Being a woman in the summer when short shorts or whatever clothing suits ninety degree weather is not fun. You think you’ll be catcalled at, which you will, but it will happen in any weather. You could be wearing a sleeping bag and you’ll probably still be harassed. Catcalling is a form of control and not a compliment to women. It’s a power trip for the men that do this and I thank the men that don’t. A while ago, I made a promise to try to stop this while it’s happening no matter how aggravating it was because ignoring a cat call allows men to think it’s okay, that it doesn’t bother us, and, the worst part, that we enjoy it. That’s what I want to change and New York City is going to be a hell of a lot nastier with this new mission.
Today was a perfect example. The only reason the following encounter lasted so long is because we were walking in the same direction. Maybe I should have walked the other way, but I’m trying to be a badass here and stand up for what I think is right, and that’s not how a badass would react.
Cat Caller: “Well, don’t you look gorgeous.”
Me: “What? Don’t tell me that. I really don’t want to hear that.”
"It ruins my day."
"It’s just a compliment. You don’t want to hear a compliment?"
"Well, that makes you conceited…. and ugly."
"Ugly and conceited don’t really go together. And maybe I don’t care what you think.”
"But you’re pretty."
"Trust me. No woman wants to ever hear this kind of stuff. Just don’t say it."
"Ah I think all women do."
"Well, you’re not a woman so I don’t think you’d really know, would you?"
At this point he either needed to cross the street, or better, got sick of my argument and decided to walk the other way. This has been one of the better outcomes of calling out a cat caller. He was an older man and I’m sure he had no idea how he makes women feel, but that’s why something should be said. Maybe he thinks I’m a bitch, but I choose bitch over submissive. Maybe he’ll think about it next time he wants to tell a woman she has nice legs. Maybe he won’t. I’d rather go out of my way to do things like this than let him walk off thinking he made my day better when he really just made me feel uncomfortable. I’d much rather be ugly, conceited, and a bitch.