This is one of the most extraordinary things I’ve ever read. Gillian Frank and Lauren Gutterman, for Jezebel: How the ‘Girl Watching’ Fad of the 1960s Taught Men to Harass Women.
In the spring of 1968, 21-year-old Francine Gottfried began working as an IBM machine operator at a data processing plant in lower Manhattan. Gottfried walked past the New York Stock Exchange to get from the subway to work each day, and she soon attracted a group of Wall Street workers who gaped at her large breasts and verbally harassed her. Over the following months, men circulated the details of her daily scheduleâ€”she typically emerged from the Broad Street subway at 1:28 pm for her afternoon shiftâ€”and the crowd grew.
By September, Gottfriedâ€™s body and the menâ€™s aggressive behavior had become national news: â€œBoom and Bust on Wall Street,â€ read one New York Magazinearticle. According to the Associated Press, the group of men stalkers reached more than 5,000 on a single day; another news outlet claimed the group hit a record of 10,000.