I've been getting catcalled since I was 13. It'd be in the most random places — in a supermarket, in front of a deli, going to the library, coming home from school, even once in McDonald's. It's disgusting. It's creepy. And it's unnecessary. But I'm sure everyone already knew that, and almost every woman can relate.
I'm 18 now, and I can honestly say I still don't know how to react or handle situations where men are whistling and calling at me to get my attention. It makes me feel socially anxious to see a group of loud guys down the street, knowing that I'd have to walk past them in about 10 seconds. As I would get closer to them, I'd put my headphones in and pretend I'm texting someone on my phone, without ever taking my eyes off the screen. This is my way of making myself seem distracted when I ignore the kissy noises and "compliments." I don't care if this makes me seem stuck-up, or rude, or selfish, or whatever. I never asked for this attention.
But there are some men who still don't understand why women hate it so much. Probably because they're the ones doing the catcalling themselves or because they really don't try to put themselves in the woman's shoes to understand what she's feeling and thinking while being stared at in a perverted manner. I've heard guys say "just take the compliment, you should be flattered by their attention," but NO. This isn't the case at all. Women will NEVER be flattered by unwanted, sexual attention. It's 2019, people should know this already.
I've even heard some WOMEN say they wished they were catcalled because of the fact that they're unhappy with their appearance and are implying that they rely on the opinions of random men to feel validated for how they look. They perceive being a victim of catcalling as a sign that they are attractive, and if they're not getting attention from random men, they're ugly. This ain't it either, girl.
The guy who didn't understand why I hated being catcalled and instead insisted that if he was a girl, he'd be flattered, happened to be homophobic as well. He was repulsed by the idea that men can find other men attractive and often made "if my son turned out gay" jokes. In 2019. I've realized that, because of his homophobic nature, he would hate the idea of a man checking HIM out. The attention from someone whom one doesn't like at all is unsolicited.
As a means to make him understand my point of view, I told the guy to imagine himself walking down the street, minding his own business when a man starts making kissing noises at him, calling him cute, sexy, etc. I then asked him, "How would that make you feel, knowing you don't like this guy, and he's making it obvious he's sexually attracted to you?"
While at first he was disgusted, he tried justifying his side by saying, "That's different. I'm not attracted to men, but you are." So because I'm a straight woman, I have to love the attention of EVERY and ANY man? No. That's ridiculous and not how it works. I am not attracted to catcalling men, the same way a straight man isn't attracted to any man.
Eventually, he understood what it feels like for women to be sexually harassed by men. You never truly understand the feelings of someone without experiencing the situation for yourself.