Hey Ma: 11 Examples of Street Harassment in Rap and R&B
In the wake of the now viral catcalling video above, street harassment has been the topic on everyone's mind (welcome to Being A Woman: 101!). While the debate about what exactly constitutes harassment rages on, the most popular question from men remains: "Well, how do I approach a woman on the street?" The "scientific" answer is you don't. Ignore me like you ignore every other stranger in the street. However, it's your prerogative and while I refuse to give a "good" script here are 11 examples of irrefutable "hell naw."
There are not enough side eyes for me to place in response to this chorus. There's no reason to wax philosophical about why this is the wrong way to holler. "Bitch" + command = wrong move. Seems simple but life has proven that a lot of dudes are bad at math.
I love this song but this chorus is a fantasy that many men still believe is going to happen to them. Yup, you're going to pull up outside the club and a girl is just going to get in your car and roll away. I understand that Juelz has an "advantage" because his car is an expensive model but thank you for the vote of faith that women pick their partners from genuine interest and not monetary gains. The plot of the goldigger is really a plight of reality for all women because we usually have brains and more than a two-line checklist for whom we'd like to have sex with. "Nice car and big dick" is the banner under which all women's desires exist in most of hip hop and it attaches itself to the hypothetical "ho" woman that you've never really met but always hear tons of stories about. Even if you did decide to jump in a nice car with a dude and rush back to his house for hot tub time, him yelling "don't touch nothin'! Sit in the car!" is probably a red flag.
This chorus rings true to the most reprehensible holler tactic: let me politely disrespect you and basically play you while proposing sexy time. First off, "Please don't mind while I pursue" should be the opening and closing argument on this case. How am I supposed to not mind you pursuing and speaking to me? Isn't it a two-person discussion? They also add the cop out catchphrase of harassment everywhere "boys will be boys" in guise as "that's how thugs do"—basically you are asking for a silent and unwilling participant in some sort of manly man ritual. So I should ignore you invading my space because you're helpless to control yourself even if it makes me uncomfortable? Then after that of course we'll go eat and have sex because what else have I got to do with my time! Certainly not enjoy myself with friends and then go home. I won't take it personal but I will take offense to how many women have to listen to this tired routine.
Sure you can. And even if you #actually could that's the key, right? If I just bang my way to the top I'll be using all my God-given female talents to the best of my ability. Women are not diamond-eating Pac man characters. I don't offer to pay you upfront to be my boyfriend, so show me the same courtesy when trying to get my attention.
There's a part in this song where Webbie says that listening to this song makes him want to get some. It's pretty disgusting (which is wild considering the chorus of this song is "girl gimme dat pu--y") but even more ridiculous, is that he means it. The idea of grabbin' you up and giving you what you've been frontin' on is a tactic that many women will tell you comes into play way too often with tragic results. The truth is you'd have to know someone pretty well to be able to read their mind so it's safe to say you would have known them intimately for a while so ... you...wouldn't be hollering so ... you get the point?
This song may mark the turn of the tide when Jay went from baggy jeans and 7:15 AM cabs for women to button downs and a Mrs. but the chorus is intended to make us believe that Pharrell can stop you, ask for your name and then immediately declare that he wants you to have his child. While dudes may not say this exactly (though they do and it's REALLY weird!) the same oppressing "I love you at first sight" harassment applies. Why not chill out? You barely know my name. We are not living in a Nicholas Spark's novel and my life goal is not to be valuable enough to have your baby. Also, Jay, asking me to “stay with you” and asking to “take me out tonight” are two separate things that shouldn't be correlated within a holler. I don’t give a crap about how snooty you pronounce Crist-ALL.
The holler that is as old as time and just as played out. Do not holler, "ay bay bay" in the club, you sound like a 15-year-old boy.
Oh yeah, that's totally cool. Please kidnap me and take me back to your house without my knowing so I can be trapped and then basically forced into having sex with you because I can't escape. What? It doesn't sound sexy in laymen's terms? If you're tactic of trying to hook up with me involves any kind of lying or tricks than it's definitely not acceptable in any way.
There's this rumor that if you are hot and have a lot of money you can just ask women to do anything. Never mind the fact that Trey Songz could and probably would get slapped if he asked a woman who was not sitting in his VIP section to "Say aah" being hot and rich is not an excuse to be a pig. Also you are not Trigga and nobody is trying to recreate a video with you Mr. GetRealThisisLife.
Although the idea of being gangbanged by Nicki Minaj and a group of lithe and beautiful dancers is not exactly what I would call a negative, women do not exist as your personal fantasy concierges. Asking a girl to prove herself by getting you another girl to sleep with seems not only inappropriate but also manipulative and lurk-y. It stands to say that women don’t sleep with other women just for men's pleasure, even if Pornhub tells you differently. So next time you see two girls making out in the club, you should probably give them the same courtesy you give all other types of couples making out in the club and leave them alone. If anybody wants you they'll let you know and making me seduce someone else to get you just sounds lazy on top of disrespectful.
Though many people would have chosen the song ‘Yo’ which features a visual of Chris street hollering while hitting a kickball change, the lyrics of that song clarify that Chris is at a party asking a girl for a dance which makes sense. 'Poppin'' however is quite different. "Tell me where you headed/ can I walk with ya girl" is possibly the most dreadful thing to hear when you're a woman on the street. Nobody wants a stranger to start following him or her around inexplicably. However, the real cringe-face comes when Chris declares "I really want to get to know you better girl/ you ain't gotta act like you shy". As a woman I hear this line probably every other day. The insult is in you, STRANGER, telling me that you know my emotions so well that you can declare I am acting "shy" rather than "frightened", "cautious" or "disinterested." The ownership of my emotions without any regard to the fact that I might actually know how I feel and you are wrong is behind so many frightful street harassment situations and arguments. A woman does not want nor need you to explain what they are feeling to them. Especially if you are someone she has never met. It's an alarming assumption behind so many misguided holler attempts. I am an adult and if I say I'm not feeling it, relabeling my reaction is not going to help you nor garner any favors. Next time take what a human adult says at face value. If you're boss said he was considering firing you, you wouldn’t tell him he "doesn’t have to be coy".