“Guys, catcalls are never cool”

Micah Toub wrote a thoughtful, great article on street harassment for Toronto’s The Globe and Mail called “Guys, catcalls are never cool.” He discusses how women feel about street harassment and some of the reasons why men do it. His conclusion for how men can flirt without being a harasser:

“The thing I was thinking after these conversations, is that a smile – even if underneath it lies a more carnivorous urge – can at least be interpreted by its receiver any way she wants. Or ignored. So in the same way that women have attempted to take back the street, I’d suggest that the good men out there take back the street flirt, by starting again from square one.

When it comes to expressing springtime desires, less is definitely more.”

Image from Globe & Mail

I chatted with Micah last week and was very pleased by the quotes he included from me. A few times in the past I’ve been misquoted in articles and was not in this one. I also love the quotes from Dr. Michael Kimmel. I find that he always has interesting information on masculinity issues.

What are your thoughts? What constitutes acceptable flirting and unacceptable harassment?

2 Responses to “Guys, catcalls are never cool”

  1. Margaret says:

    If someone in public wants to approach me and have a conversation, I like it if they start in an innocent way. They can say hello, ask me the time, whatever. If there’s chemistry, the conversation will become flirtatious naturally. Compliments are fine at this point, if they’re respectful and non-sexually explicit. The main thing is that it’s reciprocal. If the woman is not interested, just back off! It’s that simple.

  2. Sarah says:

    This article reminds me of a quote from a book by Gavin de Becker “Men fear that women will laugh at them. Women fear that men will kill them.” Just about sums up the female experience imho.

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