Here, Kitty Kitty Kitty
By Paige Stewart
“I really want to marry the guy who whistled at me from his car” - said no woman ever.
I’m walking down the street, on my way home from school. I already have a route mapped out in my mind, even if it takes longer - it’s the safest.
I hear a faint “hey girly” from a man driving past. I roll my eyes.
Not even a minute later I hear whistles and feel the eyes on me. My blood starts to boil as the feeling of violation and vulnerability overwhelms me.
A group of about three men are walking towards me, I see them exchange glances. My heart rate intensifies as I quickly look around to find another route in order to avoid them. There is no such luck, I look straight ahead and hope to goddess that they don’t try anything. The one man comes close enough to me that I can smell the pungent odour of his cologne. He says “woah princess, where you off to?” And tells me to fuck off after I ignore him.
The passer-biers don’t blink an eye, no one even reprimands the man. Why? Because this is normal.
This shouldn’t be the norm. No female should have to map out strategic routes on her way to the shops, work, school or even home. No female should have to make a conscious effort to cover up attractive parts of herself in order to avoid being harassed. And yet, we are expected to.
What I can’t wrap my brain around is the fact that men think whistling after a girl or calling her pet names will ACTUALLY get them anywhere. I can’t speak for all women, but I’m sure hearing “Fuck. Christmas is here!” after walking passed a male isn’t the most flattering compliment and I’m sure that it wouldn’t turn anyone on.
I’m not entirely sure what it is about men and their need to express with such profanity that they find a girl attractive. If I can see an attractive person and think to myself “wow, hottie” and leave it at that, why can’t men? Why do they have to say it, why do they have to objectify us, make us feel violated? I’m not speaking for all men, I know there are four or five of them who don’t act on their ‘instincts’ and I apologise to them. But to the rest of the men who can’t seem to stay quiet, what is it? Is it your weak self discipline? Is it the fact that you lose all sense of decency and can’t control yourself when you see a pretty girl? If it is, who raised you? And if it isn’t, what is the problem?
We shouldn’t be telling girls to “just ignore them, it’s because you’re beautiful” we should be telling boys to “remember your manners, she’s a person - not your toy”.
American screenwriter Aaron Sorkin said to his daughter Roxy, “if a guy grabs you or does something to you, you can scream you can fight back you can do all these things” and that his daughter replied with “Dad, why are you teaching me to defend myself and not teaching those guys not to be creeps?”
I cannot express how pathetic I find the men who catcall or sexually harass women, but I believe people can change. In which case, here is an alternative to catcalling: don’t.