I would like to respond to your response paragraph-by-paragraph.
- She is writing from her own experience and the experiences of others, so asking her for source material seems pedantic. She’s not writing for a scholarly journal but for a popular audience. I also didn’t see any absolute phrasing (“always” or “never”) in the section you were referring to, and focusing on absolutes in that way sounds a little like the “not all men” defense anyway.
- She’s not saying that women or men have to do anything when catcalled, she’s talking about how women are allowed to respond to catcalls, specifically within her own society, which sounds like it is American. I don’t think it is ethnocentric for her to want to be able to avoid street harassment. Either way, I like to think that American culture pretty generally frowns on what happened to her as a 12-year-old. No one in our society deserves that kind of treatment, and I would hope that most other societies would agree. That man wasn’t breaking sexual taboos in any beneficial manner, but asserting the power he hold. To use the consideration you made, would you accept an adult women sexually complimenting a 12-year-old boy?
- Except that the detractors are not sitting in an allegorical cave all by themselves, they are out in the world (and on the internet) trying to humiliate and denigrate their fellow citizens of this country every day and spreading false messages about important things like science and gender. Why should we stand back and let them without at least standing up and saying “You’re wrong”? That won’t help anybody.