Cat calling: Harrassing women brings dishonor to guilty men


Courtesy of instagram/eddiegoing

“No catcall zone” signs appear in the streets of New York City.

Haley Elizabeth Bollinger, Features Editor

An old, unattractive bearded man enthusiastically hollers at me as I walk down the street, “Hey nice ass!” I say, “F**k you,” right back and he excitedly yells from his rusty truck, “What time?”

What type of man does this? What would his wife say? Or does he spend his nights drinking Coors Light and watching World Wrestling Entertainment with his other numbskull buddies?

My natural instinct is to stereotype him or break him down to the lowest kind of person, out of an interaction that is literally three seconds. He judges me as a piece of ass; I fire back and see him as an asshole. Neither are productive ways to interact in society.

As I continue walking I find myself thinking, “Damn I shouldn’t have worn these leggings today. Maybe I should just dress down or expect to be treated like this.” What a sad thought.

Cat-calling leads to victim blaming— a sense of guilt and responsibility for being harassed in the first place; allowing a man to control the way women think and feel. But the truth is men need to realize it is not OK to display inappropriate acts of dominance and expect women to take responsibility for their sexism.

And I know I am not the only woman who goes through this on an almost daily basis. I don’t drive, so my main mode of transportation is my “chevrolegs.”

In the past year since I’ve started walking and biking to and from college, I can’t even recall how many times men have “cat-called” me.

I brush off the interaction and continue walking to Target to pick up a few things as I head home. Halfway through my unhealthy cigarette habit I arrive at the front of the store and sit on a bench to finish my American Spirit.

The only way to describe the man who soon speaks to me is thuggish; he has baggy pants, an oversized T-shirt and an entitled look on his face. His first words to me, “Hey baby, where’s your husband?” I look up at his face. I’m too exhausted to fire back this time, so I just put out my cig and walk into the store as quickly as possible.

To some men, the patriarchal society we live in has contaminated their brains, and they think it’s OK to oppress women. The idea that culturally a woman is a man’s property is still relevant. People ignore her rebuttal until a husband or boyfriend is present. This type of man respects his fellow man more than he does a woman and will persist until he finds out they are “owned” by other males.

Men have degraded me twice in less than 10 minutes; to them I am a piece of meat, a mere possession and a living, breathing sex toy. I’ve come to the conclusion that many people lack manners. They don’t think about what they say to others. They seem to think, “If no one is watching then it doesn’t matter what I do.”

Only women who are cat-called know what it’s like. And these two men can continue repeating this behavior with no repercussions. Maybe their lives suck, they have no job or one they despise. They probably haven’t gotten laid in years. But it still doesn’t make how they treat women moral.

If these men dignify woman with basic decency they will dignify themselves.