|How Women Are Catcalled
Picture Credit: GURL
Walking down the street is a chore for women; especially if there are men positioned anywhere on that street. Most ladies will tell you they have been catcalled one way or the other.
Catcalling is one of the most annoying things uncultured men do to women that just set our teeth on edge. If you don’t know, ‘catcalling’ is;
‘…a loud whistle or a comment of a sexual nature made by a man to a passing woman.’
English Oxford Living Dictionaries
The calls may be as simple as ‘see fine babe’ or as crude as ‘chai! See nyash’. The latter happened to me recently.
I was crossing the road when this car sped up, making me break out in a run. When the car got close to me, the idiot of a driver slowed down and shouted, ‘see as your nyash dey bounce as you dey run.’ He laughed and drove away when I donned on my ratchet persona and cussed him out.
What this driver did to me is pretty regular for many girls.
Recently in fact, news outlets carried the story of a big breasted lady who was followed by lascivious and leering men in Computer Village, Lagos. She smiled in the pictures but you know she was doing so from a place of embarrassment and fear. The men however didn’t think they were doing anything wrong. They laughed and openly stared at her breasts and some idiots even went as far as trying to touch her.
Many of these men do it be appreciative of a woman while others do it because they have the feeling of entitlement. They are taught that they can have any woman they want and women should be happy that they deigned to show us some appreciation. Either way, catcalling is fucking wrong!
And before bigger idiots say this type of behavior only happens to women who are scantily dressed or who wear clinging clothes, let me shut them down quickly.
On one Friday while I was in Lagos, I wore my custom Abaya – a long flowing dress mostly worn by Arab women – and tied my hair. I looked like a Muslim woman and assumed that few people will bother me, what with how women generally dress in Lagos. When I got to Ojuelegba, this agbero saw me and started following me. He kept saying, ‘Hausa girl, wetin you dey hide under that cloth? Come make I show you big prick.’ I was shocked beyond words but continued on my way. When I lost my cool was the moment the man put his hand on me. I flipped and went ham on him and rather than be chastised by the other men, even the ones who seemed educated, people patted his back and laughed at me. I was nearly moved to tears and my only escape was quickly taking a bike and getting the hell out of that place.
People say only uneducated men catcall. Well…I disagree. Even very educated, uncultured men catcall. It is important to know that being educated does not instantly mean being cultured. For the English maybe but not for the African and on behalf of women everywhere, I am saying we are sick and tired of this vile and disgusting behavior! What the hell men?!
Oh! There are some women who love it when guys catcall them because they feel it is a compliment but these women have to check themselves. Their self-worth must be in the gutters somewhere.
The truth is that most men who catcall think that it will somehow lead to sex. Like I am going to take off my clothes and sleep with a complete idiot who sees me on the road and comments on the size of my butt. Dude, wake the hell up! Almost 99.99% of the time, a woman doesn’t respond favorably to catcalls. In fact Bustle’s ‘Do You Respond to Catcalling? 23 Women Reveal How They Reply To Street Harassment’ is a direct proof of this. So why do men think it is okay to continue doing so?
This has to stop. And men have to help make it stop. Women have been complaining about this forever with very little respite so it is time to get men to join in on the complaint. If these men didn’t think that catcalling is wrong, why do they almost never do it when a woman is walking with a man? Or even when they do, it is probably because the man is smaller or far less threatening than they are.
There are many times when we see a man so fine that we just want to say hello. But you never see us catcalling men, howling or whistling to show him our ‘appreciation’, do you?
Whether men accept it or not, catcalling is sexual harassment and like all forms of sexual harassment, it is demeaning! Again, this has to fucking stop!
This was an answer that was given to the question, ‘Does Catcalling Happen In East Asia and if so, Is It a Big Issue?’ on Quora.
‘It is extremely rare, if it ever happens. In East Asian countries, it is rude to display your sexuality so overtly. People are a lot more conservative there and public displays of affection are frowned upon. Catcalling is a very forward act and in East Asian countries, overt flirting is not really done in public, especially with strangers. People are expected to act properly and to be so loud, crude, and overtly sexual would be considered a flagrant violation of that. There is something very immodest about catcalling and that also violates the social norm of modesty in East Asian countries. If you choose to catcall, you will be seen as an oafish boor whose parents shamefully did not raise you properly. In South Korea, family background is emphasized and if you display such crudeness, that will be put into doubt, putting your prospects of marriage and employment at risk. You will not be popular at the very least.’
There are other articles on catcalling in East Asia, with special emphasis on South Korea. If they can deem it as ‘rude’, ‘forward’, ‘overtly sexual’, ‘crude’, ‘shameful’, ‘immodest’ and even describe catcallers as ‘oafish boors’, why can’t we do the same?
Again…this has to stop! And it boils down to us frowning down on this crudeness together.