A video circulating on social media has commenters debating whether a boy’s nasty attack on a girl was a simple “Dennis the Menace” move or an act of sexual harassment.
The video, which has more than 600,000 views, starts out with the boy showing off his basketball dribbling skills. Then he notices a group of girls riding by on bikes and yells to them, “Hey ladies!”
One of the girls responds with, “F*** you” and the boy proceeds to hurl his basketball at the girl, knocking her off her bike and into the air before she lands face-first on the concrete. The boy seems to freeze in place – suggesting maybe he didn’t expect the outcome – and the video cuts off before we can find out how he responds next.
The video has more than 1,300 comments with some users saying the boy reacted aggressively because the girl denied his “advances.” Others say it was an innocent greeting and go as far as suggesting the girl deserved the attack because of her harsh response.
“You don’t hurt somebody because they aren’t nice to you, especially when it comes to things somebody (in this case, the girl on the bike) might consider a catcall,” Sean Saldana writes, in part, in the comments section.
User /dek writes that the video shows “pure and simple aggression mixed with common harassment, just to have fun.”
“First step, don’t harass women. There’s thousands of little pricks doing that every day, and it’s not pleasing in any way. Also, if you get insulted, feel free to reply with an insult. Don’t hit, you’re not (an) ape,” the user writes.
This commenter also points out, along with others, that the boy seems ready to throw the ball even before the girl replies. Others write that the video seems to be staged.
“‘Hey ladies’ in that tone is not rude at all,” viewer dynelol writes. “… Throwing the ball at her wasn’t the right decision but I can’t say I feel bad for her at all. Maybe now she’ll think twice before swearing at somebody when it isn’t even warranted.”
There’s no doubt that the boy’s attack was absolutely unjustified and terrible. Whether he intended to throw the girl off her bike or not, she could have been seriously hurt and he’s lucky he isn’t being sued or facing criminal charges.
As for whether his, “Hey ladies!” comment was intended as a catcall – or if the attack was some form of sexual harassment rather than a prank taken too far – is a little unclear. We don’t know whether these kids already know each other or what happened between them before the video was taken.
But would it really matter what kind of harassment it was? No matter what the boy said or how the girl responded, she was violently knocked off her bike and it’s disturbing how many people are commenting that “she deserved it.” It’s also unsettling to see how many thousands of people are watching the video and apparently getting a laugh out of it.
What do you think? Was this a case of sexual harassment? Tell us in the comments section below.