Ever come across Instagram or social media handles where people take to the streets to carry out fun social and interesting experiments? One such viral TikTok video has prompted a discussion about women’s cautious behaviour while navigating public places. The video sees a man extending his hand to random strangers for a handshake. Not a single woman reverts to the handshake and simply either looks away or ignores it. The video is not only thought-provoking but also spotlights a commonality in how most women mistrust a man, moreover when they are a stranger.
The video now shared on Twitter shows a man extending his hand to strangers on the road in a bid to shake hands with them, without any proper reason. Interestingly, while the men were friendly and shake the TikToker’s hand, women did not. They either ignore him or smile at him politely while refusing the handshake nonetheless.
TikTok video asking for handshakes spotlights women's safety issues
Netizens put forth a reason saying women keep their safety intact and do not engage with strangers, especially men. Now, where's the lie? Many others also responded to the video with their tweets and highlighted some serious issues women face on a daily basis.
"The only thing this proves is that women are harassed on a daily basis and don't trust a male stranger approaching them out of nowhere," one user shared.
Another commented, "Men don't realise (but swear they do) that most women get touched, followed, catcalled etc. every time they go out and how uncomfortable that makes you feel or how many men are just straight up weird. why risk anything just for the sake of seeming nice."
Explaining why women hesitated to accept the man’s handshake, a Twitter user wrote, “This is more evidence that since women get approached against their will (harassment) ALL THE TIME, they are accustomed to keeping it moving when another man approaches them in any way.”
Meanwhile, a Melbourne TikTok influencer has been slammed for a so-called random act of kindness video by the woman he filmed without consent.
Creator Harrison Pawluk has amassed a following of more than three million for his short-form videos, which usually involve him giving hugs, flowers or doing other kind gestures to strangers. The trade-off for the kind gesture, however, is the unsuspecting stranger being used — often without their consent — for viral content.
This was the case for Melbourne woman Maree, who was featured in a video on Harrison’s account that has received more than 58 million views to date.
“There’s a lot of these flower TikToks all over the internet,” she told in an interview, rejecting the notion that this was a random act of kindness. “He interrupted my quiet time, filmed and uploaded a video without my consent, turning it into something it wasn’t, and I feel like he is making quite a lot of money through it.
“It’s the patronising assumption that women, especially older women, will be thrilled by some random stranger giving them flowers.”
Perhaps a lesson to learn is that maybe some random acts of happiness are not entirely happy.
Suggested Reading: Giving Out Flowers On TikTok: Random Act Of Kindness Or Benevolent Ageism?