No, seriously, running away from you does not mean I want you.
To the men who make women's skin crawl:
Who the hell do you think you are? Please explain to the female population why you feel the need to whistle, hiss, gesture, or mumble at girls young enough to be your daughter. Please explain why you think a woman should feel flattered by your creepy, lust-filled stare. Please explain why you think any woman would be lucky to have you. And please, please, just stop.
As a female growing up in New York City, I am all too familiar with you: men who lurk in the shadows. Whether I dress to impress or go out in stained sweatpants, your stares make me quicken my step and lower my gaze. I am not the most beautiful girl, but all that matters to you is that I am a female. You do not care if a woman is tall or short, curvy or thin, or 13 or 30; if she has a vagina, she has your attention. I think I can speak for all women when I say that we don't want your attention, your presence, or your anything.
I can't lie and say compliments don't put a little jump in my step when I'm feeling a bit down, but I would happily give that up for a stress-free commute home. You can say or think what you want, but the way I dress is not an invitation for lewdness. You think I look cute? OK. I don't care. To quote Beyonce, "I woke up like this, flawless," so I don't need your opinion to know that I look nice. And if keeping your opinion to yourself is impossible (who needs self-control, right?), then why do you have to be so goddamn weird? Freedom of speech does not give you the right to make me, or anyone, feel scared, vulnerable, or practically exposed. Contrary to your misogynistic belief, women do not exist for your pleasure.
Women are beautiful, independent beings with brains (not just boobs) who should be seen as your equals, not as arousing objects. By mumbling obscenities under your breath, you not only attack a woman's dignity, but you also make the whole male population look bad. Not every guy lurks and ogles and gestures, but your constant catcalling has created a culture in which a woman must be prepared to be harassed every day. Why? Do you get a kick from seeing girls run away from you? Is this the only way you get any interaction with women? Probably. And you should probably, I mean definitely, stop.
Hoping to never hear from you,
An average female New Yorker