Today is International Women’s Day and instead of celebrating women, most of the social media talk is about how women are still treated like animals by men. Mainly, the talk is about what goes down on the street aka Street Harassment.
I wanted to expand on a comment I made on this Jezebel article about wolf whistles & cat calls.
I mentioned previously my disdain for the kissing noises guys make and I will repeat that it is totally vile. Have you ever heard someone make that noise and thought “Damn! I gotta get with that person!”
No, I bet you haven’t.
But of course, the point of making such a noise at a woman isn’t to bed her. Cat calling is about power and quite frankly, I think a lot of men are intimidated by a strong attractive woman. So they cat call in an attempt to make the woman feel inhuman. They want you to bow your head and walk away.
The default response to any woman’s objection to street harassment is usually:
“But you were wearing a tank top! But your breasts were bouncing! But your heels were high! But your skirt was short! But you were swinging your hips!”
No – you’re a pervert who has no sense of self control. Move to a country where burqas are the law or get some therapy and possibly some medication for your Pervy Mcpervness.
Her skirt is above the knee
& I can see the outline of her bum!
And any woman will tell you that it doesn’t matter what we are wearing. There is an inadequate male on nearly every street corner who feels the need to testify to the size of his dick by dehumanizing a woman, no matter her attire.
I am not overly sexed up in the winter when I’m walking my dog – it’s winter for goodness’ sake. I’m bundled! But no amount of coats and scarves will prevent some guys from saying asinine comments. The worst, and this has been said by more than one guy, ‘I wish I was your dog so that I could go home with you.’
That has so many nasty and gross implications I can’t even begin to deal with it. But I’m sure in each instance those guys thought they were the cleverest douche on the market.
I’m shameless in my responses to cat calling and wolf whistling. I frequently look the perpetrators in the eyes and ask “Do you really think that’s a panty dropper? Has that ever gotten you a girlfriend?” Once a guy turned to his friend and said “Did she really just ask that?” Most men pretend they didn’t hear me, as if my directness, my demand to be acknowledged as a human, causes them to wish to not be acknowledged.
Another favorite come back of mine is ‘I want you to go home and talk to your daughter that way. Call up your mother and talk to her that way.’ That shames them so fast. They want to believe that ultimately their behavior is harmless, because again, you aren’t human. You don’t exist. But when you present them with the reality that someone somewhere could be disrespecting a woman they value, you become real to them.
But we shouldn’t have to remind men of our reality. And it is tragic that we do.