'Hey baby!’ calls the man in the white truck. ‘Stunning, absolutely stunning’ says the 60-something man standing on the scaffolding I’m walking under. ‘Come on, just get in my car’ is never something I’ve heard, but I know individuals who sure enough have.

Catcalling happens to all of us at some point. And whether it’s innocent or not, I’ve had enough.

All of us women have been walking down the street at some point when a man has beeped his car horn at us, or shouted something out the window. Hey, he thinks you’re attractive, it’s obviously a compliment, right? Sure, it’s always nice when someone finds you attractive, but theres nothing nice about catcalling, particularly when it’s a much older individual doing it. I’m certainly not the only one who thinks this: it’s intimidating and actually quite embarrassing in a public place. Particularly when you’re only young and like me, relatively small- it can actually be quite an upsetting experience. Why? you might ask. It’s only the lads having a laugh. Sure, it may be funny to whoever is doing it, but I see nothing funny in being objectified.

Women were traditionally brought up to focus on their appearance, but I like to think society has moved on from those times. Therefore I really don’t appreciate still being objectified in this modern day and age- I know I’m much more than appearance, as all women are, but catcalling diminishes us and makes us feel like our looks are all that society can see. Besides that, it’s completely unnecessary. Ok, so you think I’m hot? You’ve yelled at me from your car window? What do you think is going to happen, that I’m going to say ‘Wow thanks, that makes me so attracted to you,’. I’m pretty positive that’s never happened to any man as a result of cat calling, so what are you really going to achieve by objectifying women besides intimidating them at putting them down. If you really feel the need to do that to a woman just to get your kicks or to impress your fellow men then I truly feel sorry for you.

And one of the worst parts is, women often get the blame for it. I feel many think it’s socially unacceptable to complain about catcalling, as there must be a reason why the man felt a need to do it in the first place- perhaps the woman was wearing a short skirt? or a crop top? Maybe she was giving him the wrong signals? No. We all have the freedom to dress how we wish without being perceived as a slut. If you want to wear a mini skirt, you should be able to without being treated as a sex object. You have the right to feel proud of your body without having to worry about being objectified by men. I say this bearing in mind that men are also objectified by women which I also think is unacceptable, and its probably equally as diminishing. However, statistically speaking, its more of an issue for women, with 84% of under 17’s already experiencing catcalling. And catcalling certainly isn’t the end of it. Physical sexual harassment is disturbingly common, and is an incredibly scary ordeal for many women, instilling so much fear that they don’t want to step foot in public. So to those men who are guilty of this, I truly hope you feel ashamed of your actions and the impact they’ve had on the victim. Most people forget about the long lasting affects of harrassment- once it’s done, it’s done, right? Well even though the occurence may be in the past, it still lives on in the victims mind. It plays on repeat. I definitey wouldn’t class that as men just having a bit of fun.

I don’t care anymore if a catcall was completely innocent. It’s not a compliment, and quite frankly, I’ve had enough. I do not want to be harassed when walking down the street. You wouldn’t either right? So don’t do it to women just to boost your self esteem.

I am a human, not a sex object.

 

image sourced from: https://today.yougov.com/news/2014/08/15/catcalling/

Published by Rachel S.D.B