Update: Thursday, October 30: Michael Che deleted the Instagram photos without any explanation. Before that though, he tweeted:
i think some of u are misunderstanding that post. im simply just making fun of something that is important to a lot of people.
— Michael Che (@CheThinks) October 29, 2014
Original post: Ladies, do we really have to go over this again? Catcalls are flattering! The latest defense of street harassment comes not from the New York Post (where we would expect it) but from comedian Michael Che, late of The Daily Show, now the co-host of SNL‘s “Weekend Update,” and recent Village Voice cover model.
Here’s what Che had to say Wednesday on Instagram:
We can only assume the video he means is the one that went viral yesterday, of a woman (a sexual-assault survivor, no less!) being catcalled 108 times in the course of 10 hours walking around New York City.
Che is apparently not impressed by the volume of harassment actress Shoshana Roberts endured; the more than a hundred men leering at her, calling out to her, or, even more creepily, walking in step with her for more than five minutes — silently — was not enough to convince him that this is a threatening, or even just unpleasant, experience.
What do you need, Michael Che? You need some statistics? OK, here:
According to the CDC “non-contact unwanted sexual experiences,” including street harassment, are the most prevalent form of sexual violence for both men and women in the United States. Internationally, studies show that between 70-99% of women experience street harassment at some point during their lives…The long-term impacts include depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as a reduced sense of safety that can limit earnings, decrease mobility, and interrupt their ability to fully engage with civic life.
More research on the harmful effects of catcalling, where that (and the original video) came from, Hollaback.
We’ll say this one more time, and hopefully never have to say it again: Catcalling is not flattering — it’s uncomfortable. It’s gross. It’s violating. And IT WILL NEVER GET YOU A DATE.
The first post was followed quickly by a second:
Thanks, I guess, for the patronizing non-apology for your previous, also patronizing faux-apology?
It’s particularly baffling that Che is Team Catcalling considering his former employer, The Daily Show, did such a brilliant pair of takedowns of street harassment.