As a teenager, being catcalled, groped, or hit on in a blatantly sexual manner was an accomplishment. It seemed like just another part of a quality life, because being catcalled meant you were pretty.
Now that I am older, I know that the catcalling has very little to do with me or how I look. Instead, it is only about him. I have been catcalled on my way to work at 8 in the morning and while cloaked in winter attire that all but hides my face. In either situation, I can guarantee my appearance would only be noteworthy to someone who has never seen a woman before.
I know it seems harmless. It’s just a compliment. But there’s something ominous about being catcalled. It’s almost always reserved for when a woman’s walking alone, and if she’s not alone, she’s only with another woman. If it were just a compliment, it wouldn’t matter who she was with.
Such behaviors are a hyper-conformance to gender roles, with men as the sexual beings and women as the sexual objects. As a woman, when someone tries to force you into this role, it can be a little frightening. There’s no way for you to know where their conformance ends.
Many men have a hard time understanding why this is so problematic. Fortunately, the video above can help give them a new perspective on the situation.