Catcalling: it’s not big. It’s not clever. And it’s not going to get you laid.

Here I am, walking home from work, exhausted, eyeliner half way down my face with an apron on that makes me look like a frumpy pilgrim who has just given birth to her 12th child.

Along comes a group of boys in their light blue Renault Clio, some form of house music blaring and seats so far back it looks like a 6 year old is driving.

“Here it comes” I think and sure enough, a cry of “get yer tits out for the lads!” is hurled at me through the window.

I would pay to see the woman who gets so aroused by this she goes running after the car, clothes flying in the air as she rushes to the bed of this ‘macho’ boy.

Let me make this clear, it’s not going to happen. The ‘lad’ never gets the girl. He gets a stiff middle finger in the air or a slap in the face, not to mention a bad reputation among women.

cat calling pic1

‘Cat calling’ is when someone is verbally harassed in a derogatory manner in a public space: in bars, shops, and on the street.

For some reason, many ‘men’ seem to think this is an acceptable form of behaviour. I have asked a few male friends why they think their friends harass people on the street and the majority of them have replied they do it to ‘impress their mates’.

This doesn’t make sense to me; fair enough, if you’re attracted to men, then continue to impress men (although I highly doubt gay men would be wooed or impressed by this either) but if you’re attracted to women, don’t insult them.

So what can we do about it ladies? We can’t lower ourselves to their level, but we can’t ignore it either. I think the best way forward is to address this with our male friends. Tell them when we’re annoyed, embarrassed or feel unsafe because some guy just shouted something at us in the street. Female oppression is so last century!

Hollaback is a non-profit organisation that has been set up to fight against street harassment. The idea is simple: write on their social networking pages about an incident when you have been harassed and essentially shame the offender. Raising awareness is the only way to stop this.

P.S. Advice to the wise ‘Lad’, keep it up and your right hand and tub of vaseline will be your best friends for life.

Sincerely,

A pissed off ‘sweetheart’