After the street harassment video hit the Internet streets as it were, I got into a debate with a male friend of mine. “What’s wrong with saying hi,” he kept asking. He’s a nice guy, not a threat, yada, yada, yada. I had to break it down for him that women can’t distinguish between a nice guy ‘hi’ and a harasser/stalker/rapist ‘hi’ so we have to treat the two equally. I said, too often if I respond with a courteous hello back then men see that as an opening to a conversation, not as a mere greeting. We went around and around for awhile and I felt like I was lecturing a class on gender, male privilege, and women’s rights. For the most part, I think that he got it. But if he didn’t, I’m going to have to show him the #DudesGreetingDudes hashtag on Twitter.

Of course Twitter has been a main driver of the street harassment conversation. Many men have been on the defensive saying that women are being too sensitive when all they want to do is say hi. And that’s where the #DudesGreetingDudes comes in.

It all started with comedian and commentator Elon James White’s observational tweets:

It was only a matter of time before the hashtag caught on and people started joining in on the fun.

Thank goodness White got this popping because it’s pretty hilarious and he’s pointing out the foolery of the ‘we’re just trying to say hi’ argument. Yeah ok. That’s really all you want to do? Just make sure that these women, these perfect strangers, know that you want them to have a good day? White left us with one final gem.

What do you think of #DudesGreetingDudes? Diana Veiga is a Spelman woman, a DC resident, and a freelance writer. Of course, she’s also on Twitter.

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