Enough with Catcalling: Fighting Sexual Assault in Brazil
Directed by Amanda Kamacheck and Fernanda Frazo (2018)
This documentary concerns a female-led campaign to reduce sexual assault levels in Brazil, including verbal aggression commonly known as catcalling.* Brazil, where a woman is raped every 11 minutes, is fifth highest in the world for its rate of femicide. Eighty-one percent of Brazilian women report being emotionally distressed by catcalling. Forty-four percent complain of touched without their permission.
In contrast one-third of Brazilian men blame rape victims for being raped. Twenty-six percent agree that women who reveal too much of their bodies deserve to be raped. As for catcalling, a majority feel it’s okay – because it doesn’t invade women’s space and “women should accept it as a compliment.”
In Brazil, men are raised to believe they have the right to control women’s bodies and comment on them. The filmmakers interview female academics who echo views presented in Feminist City and Invisible Women They lament women’s age-old battle to be present in urban spaces (as opposed to being confined at home), despite women making up 50% of the workforce “since the beginning of time.”
Like Leslie Kern and Caroline Priado Perez, they agree the layout of Brazilian cities (favoring residents with cars) has made them less safe for women who walk, cycle, or wait for buses, especially at night. They also agree that the the solution to verbal, physical, and sexual aggression against women is to make women more conscious of the level of aggression men subject them to. They find social media extremely helpful in increasing consciousness levels.
*Catcalling: The act of publicly shouting at women with harassing and often sexually suggestive, threatening, or derisive comments.
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