The “Cat Calling Video” has gone viral on the Internet since it was published Tuesday, and now Shoshana Roberts, the woman who endured the New York City street harassment, has spoken out. Roberts sat down for an interview with the Guardian where she gave behind-the-scenes information about the now-infamous footage.
“There is so much footage that people have not seen and that’s just one day, she said. “It didn’t document the month before when I was groped, my side was squeezed or when me ass was squeezed.”
“It disrupts my daily life,” Roberts said. “Not only does it stop my train of thought, but it creates unnecessary stress.”
She explained that sometimes when she’s walking her body language says she is open for comments; that she wants to say “hello” or “thank you” when someone says something to her. But other times, like in the video, she’s walking hunched over, without a smile and just wants to get to her destination without any disruption.
Roberts' solution is that more people need to be educated on how to talk to women, or how not to talk to women, when they are walking on the street. “We need to tell these people ‘stop doing this,’” she said.
Her video, “10 Hours of Walking in NYC As a Woman,” has nearly 17.5 million views on YouTube. Roberts was sexually assaulted in the past and she said creating the video brought back memories of the incident.
“I felt like crying and I have occurrences in my past of sexual assault, so I wasn’t even aware necessarily of all the times people were saying things to me,” she told the Washington Post. “I was just going over in my head and reliving, unfortunately, these memories while I was walking. I wanted to break down in tears.”
Follow me on Twitter @mariamzzarella