After experiencing being “cat called” (honked, whistled at while walking) today I decided to write about it. I find it disturbing how many men and women think this is harmless. Some even think of it as a compliment! Personally, I find it degrading and insulting. I do not walk outside for the purpose of being ogled by others, mainly men. I do not dress the way I do to receive attention from others. I certainly do not find obscene things being shouted at me to be complimentary in any way whatsoever.
A male friend of mine was giving me a difficult time for becoming so upset at this one day. I asked him “Why do men feel the need to honk and whistle at women like this? It’s insulting.”
His response: “Men whistle and honk at all sorts of things they like..maybe a nice car or something..it’s a social cue that they like what they see.”
Me: “So I’m like a really nice car?…cool, that’s what I’ve always wanted to be.”
My point is that it is objectifying. I am not walking outside to be pleasing to someone’s eye. No matter what a woman is wearing, it is simply unacceptable. The message men send when they engage in this behavior is clear: I do not respect you as a coequal human being. Rather, I see you as an object for my entertainment.
Well, I’d like for my message to be clear as well. I am not interested in the slightest what your opinion of me is. I certainly do not need to hear your lack of self control verbalized as I try to carry on with my day.
For some comedic relief.. Check out this link to Buzzfeed’s “18 Kickass Illustrated Responses to Street Harassment”