Thursday, October 30, 2014

This Debate on Catcalling Is Ridiculous on Multiple Levels

Yesterday, I read an article entitled “This Is What Catcalling Really Looks Like,” which was published in response to “Hey, ladies – catcalls are flattering! Deal with it.”

I checked out the anti-catcalling one first, in which Yahoo explains: “Wearing jeans and a crew neck T-shirt, Shoshana B. Roberts walks in Soho, Times Square, Harlem, and more Manhattan neighborhoods, and in each she’s treated similarly. Men saying, ‘hey, baby,’ ‘god bless,’ ‘damn girl,’ and ‘How you doing today?’ on repeat.”

To me, the accompanying video largely seemed unremarkable. Though it did get me thinking…

First off, no, there is no acceptable reason for a random guy to ogle a girl’s fully-clothed butt and go “damn.” Guys, if you like someone’s backside, great. Keep it to yourselves. We don’t need to know your every thought. Unless you’re our hubbies, you’re not that important in this regard.

Also, if you hit on a girl and she ignores you, don’t be telling her she’s being inappropriate for that choice. She never asked you to impress your existence on her in the first place.

Now apparently, some women disagree with that assessment, however, judging by that second article that tells women to “deal with it.” Then again, if Doree Lewak represents that kind of woman, then that kind of woman is an embarrassment based on just her first line of: “Summer to me means three things: heat, hemlines and hard hats.”

… And her second line: “It’s the time of year when I can parade around in a skimpy dress with strategic cutouts that would make my mom wince.”

… And her third and fourth lines: “And when I know I’m looking good, I brazenly walk past a construction site, anticipating that whistle and ‘Hey, mama!’ catcall. Works every time – my ego and I can’t fit through the door!”

Like I said: an embarrassment.

Admittedly, I know my ego usually hikes a notch or two when some harmless nitwit hits on me. I have a mental catalog of reactions my physical form has elicited. But that’s not where my real self-worth lies, so “my ego and I” can still “fit through the door” just fine, thank you very much.

Not to mention that men can just as easily make women feel like dirt with that kind of attention. I’ve experienced that too, and it takes my ego down a whole lot more than it goes up otherwise.

So here’s my advice on the whole-catcalling debate…

Women who go around begging for male attention, grow up and stop trying to make it all about you. Oh yeah, and your looks? They won’t last, so shape up on the maturity department already.

And men who go around demanding female attention? Same advice: It’s not all about you. Plus, nobody likes a dirty old man. Do everyone a favor and start practicing how not to be one now.

Finally, this is for everyone, both men and women… Can we be a little bit more careful what we label as what? Because when we say that some passing male saying “What’s up. beautiful? Have a good day” in a non-creepy voice as “verbal street harassment,” we’re detracting from the actual definition of “harassment.”

Just for the record, people, that's a bad thing.

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