Have you ever whistled at a woman on the street, because she was wearing a short skirt or a low cut top? O have you ever shouted, "Hey, baby, where you goin'?" What made you think that was acceptable?
While you may think that cat calling us is fun and gives a rush of adrenaline, I am here to inform you on behalf of women everywhere that those hoots and hollers are the exact opposite of flattering. As a fellow woman, I am here to tell you what is what. Cat calling is not cool or fun. It is degrading, repulsive and annoying to women everywhere. It is sexual harassment.
You know the topic that people everywhere have been talking about since women’s rights began, the topic that the office makes you sign a form about and that can get you fired? A catcall on the street is equivalent to you telling a co-worker they have great “assets” in their uniform. I was walking home, one night, with three of my friends, and I could not begin to tell you the amount of calls, honking horns, and stares we received. We even had a group of guys pull into the bus lane and stare open mouthed. What is the point of doing that? Do you think you look “cool?” Is that your tactic to get girls? Do you think that will get you laid? I don’t think so.
What do you think runs through women’s minds when you shout, “ Hey, good looking,” from a car? I have never met anyone who was flattered for being called out on the street. If you have respect for a woman, why would you want to call her out, as she strolls by, for dressing the way she wants? You can wear what you want in public; why can’t I without walking down the street and being stared at?
Harassment of any shape or form is never okay. If you knew this person, could you see yourself saying that to her face? What about your little sister, niece, daughter or granddaughter? I imagine you would be livid if you witnessed it happening to someone you love.
So here is my message to men everywhere: stop! Learn the boundaries. Remember being on the playground and playing nice? Sometimes, I think it is true -- that all you ever need to know, you learn in kindergarten. It is okay to think a woman looks good and some of us try to look good, especially when going out, but take a chance to get to know her and not the body that she has and the clothing she wears.
Man up, and learn to respect the gender that made life for you possible and, next time, think twice before you speak.
Credit for this article idea goes to my lovely sisters, Bailey Begley and Sara Laisure.