By: Aletheia B. Told- “Psssst!” “Mama God bless you!” are just a few things women hear daily from men on city streets. Some are much more some much more aggressive and also vulgar . Apparently NYC has such a huge problem with street harassment that the city council has earmarked 20k in funding to combat this. The money is goings a Boreum Hill based nonprofit with a phone app called Hollaback!,
The app which is already available but not yet sanctioned by the city allows women to snap a picture of the creepy catcallers and post it online with a description for the whole world to see.
Wait. How exactly is this going to help?
A man sexually harasses a woman on the street, she stops. Takes her phone out of her purse, where according to reports of rising smart phone thefts, it should be. Turns to the offender or offenders and then snaps their picture.
This sounds like a great idea. Have a face off with a strange man in the street. While this may catch a few men off guard at first, as word spreads it may just anger them.
So now a creepy cat caller is snatching a woman’s phone, hitting her or worse. An annoying act of male hormones is now a full-out assault. Is the city going to make an app for that too?
The app holds no value to women or to the city. Yes it may collect data on where it is more of a problem. It also may dissuade some men out of sheer embarrassment, but other than that it appears to be a pointless and dangerous thing to do.
This tool can not be used to press charges. Yes photos have been used as evidence in criminal cases but without an actual crime being committed this won’t work.
An angered girlfriend could slander her ex by posting fabricated harassment stories. Women can use this tool to put false stories across the web for the whole world to see.
The city council should use this money for awareness programs or rape counseling services, instead of promoting a vigilante app that helps no one.
Let’s hope that NYC or no other dumps money into this program. Instead ladies keep it moving and keep yourself out of danger