First off I feel the need to clear the air here. Catcalling is not simply telling a young woman that she is good-looking nor do I consider whistling in and of itself a form of cat calling. To me cat calling is more along the lines of shouting out garbage of the following variety: Hey baby you got any fries with that shake! ( this is actually clean compared to the types of obscenities that most dudes shout at the women they see passing them every day. ) There may be some individuals who don’t view street harassment as a serious issue. I however am not one of them for one thing I have always disliked the fact that random men feel the need to tell me that my butt looks great in a pair of shorts ( as if my sole validation comes from weirdos liking my butt) When the only reason I am wearing shorts is due to the fact that it is 90 degrees in the shade
This is just an example of the “positive” aspect of street harassment. Being judged solely by your physical appearance is bad enough but there is an even more insidious aspect of street harassment. When a young woman is being ridiculed based on the fact that she is not pleasing to the eyes. Such as the overweight girl who is being called a “cow” by the random guys who see insulting her physical appearance within her own earshot as some sort of strange bonding ritual. Unfortunately I have experienced and witnessed both forms of harassment and I know that both aspects left me feeling degraded and embarrassed. The more aggressive harassment I experienced from young men often left me feeling threatened and unsafe. A young lady never really knows whether or not the guy harassing her today will become her stalker tomorrow. The worst aspect of street harassment for me was when I felt my personal space violated. I have always been a private person and I am not really the kind of individual who ever wants to be touched by strangers. The guys I knew who ascribed to Pick up artist theory seemed to not grasp the concept of personal boundaries. That is they wouldn’t allow me to assert mine. Continuously putting your arm around a young woman who is literally pushing you away is not OK and pushing a young woman back to you when she is clearly trying to get away from you is assault. Experiences such as these left me very traumatized. For a great deal of my life I was convinced that the majority of young men that I encountered did not see me as a human being . This made life very difficult for me because I am by nature a fairly social person. I wanted to be liked but I also wanted to be respected.I think this is the hardest part of street harassment for me a guy who shouts obscenities at me clearly does not respect me. No matter how attracted to a young man I have ever been I could never reduce him to nothing but his looks.I do not as some men flagrantly claim “demand respect because I am a Woman” my being a woman has nothing to do with my need to be respected. My need for respect stems from my status as a human being. In conclusion I could never in a million years shout obscenities of any sort to random men for the following reasons .1. I respect men and I have a moral aversion to the practice of reducing anyone to nothing more than their physical qualities. 2. I am actually quite shy around the opposite sex , even more so if I actually like the guy in question. 3. Men are human beings , human beings don’t exist so that I can “ogle ” them. I appreciate a good looking man as much as any other girl but I also understand that there is a human being with a heart and a mind behind that amazing physique. When I talk to a man I am not just aware of how soft and kissable his lips might look while he is speaking I am also attentive to his words. I prefer to be the kind of woman that the man I love feels as if he can trust me and confide in me. After all I have always been the confidant and counselor amongst my female friends. Why shouldn’t my husband enjoy this aspect of who I am as well?
Candace Casey aka Cccasey5150