Wolf-whistles, “hey baby” and “keep smiling honey!” are the types of things you’d expect to hear directed at a woman walking down the street. But what would the world look like if gender roles were reversed? A new short film seeks to answer that question — and the result is chilling.
On what seems to be just another ordinary day, a man is exposed to sexism and sexual violence in a society ruled by women… (10 minutes watch below)
First song: Comme un garçon, by StereoTotal Last theme: Pocket Harmony feat. Moïra Conrath
….The film follows a man through a day of sexist encounters. It starts with his neighbor, in the courtyard of his building. She’s friendly at first. She brings up some business about the building management, but then stops and says, “I should really be talking to your wife.” She throws him a withering look, then turns on her heel and swaggers away. As he turns to exit onto the street, a shirtless woman—just back from a run—is coming in. She partially blocks the door, so he has to squeeze by, and shouts after him, “Keep smiling, honey!”
It’s one thing after another: a homeless woman yells sexual threats; a gang of street toughs taunts him lewdly. It culminates with this same gang assaulting him in an alley. The film cuts to a police station, where an officer responds to his statement with cold skepticism and passive aggression. Finally his wife arrives. She fawns over him at first, but seems more interested in talking about her own day at work. When he starts to cry, she becomes impatient. “I’m sick of your masculinist nonsense,” she says. “Look at the way you dress!” Man, women are jerks.
It’s a clever, if not wholly original, idea, to portray switched gender roles with the reasoning that men will understand what women go through in ways that they never could just by watching women go through it. The director, Éléonore Pourriat, told the Guardian that the film’s depiction of relentless harassment was meant to be “not so realistic but frightening.” But the video is being spread around the Web as a source of revelation. (It has been viewed more than five million times on YouTube.)
“Try Doubting Everyday Sexism After Watching This Video,” reads the Huffington Post’s headline. Upworthy’s says “A French Film Showing Men What Being a Woman Feels Like Kinda Nails It.” (Incidentally, the art that accompanies the Upworthy post when it’s shared on Facebook is a screengrab of a brief shot in the film in which the man is passed by a shirtless woman going for a run. Capitalizing on the convergence of feminism clicks and naked-woman clicks is another clever, if not wholly original, idea.)
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