How did catcalling become a thing and why on earth is it called that!?
It must have originated during the time of cavemen because only then would a grunt be considered a come-on. Think about it… One of the most used catcalls is a simple, ‘Hey!’- one syllable. You know what else is one syllable…? ‘Ugh.’ Sure, the physical gestures have evolved to consist of a nod of the head and/or a wink and in worse cases, a thrust of some sort, but can any man in today’s society claim to have had any type of success with a woman in this way?
And ladies, have your nether regions ever spontaneously erupted with desire or pleasure from such peacocking persuasion?
I remember the first time I was ever catcalled. It was the night of my middle school graduation; I was 14. My parents and I had stopped at a fast-food restaurant for a quick bite to eat before the ceremony. I was in the prime of my punk/goth phase so I wore a black mid-length pin stripped skirt with a matching vest over a royal blue top, accessorized with a top hat and a studded belt wrapped around my hips. As we were crossing the parking lot, a pickup crept by. A much older man was hanging out of the window and shouting at me. I had no idea what he was doing or saying. In all honestly, I thought I had walked out in front of him by accident. My dad started yelling at him and chased him out of the parking lot. After dinner, I had to go to the nearby department store and find a different top to wear because my royal blue shirt ‘might be a bit too revealing.’ It wasn’t…
Again, I was 14. Eleven years later and nothing has changed…
I am blessed to work for a company that encourages exercise during the work day. As such, I try and squeeze in 30 minutes of walking on a daily basis. When it’s nice outside, I walk around town. I prefer to stick to the small neighborhoods where traffic is at a minimum, but last week, I ventured down a different part of town; a part that consists of a busy thoroughfare with cars whizzing by at a steady clip.
Sure. I know that I will get some looks from motorists as they pass by, especially since I was not wearing typical attire for someone to be walking down the street in broad daylight (that day, I was sporting white linen pants with a flowy yellow tank- business casual attire), but that in no way gives men the go-ahead to slow their vehicles down, honk, or yell come-ons at me, no matter how pleasing to the eye my ensemble (or otherwise) might be.
And to the accused: don’t you dare become offended when your remarks are met with displeasure and in this case, a middle finger. No sir. You are not God’s gift to the world and the sooner you come to terms with this fact, the better off you’ll be. Promise.
What would your ideal conclusion in this love affair of yours be? …that I hop into your friend’s pickup truck so we can drive off into the sunset together and live happily ever after? Seems a little far-fetched, don’t ya think?
So instead of treating a lady like a dog that you’re trying to gain the attention of, if you feel so inclined to converse with that of the fairer sex, how about a not-so barbaric advance? Sure, a bit more effort is required, maybe some small talk, but I’m sure you would have much better results than a rather universal denial in the form of a finger. Just a thought…
No matter the circumstance, I will never find catcalls to be flattering. As a previous victim of sexual assault, these kinds of advances, as harmless as they may seem, still cause stress, fear, and in some cases, panic attacks. For me, catcalling has become a trigger, but men who practice such customs don’t bother to think about the implications associated with their actions. Instead, they see a woman, attribute her mere presence as sex appeal, and respond with what they think is a compliment- distasteful pick up lines and provocative gestures. Well here is a PSA for any male (or female) who practices this form of persecution:
You will not get laid. You will not get his/her number. You won’t even get a name. What you will get is a look of disgust, agitation, or distress and in some instances, a firm ‘Fuck off’ in the form of a middle finger. You don’t know anything about this person and how they handle social interactions, suggestive or otherwise, so keep your deplorable remarks to yourself.
An Enraged Sexual Assault Survivor