To the man who most recently cat called me:

It's a sad world that we live in when a girl can't walk home in the morning in her relatively nice neighborhood without verbal sexual harassment.

When you pulled your car up to me, rolled down the window, and yelled "damn shawty your ass fire," what were you trying to achieve? Did you think that would make me interested in you? Did you actually think that would work? Or were you trying to make me scared or uncomfortable? Did you want me to be filled with fear, wishing I hadn't left my mace at home? Either way, it isn't okay. How about when you followed me with your car a short distance and continued to yell to me? What was your goal? It was 9:45 a.m. on a Tuesday. Why couldn't you let me be?

I've never met a girl who enjoys being catcalled, especially with such ferocity, but unfortunately, it happens way more than it should to so many girls. I can't even count on my hand the number of creepy catcalls I've gotten the past month or so. I don't even like it when men yell to me in general, but you, you had to bring my body into it. My body is my body, nobody else's. It isn't a spectacle for you to gape at as I walk home. It isn't a prize for you. It's a part of me, a real person. I'm not an object. But you didn't see that. All you saw was a nice ass. You don't know the person I am, but you didn't care, because to you, my ass was more important than me personality, my life, me.

I understand that America has freedom of speech. It is one of the traits of the USA that I value most. However, just because you can say whatever you want to, doesn't mean you should always say what you want. I know it isn't illegal to be so blatantly disrespectful, but that doesn't make it okay. Making women uncomfortable with your words is never okay.

However, it doesn't stop there. After you made the comment about my ass, and I ignored you, that wasn't enough for you, so you decided to yell to me again. Except for this time, you had to bring race into it. "Hey, shorty did you hear me??? You have the nicest ass for a while girl god damn." For a white girl. There was no need to bring racial differences into an already tense and uncomfortable situation. I have a question. How would you like to eliminate racism if you're out comparing black girls to white girls, as opposed to thinking of us as all the same? You crossed a line when you first spoke to me, but after that, you crossed another.

Overall, some men (not all men, some are great) need to learn how to respect a woman. I shouldn't have to feel unsafe walking around a block away from my university. I shouldn't have to go out and buy mace because I'm afraid. I shouldn't have to live in a world like this and neither should anyone else.

So, to the man who catcalled me:

I hope you become a better person. I hope you find some type of happiness that doesn't involve scaring and sexualizing women. I hope you live a happy and fulfilling life, just leave us girls on the street alone.

Sincerely,

NZ