Street Harassment: Would you talk like that to your mother?

“That girl you’re drooling over, she’s got a mother.”

“The topless waitress, she might be someone’s mother.”

“See that stripper? Now look above the banana but below the tattoo of a dragon. See that c-section scar? She’s someone’s mother.”

“That orgy you’re watching? At least one of those seven girls must be a mother, and all of them have one.”

“What are you yelling about? You wouldn’t talk to your mother like that.”

I’ve been told several times, “What’s wrong with checking out someone’s mother? She knows what it is, knows where it goes, and she’s clearly up for it. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have any kids.”

Anyone who’s told me that, well, we’re not friends anymore.

Anyway, a new ad for the Peruvian branch of Stop Street Harassment targets serial catcallers, with their mothers. By transforming them into “hot mamas” and parading in front of their sons.

Who do the expected calling out, and are called out by their own mothers.

Then, these men hopefully proceed to have nightmares for the rest of their natural lives.

In the PornHub version, the boys get a spanking which quickly escalates into something a whole lot worse. Or better, depending on how twisted you are.

Okay, so maybe not, but the whole thing is staged. So it’s a possibility.

Does the fact that it is all written, directed, acted and sponsored detract from the message?

I don’t think so.

Several similar videos kicked around in 2014 and claimed to be real, but were staged or selectively edited.

Street harassment is a very real problem. In 2014, SSH (Stop Street Harassment) got an independent firm to do some research. They discovered from a 2,000 person survey that 65% of women had experienced street harassment, 23% had been sexually touched, 20% had been followed, and 9% had been forced to do something sexual. Among men, 25% had been street harassed (a higher percentage of LGBT-identified men than heterosexual men reported this) and their most common form of harassment was homophobic or transphobic slurs (9%).

Which is shocking.

Recent figures indicate that around one-third of women worldwide have been sexually harassed in some form, and less than 10 percent of men, and around a third of women have experienced sexual violence.

So while it’s great to have a laugh at these actors catcalling actors who are playing their mothers, anyone who sexually abuses women… How would they feel about the same thing being done to their own mother? Their daughter?

Mothers, daughters, women, they’re not objects for your sexual gratification but people and anyone who doesn’t treat them as such, well you’re the ones who don’t deserve any respect.

I just don’t know what goes through the minds of these men. Who thinks this is okay, then kisses their wife and daughter goodnight, and doesn’t see the problem?

Where’s the video where catcallers are rounded up and subjected to verbal and physical abuse? By women? Now that’s a video I’d really like to see. We could even dress up the men as actual cats.

You know, just because.

This article first appeared in The Big Smoke:

Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian

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