Wednesday, November 19, 2014

More On Catcalling

I feel like there were enough comments on my previous catcalling post to warrant a follow up post.  Bottom line, catcalling depends on the content, delivery, and attractiveness on the guy.  If George Clooney shouted, "You're hot" as you walked by (assuming you are a woman...or maybe a man, who knows), you'd probably be okay with it.

No I do not think self worth should be tied to the amount of catcalls one gets or doesn't get.  I am simply saying, I'm more okay with attractive guys catcalling (depending on content and delivery) than unattractive guys catcalling.  I'm also more okay with attractive guys approaching me, than unattractive guys.  You don't want attractive guys versus unattractive guys approaching you?  Come on.

For all the ladies who are offended by catcalling, take it easy.  Why should you let this negatively impact your day?  Brush it off and keep moving.  Easier said than done, sure.  I used to get really worked up over this and now I just don't care.  Why?  Because I don't want to give someone else the power to ruin my day.  It's like, great, some guy just shouted "You're hot," I know I'm hot, a guy saying this or not saying this is irrelevant.  It's also better than some guys saying, "You're fat," though this would also have no impact because I know I'm not.  At least the first guy is trying to say something nice!

You don't have to agree with me, but take this to heart; the amount we let someone negatively impact our lives is tied with how we perceive things.  Maybe you might be less offended if you think the guy catcalling you has good intentions versus this whole objectification thing.

Think about a random woman saying, "I like your shoes."  I'm sure you almost never get angry about this and storm off in a huff because you think she thinks your self worth is tied to her liking or not liking your shoes.  To the Anon girl who said, "...why should I be happy some guy found me attractive? I'm not here to be appraised and either accepted or rejected by you. We really shouldn't base our self-worth on what some guy you don't know and don't care about thinks of us..." apply it to the shoe comment and you'll see they really aren't that different.


  1. Maybe if you wrote thoughtfully and didn't come off so aggressive in your tone, you wouldn't have to write these follow up posts. My impressions if your posts, especially the shorter ones, is that you write and click 'publish' without really thinking of how you come off.

    I get that this is your blog and you can write what you want, but commenters can say what they want too.

    1. How do you know my tone? Just like, I don't know your tone either. We've never met and I'd say, it's pretty hard to figure out tone without having met someone in person (this applies to everyone in the world).

      I'm not sure if you've been reading for a while, but I really don't care how I come off, kinda like the point of this post...I shouldn't care how you come off and you shouldn't care how I come off.

      I can turn off the ability to leave comments at anytime, so no, commenters can only say what they want as long as I let them

  2. Actually I think that if a well-dressed attractive man catcalled you, you'd probably think "what a tool." I could be wrong, but given the type of men inclined to catcall, there's little point in discussing.

    1. Good point! I can't remember a time where a 6" tall handsome guy in a suit or Abercrombie looking like guy has ever catcalled me

  3. Anon girl here whom you have mentioned earlier... Your logic is false. A guy catcalling you is not at all the same as a girl complementing your shoes. It's like euthanizing your old sick cat is not the same as euthanizing your old sick grandma (sorry, it's from the relationship column I like to read:). I wouldn't even mind the guy complementing my shoes! but this is not objectifying - this is paying a complement to your choice of shoes. A stranger yelling out "you're hot!" or whatever is still insulting. Also, you probably know, that if you don't respond to their "complement", they may follow it up with some less flattering comments, like "oh, am I not good enough for you? F'' you!" The table may turn at any moment. So the issue here is not how attractive or unattractive the guy is, the issue is the guys feel free to catcall you and you're at their mercy. Us, girls, we don't' feel free to yell out to a guy "you're hot!". We just smile, make eye contact. We may even approach you if we feel bold enough. but we don't catcall...

    1. Yeah, Catcallers are silly and immature, and in some cases total assholes. Why would you give positive reinforcement to them?

    2. To the long Anon comment, oh God, we are still talking about this. Okay, following your logic, how about a guy or gal saying, "Ooohhh, I like your shoes." With the girl, you'd be fine with it. With the guy you wouldn't because it could lead to some less flattering stuff, like, "You wanna f*ck?" If you want to yell "You're hot" to a guy, I really think he'd like it. PS, "compliment"

      Anon #2, ever since I moved to SF, the number of catcalls has definitely decreased. The amount of awkward comments, increased. I try to be empathetic (yeah, try being the key word, it doesn't always work out) and think "Oh, he's trying and just really awkward."

    3. What? That makes no sense. If someone were to compliment my shoes, I wouldn't be okay or not okay with it based on the gender of the person giving the compliment. I somehow doubt a guy complimenting my shoes is really thinking, "Let's fuck." And hey, this is San Francisco. Maybe the girl is thinking, "Let's fuck."

      I agree with Anon - your comparison is pretty weak. Men catcalling women is objectification. It's unacceptable. Should a woman let it make or break her day, or should she judge her own self-worth on it? No! That goes without saying. As a general rule, people shouldn't base their self-worth on anyone's opinion other than their own.

    4. Sorry, TJ, you are the most recent comment and I am sick if this conversation, this won't be pretty.

      Are we all mind readers now? We know what others are thinking based on what they say, do, or catcall? People need to relax with the whole objectification thing. It's something that will likely never stop, so might as well look at it positively or at least try to, stop being a victim with a victim mindset.

      I don't care who agrees or who doesn't agree with me, but I am sick of hearing about it (just like you're probably sick of talking about it). I've said this 1,000 times, I don't have to agree with readers and readers don't have to agree with me

    5. Wow. I definitely don't see myself as a victim.

      You don't have to be able to read someone's mind to know he or she is objectifying someone else by catcalling.

      verb (used with object), objectified, objectifying.
      1. to present as an object, especially of sight, touch, or other physical sense; make objective; externalize."

