“Ay Baby”: A Street Harassment Experiment

Manifesta

by Alexis Wilkinson

I spent this past summer in one of my favorite places on Earth: New York City. To say I love New York would not only be a cliché, but an understatement. I do much more than love New York in some glib sense. I understand New York. I celebrate its joys and empathize with its plight. Working three jobs was a small price to pay for the privilege of running through the filthy, beautiful streets of NYC all day and all night for three months.

If my beloved New York has one fatal flaw, it is that the city has the most persistent, crass, and often truly frightening brand of street harassers I have ever encountered.

I have spent time in other cities. I have been whistled at, shouted at, and even grabbed by the shoulders. But never have these affronts to my personhood been so constant…

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