Vogue India released this video to raise awareness and battle abuse on women. The violence towards women is influenced by socializing boys, at a very young age, to restrict their emotions. Telling boys that they can’t cry because it is only something exclusive for girls causes problems because it is creating a toxic way in expressing their emotions later in life. It is exactly what some feminist try to argue; patriarchy not only causes inequality for women, but it also emphasis gender roles that is harmful for men and women alike.
This video goes hand in hand with the movement #startwiththeboys. It is trying to correct the problem of how we socialize you boys into these gender roles, which have detrimental psychological implications. Boys are treated badly if they show “feminine” characteristics, which is being able to express their emotions freely, and are taught to be strong and unemotional. Frustration builds up and they become violent because they do not know how to properly express their emotions. This violence then becomes normalized stating that “boys will be boys” and propagating the idea that men are allowed to do anything, such as being able to get away with rape, making street harassment seen as harmless, and excusing or completely denying abuse allegations. #Startwiththeboys is advocating to deconstruct the binary of gender roles, so that there are no define lines on what a person can project themselves as.
This video is a response to the catcalling video ad by hollaback, a non-profit organization to stop street harassment. The debate between Amanda Seales and Steve Santagati illustrates two different views on street harassment. Amanda Seales argues that it is a problem because it propagates the objectification of women. She states that the moment women steps out of her home, they are expected to be smiling and available to accept the “compliments” they receive. Steve Santagati disagree, he thinks the opposite. Women live to be complimented and would have not cared if the people who were “complimenting” them on the streets were attractive and not the “no class” people that were present in the video. The problem with Santagati’s argument, according to Seales, is that it is trying to question why women would have a problem with catcalling.
The catcalling video itself is problematic because it has many flaws such as the white catcallers being edited out, the location is rather limited (it is only in some streets of New York), and the nature of it being an advertisement. How serious should this video be taken? Seales tells us that this is a reality that happens everyday, and especially in New York where women cannot easily remove themselves in public space using a car, it seems more extreme. Santagati argues that if it really is this serious why would women choose not to fight back to the street harassers. It just shows the privilege of men when they believe that women can just refuse advancements and expect to be alive after; Seales gave the example of the Detroit woman who was killed from refusing advancements from men. There are many other examples of women being killed because of catcalling. Despite the view whether cat calling is a serious problem or something harmless, this issue illustrates how misogynistic ideas are socialized into societal norms.
Along the topic of the labelling theory, this video illustrates how labels affect people’s lives. The video illustrates the consequence when certain labels of deviances is translated to certain races, culture, ethnicity, and religion. When crime is more prominent within a certain culture, often it becomes associated with the whole rather than with the exceptions. This is especially the case with minorities. For example 9/11 and the terrorism of al-Qaeda, Americans becomes wary of Muslims (or any other brown people in fact) due to al-Qaeda being Islamic. They now tie in terrorism with Islam, which is completely ignorant, but it is still ubiquitous.
Black people are subjected to this anti-black treatment in America. Due to the targeted criminalization of things that were associated with African-American in the past, such as drug use and violence. With years of this kind of socialization, that black people are more likely to commit x and y crimes, law enforces will certainly pay more attention to these people and simultaneously affecting their judgment. This problem is called racial profiling, and this is what Tyquan, the high school student in the video, and many others are subjected to. Like what Tyquan said, “If you’re young and black, no matter how you look, you fit the description.”