“Damn shorty look good
And I’m thinkin’ about getting’ at her
Okay, time to whistle at her”
- Juelz Santa’s “There it go!(The Whistle Song)”
About two weeks ago, I was mulling about the mall running a few errands. I can’t recall my reason for being there. But I could tell you how it concluded.
As I was approaching the exit, a group of three, mid-teen, early twenties males sauntered their way about ten feet in front of me, walking in the same direction that I was. Their banter was quick, and while I was not eavesdropping, they were not shy in making their comments audible to the other mall go-ers.
A young, attractive, blonde woman passed both the group and myself, traveling in the opposite direction. That’s when the whistles began.
The group of males were whistling, making sexual remarks. I instinctively started to tune them out. In an attempts to avoid the group, I made sure to keep my distance, and walked farther away from them, on the opposite side of staircase near the exit. But, my attempts at avoidance failed.
“What about her? She’s got like the same hair color” I took a quick glance of my surroundings, I was the only female in sight. Fuck. “Yea, oh yea I’d give it to her”. I’m not even sure what ‘it’ is, but I can say that I never intend on finding out.
WHOA. I looked over. The three young men looked daringly back at me. One of them commented to the other, “She look over here like, ‘who, me?’ Yea you, we talking about you.” The remaining forty five seconds were filled with a colorful script that included things that were to be done to me, and comments about my body. All while loud enough for me to hear.
My hair was in a braid, sitting on my shoulder. I had my glasses on, without the slightest bit of the blackest-black mascara (I actually have blonde eyelashes…creepy right?) complimenting eye shadow or rosie-hued rouge on my face. I was wearing a hoodie, and long sweat pants. In essence, I was the complete opposite of anything remotely attractive or sexy, (trust me, I’m hit. Fortunately I clean up decently) but, that did not stop any from making a remark.
Truthfully, I didn’t say anything back to them. I should have. My SAT score (while not anywhere near acceptable to Harvard potential) was probably higher than those three assholes score combined. When faced with a situation that at the moment is putting you through a state of temporary shock, it’s hard enough to process the current trauma.
When googling the term, ‘catcall’ , a myriad of definitions pop-up. By proper Merriam Webster online standards, which FYI is the governing ruler on our language, defines a catcall as a ‘derisive remark’. AKA, a criticism. Urban Dictionary, quite the referential source, cites that catcalls “usually lead to sexual intercourse”. Give me a fucking break. The last guy to whistle at me was some creep with a hair piece in the club, and I can guarantee that I will never have sexual relations with him, ever.
Criticism is expected in the school space, the work place, and in relationships. Sometimes it’s constructive, sometimes it could be kinder, sometimes it’s greatly needed. BUT, when it comes to publicly dissecting and judging each and every body part of mine- that is never acceptable. Women are so many amazing adjectives. We are funny, bright, smart, intuitive, powerful, empathetic, brave, daring, kind, crazy (oh, admit it. A little. Me, personally? A hella lot) and so many wonderful words that begin to define the complex creatures that we are. I am so much more than just the facets of my body. I am a living, breathing, thinking, feeling human being as well, who is not impervious to physical insecurities and worries.
Here is what I would like men who catcall to know.
- I know I’m attractive, I don’t need a reminder. I do own a mirror.
- Get some self-restraint, I’m tired of hearing the inability of you to filter your own thoughts.
- If you wouldn’t say it to your mother, sister, daughter of friend, what makes it okay to say to a complete stranger?
- Finally, and most importantly, please shut the hell up.
We women have endured shit like this for a long time. And I don’t know if there will ever be an end in sight. But, to any man even thinking of making a remark next time; I’d like you to switch roles with us women for one moment.
If women judged men solely on their one sexually related appendage that starts with a “p” and ends in an “s” (no, not ponies, dammit), how would you feel? And believe me, we can only here the excuse, ‘it was cold’, so many times.