Everyday sexism: The accused as the victim

I posted a link to the video of Shoshanna Roberts and her 10-hour walk through New York to highlight the everyday sexism women are subjected too.

Among the abject and oh-too-predictable “Men are just being nice by saying hello to her” – yeah, because strangers care so much about how everyone’s morning, day or evening is going – there are now attempts to dissect the video. Good, you’d think.

However, we end up with this: “The problem with that video is that white guys have been edited out”.  When in fact, the problem with that video is that when men are put in front of their sexism they become the usual bullies who always find a reason to say it was not them or it’s not what it seems or they are the victim of a conspiracy. The world is their school playground.

The attempt to focus on supposed racism is called a diversion. Some people watched the video with a pen and a paper and instead of witnessing the everyday sexism, they reviewed the skin complexion of every man, counted them, compared and decided the video was worthless.

The point of that video is to show what happens daily to a woman when she indicates clearly that she is not in any mood to socialise. The actress is wearing sport gear, is walking at a fast pace with weights in each hand, she never smiles or even looks at them before, during or after. Any man passing by with the same demeanor would be completely ignored. No more “polite hellos”. Yet, when it’s her, men are heckling, harassing, insulting, following.

So how can we possibly make sure people don’t see that? Well let’s try to divert the focus on something else and possibly something that will discredit the video so when people watch it, they don’t see the sexism of everyday men but instead the racism of the people who edited the video. I am even sure some have found that she looked at a white guy whereas she never looks at black men, who knows? But “that’s proof!”.

I am not here to dismiss the fundamental racism of the American society but the reality is that the actress and the charity she is working with had 10 hours of video to edit. Their focus was everyday sexism, not race so when they edited the video, it was irrelevant to them to be counting how many black, white, Hispanic, Chinese, Arabic or whatever type of men were sexist. It was and is still NOT the point. The point was to show sexism. Not to discuss the editing.

Tragic yet common attempt from the accused to divert the attention.

Because if you go on the path of diversion on race, the doors are endless to discredit the video:

Not enough white men: it deliberately shows Black men as being more sexist.
Not enough men from rich neighbourhoods: it deliberately shows poorer people are more sexist.
Not enough men in parks or offices: it only shows people in the streets.
Not enough highly educated students: it looks like people with less education are more sexist.
Not enough young men: it makes people believe only older men are sexist.
Not enough professional diversity: it shows a lot of people outside of little shops, delivery men and street vendors.
Not enough rural men: it shows people in the city are more sexist than people in the countryside.
Not enough men with women: most of the men are with other men so maybe they don’t mean it, it’s just to show off.
Not enough nice men: Why haven’t they put a count of men she crosses and said nothing? It’s biased.

I guess the accused will always find a way to say they are not the problem, their victim is.


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