“CatCalling” What I’m building the courage to say to the men who do it…
If you’re a woman, at some point, you’ve experienced “catcalling”… in the mall, walking down the street, in the grocery store, at the gym….etc
If you are anything like me, a woman that doesn’t feel the safest around strange men, for various reasons, when you are the subject of a cat-call, it sets off a fight or flight reaction. Panic sets in, heart beats fast, you cower, head down, walking quickly, waiting for it to be over as quickly as possible.
If you’re a man, perhaps you’ve done it or seen it. Maybe it came in the form of loud commentary about a woman’s figure or overall aesthetics. It may have even been a blatant disrespectful call for her attention, following an insult when she didn’t reply….
Either way, we are all familiar with it. If not from personal experience, from the wild popularity the term and act gained a few years ago.
Up until this past weekend, I hadn’t experienced catcalling in a while. (I suppose I do most of my outings and shopping online or with my fiancé.)
But, this weekend, I made a trip to the mall and got a sharp reminder of what it feels like. That familiar panic, heart beats fast, cowering, head down, walking quickly, waiting for it to be over as quickly as possible.
& I told myself that one day I will get the courage to tell a man how it makes me feel.
I’ll turn around, head high and I’ll ask him…
“How would you feel if someone told your daughter or sister that she had a round busts or bottom?”
How would you react if they yelled at her “aye, don’t you hear me talking to you?”
Would it make you angry if someone reached to grab your mothers arm while she shopped for groceries?
Would you jump to her defense if they said mean, hurtful things if she decided to ignore them because that’s her right?
Do you think I’m an animal? Why do you call out to me as such?
Do you know that women have died for not giving a man their phone number. What the fuck is wrong with that picture?
What if a group of men tried to bully your daughter into smiling for their pleasure and satisfaction?
Do you know that men are already viewed as predators? Do you like that association?
Do you understand that I fear that if I don’t respond to you, you may follow me and harm me out of anger and ego?
Did your mother not teach you respect? Are you fatherless? If not, did your father teach you how to treat women?
Are you lacking endowment so you make up for it with this obnoxious behavior?
Does catcalling make you feel like a man?
One day, I will be brave enough to shout all of that into some entitled predators face. I will no longer want to be polite to avoid being viewed as stuck up or bitchy. I will no longer care about coming off as a crazy psycho bitch.
My heart won’t beat fast. I wont cower with my head down. I won’t walk quickly to avoid it. It won’t be over until I get everything off my chest. It won’t be over until I say so. & FYI ….