As I write this, I speak from the perspective of a male who’s friends have experienced sexual harassment and is quite frankly sick of other men deeming this behaviour as acceptable, I intend in no way to put myself in women’s shoes and act like I know how it feels as I have never experienced it and of course, I am not a woman.
Time and time again, catcalling and other forms of sexual harassment are still prevalent among the streets of any city or town that you go to. Men feel the need to certify their masculinity by wolf-whilsting, shouting flirtatious remarks or even groping women as they pass down the street. The men’s objective of these actions ? Maybe to elevate their self-esteem from their inferiority complex or gain control over women but whatever it is, it’s outdated, demeaning and far from “a joke”.
Catcalling has been a prevalent act within our society, bringing along with it conflicted reactions. Whilst the majority sees these acts as sexual harassment and a mild form of stalking, others go as far as condoning it, saying “Let men be men”. I’m sorry? In basic terms, stating “allow men to carry on harassing women because that’s just who they are”? I don’t think so, and being a man myself, I have learnt the morals to know that is NOT who I am, nor how any other man should behave.
Two of my friends, both of which have boyfriends, have been publicly harassed in recent months and the experience had left them initially scared. One was stood alone on a packed train when a man groped her and pressed his pelvis against her; a situation that dissuaded her to use public transport for weeks, whilst the other was walking along the pier with her mother when a boy on his bike slapped her bum and laughed about it with his friend as if it was something to celebrate about, as she was left in tears.
I really can’t fully comprehend what goes through boy’s minds when they commit actions such as these. Maybe it’s just for a laugh? Maybe they just want sex and don’t know how to properly articulate their feelings in an adequate manner? Or maybe they just have a complete disrespect for women? I would go for the latter. Either way, catcalling portrays sexualising women and whether it may be complimentary at times, it doesn’t mean to say women have asked for it.
As I have said before, I am not going to speak on behalf of women but from my friends reactions and what I have heard on the internet, catcalling as a whole is unwanted. Some might take it to court, whereas others might simply take on the chin or even potentially enjoy the attention. Again, I am not the person to say what response is wrong or right.
I am ashamed to be part of a demographic that continues to endeavour in such dehumanising acts. I am sorry for women who have to endure this obnoxious behaviour as a common occurrence and I appreciate you for staying strong and even fighting back in those instances. But for the boys who can’t keep it in their pants, learn some respect and stop building an already bad reputation for men. I don’t want to grab them by the p***y and I don’t scream about it either so neither should you