Do men in New Zealand catcall women? Is street harassment a thing in Aotearoa? The New Zealand Herald made a hidden-camera video, with a model walking around central Auckland and only one person approached her but he “sounds European”.
So is this not a problem in New Zealand? Well, New Zealand may not have the same street culture as New York, but for sure women get unwanted men approaching them.
Unlike the Herald‘s test person, I’m not a model. I’m not the kind of girl that random men approach in a “hey baby” kind of way, but street harassment has even happened to me.
This is a sampling of the more memorable situations that have happened in the past 10 years:
I was walking home from work along Karangahape Road, along the bit over the motorway. A man approaches me. He says something but I can’t understand him so I ask him to repeat himself. He again mumbles, and again I look confused. The third time I hear him say “If I give you money will you have sex with me?” I walked off, feeling a bit sorry for him because he seemed quite messed up.
It was about 6.45am, and I was heading to work as I was on the early shift. I was waiting at the pedestrian crossing outside the Skycity Theatre when a really drunk guy came up to me. He was convinced I’d just come from the casino and suggested we keep partying into the
night morning. I said I was on my way to work, which he didn’t believe as obviously I was heading over to the Albion Hotel to play their poker machines. He seemed bewildered as I didn’t walk into the pub and kept going along Hobson Street.
I was walking along Courtenay Place on a Saturday afternoon. I passed a random white guy and he said, “How’s it going?” I didn’t know if he was talking to me and also couldn’t be bothered finding out so I ignored him. He shouted “I said, how’s it going?” and I just kept walking. With anger in his voice, he yelled “Fucking… red neck”. I’m pretty sure he was left kicking himself that he hadn’t been able to come up with a better insult.
I was walking along Dixon Street on a Sunday afternoon. A guy started walking alongside me and said, “Hey, pretty girl. You wanna talk?” Really? I was not having it and shot back “get fucked”. He laughed and said, “Yeah, let’s do that!” I immediately turned and walked off in the other direction.
Munters in cars
And then there were all the times when munters in passing cars have yelled stuff, most of which is unintelligible. One time some teen boys yelled at me then turned down a nearby cul-de-sac (which seems like a real amateur move) so I found them still sitting in their car and told them they were dicks.
This is all a lot harder to capture on video, but who knows what the future of wearable tech will reveal. (Do men make passes at girls who wear Google Glass?)
None of these situations were pleasant. I had places to go, things to do and I was having to stop and deal with these random dudes. It doesn’t happen to me a lot, but when it does, it’s annoying and I wish it didn’t happen.