Watching women

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 schedule—she typically emerged from the Broad Street subway at 1:28 pm for her afternoon shift—and the crowd grew.

By September, Gottfried’s body and the men’s aggressive behavior had become national news: “Boom and Bust on Wall Street,” 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.