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“catcalling victims should just carry a gun”: cnn segment causes outrage everywhere

catcall vid controversy

Last week, CNN aired what was meant to be a straightforward ten minute segment responding to a recently released anti catcalling video produced by Hollaback, which has now gone viral. With stand-up comedian Amanda Seales and ‘The MANual’ author Steven Santagati as guests, the network received much more discussion and attention than they had originally intended. The point of the segment, which had probably been aimed at discussing how best to deal with cat-calling so that women could feel more comfortable while walking the streets, soon developed into something very different. The problem lay within the remarks of Santagati, as he tried to mansplain the idea of catcalling – and it wasn’t simply one comment that has landed him in hot water.

There are such a wide range of “opinions” from the man that it’s difficult to choose where to begin. I’m not sure whether it’s ignorance, stupidity or simple misogyny that spurred him to even state these things, but here are a few of his comments quoted from the video itself.

In response to Seales explaining how she was a personal victim of catcalling:


‘It’s just another example of a lot of feminists that have an a la carte attitude towards it, meaning you can do this, I want this sort of thing, but they take it too far. It’s kind of like, this thing bordered on The Boy Who Cried Wolf, like where’s it gonna go next?’

‘The bottom line is this, ladies: You would not care if all these guys were hot. They would be bolstering your self-esteem, bolstering your ego. There is nothing a woman loves more than how pretty she is.’

Added to this, Santagati also managed to “advise” women that if they didn’t like being catcalled, they should just leave New York City – which was where the Hollaback video was shot – or they should just stick up for themselves like a 2014 woman and tell them to shut up. When Seales responded with a reference to a woman who was recently killed after doing just that, he suggested then that women should just carry a gun!

I’m sure you’re beginning to understand why the internet has come up at arms at this man’s remarks. It also serves as a reason behind why gender equality is so obviously a battle that remains to be fought.

Personally, I have not been a victim of street harassment; my experience is limited, and I count myself fortunate to not have to deal with it. But I’m still in high school and preparing to move to a bigger city when I’m a legal adult, and I can’t help but seem to expect that at some point, I will have to deal with being publicly catcalled. Should I have to? Should anyone have to? Of course not! It’s something that shouldn’t be happening – especially if women are expressly stating discomfort towards such actions.

Someone needs to make a change – but it isn’t the women who are harassed on the street every day. It is not their fault that random sexist men cannot keep their mouths shut. A woman should most definitely not have to move cities because she feels uncomfortable with the actions of other people. Catcallers and those who support and defend them need to make a change. Not women.

What do you think about the video, Lipsters? Do you have any street harassment stories of your own?

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