Catcalling dehumanizes, objectifies and humiliates

Michael McShane
News Editor

In the age where #MeToo has enveloped our society and how women are treated both in public and in the professional setting, there is one action that needs addressing – catcalling.

While not a woman myself, you don’t have to be a girl to understand why catcalling someone as they pass by on the street or are simply minding their own business is not only rude but severely offensive.

No woman is ever going to appreciate catcalling, it’s not how you properly approach someone. 

While some can pass catcalling off as just some stupid thing some people do and each party goes their separate ways, that scenario doesn’t always happen. Sometimes, the person doing the catcalling wants an actual response, and when they don’t get the answer they want things can go from cringey to dangerous.

That scenario is one I witnessed in person Friday when I saw what many would consider at the very least sexual harassment.

What I witnessed firsthand was a group of intoxicated men trying to sweet talk to two women in the worst way possible. The women obviously were not reciprocating any of their advances, but the men were not getting the message.

The men persisted and were getting in the girl’s personal space. I had enough by then and myself and another co-worker tried to help the women send the message home that they were both not interested and obviously creeped out.

These men in the timespan of just a few minutes ruined these women’s night, scared them and infuriated me. There are certain things that you just don’t do to any human being.

There is a bright red line and catcalling is when you’re dangerously close to crossing it.

Back in 2018, a nonprofit organization, Stop Street Harassment, conducted a survey on catcalling and found that 81% of female respondents and 43% of men revealed that they have experienced some form of harassment as they went about their business.

I hope the “Me Too Movement” showed the severity of such a problem that affects both genders.

I will never know if I had just watched those two women’s most terrifying experience in their lives, it very well could have. What I wish is for the men who harassed those women to know that they very well did scare those women and that their actions have long lasting consequences.

Header photo courtesy of Flickr.

One thought on “Catcalling dehumanizes, objectifies and humiliates

  • Daniel Sebold

    Gloria Steinem talks about how she used to be a female impersonator, that is, brainwashed to act out a prefab caricature of allegedly patriarchal design (or perhaps it is also the matriarchy which conspires in this). But a young male plays a far greater price and takes a far greater risk, is subjected to far more abuse from, the police state, homophobic rednecks, pseudo multiculturalists, pseudo intellectuals, feminist hypocrites for violating his gender role than do women for conforming to their gender role. The irony is that a young male can walk into a truck stop café in Texas filled with macho truck drivers wearing women’s pink hot pants and will find himself far more tolerated than he would on a state university campus in Minnesota. Life is filled with mind stretching ironies. At any rate, it’s safer all the way around for Thai “katouies” to stay on Bangkok’s Patpong than to venture into any American city. Just go to You Tube and look at how conservatively gays are dressed in the New York City gay rights parades. It’s not safe back there. It’s not 1971 anymore.

    Daniel Sebold
    MSU English/Spanish Alumnus
    Siem Reap, Cambodia


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