I’ve noticed some reporting recently about cat calls, social media buzz word stuff. I haven’t yet had a moment to click through and read any of what has been written, but intend to momentarily. Before I read what the discussion is, I wanted to express my own experiences and opinion without influence.I don’t remember when I personally received my first catcall, but I do know that each time I hear one these days, I laugh and wonder if it will be my last. Catcalls don’t bother me. They don’t make me feel objectified or threatened. Usually, they make me laugh, once when I was about 8.5 months pregnant hard enough to almost pee myself.
Maybe I should define “catcalls.” I’m talking about a couple of complimentary words spoken in an appreciative tone of voice, not a barrage of filthy language. That I most definitely find offensive. I don’t know, maybe it was growing up around NYC or something, but a construction worker giving me a “Hey, pretty lady,” doesn’t feel like harassment to me.
Ok, now I’ll go read some of what’s going on. I’m back.
This seemed to be the article which helped to ignite the current conversation about catcalling. The author must have been writing an ironic piece because I can’t imagine that a woman would truly encourage attention on the street in the way she did. It had to have been intentionally hyperbolic, right?
This was written in response to a segment of some television program which I’ve been fortunate enough to have never had inflicted upon me. The writer makes some excellent points and I can understand her perspective.
The focus here was primarily on Kirsten Gillibrand’s assertions regarding inappropriate comments made to her by other members of Congress. The examples she provided were outrageous and demonstrated a complete lack of propriety and common decency, but I didn’t perceive them to be “catcalls.” They were personal criticism and commentary about her physical self and as such were deplorable.
My conclusion after this minimal amount of “research?” Well, we all have differing thresholds for what we are willing to tolerate. In my mind there’s a vast difference between a light “Looking good” and detailed descriptions about “what I’d like to do to you, baby.” Does this sort of reasoning strip me of my feminist crown? Is it somehow demeaning to all women that one of my favorite moments as a young woman was when I received a standing ovation from a roomful of cadets at West Point, something I was given in response to how I looked and not related to my intellectual capacity? Does the pleasure I felt at that moment somehow diminish me as a woman? Only if I let it.