Yesterday a friend of mine who probably wouldn’t call himself a feminist (don’t worry, I’ll get him there in time) sent me a link to a video. This was the note that accompanied the link:
“This video is called ‘The Perfect Technique for Kissing a Girl in 30 Seconds’ but should be titled ‘Guide to Raping Women in the Street.’
You see how he grabs on to them? At least one definitely pushed him away. And the kisses looked more like him trying to bite them!”
This friend is not prone to exaggeration so I was curious to see what he was talking about. As much as I hate to give the “filmmaker” more views, you’re gonna have to watch the video to understand the rage it set off in me.
Am I crazy or is he basically committing sexual assault OVER AND OVER AND OVER?! What in the actual hell is happening here? The first woman he approaches must be a plant; her shitty acting is porn quality. But every other woman in the video appears genuinely startled and upset.
That a large portion of the internet is a stagnant, garbage-filled parking lot lake of filthy water is not news. So this asshole makes offensive videos for pathetic brodudes to watch and air high-five each other about? Whatever. Who cares?
Well, what makes this so, so much worse is where my friend came across the video.
Oh, wait. You don’t read French? Here’s the headline in English. (Thanks, Google Translate.)
Yup. This video – the one you just watched above, in which an aggressive d-bag grabs women on the street and mauls their faces – is just “the perfect technique for kissing a girl in 30 seconds.” Relax, ladies! Why so uptight?
The editorial board at Yahoo Quebec wrote that headline and the post that accompanies the video. To them, theirs is an accurate representation of the content of the video.
Ok. Are these people stoned all day everyday? Is Yahoo Quebec just an awesome place to work because you can hang with your bros drinking Labatt’s and comparing assault techniques all day?
In some ways, this brings to mind the iconic V-J Day photograph by Alfred Eisenstadt. The image is recognized all over the world as a romantic symbol of the elation of freedom.
But the facts behind the picture tell a totally different story, one that is considerably less charming. And less consensual.
I’m so exhausted by all this. Aren’t you? I mean, the uproar over that Dove video is one thing. Sure, it’s worth discussing. But I firmly believe that we as women are at least as guilty as men are of heaping appearance-based hate on each other. I don’t ever defend the Kardashians but look at the fat-shaming that Kim has suffered while she’s f***ing PREGNANT. Jesus.
At least that Dove commercial was trying to emotionally manipulate us to sell soap. This douche-y auteur Vitaly is just going around grabbing women – my friend described the guy’s hand as a “rape clamp” – and filming it. And getting nearly 5 million pageviews for it. (I don’t even need to tell you that avoiding the comments section below the video is best for your mental hygiene, do I?) In the same week that three women who’d been missing for more than a decade were found alive in a gruesome neighborhood prison, I just don’t know how much more of this I can take.
Without being too dramatic, I can honestly say that not once in my life have I ever been alone in a public space without my guard at least somewhat up. There is never a time when I am alone anywhere that I am not at least peripherally aware of the possibility of some man getting too close to me, or saying something offensive to me, or – worst case – physically violating me. Honestly, it’s much easier now that I’m older and more mom-ish, but I still get unwanted attention nearly every time I pump gas or go grocery shopping. Even if it’s something as comparatively benign as being commanded to “Smile, pretty lady!” when I’m mean muggin’. Hey, Asshole. I’m scowling so a man JUST LIKE YOU won’t consider me even remotely open to your proprietary advances.
The idea that there are preteen boys doing Internet searches on “how to get girls” and landing on a seemingly legitimate website like Yahoo to find advice like this just makes me want to go to a corner and rock back and forth for the rest of my life. And as long as women’s bodies are regarded as public property, this kind of thing will continue to happen.
It’s a good thing that women over 40 are anathema to shitheads like Vitaly. Because if he pulled that shit with one of us, he’d be picking up teeth.