INEQUALITY STREET: Roadside experiment exposes Aussie men
As we move through the 21st century and a year after the #MeToo movement was lauded as a new dawn of equality, many Aussie women still say they're faced with sexism, not just in their profession, but also on the street.
That view led to SBS and radio host Yumi Stynes digging deep into our country's culture and to ask the question, is Australia sexist?
Partnering with Macquarie University to conduct the largest ever survey on attitudes of gender discrimination and sexism, the SBS documentary Is Australia Sexist? put unwitting men and women to the test.
One particularly damning statistic from the survey was 40 per cent of women, aged 18 to 25, admitted they'd experienced some form of sexual harassment on the street in the past 12 months.
One of those women was Tyler, a 22-year-old from Perth, who spent time secretly filming her interaction with males around the city.
In one experiment, Tyler headed to a beachside street in the West Australian capital that she said is notorious for street harassment.
Just down the road was Nathan, a male, who was also taking part in the experiment.
Both holding their phones and pretending to take a selfie, Nathan and Tyler filmed what happened to them while they stood on the roadside.
In the short experiment, Nathan had little to no interaction with people driving past him, except for one car which revved its engine as they passed.
"That might be something," he said.
Tyler however, had a very different experience.
Holding her phone, Tyler was beeped and yelled out at by one car each minute she stood next to the road.
The 22-year-old even filmed one car yelling out "tits out for the boys".
"I don't know why they felt the need to shout that out the window at me. I don't get what the point of it is," she said.
"It's never when there are females in the car, they're not doing it in front of their sisters or mother. It makes me a feel a bit anxious that people are shouting at me, it can be intimidating when you're by yourself."
In a separate car, two older men beeped at Tyler.
"That was two 50-year-old men, tooting at a 22-year-old. They're older than my dad and they're tooting at me," she said.
While Nathan's "harassment counter" failed to pass zero, Tyler recorded eight interactions in eight minutes.
Later, Tyler wandered Perth and was recorded by other hidden cameras, confronting one man who muttered to his friend, "nice long legs" as she walked past.
She confronted him, telling him his comment had made her uncomfortable to which he responded, "I can't help it if you walked right in front of me...No need to get upset about it".
In the same Macquarie University survey, 22 per cent of men said they believe women should take wolf whistling as a compliment.
On that same question, 84 per cent of women said they did not see wolf whistling as a compliment.
While Tyler's interaction was street harassment was concerning, the survey revealed 43 per cent of Aussies believe online sexual harassment was a greater issue than street harassment.
In a separate experiment, the host of the documentary Yumi Stynes started a fake profile on Tinder to see if this was the case.
In one of her many matches, one man named Gary opened with a line Stynes said made her feel uncomfortable.
"I'd love for you to sit on my face so I can eat my way to your heart," he wrote.
Later, Stynes meets Gary at a cafe, reading his opening line back to him.
After attempting to shoosh her, Gary was asked by Stynes if he thought it was appropriate.
"When you're online you think you can get away with this stuff," Stynes said.
"You felt you had to meet me just to tell me that this was inappropriate so we're probably wasting each other's time," Gary said.
"Maybe you should rethink your opening line," Stynes responded.
Is Australia Sexist? premiered on SBS on December 4 at 8.40pm. The show will be available to stream on SBS On Demand.