This weekend I went out with a female friend of mine to a friend's show. It was another indie venue where one wouldn't expect the unapologetic douchebaggery of other clubs - just that pungent aura of hipsterdom (a little stale PBR, danger dogs and vintage clothing musk).
The venue is technically within walking distance of my house, but it becomes much too far a walk once the sun goes down. Which is why we spent a little while searching for parking. We initially saw a spot about three and a half blocks from the club, but my friend determined that it was "too far" from the club. At first, I thought that three and a half blocks was too far because she was wearing a skirt and the night had gotten chilly. But, when we left the show I was reminded that going out with my husband has resulted in me letting down my guard too much.
We ended up finding a spot about two blocks away on the side of the venue that has officially become gentrified, instead of the side that is still considered "transitional." But, before we could even cross the street, we were confronted by a young man blocking our path, asking "how we were doing," and how old we were. We had to dodge past him, while keeping watch on his two silent but lingering buddies, once the light changed. It was a pretty shitty way to end the night.
Which is why I think this documentary by Maggie Hadleigh-Wes is fantastic. Made in 1998 it is a precursor to Hollaback, but it also takes it a bit farther. Armed with a Super 8 camera, she confronts the men who make comments and leer at her and other women. Some are belligerent, some embarrassed, and some aren't even aware of what they had done. I wouldn't suggest confronting men as a daily practice, but it amazing how powerful a camera (or two) can be.
You can buy the entire movie from the Media Education Foundation, along with a bunch of other amazing documentaries.
Thanks to Ann at Feministing for the heads up.