Catcallers, please think twice

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“What kind of feminist shit is this!”

“If it were Ryan Gosling doing this, the girls wouldn't mind it and all and then its "bold" or "confident." God forbid you do this as anything less than a 6'2''+ good looking male. Do that and you get thrown in jail!”

“SOOO...Its cool for a girl to walk around damn near naked, dangling her goods, but when I walk behind her with an erection I'm the creep and get arrested right?”

These are some comments, presumably written by male viewers, posted on BuzzFeed’s satirical video, “What Men Are Really Saying When Catcalling Women”.

In the video, posted online in early August, BuzzFeed delves deeper into the issue of catcalling by suggesting what men are really thinking when making the decision to scream degrading language to a female passerby.

The video included clever scenes of men sticking their torsos out of car windows and yelling phrases like, “Society makes me feel like I have to objectify you to feel manly”, or approaching a girl while saying “Wait up, actually I don’t know why I told you to wait up cause I don’t have the confidence to keep talking to you.”

I’m sure most women on campus can relate to the feeling of having profanity screamed at them by a group of men — I know I certainly can.

What many men who choose to comment that catcalling is “no big deal” or “just a joke, where’s your sense of humour?” don’t realize is how uncomfortable it actually feels to be called on in public for absolutely no reason.

To me, catcalling feels akin to being in the fourth grade and having a group of bigger, stronger sixth grade children come up and start yelling at me and calling me names.

Whether or not it’s a “complimentary” catcall or otherwise, the simple act of feeling entitled to objectify and yell your opinion regarding a female stranger’s appearance is an action that leaves the catcaller feeling elevated and powerful and the recipient feeling judged and often powerless.

Maybe the reason why so many commenters on the BuzzFeed video don’t understand the severity of the issue is because it’s almost impossible to fully understand certain situations if you’ve never been the victim of them.

Sexism is at the root of catcalling, which is why you seldom, if ever, see men being catcalled. In my opinion, that’s exactly why when it comes to issues like catcalling, the male population should reserve their comments entirely.

Olivia is the Journal’s Arts Editor. She’s a third-year economics major.

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