1 August 2014

Catcalling and being a lady

This is something slightly different to my usual posts, but something I feel I need to share and talk about. It's highly possible a woman reading this has had some relation to it or heard of it. Them self or someone they know. 

Catcalling. 'catcall' i.e: A loud whistle or a comment of a sexual nature made by a man to a passing woman. 

I'll admit, it hasn't happened to myself until now, but that didn't mean I was ignorant to this disgusting thing. That was until last week, when I found myself being shouted at and treated like a piece of meat, catcalled. 

It takes a lot to make me very angry, angry to the point as in shaking and physically un-able to get words out kind of angry. But this certainly done that.

Catcalling is certainly nothing new. It's been shown constantly in shows, adverts, cartoons, music, music videos and so on for many decades. Certainly in the 50's to the 60's. 
I, in the year 2014 just cannot see how anyone, man or female, dog, hamster, fish finds this acceptable or taken as a joke at all? please fill me in if you can.

A friend and I decided to get our nails done last week and went locally. We of course went to the salon together and what not. Half way through I needed to go and add more money for a car park pay and display. I took my purse and told her I'll be back quick. I ran through the apparent storm starting getting soaked in my sandals. This was at 11am neary mid day.

Okay, so like every single stereotypical and ignorant response when a story of this nature is written is; "well what was she wearing? I mean, if she was showing her boobs or her bum then no wonder this happened." do.not.even. This angers me so much. I do not care what a girl was wearing, never ever is anything under that bracket is it acceptable. Wearing anything does not give anyone the right to someone in the slightest. 

But, okay I'll entertain this, not that I need to justify my clothing. I naturally dress quite modestly and reserved for my age I guess, even when I go clubbing I don't show off my body.
I was wearing a high neck loose fitting vest, not showing my cleavage in the slightest fyi and a pencil skirt that went down to way below my knees. I had got the pencil skirt the day before and was trying a different style out for once. So, you can see the shape of my hips- oh my imagine a girl having hips that she was born with! Oh my goodness, what? a girl has a bum, passes out of shock. 10 points to Gryfindor. A human should be able to walk in public without being harassed, it is their personal choice in what they wear.

Too many young girls don’t know how to act when someone’s being inappropriate with them. They giggle or they try to brush it off. Don’t do that. Tell them to go fuck themselves - be a bitch. If someone’s being disrespectful to you, be disrespectful right back. Show them the same amount of respect that they show you.

 I saw girls in bra tops and tight pencil skirts like mine, or in those denim hot pant shorts where you can see their bum cheeks, going shopping today and yeah okay, maybe it's a bit out there for my personal clothing choice, but it's exactly that, choice. Their choice, and I'm 100% for girls wearing whatever the bloody hell they want without being treated in a disgusting way. 

Getting back to it. I walked past a block of shops. I tend to pretty much keep focused in-front of me and not really look at people that much when I walk, it stresses me out. I however, occasionally look to the side, I saw a guy next to a delivery van standing at the back and caught a look at him (in the most un-romantic, I literally just happened to look right way) and just thought nothing of it. I sorted my car out, and returned the same way I had there. He was still there and I didn't even look at him. I heard him mutter something in his language and instantly looked. He had the most disgusting, perverted look on his face, chuckling and whistling, saying 'oh yeah girl, mmm yeah'  looking me up and down and nodding his head.
Sorry, but excuse me?

I'll admit, in the past year, I have gained so so much confidence that I will 100% say something if i'm not happy with it. I'm finally comfortable in my body, happy and confident, something college has definitely helped with. Even my friends have commented how much I've changed. 

Without even thinking, I did the most disgusted look at him and (please excuse my language here guys) told him to "go F himself, you are a disgusting perverted human being, who the F do you think you are." To this, he chuckled more. It's as if this amused him, he was happy he had ruined my day and made me un-comfortable. I then repeated again "You're a disgusting old man, go F yourself" and turnt back round. He was not british so it was really hard to understand what he then said to me next, not that I gave a crap. My response was incredibly simple, yet effective. I turned back round and carried on walking and put my middle finger up for a good minute as I walked away from this rat of a man. 
Out of curiosity, do you think this was right of me to do? Everyone can say 'oh well I would do this and that and say this' but until you are in that situation, your body and it's instincts will take over, and mine definitely did. I am not a sexual object, a piece of meat, I'm a human. I'm a woman minding my own business going to my car in the middle of the day.

