Ok, so I was just enjoying a laid back Labor Day Weekend (i.e. took a WHOLE day off, completely!) and came across this wonderful article. (oops, took a while to post this little guy!)
Now I know that world peace isn’t being restored, but this is pretty game-changing for me. It’s pretty fabulous that the magazine has taken a stance on an issue that has typically only been discussed in women’s magazines, etc.
It’s great that the issue, which was once only discussed by us gals, is spreading to more manly publications.
While the typical Playboy client may not be responsible for cat-calling, it does seem that those who read Playboy might see what should have long been considered a norm.
Just because I’m a lady, doesn’t entitle you to treat me like an object.
I’m perfectly ok with being polite when someone talks to me on the street – in fact, I’ve had really nice guys come up to me and ask me out while I was walking home. To me that’s totally different from random guys lurking in the background or shouting at me from a big group of people so that they aren’t even accountable for what they say.
Catcalls aren’t about me, they’re about establishing a sense of power over me as an object. It’s not about me, it’s about the catcaller showing he can treat me like a thing, not a person. If it were about me, then the person would consider my thoughts on the matter – or those of anyone else they choose to holler at and stare. It’s not fair for women like me, that don’t have a choice about walking in public, whether it’s to get to work, or wherever it is we need to go… and expect to be harassed by people throughout the day. It’s not fair that we have to avoid certain blocks because we know construction workers are there and always yell creepy things our way. It’s not nice that we feel the need to cover our cute outfits to avoid creepy leering and upsetting comments (even if they might sound to you like they’re “a compliment.”) I’m not a fan, for instance of being called Beyonce by someone I’m forced to see every day – I’d rather not know that a fifty year old man thinks about my butt, let alone hear him articulate it to me in passing.
So all in all, I’m happy that more and more people are agreeing that catcalling is inappropriate no matter who you or your victim are, and how anyone is dressed or behaving.
But What If It’s Just A Compliment?
On the flip side, I have some friends that firmly believe that they want and enjoy male attention, including cat-calls. One friend believes that when a guy catcalls you, he’s complimenting you and she enjoys this kind of attention.
I respect her point of view, but I have to disagree with her logic here. If a guy wanted to compliment me, he would come up to me, say, “Excuse me, how are you? I think you’re: pretty/lovely/beautiful/love your shoes!” instead of lurking in the shadows, hollering or whistling and trying to intimidate me. A real man can look me in the eye and be polite.
Have you ever tried to talk to the guys that cat-call you? In what I think is a superhuman effort for me (because catcalling makes me really uncomfortable, and makes me feel like I’m less than human), I decided to try to stop and look a catcaller in the eye and see what reaction I got by engaging instead of just running away.
What I noticed was that the results were mixed. Some guys look down and feel embarrassed for being called out on their act. Others just get creepier, and saw more inappropriate garbage.
I do have to say that there’s one guy that I originally thought was a catcaller, but whom has since convinced me he just wants to be friendly… For some reason, every morning a little before 6am when I’m walking to work, there’s this guy that always seems to be on whichever street I choose to take. There’s no way he’d know which one I’d take that day, and he he keep showing up. He’s consistently said, “Hey Princess!” every time I passed him. At first, I wasn’t sure if he was just being a jerk (because let’s face it, nobody looks good at six in the morning – was he making fun of me?) But then I realized he was smiling and not being creepy. He said it no matter whether I was wearing a dress, or what I’d like to call my FBI agent outfit (black pants and a jacket). So, I’ll be honest with you, I’m kind of upset that the creepers had almost ruined a perfectly nice person being friendly by fooling me into thinking that all interaction is inappropriate and should make me feel uncomfortable. So now I’m trying to at least be friendly (and say thank you, instead of ignorantly running away from the hopefully well-intentioned man that now makes me smile when I walk to work before the sun has risen).
Check out the chart here, and share what you think!
Please comment, share your thoughts and let me know what you think. Please help me keep this a positive forum, though. I am so excited for some debate, but let’s respect each other please. I reserve the right to monitor and delete inappropriate posts. Thanks in advance!
Featured image via.