It’s Saturday night, I just finished up seeing The Wombats at the Majestic. I’m feeling pumped, I survived another show with a bunch of youths surrounding me. My friend and I are making our way to the car when it happens.
“Why is that girl wearing a bathrobe?” Are you kidding me right now? My outfit from last night was an adapted version of my day look, where I was wearing a mini skirt and thigh highs instead of jeans.
I instinctively yelled back “Because it’s comfy motherfucker!” If I had had more time I and energy I would have stomped back across the street and demanded he apologize. I don’t give a shit that you’re drunk and think you’re being funny. Go eat a dick. I assume you found me attractive and in your drunk brain it was a good idea to what exactly? Judge my fashion sense. Bitch I will rock a goddamn fluffy pink bathrobe everyday next week just to spite you.
But alas, I digress. So now I’m feeling a bit salty and caught off guard, but whatever, it happens. I brush it off, and take off my jacket because in fact, I’m quite warm. So now I’m wearing what could be deemed a provocative outfit, a crop top, mini skirt, thigh highs, and platform boots. Yet, I don’t care, I look hot and I feel hot. As we are approaching the car a guy rolls down his window and yells out “Hello!”
Oh, ho ho, you are a lucky motherfucker, I think to myself. If he had said anything other than that he would have been greeted with a swift “Fuck you.” I instead responded with a rather quizzical “Hi” and continued my walk to the car.
Why am I writing this? Because I’m sick and tired of being catcalled. It has been happening to me for so long I can’t even remember all of the sexist and hurtful things people have yelled at me, and you know what? That’s wrong and it ends today. Now me being me, and I’m all fired up writing this, I want to say, if someone catcalls you, catcall that dude right the fuck back.
He says “Nice legs.”
You say “Nice tits, I think they’re bigger than mine!”
He says “Nice ass.”
You say “I’d say the same to you, but I can’t see it from here.”
But in reality, maybe don’t do that. It was just recently that a woman was run over by a moped for not responding to her catcaller. I want to find this man and shake him while yelling, “Are you actually fucking kidding me!” What kind of human being finds it appropriate to not only yell something obscene at a passing person, but expect a positive response. No, seriously, tell me, who? I need to meet the person who feels so entitled that being ignored isn’t an option.
Now I know from experience that all of my female friends have been catcalled and suffered unwanted street harassment. What makes it so scary is that how you respond can mean life or death. An article was published to Mic in February where at that time 14 women has been brutalized for not responding to male advances. How misogynistic is our society that it is completely NORMALIZED to see news articles about men killing women who didn’t return sexual advances. We all remember Elliot Rodger, the man who went on a rampage in Isla Vista, CA in 2014 because of this reason. A quick Google search for “women killed for ignoring catcaller” gives almost 300,000 results.
I’m writing this because I’m pissed off that I can’t safely tell any man I’m not interested without running the risk of retaliation. So I made you all a flowchart, A FREAKING FLOWCHART. This is a simple breakdown on what to do the next time you get catcalled.
Street harassment, catcalling, and whatever else we’ve called it, needs to end. Giving someone a compliment is totally fine! Example: A person walks up to you and politely apologizes and says something along the lines of “I’m sorry to bug you, but I wanted to let you know that you’re absolutely stunning, and I hope you have a nice day.” If from there you decide you’d like to strike up a conversation, fan-fucking-tastic. Chat away. If not, please if you’re a man reading this, please for the love of all things unholy, apologize to the woman and then walk away.
Nobody is entitled to the attention of any person. Never forget that. Regardless of sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, hair color, body shape, breast size, booty size, political choices, coffee order, or movie preferences, you do not have to give attention to someone who catcalls you. Your safety is the most important thing, though getting a sweet burn is always a bonus.