Let's get one thing straight: there is a huge difference between a catcall and a compliment.
Recently, a video of a woman walking around New York was posted online, and immediately prompted a startling response. The woman was wearing simple jeans and a tshirt, and walked around the city for 10 hours. By the end of the video, dozens of men had whistled/yelled at, and even followed her. While many women agreed that this behavior is demeaning, most men immediately jumped to defend the guys in the video, and cat calling in general. Here is a woman's perspective on the most commonly used arguments.
Cat calls are compliments. Women should feel flattered by the attention.
First thing's first, cat calls are not compliments. Having comments made about my body, personality, or clothing, or being whistled at while walking down the street minding my own business is not the same thing as a genuine compliment.
Men are just trying to be nice.
Sure, typically "good morning" is a genuine sentiment used to greet people. However a good sign that "good morning" doesn't mean "good morning" lies in the tone of voice, and whether or not the man's eyes are looking at my face. Also, it really should not have to be said that making blatant sexual comments or gestures is also not considered nice.
If you don't like it, just ignore it.
Yes, women can ignore the whistles, the cat calls, etc., but frequently men persist and continue until they are acknowledged in one form or another. In my own experience, a "hey beautiful" turns into a "screw you, b*tch" pretty quickly upon whoever spoke to me being ignored. Ignoring men in these situations can also lead to further confrontation, which is the exact opposite desired outcome, and can lead to women feeling unsafe.
But dialogue is how relationships start.
Yelling "whats up sexy" out a car window at a passing female is not a dialogue. Yes, relationships can start out of a dialogue. No, these do not occur out of sheer will from a man who finds a passing woman attractive.
It's definitely not harassment.
This is actually a valid point. (There are some exceptions, such as the guy that followed the woman in the aforementioned video for 5 minutes...) Calling cat calls harassment is like the boy who cried wolf. Unless it is extremely persistent or includes unwanted physical contact, cat calling is an annoyance, not harassment.
But women like it.
Except that a majority of women have repeatedly said that they do not...
So boys, I pose this question to you: what do you hope to gain? Now think about when was the last time cat calling, winking, whistling, etc. resulted in getting a phone number? A date? These blatant displays of lack of self control and are seen as an outlet for men to feel more manly, or impress their friends. Cat calls make women feel objectified, and sexualized. Cat calls are not compliments.