When Shoshana Roberts went on a ten-hour walk through New York City she elicited dozens of catcalls. She was assailed with abusive remarks and abusive gestures.
I posted about the ensuing controversy here.
Now, a resourceful New Zealand newspaper has replicated the experiment in Auckland. It asked a model named Nicola Simpson to walk around the city unaccompanied in order to see whether her mere presence would provoke the same reaction. Link here.
Simpson had lived in New York City, so she was aware of the fact that men in the Big Apple are obnoxious and abusive. To say that they have no manners is an understatement. Many of them do not even try.
In Auckland, however, men exhibit far better manners. Simpson only had a couple of uncomfortable encounters and one of the men apologized immediately for being rude.
What is the moral of the story?
Surely, men in New Zealand have better manners. They have not overcome their tendencies to be gentlemen and to treat women like ladies.
But, the recourse to good manners only works when everyone has the same manners. In a multicultural world—recall the Tower of Babel—where people value diversity, different people are supposed to have different manners. What is good behavior in my neighborhood might be boorish in yours. What is boorish in my neighborhood might be normal in yours.
How are you to know?
Ultimately, you can’t.
Worse yet, different sets of manners mean that some people will be inclined to see what they can get away with. If you hang out in a neighborhood where you do not know the rules people will find it easier to convince you that you must respect their bad behavior because it is part of their culture.
For all I know the men in the Shoshana Roberts’ New York video thought they were being charming and cool. Of course, they were not. But, according to the rules of multiculturalism, who are we to judge?
The men in the Auckland video were far better behaved. Apparently, multiculturalism has not made it to New Zealand.