This was even in the bright mid day of a Friday, with a couple of people walking in and out of shops. I would have been very scared if this happened in the evening in the dark. Terrified in-fact.

I was certainly not going to let myself get dis-respected in this way and say nothing. But okay, maybe did I give him the reaction he wanted? maybe. But in no way would I have ignored something like this. I'm the exact same for sticking up for my friends when on occasions they have been dis-respected when on nights out. It's just my natural instinct to protect my friends.

Goodness knows what traffic thought as I put my middle finger up walking down the high street, but oh well. I returned to my friend and explained what had just happened. It hit me and the shock of the event took over and I was breathing really fast, my heart was pumping. It's only when you stop you realise, adrenaline was pumping through me. This may be more of a common thing in big towns and cities. But this was nothing I had personally witnessed or even had done to myself before. Maybe I am a little reserved in little things like this, and I'm definitely not used to being treated or around things like that. As my friend put it jokingly 'you are too posh for this Sam, It happens all the time in London'
I took to twitter, that was once I had calmed down. Link to my tweets here and here
Just imagine if I had tweeted when I was still angry, just saying. 
I read on Tumblr occasions like this and just imagine how the woman feels. I am disgusted, absolutely disgusted. 

I also find it odd, how it's never the other way round. And no no no I will not be going to this 'not all men' because that is something completely different, something I could write 100 pages about. 
But the video below raises a point. You do not commonly see women act this way, wouldn't men find it odd, weird and un-comfortable? 

I felt pretty weird for the rest of the day. I just felt really disgusted and questionable about the whole situation. I was a little flustered and confused and tried to work out how in anybodies head this was justifiable. You definitely would not have done this if I was walking with my boyfriend, my dad or anyone else. Actually, maybe if you were that low you would. I went home and I got my long parker coat and drove to meet my boyfriend. I felt like I wanted to wrap and cover up so I wouldn't be subjected to any comments, what bloody world is this. First question? Sam why are you wearing a vest, sandals and a long coat when it's hot summer out here? yep, I kinda got catcalled darling.

Has this happened to you? how did you react, did you comment or ignore it? How do you feel about this whole subject? I would really love to know your opinions and experiences! 

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  1. i'm 100% with you on all of this! i get so tired of being conscious of my skirt/dress's length while i'm out, constantly feeling the need to pull it down if i'm nearing passing with a man because i just don't want to risk receiving any unwanted looks or comments.

    not so long ago i was walking to a club for a night out with a couple of girl friends when two guys crossed the road up ahead of us and then proceeded to verbally harass us as we passed. i then questioned them on why they were sexually harassing us in the street and why they felt it was acceptable, to which they then turned nasty, calling me things such as 'fat' and a 'bitch' all the while laughing to themselves about it. after the incident, my friends told me they couldn't believe i responded how i did and said that they wouldn't dare reply to street harassment, which in itself is so incredibly sad, but i suppose it makes sense when men can react so nastily to your response – who knows, it could even lead to violence! i frequently tell random men in the street to fuck off if they comment on my appearance, it's not even something i think about anymore. sadly, i've also confronted men (a lot older than me, may i add) about touching my body without my permission while i'm in pubs. the whole situation is just so desperately sad and i really think it's time women started sticking up for themselves – and other women! – when these situations arise. at least if we stick together there's then a smaller risk of the men becoming dangerous when we respond?

    but ultimately, it's sad that it's even a problem to begin with. imagine treating women as humans instead of pieces of meat, ey?

    robyn x

    1. Thanks so much for your comment Robyn!

      I'm the same with feeling conscious of pulling clothing down all the time and being aware.
      Good on you for approaching them and questioning them about it, it's ironic that they stoop as low to call a woman names, which only says to me they have no answer to your question and have no true justification to it, so resort to calling you names, rather playground like!

