So you think catcalls are a form of flattery do ya? You think that if women still get that kind of “attention” they should just be grateful? My guess is that if you think this way you are probably a man with a hidden entitlement complex. My second guess is that if you were being catcalled by some strange man, (“Hey Baby, nice ass! You got a man?” etc etc.) you would no longer find it that flattering.
Being catcalled is like a dog pissing all over you because it thinks you’re its property. Hollering unsolicited things at a woman about her appearance isn’t going to make you friends. Referring to her as nothing but body parts doesn’t make her feel special. Does getting called a creep ever make you feel special? Staring at a woman up and down is more likely to make the hair on the back of her neck rise than release any pheromones. That’s a physical response to fear, that you have caused. She just wanted to go for a jog and now she’s clutching her keys wondering if she’s going to have to stab a fucker. All this fear caused by you being an entitled prick.
Asking a woman 2 minutes into a conversation if she has a boyfriend is not only making ridiculous heteronormative assumptions about her but it might also be making her think that you are one of those sexist assholes who think females aren’t friendship material. Think of it this way. If you were getting to know this coworker and you were kind of hitting it off, how off-putting would it be if out of the blue he halts the conversation by asking what your relationship status is. Depending on what your answer is he either keeps talking to you or walks away. This isn’t subtle. This isn’t sly. This is a jerk move. Well that’s how someone looks when they say things like “friend zone” or asks someones relationship status right away. Being treated like your relationship status means more than what you have to say by an otherwise “nice” guy doesn’t make a woman feel good.
Moral of the story: If a woman doesn’t ask you to directly comment on her body or outfit choice, don’t. If you want to talk to a woman but aren’t sure if what you are going to say is offensive, consider if it is something you would say to a man you don’t know. Women don’t get dressed each day to fulfill your entitled sense of voyeurism. Did you choose your outfit today while thinking about what comments strangers might make about it? I sure hope not. If you see or hear someone being harassed, step in. This person is being told that they don’t have as much right to public space as the harasser and that is absolutely ridiculous. It’s going to take a cultural shift and communities standing up to all harassers for the streets to be made truly public.
With the utmost respect I’d like to dedicate this piece to the asshat I met at the Laundromat yesterday. Just because I’m wearing a tank top does not give you the right to speak to me in a vulgar way you perv.