I guarantee you if you ask any woman in you’re life, they will tell you that they have been cat called at least once. They will also most likely tell you that they hated it.
The first time I remember being cat called was when I was 11, walking to the park with my friend. I was actually terrified. A grown man called to me from his truck, some thing along the lines of “hey sexy!”.
I remember when I was 13 being followed around the mall with another friend. He called to us and we ignored it, and that made him angry. He cursed at us and after a while he eventually left us alone.
I’ve been told to take my shirt off, to shake my butt, to come closer, to smile, to do sexual things, and to go to hell when I did not respond. Are you starting to see the predatorial aspect yet?
Cat calling is about power. When someone cat calls me I know that I have a solid chance of being physically harmed if I do not respond. There have been women legitimately killed for ignoring or saying no to cat calling.
The men who cat call know this. They know that they can say anything they want to me and any other woman and that we can’t do much to stop it. It’s a power play.
“Learn how to take a compliment” is my favorite response to disliking cat calling. Let me explain why the things we hear are no where close to compliments and why, even if they are compliments, they are not wanted. Things I’ve had men personally yell to me: hey sexy, why don’t you show a little more skin for me. Why don’t you put that pretty mouth to use? You’d be a lot prettier if you (insert absurd idea here). I can think of a few things I’d like to do to you.
Do you get the idea yet? It’s all about objectification. My body is mine, what I do with my body is my business, and I don’t care what you want with it. Men feel entitled to women’s bodies and they hide behind “freedom of speech” to let us know that they only see us as sex objects.
Other than a power surge, what do men get from cat calling? Nothing. I’ve never heard a relationship origin story that started with a man yelling obscenities at a woman and then her agreeing to go on a date. The idea of cat calling is outrageous.
All in all, cat calling is not and never will be a compliment. Please evaluate what you are doing and why.