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July 4, 2015

A Warning to the Men who Catcall: I am Not your Baby.

catcalling

I am not your baby nor even your babe.

I was not put here on this Earth to have you whistle and holler at me, while I am out and about enjoying my life.

My body is not public property nor is it a piece of art to be casually commented about.

As a woman, I don’t get ready in the morning attempting to impress or attract those I encounter on the streets. I don’t brush my hair in the hopes that a man will be impressed by the sheen nor do I apply my make-up and choose my clothing in hopes of turning on a stranger.

We are supposed to be in the age of equality and yet I wonder—why is it that men still feel entitled to whistle and call out to women on the street?

Regrettably this makes me believe that men still view us as property and that they feel entitled purely by their gender to call out shallow and sometimes lewd comments based on our physical appearance alone.

Personally, the aspect of catcalling which really exasperates me, is when men do it and see me with my two children.

Today, I was in my introvert mode—complete with baseball cap and big sunglasses. I was in the mood to not be seen and so when a group of men drove past me as I was buckling my youngest into her car seat and proceeded to whistle and say “Hey Baby.”—it took everything I had to not shout “F*ck you.”

Normally, I shrug off incidents like this—but today it struck a cord in me and genuinely made me angry that someone who doesn’t know me would think they have to right to do this.

Afterward, I sat in my car and wondered what about my appearance made these men think that it was okay to say what they did? What I quickly realized is that it doesn’t matter what I look like or what I chose to wear—none of it is an invitation to be called out to on the streets by strangers.

Whether I am in sweats or a sundress—I am not asking to be noticed.

Catcalling is not a compliment—women don’t smile and then go on to have a better day because someone decided to whistle and comment on our #ss or breasts.

Being physically attractive, although subjective, is thought to be a gift—but in a society where men feel the right to judge us based on looks alone, it can be a silent burden to bear.

I am not the size or rise of my breasts. I am not the blonde of my hair nor the length. I am not my shapely legs—to comment on these aspects of my body, if you are not my lover, is to insult the very person who I am.

It is a blatant insult to all women.

Women are incredible.

We walk with confidence and smile in the sunlight—yet regardless of what we wear or how we look—we are never asking to be catcalled on the street.

In this time where we are embracing equality for all, I am hoping that we can also end the era of catcalling—because no one should be judged on looks alone. Period.

This is not a standard that women should become desensitized to and accept as the norm.

At the end of the day, what all women crave is to be valued for who we truly are—and this does not include the color of our eyes nor the clothes we wear.

We want to be desired because of our loving nature and appreciated for our skills and our intellect.

We know that we may be beautiful—but we also know we are much more.

For all the men who have catcalled please take this as warning—next time you are on the street and you see a beautiful woman—think about how you would want a man to talk to your mother, your sister and especially your daughter.

If you wouldn’t say it to them or with them standing beside you—then you shouldn’t say it at all.

Women are not waiting to be noticed—but simply to be respected as equals.

~

Relephant: 

Why a Catcall Makes Me Feel Rage for All Women.

~

Author: Kate Rose

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: flickr

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