Catcalling Is Not A Compliment
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Politics and Activism

Catcalling Is Not A Compliment

It's street harassment.

Catcalling Is Not A Compliment

One of the biggest arguments for catcalling is that it is a compliment. Catcalling is defined as to "make a whistle, shout, or comment of a sexual nature to a woman passing by." A compliment, however, is defined as "an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration." While some may say that catcalling is an expression of admiration, more women would argue that they feel sexually harassed.

"It is really prominent in big cities," Ashley Vera, Seattle University student, said. "It's bound to happen to you at least twice while shopping. Men even wait on the street corners because you'll need to cross the street at some point."

In addition to men who catcall, there are women who also think such an act is acceptable.

"When I told my mom that I got catcalled, she said I should have been flattered," Anna Maria Gassen, Seattle University student, said. "But I was literally wearing the ugliest outfit I had at the time and I just knew that the situation was wrong."

"My mom also tried to argue that being catcalled is 'just part of being a woman', but I think it is disgusting," Ann Marie Zocchi, Seattle University student, said.

While people may argue that catcalling is equivalent to flattery, flattery should never make someone feel uncomfortable.

Catcalling has also become so prominent that many women do not even realize how often it is happening to them.

"I had a friend visit me in LA from Minnesota. She felt extremely uncomfortable when she was catcalled while we were shopping. The worst part is, I didn't even notice. It's sad how desensitized you become when you have to deal with it so often," Vera said.

One of the largest issues with catcalling, however, is how dangerous it can be.

"The worst is when they drive by you. There are more opportunities for danger because they can easily follow you or pull you into their car," Vera said.

"They feel like they can say anything they want from a car because it creates a barrier for them. They feel like it is a private area. They can be as vulgar as they want and just drive off," Zocchi said.

Vera also witnessed a man following a girl that he had just catcalled.

"I feel like there is this unspoken acceptance that if they [a catcaller] doesn't touch you, it's fine. It's sad that verbal harassment isn't taken seriously," Vera said.

In addition to the above dangers, women also feel as if they do not have a voice when it comes to standing up against catcallers. Many receive degrading and vulgar insults in response to their decline of the sexual advances.

"So I can't say hi to girls now?" There is a huge difference between harassment and complimenting. Harassing immediately causes a feeling of intimidation, whereas compliments should make someone feel good. Start by saying hi and being polite and genuine. Commenting on her body or what she is wearing will not make her feel respected.

Most importantly, respect her reactions. If she rejects your advances, STOP. Any further advances are unwanted and considered harassment.

The best way to receive respect is to give it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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