“Head down, look straight ahead. Earbuds in, volume off. Walk quickly, but with purpose. Don’t make eye contact unless you need to. Look behind you every few blocks, make sure you’re not being followed. Don’t be obvious.” These are the rules me and probably many other females live by when walking down the street by themselves. One of the most common street harassments are cat calls. When a male see’s a female in the street and says “yurrppp” or “shawty with the grey tights.” ,they think it’s cute but it’s honestly disrespectful and immature and some females take much more of an offense to it than others.
I remember one time I was coming home from work in the summer and I was wearing a loose and comfortable pink dress with my hair tied up in a bun. The sun was shining so bright, my face was glowing. I was happy, smiling and shining because I was finally off work about to go home and relax. I was approaching a group of loud guys and each of them had on all black. I was a bit intimidated, so I hurried and put my headphones in before I walked passed. I didn’t have time to put music on, so I was hoping they didn’t talk to me. As I was walking past, all I heard was “yo ma” from one of the guys, another one said, “Ayo! I know you heard my mans calling you.” I just kept walking and never looked back.
I’ve always wondered the purpose of catcalling aka street harassment and why guys do it. Do they do it because they actually want the female or to impress buddies of theirs or even both? Either one, in a female's eyes it makes you look thirsty and desperate, but I personally think it’s funny. In an interview with Jared Marcelle and Michael Kimmel they were discussing each other’s views on cat calling. “It really has very little to do with the woman. It has to do with your relationship with the other guys. It's about, you know, doing it in front of other guys. You know what I mean?” Kimmel went on to say. In other words, guys catcall to show off in front of other guys.Late on in the interview, Kimmel gave a better word to describe this situation and it’s called “homosocial.” It makes a little bit more sense because I’ve always realized after I get catcalled by a guy, they always look at their friends for approval or to laugh or joke. The best part of it all is that if you walk right past them like they not even there they get mad and say “Well that’s why you ugly anyways” or “thot.”
Some may often say that women get treated the way they allow themselves to get treated. I agree but also disagree with this statement. When a man says or does something to a women, the women can respond two ways. She can either go along with the guy, give him her number or she can ignore and walk away and also say “no.” That’s where females make the choice to get “treated” a certain way. It all depends on self worth and self confidence. If a girl thinks that they think they are worth a guy catcalling them then that’s how they think they should get treated. Getting catcalled can be a confidence booster for some girls or women. She may feel as if she is cute or better then someone else. Getting cat called can also lower a girl’s confidence. She may question her worth or her ability to get someone who respects her as a women and doesn’t look at her as a toy.
Gender roles plays a huge role in society, men are always labeled as the ¨ bad people¨, and women are labeled are the ¨weaker links¨. Just because men are homosocial and catcall girls because their buddies are around doesn’t make them bad people. I do believe that guys are able to respectfully approach a women without being disrespectful or even harmful. It takes a special girl to change a man’s street ways, and it can take a good friend to encourage his friend to change. It also is a man’s responsibility to stop trying to show off for his friends in order to successfully talk to a girl without offending her in anyway. Men aren’t bad people but they put women through bad things, things other than catcalling. There has many many acts of violence toward women. It all comes down to gender roles, men are expected to be the ‘tougher’ ones then women. We are looked at as the weaker links.
CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.
Interview. Radio Rookies: Reformed Catcaller Explores Roots Of Street Harassment. N.p., 23 Aug. 2016. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.