It's hard to pick the most degrading time I was catcalled. It could be the time a car full of men followed me down the street and threatened to jump out and grab me; it could be the time I tried to walk home from a bar alone and had a stranger get close enough to whisper, "Where's the party?" in my ear; it could be the time a middle schooler said I had a nice ass while he was waiting for his mom to pick him up from school. And it's not just the fact that I immediately feel gross, or that the attention was unwanted (although both are true); it's that I don't feel safe confronting them. So now, thanks to BuzzFeed, here are a few questions we have for catcallers, because honestly, at this point, I want to know what the eff is the deal.
"Questions Women Have for Catcallers," one of the latest videos from BuzzFeed Yellow, doesn't have any fun graphics or sound effects. There's no wacky premise this time around. Nope — it's just woman after woman after woman, with question after question after question, for all of our not-so-favorite catcallers out there. What most of them get at, of course, is very simple:
This is not the first time that catcalling has been addressed by the media; in fact, it's a pretty tried and true debate at this point. The arguments usually go as follows: Women say it makes them feel unsafe, uncomfortable, degraded, hesitant to wear certain things or to walk certain places alone — and men just roll their eyes and say, "Relax, it's a compliment" over and over and over again. Oh, and they also frequently lob the following question at us: "Why would you wear that outfit if you didn't want male attention?" Great question. Because I only dress for the male gaze, of course! Like, what even is a mirror? I don't know, I just look at myself in the reflection of men's eyes. (Except no. An outfit is never an invitation for harassment. Ever.)
So now it's our turn to ask some questions. Here are a few of them; scroll down to watch the full video. Catcallers, are you listening?
1. Has this ever worked for you?
No, but actually though, I'm curious. Has it? Ever?
2. Does degrading me make you feel more like a man?
3. Why would you ever think this is a compliment?
4. If so many women hate it, why do you keep doing it?
It's not a compliment if you're making a woman feel threatened, and if you really do "care" about women, then why would you intentionally do something that makes them feel uncomfortable?
5. You probably hate women, right?
6. Do you really think I owe you a response?
Check out the full video below:
Images: garryknight/Flickr; BuzzFeed Yellow/YouTube (7)