting and what is needed is for citizens to do exactly this: make videos, create awareness, and make society frown on catcallers. Make it clear how unnaceptable this is, but outlawing something does not make it go away, it only empowers the police.

    • JackPoint

      The video is pointing out that if you want to stop catcalling (which in itself is questionable as a “cause”) it’s best not to appeal to a lawful authority since said lawful authority is despicable and, according to evidence, will not actually help stop your harassment. Pushing for a law on this is a waste of time at best, and a push to political power for personal gain at worst.

  • jen

    You are incorrect. She is arguing against legislation that would give law enforcement more power over their jurisdiciton. My problem is that the instances of police brutality consistue assault, not harrasement. Police harrassment is a very different occurence.

  • Leila

    I want to point out that you categorize catcalling as nonviolent speech and I have a problem with that. Catcalling often involves threats of violence and sometimes proceeds to physical violence. Do I think that catcalling should be made illegal? No, I don’t and I agree with you on that point. The issue is a cultural one, not a legal one. But you’ve clearly never had someone threaten to rape you in passing and then physically threaten you when you tried to ignore it.

    • Robert

      I’ve already debadged two FL ego enforcement officers for battery (felony assault). And you want to give them MORE power… NO WAY IN HELL! Yes, catcalling can often be a very real threat, in which case that is already legally punishable (as misdemeanor assault). But shouting “Yo mamma…”, whistling, even a lewd comment that doesn’t involve any threat of action is protected by the first amendment. I, and everyone that has EVER served in the military, have sworn an oath to die defending that. I’m not saying that catcalling is right, in fact I find it disgustingly immature. But, if being an asshole were to become punishable, how’s this one… “hey babe… your cell or mine?”

  • Pingback: Harassment, Feminism, Kim Kardashian’s Ass & the Police State | Hire Fire Dancing Performers; Lessons/Classes Poi()

  • Maya Bohnhoff

    I don’t see why it’s street harassment versus police violence. There’s no reason to even suggest that this is a binary, either / or situation. Neither behavior is acceptable. I, personally, blog about both.

    May I ask what you think you gain by suggesting that people who feel strongly about one of these issues should be in conflict with those who feel strongly about the other? You’re creating a false choice and dividing people when what we need is unity and solidarity.

    Street harassment isn’t just harmless or even lewd catcalling. It takes in all sorts of behaviors up to and including physical and verbal violence. Often it is directed at women, gays, trans people as much for reasons of race as for reasons of gender. The over-arching theme here is one individual or group of individuals bullying someone they feel is subordinate to them in some way, whether it’s because the person is a member of a group the bully deems “lesser” or “other” or because the bully is wearing a badge. In either case, the bully does what he does because he fears no consequence.

    Instead of trying to set people who have been the victims of bullying against each other, why not explore collaborative advocacy and support ALL victims of bullies? We are stronger working together than we are in (falsely) opposing camps.