Credit: Screenshot

Credit: Screenshot

By now we have learned that the street harassment video showing a woman being catcalled over 100 times edited out white men who did in fact say inappropriate things to this woman. Some lame excuse was given, but the fact remains that the video was skewed as if to show only Black and Latino men as harassers. This is problematic for so many reasons. The main one being that it makes street harassment seem to be solely a minority and class problem – when we know that’s not true.

Just now on Twitter, author Joyce Carol Oates had this to say about street harassment:

Ummmm…no and no Joyce Carol Oates.

Needless to say Oates’s mention are in shambles right now. Utter shambles! Women of all ages and races are telling Oates about herself and detailing the street harassment they experienced in these “affluent” neighborhoods.

What wealthy white men aren’t rude and inappropriate? They don’t have issues  with thinking they’re entitled to a woman’s hello and her body? Try again.

This kind of thinking is obviously not limited to Joyce Carol Oates, she just was foolish enough to tweet about it. Her tweets and thinking just reinforce the narrative that’s continually looped in America’s psyche – that Black and Latino men are “bad”, “dangerous,” and always the primary suspect.

Which brings us back to the video, of this poor white woman being offended and harassed only by men of color. It has shades of Antebellum South, protect the virginal white woman from these big, black bucks elements to it. This video seems to shout, this woman needs to be saved and protected from them.

When the truth is women of all races, all classes, all walks of life get harassed by men of all races, all classes, all walks of life. All of our stories matter. We all need protection. We all need to feel safe and secure enough to walk freely down the street, no matter the neighborhood, without feeling harassed or uncomfortable. It’s our right. Right?

Diana Veiga is a Spelman woman, a DC resident, and a freelance writer. Of course, she’s also on Twitter.

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