This 2014 clip from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart features correspondent Jessica Williams exploring and parodying media and public discourse about whether or not sexism, sexual inequality, and street harassment are still alive. Williams satirically explores different ways to walk down the street and past construction sites on the way to work, interviews a group of women who have all experienced street harassment in NYC, and tries to map out areas where it is safe to avoid street harassment in New York. The clip also includes segments from various news and talk shows with men and women either dismissing sexual inequality or street harassment as a problem, suggesting that there is nothing to be done because boys will be boys, or blaming women for their clothing choices, as well as Williams’ responses to these claims.
What is street harassment? What is the difference between a compliment and street harassment?
Is street harassment a form of inequality? Do you think some people experience street harassment differently depending on different aspects of identity, such as gender, sexuality, religion, ability, and age?
What are the arguments and rationales of people shown in the clip who do not believe that sexism, sexual inequality, or street harassment are problems? How does Jessica Williams respond to these ideas?
What are some of the ways Jessica Williams suggests combatting street harassment? Is she being funny or serious or both? How should people respond to street harassment? How does your response differ depending on context and your identity?