An Open Letter to Catcallers

Dear Catcallers, I am human. I walk, talk, breathe just like you.
Artwork by Christabelle Blake

Dear Catcallers,

I am human. I walk, talk, breathe just like you. I eat dinner and sleep just like you. So why is it, when I’m walking down the street, you treat me like I am less than you. You make me feel ashamed and less than human when you decide to yell crude and vile things.

I do not find your words endearing. I do not find them flattering. It does not make me proud to be the object of your affection for those precious two seconds we share together. I feel dead inside when you feel the need to holler, kiss, whistle at me like a dog. Last time I checked, I am not a domesticated animal but a woman that you feel the need to objectify.

“Boys will be boys” is not an excuse for treating women like they’re just a pair of breasts and a butt. Ogling at a woman is no better, wipe that drool from your mouth and calm down.

It’s annoying that it doesn’t only happen when I’m walking down the street, but also on social media. I’m just trying to post a picture of myself or with friends, and here you are, “sliding into my DMs”, saying really bad pickup lines, thinking that your smooth texts are going to persuade me to somehow get me to go out on a date with you? Do you not realize that it’s something that girls view as creepy, and sad because you’re hiding behind a phone screen from which you can say anything or send anything.

 I prefer to stay in because I am a broke college student. My hobbies are sleeping and binge watching Netflix. Stepping out into the outside world is already a big inconvenience, and when I do decide to step foot outside my home, being a sex object to a man rolling down the street making an awkward few seconds of eye contact isn’t ideal.  

In this generation it’s hard being a woman who isn’t objectified or deemed as boobs on legs. We are harassed in the streets and on our screens with this new age of social media. We see these men catcalling who view themselves as manly. As a woman, I see them as pathetic, because they have their courage behind a locked door and partly rolled up window. Boy, do they seem like keepers.

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“Think before you speak” is nowhere in mind. I am just trying to get from point A to point B with my head held down and headphones in. God forbid I were to retaliate and actually use my brain to put them in their place. This angers me because women have to keep their composure, when they’re being catcalled then cussed at for not responding.

 Just like anyone else I enjoy being complimented and told that I am beautiful; it’s empowering. But I dress cute and put on makeup for myself. I do it because it makes me feel beautiful. I do it for me, not for you. And, when you whistle at me, you take that feeling away and replace it with disgust.

Being harassed is not something anyone enjoys. It’s a thing that should be outlawed, because it doesn’t benefit anyone. I mean, it’s not a story you can tell your kids.

“How did you and mom meet?”

 “Well I was driving down Bristol and yelled, ‘Mamacita, you got cake!’”

 “And that’s how I knew he was the one for me.”

This story really competes with Romeo and Juliet, doesn’t it? It just doesn’t work for anyone in any situation. Please send help, because it’s a disease that is spreading to all ages.


With Love,

The Girl You Yodel at When Driving 40 mph

Jillian Cathey
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