Monday, May 18, 2015

Tough Topics: Flirting vs Catcalling

     As always, I am not a trained professional nor have I been educated on anything with this matter. Everything I say comes from personal experiences or research that I've done online. If you are dealing with any sort of problems, I strongly urge you to seek professional help.

     If you have any topic suggestions (you will be given full credit for) please send me an email at pertinax_puella@hotmail.com. If you want to write a guest post, it will be as anonymous as you want it, and you can privately discuss details with me over that same email account.



     Flirting is how you act when you're attracted to somebody or want to be in a relationship with them. You tease each other, play around, compliment each other in cute ways, have innocent physical contact, etc. It can be sweet and it can be sexual, depending on the people involved, but it is never meant to make the other person feel uncomfortable.

     Catcalling or wolf-whistling is when you yell things of a sexual nature or let out a loud whistle that reminds me of a gym teacher's whistle when the class pissed them off. Guys do it to women, or in the worst circumstances young girls, but I have never seen a woman do it to a man. Why? Because we don't like it. It's not a compliment and it automatically makes women's defenses go up to protect themselves, against what sounds very predatory.

     If you're walking down the street and you pass by a girl with the most beautiful face you've ever seen and a body that would make swimsuit models turn green with envy, do you honestly think yelling something like, "NICE ASS!" or "EY HOW YOU DOIN'?" or "CAN I TAP THAT?" or letting out that gym-sounding whistle will ever actually let you near them?

     You might be stupid if you answered "yes" to that question. I would highly reccomend getting checked.

     The correct answer is NO. They're going to get nervous and probably either look for a safe place to go into or pull out their pepper spray- possibly both.

     Now, if you're walking down the street and you see that same woman, what might actually get you a phone number or a date? Perhaps, I don't know, if you walk up to her and politely say something like, "Excuse me, but you have (insert compliment here) that I have ever seen. I was really hoping that I could get your number or maybe meet you for coffee some time?" Now, with that compliment, you have to be careful still. Don't make it sexual. Make it about her eyes or her hair or another facial feature. If you say she has a nice ass, you are within slapping distance, so you have been warned.

     Though, I wonder if that's why people do catcall. They're able to treat women as nothing more than sexual objects, while at a safe distance so that they can't be slapped or sprayed with mace.

     I'm not the type to sit around and take it though.

     On my birthday last year, I walked through the food court of the mall I work in. When I passed by a table of guys, one of them whistled at me. I walked right back over to the table and asked, "Excuse me, but did one of you just whistle at me?"

     "No, it was him! It wasn't me!" All three of them started pointing at each other and none of them would own up to me.

     "I don't care who did it. I'm here to tell you not to do it again. I am not a dog and I will not be treated like one."

     "No, it wasn't me!" They all argued.

     "I don't give a fuck if it was you or your buddy. I'm not a dog. You will not treat me like one. You will not treat any other woman like one. Don't ever try it again. Women are your equals and do not deserve to be treated like animals. Do I make myself clear?"

     The actual conversation/argument lasted about half an hour because I refused to walk away until I got an apology. The thing is, I was fairly safe because I was in an area highly patrolled by security guards that knew who I was and in a busy space where I knew many people. I responded one time, when I ended up in danger.

     I was walking home and just as I crossed the street, a guy leaned out of his car and started screaming vulgar things with his friend. I turned around, threw my middle finger up in the air, and screamed "GO FUCK YOURSELF" before I turned right back around and started walking home again. Then they turned onto the street that I was in and started following me. Obviously, I got away fine, but that could have ended horribly for me. I have another similar story from when I was in sixth grade but that's for another time.

     By all means, stand up for yourself and for women everywhere, when you are safe. Don't put yourself at risk because somebody else is stupid.

     Catcalling is wrong and should be stopped, but start with teaching your sons, nephews, the neighbor kids, and the kids you babysit that it is wrong to do. Getting into screaming matches can end horribly and this is one of those situations where I want you to learn from something that could have put me in serious danger. Don't put yourself in danger. Just teach the next generation how to treat women and then there will be nothing to worry about.

     On the final note, catcalling is sexual harassment 100%. However, flirting can end up being sexual harassment if the person on the receiving end isn't actually okay with it. Always make sure you're on the same page so that nobody ends up feeling uncomfortable.

12 comments:

  1. There's a great video where they find these catcallers and trick them into catcalling their own mother.
    I think it is, like you say an objectification thing, but more sinisterly, it's a power thing. These creeps think they can say whatever they want to a stranger because they are the ones with the physical power. I doubt anyone has the temerity to catcall Rhonda Rousey, the MMA champ. Then there are those straight up ignorant creeps who think it's a compliment, who have apparently never had a mother or sister or aunt or a woman teacher. These are all jerks who do not understand empathy, or are sociopaths who actively don't care about the comfort of their fellow human beings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll have to find that video. I saw a video of women catcalling men and every single one of them got weirded out because that's just not a thing that actually happens. It's bad when it happens to fully grown women, but it's even worse when it happens to children. What if that woman that was just catcalled happened to also be the victim of sexual assault? Imagine the damage you could add to her emotionally. It just pisses me off that women are so objectified and most men don't even seem to realize it or care.

      Delete
  2. I can't find it anywhere, but there was a great comic I saw once upon a time ago where a woman walks by a construction site, and a guy yells something like "nice jugs baby yeah sexy mama!" She then falls in love with him, goes home with him, and gets married to him and they live happily ever after. The punchline, of course, is that this would never happen. So I always wonder about that.. what guy thinks that yelling at a woman something vulgar is going to make her say, "He just complimented me! I'm going to go jump his bones now"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess so. Then there are men who get all pissy, "it's a compliment!" Excuse me, but the only person allowed to look at my body or comment on it, is my boyfriend. Anybody else may be punched in the throat. It's MY body, not yours, so keep your damn comments to yourself.

      Delete
  3. Cat calling used to seriously annoy me when I was in my twenties and early thirties. Now that I'm in my forties, I find it rather amusing.

    I always just ignore the idiots. They're not worth my time, and they're obviously quite immature!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, but I also think that it should be stopped. It's uncalled for and makes many women (and young girls, sometimes even kids) feel uncomfortable and scared. That's not okay.

      Delete
  4. I wonder if catcalling has become more vulgar. When I was young, the catcalls I got were things like "I like your hat" and "You're cute." No one ever said anything rude. An unknown male has only said something to me once during the last five years. I was walking across a parking lot when a man said, Ba da boom! Ba da bing!

    I think it was directed at me. I didn't see anyone else around.

    You were very brave to confront those idiots, and I'm glad you did so in a safe place.

    I've never yelled "compliments" at a man.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Catcalling now is extremely vulgar. I actually used some of the cleaner examples. When I was twelve, a grown man yelled at me to take off my sweater. I thought my mom was actually going to kill him. I was just a kid and I looked like a kid too. It's not like I was confused for being a grown woman.

      I really don't think it was brave to confront them. I was angry and I didn't want to be treated like a sexual object that had no other purpose than to please men. I snapped. However, I was not physically violent, so yay me, I deserve a cookie!

      Love,
      Rachel

      Delete
    2. You always deserve a cookie, and yes, you were brave. I'm proud of my baby blogger.

      Delete
  5. I don't really think most men that cat call think they are gonna 'get' the girl. I agree with Pickleope that it's a power thing. I remember when I lived in Honduras, the men would cat call me while their wives were standing right next to them! Talk about disgusting behavior.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is about power. It's about men thinking women are beneath them and should be treated as such. I hate it.

      Delete