Ahh, summer is practically (FINALLY) here! But with the temperatures on the rise, it means catcalling will be too.
“Hey, baby!” “Why don’t you smile?” “Nice tits!” “Where ya going?” It’s all happened to us. Doesn’t matter where you’re going, what you’re wearing, some asshole will honk his horn or yell at you. The only time I noticed it doesn’t happen is if I’m out with a male. How fucked is that?
It’s a hopeless feeling you experience to get harassed on the street. It’s a unique blend of anger, self consciousness, and fear. My first reaction is to tell someone to fuck off, but that’s dangerous. People get beat for that. People get killed for that.
But if you don’t respond, there’s a chance that will make a harasser angry. “You think you’re too fucking good to talk to me?” “Well fuck you, bitch!” I’ve gotten those ones. So what the hell are we supposed to do?
There are plenty of compilations of snappy comebacks to say back, which I know can be pretty scary to do. If you’re in a very public place though, it might not be a bad idea to call a guy out and humiliate him about it. He should be embarrassed, and maybe he’ll think before doing it again. A simple, “Would you like people to talk to your sister/mother/daughter like that?” will do.
There’s no right answer to this issue, but there are ways to keep yourself safe out and about. I make sure if I’m walking alone to keep my headphones at a volume where I can still here what’s going on around me or off completely. I walk with conviction. I’ll talk with someone on the phone, and keep my eye out for businesses that are open. It’s bullshit we have to do those things, but it’s important.
We can only do so much on the ladies end, but we also have to raise our boys to not catcall. If it is treated with zero tolerance, street harassment will fade away. Bystanders need to speak up. Men need to speak up and tell other men that harassment is unacceptable. Let’s make this kind of brutish behavior a thing of the past. Be safe, ladies.