I live in NYC, where people walk everywhere. We walk to the subway, we walk to the grocery store, we walk to the gym. This is awesome, but it does expose women to a lot of unwanted leering, comments and attention.
There are many schools of thought on catcalling, but to me, it’s just an all-around bad idea. I don’t like it. I find it annoying, and while most of the time it’s not dangerous, I can’t tell if a guy is going to make a gross comment and walk away or if he’s going to try and follow me home.
As I walked to my apartment tonight, a guy reached out and grabbed me. Yes, this happens, and it happens often. I was feeling patient, so I introduced myself, kindly explained to him why touching a female stranger without her permission isn’t respectful, and told him to have a great night. Shock! 😮 He actually listened. I don’t do this all the time, there are some days when it’s just easier to ignore unwanted attention, but educating someone who doesn’t understand why harassment is a bad idea doesn’t hurt.
I meet a lot of great guys who truly don’t understand why women don’t love receiving compliments all the time, so I’ll try to explain it in the best way I can. Telling a woman “you look nice” is perfectly acceptable. Following her down the street while making obscene comments is not. And again, we can’t predict when a man will cross the line into dangerous territory, especially if it’s late at night or we’re walking alone. Sadly, in big cities, women must have their guards up pretty much all the time.
So, that’s my little lesson on public catcalling. Hope it wasn’t too preachy. Good night!