Samantha Krotzer wrote a great street harassment opinion piece for The Temple News Online. She discusses how much she dislikes men’s “catcalls.”
“It was at that moment I decided this: I have had it. I am a female, not a feline, and the “catcalls” men make are offensive and a form of sexual harassment.”
She talks about what’s behind their actions.
“What they say is meaningless,” said Laura Levitt, director of the women’s studies program at Temple. “They use the power of the anonymous guy to make comments to you.”
Of course, not all men disrespect women in this manner, but Levitt said some men feel they have a heterosexual masculinity privilege that gives them the right to say offensive things to women.
“It is some sort of entitlement for men,” Levitt said. “It is really not OK.”
Krotzer experiments with catcalling at men to show how stupid it is.
“As men walked by, I held nothing back. I whistled at a middle-aged man, made indecent grunts at teenage boys and even snuck in a “nice butt” to a man in a business suit.
Guess how many positive reactions I received. Zero. Instead, I received looks that screamed, “Are you insane?” And a couple of men even told me I was being rude and immature.”
And she shares some ideas for how women can take back some of the power harassing men try to take from them.
For example, after a man catcalled her, she asked him where he was going to take her for dinner (since he must just be simply enamored with her to harass her on the street). He was surprised, stuttered for a few minutes, then said “Olive Garden.” He clearly wasn’t expecting to take her anywhere.
One of Krotzer’s friends says it’s safer to stand up to harassers by ignoring them. Levitt suggests whistling in the faces of men who harass you. Krotzer closes by saying, “Maybe blowing a whistle in these guys’ faces will help them realize how annoying their comments are.”
Have you tried any unusual tactics to challenge harassing men?