Catcalling, street harassment, no matter what term you use, it’s all the same. Unsolicited remarks made by a person on the street. These remarks are usually of a sexual nature designed to elicit a response from the other person. Most of the time catcalling is perpetrated by a male. And honestly, as a woman, I don’t know why men do it. Is it to elicit a response, because quite frankly I don’t believe these men want a response.
When I was younger and people talked about catcalling, it was something that construction workers did. There was an episode of “Sex in the City” where Miranda was catcalled outside of a video store and she turned the tables on them.
But the truth is, even for Miranda, catcalling is unwanted. Women are human beings, just as men are, and we want to be talked to and not talked at. When did catcalling become a thing that many men do?
I am going to blame a few things on this. One is media and the other is women ourselves. The media has slowly but surely showed the female body as a prize, and the more you get to see the bigger the prize is. There seems to be, in this day in age, an entitlement, almost a reverse political correctness, in seeing a woman’s body.
The 1990s were all about political correctness, what we can and cannot say on the street and in the office, and how much those women and sometimes men were teased and made fun of. As children of the 1990s I think men and women of my age group don’t want to be seen as “those” kinds of people. We are the children and grandchildren of the sexual revolution, we have always had access to birthcontrol (mostly), safe and legal abortions (mostly), and Title IX. Equality is complete.
But these same people who see equality as being complete also believe that with complete equality means a right of equal and complete objectification. “A girl doesn’t walk down the street in leggings if she doesn’t want people to look.” I have heard this before, and for some women that is true. Some women feel good being checked out. But that doesn’t mean that she wants strangers to talk to her.
Women, are taught as girls, to be afraid of strange people. Women are taught to be afraid of dark corners and shadows and to be wary of strangers, because this stranger may want to attack or sexually assault you. Men teach these ideas to their daughters. And yet other men go out on the street and catcall? Most women in America are taught from a young age to fear strangers, and yet men don’t understand why we don’t like catcalling.
I watched a video by CNN about he recent viral video by Hollaback on this subject:
And the man in this video says that women should, “stand up for themselves,” even after he is told that a woman died in Detroit. He then says women should go buy guns and blames bad parenting. She didn’t add this incident in New York. Women shouldn’t need guns to walk down the street. Women shouldn’t be made to feel unsafe because our “ass looks good in dem jeans.” We as a society shouldn’t stand for it.