Catcalling is NOT a Compliment
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Wow, this headline reads like something in the Readerâ€™s Digest circa 1970, wedged between articles on why kids donâ€™t appreciate waltzing anymore and how smoking marijuana cigarettes will cause your daughter to become a streetwalker: â€œCatcalling: creepy or a compliment?â€ (Via.) The article isnâ€™t nearly so bad, and gives full voice to women who grasp that a man yelling sexual (and insulting or threatening) things at you on the sidewalk is insulting you for being a woman, not complimenting you.
But just like those articles of old from Schlaflyites (â€I love getting hooted at on the street, and husbands have a right to rape wives!â€), this one is full of women the reader is supposed to take cues from on how to be less of a grumpus pain in the ass who thinks she has dignity worth defending.
On the other hand, some women appreciate the attention in certain cases, like Jessica, a 31-year-old health-care educator in Los Angeles who declined to use her last name to protect her privacy.
â€œYeah, itâ€™s objectifying and all, but you know, if I walked down the street and didnâ€™t have men looking me up and down and catcalling, Iâ€™d think, â€˜Boy, I must really be getting old and dumpy,â€™ â€ she said.
Sheâ€™s gotten catcalls just walking her parentsâ€™ dog in baggy sweats. â€œI thought it was hysterical, like, â€˜Boy, doesnâ€™t take much to impress you, does it?â€™ â€œ
Itâ€™s true that theyâ€™ll do it to you no matter what youâ€™re wearing, because itâ€™s not a compliment. I can understand why this woman is deluding herselfâ€”itâ€™s both flattering to imagine youâ€™re so hot men are inspired to passion by the mere site of you and it also helps protect the brain from realizing how many men out there just really hate youâ€”but Iâ€™m sure sheâ€™s not unaware of those times when the cat-calling occurs when there are no other people around and you find yourself grabbing for a weapon or your cell phone. Because itâ€™s a threat in many cases, or at bare minimum a reminder to random women that the cat-caller feels entitled to control their experience of being outside the house.