      I definitely agree with you on the turning violent part, that's the only thing and I probably would never react if it was late or I was on my own, it would be a really nasty situation to be in. Ah, yes I've heard alot of people say this as well in pubs, I've had it myself in clubs, it's disgusting! again, I really cannot see how this is justifiable in the mans mind!
      Yes, I agree- I think if many more women actually stood and made a scene it would be totally flipped around and probably improve all of it. Not even women, even if men witnessed it and chipped in to say and commented it isn't right. Who knows.
      Yes, exactly, you stand much more powerful as a unit then as an individual, I definitely think women should stand up for eachother and stick together.
      It's just annoying and so wrong how men laugh it off as if this isn't a serious matter!


  2. This is something I had a lot of when I was younger, literally when I was as young as 14, as soon as Men see a young girl in a dress or skirt (and by all means I never wore anything too short), they presume they can whistle at you, like you're some kind of animal. There was one time I was waiting for the bus and had a bunch of builders, about 6 of them working on the building opposite just stood there whistling and shouting oi oi and things at me, I was 14, FOURTEEN, it made me feel disgusting, upset and actually caused me to be scared to go out for almost a year, it's like they look at you as a piece of meat..

    Now I have my own daughter, I would kick anyones ass that ever made her feel the way I did, I will teach her to talk back and ask them why they're whistling, what their problem is and if they could please stop acting like animals and respect women!



    1. Thank you for your comment, Jess!
      Oh my, 14? that's just so wrong, so so wrong. That's just a horrible experience to go through at any age, but as a young teenage girl just simply waiting for a bus, when you do not really know what to do or react is wrong. When I think of it, I even had it in my uniform at 14 when we had to wear knee high socks with a school skirt and I got whistled at walking home. At the time I didn't have a clue about all of that and was quite confused.

      That is definitely a lovely thing to do with your daughter, and when the time comes I will also do the same with my children. I definitely believe with this younger generation there will be changes on how they are bought up, may be time for changing how people are taught on how men treat women and how women react to being treated this way.

  3. Brilliant post! I've had situations like this too many times I'm afraid. And It's sad that we all still feel the need to justify what we were wearing! Boys go round topless in Summer but no girl would be all like "ohh heyyy man you so sexy goddammm fiiiiine". I started getting shit like this when I was 13 :/ which is so so disgusting and perverted! One of the worst was when I was 14, went into my quaint lil home town, waiting to cross at the lights and an old guy, and a younger guy were waiting to cross as well. The old guy kept looking at me and making faces and eventually spoke to me and asked if I'd ever been to Ibiza (obvs not at 14) and telling me I should come with him and then some disgusting stuff. I freaked and ran home. So gross. Another time I was walking into town and a group of guys in their car shouted out the windows at me, pulled up further ahead and all got out the car and started coming towards me! Again I legged it home! I've had too many horrible guy experiences :( xo
    amber love

  4. Love this post! I've experience situations like this too many times, and it's so horrible. Firstly in agreement with you, what women wear is a choice and should never EVER be used in justification for somebody's acts against them. Im sorry you've had this experience and I think you definitely reacted in the right way, men who do things like this need to be told that its not ok and they can 'F off'. Even if he's not effected by it, some people might be when they realise a women doesn't appreciate it.

    One of my worst experiences was when I was only about 15 in a queue and an old man was behind me and touched my bum, I was shocked and didn't know what to do, I felt violated and at that age was too scared to say something. Now I always say something, in fact In a club I had a guy repeatedly touch me even after I asked him not to, and he just laughed each time and carried on. Some men think they have a right to touch a women and that her clothing means she has no say in her own body. It makes me so angry, sometimes I do get scared that in standing up for myself and defending my body I'm going to putt myself in a vulnerable position if men get angry, especially when they're drunk.

    It's certainly true that its not all men, but it is men more a considerable amount more than women. Being a women means being vulnerable, constantly aware and made to feel afraid. Walking home alone at night, if something like this happened you'd be terrified and fear for your safety and life, and that is so unfair.

    I could talk about this issue all day, and I think more people need to talk about it to hopefully make men realise what they are doing to us.

    Emma x
    Writing Essays With Wine

  5. I completely agree with you. When i was about 14/15 i remember being shouted at by a load of builders. It may be all fun and games to them but it really shook me up! Whats worse is if you tell other people about it, they assume your boasting about it like its a compliment! Some men arent worth the time of day!


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