This is a version of a post originally published on Global Voices in Spanish
November 25 marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, a grave issue in many countries around the world. Street harassment, experienced by countless women as they walk through their cities, is one of the forms of violence.
In Latin America, several videos have addressed the issue. In Peru, street harassment is a reality that many women have to deal with, even on public transportation. Natalia Málaga, a former volleyball player who now coaches the Peruvian national women's team, is the face of the “Sílbale a tu madre” (Catcall your mother) campaign against street harassment, sponsored by the organization Paremos el acoso callejero (Let's stop street harassment) and fitness and sporting goods company Everlast.
In the staged video, men make sexual comments at women who pass them on the street (these guys are known as faltosos in Spanish, meaning disrespectful). But the men are rendered speechless when they find out that the women are their mothers in disguise, who then give their sons a verbal lashing for the behavior.
The video has gone viral, with more than 3.4 million hits on YouTube so far:
Last year, Málaga participated in another campaign from Everlast called “El guantazo de Natalia” (Natalia's smacking).
In Chile, entertainment YouTube channel Woki Toki released a “social experiment” it called “La revancha de los agarrones” (Revenge of the touchers) several months ago, which has more than 4.2 million views. In the video, a woman gives men she passes an agarroncito (little touch) on the hand or bum, an unwelcome action that some men in the country inflict on women in the street.
At the end, the host says she is surprised that none of the guys who experienced the “little touch” felt uncomfortable (some even asked her out on a date). She tells male viewers not to give women agarroncitos because it makes them uncomfortable and isn't funny.
In another video produced in Venezuela by entertainment YouTube channel Canilla titled “La venganza de la obrera” (The revenge of the woman laborer) last year, a woman gives the stereotype of catcalling construction workers a twist by donning a yellow safety helmet and uttering flirtatious remarks at men that walk by her, such as “did it hurt you when you fell from heaven, my angel?” Her behavior is met with many confused glances and some embarrassed smiles.
The video has more than 1.1. million views on YouTube:
Also see Global Voices’ special coverage: 16 Days to End Violence at Home and Around the World