      Certain verbal and nonverbal cues are very clear in their meaning. No means no (not yes) and catcalls are indicators that a person is objectifying someone else.

      If you like to be judged based solely on your looks, then by all means take it as a compliment. But I know there is more to me than that, so I will never appreciate someone reducing me to a walking sex object. This is along the lines of the whole men telling me "You look prettier when you smile." To that I say, "And you sound smarter with your mouth closed."

      And also, I'm never going to just accept anything. If we all operated with the attitude of, "Oh, it's not going to stop so just accept it," this world would go to shit. Imagine if MLK instead said, "Eh, racism isn't going to stop, so let's just accept it!"

    6. Jeez, we are still talking about this.

      So, do you ever tell your friends, "I just met this guy, and he is SO HOT!!" If so, aren't you objectifying him?

      Everyone is judged on their looks. I remember this show I saw on the Discovery Channel, they did a bunch of studies about looks and promotions, getting help on the side of the road, etc. EVERYONE is judged on their looks, catcalling is just more obvious. If a hot woman was stranded on the side of the road versus an obese woman, almost every passing car (guy or girl driver) stopped for the hot woman (yes, they did this experiment) and not many stopped for the obese woman. Yes, I am fine with this. I see that you like to make things better, so how would you go about changing the fact that everyone is already judged on their looks?

    7. That would be a mighty feat that not just one person could accomplish. But I think if the media would stop telling us what conventional beauty should be, it would be a start. Also, I try and stay mindful of avoiding stuff like that. Like everyone, I am not totally innocent of objectifying people, but I try not to.

      I'm not surprised by your example. I've seen the same thing demonstrated, except with race. It's sick, and I'm not sure why TV shows feel the need to affirm this by showing it to people. It just feeds into the whole thing.

      Me telling my friends I met an attractive man is different than men catcalling a woman on the street, in my opinion. I am telling my friends in confidence, not displaying it in a public forum. I would never do something like that. It's disrespectful.

      People should be more mindful. Do unto others kind of thing. Because we're not going to be young and beautiful forever...and I would like to think that no matter how I look, I won't be judged on that and that alone.

      Sorry my thoughts are scattered. Trying to get out of here so I can start my weekend!! Have a good one! :)

    8. I agree, it's a tough one. Whether we like it or not, we are always being judge by our looks at the grocery store, job interview, bar, car dealership, etc. I feel like it hasn't changed much over the years and am not sure if it could change much. I remember Dove had an advertising campaign with "real women" and people went crazy (not in a good way).

      Saw that Keira Knightley recently did a topless photo shoot, unretouched. Well, she's still a beautiful woman, so not sure if that really helps the situation, lol

      Thanks! Have a great weekend!

  4. TJ, totally agree with you.

  5. I really think a lot of guys catcall not because they think the woman is all that hot, but because she is female and walking by, and they want to look cool for their friends/get a reaction/be obnoxious. It's like when people honk their horns at runners. They aren't commenting on what a great runner you are. They just want to see you jump or react. It's stupid.

    1. Good point! It's like that episode of Sex and the City where Miranda talks to the catcallers. That horn honking at runners is so annoying

  6. I'm personally not a fan of catcalling myself, but I like this post, even though it seems have created some heated debate! I hate being honked at when running; I even receive a fair share of catcalls whilst running too, but I never hear what they say, because my iPod is on.

    I think whilst some women may get upset or feel happy for the compliment, I'm pretty indifferent; perhaps, I am momentarily annoyed or baffled but I'm not overly bothered.

    Yes, it's about physical appearance, let's not lie, that's just the way humans are built.
    It's the backbone of online dating - men AND women skip profiles and messages AFTER they glance at the person's profile picture. I don't care what people say "Oh, I read the details about their personality and interests." That, in itself, is a big lie; it might be a subconscious decision, but you hit "next" or "delete" unless you're slightly attracted to that person!

    I think the issue with catcalling, is more the sense of HOW they do it. It just seems so uncivilised and neanderthal. A guy in a bar says to you, "Hey, you look pretty." = fine, but the moment a guy on a construction site yells, "Hey sexy!" it changes your perception. I think with catcalling, it reminds us of other things on the street that people call that is more offensive e.g. racist shouts.

    I'm Chinese, and it's no denying it from my appearance. About a year ago, I was walking through a 'rough area' and some kids pointed and yelled, "Paki!" While this was a derogatory slur, it confused me, as the racist insult wasn't even accurate! It was confusing but amusing (because of their ignorance) at the same time. I think catcalling reminds us of less-pleasant calls like that? I mean, you wouldn't necessarily point back, or if you were in India, they wouldn't point and yell "White person!" or "Caucasian!" at you, would they?

    1. Hi! Glad you are not very bothered by catcalling! It doesn't bother me anymore, it used to when I was 25 and in New York City and now I think I don't care because there are more pressing things going on in my life.

      I was thinking about this and yes, I have accidentally catcalled a guy and he liked it! I was crossing the street with a girlfriend and he stopped to let us pass. Since he was in his car and it was a cold day, I thought his windows were rolled up. Wrong. I shouted "He's really hot" to my friend, he heard, and gave me a big smile. Would have really liked it if he got out of the car to chat.

      Physical appearance is huge! It's with us in all aspect of our lives.

      Wow, sorry you get called racial slurs. I wouldn't know how to react to that at all, it's never happened to me (correct or incorrect ethnicity)