Catcalling affects women of all ages. But what do female students at SLA really think of the practice? What’s it like when they experience it? Here are their stories:
Alex Rivera, Sophomore
In the beginning of this year, I was getting off the bus to go home after school. I’m walking down the street minding my business and then this 40 something year old man who had a cane comes out of nowhere and is like “Oh who gave you that body.” I ignored him of course just kept walking, then he yells “Not trying to be rude but you got a fat ass.” All I could do was roll my eyes and keep walking.
Tia Roberts, Junior
I’m at work looking really gross with all this pizza dough and sauce all over my face and this guy walks in and starts blowing kisses at me. So I turn around and pretend to make pizza like I didn’t see him or whatever. Then he walks to my register and gives me his money for his food and I look at it and his number is written on it. I look back up at him and he says “Call me, ma.” I ignored him and when he left I threw it away. I was so annoyed.
Olivia Cooper, Junior
I was on my way home from my internship, sitting on the bus. This guy was on with me and he had been staring at me the whole time. I thought it was a little weird that when I got off so did he and I kept turning around because I noticed he was walking behind me and had been for a while. He started yelling at me about my bra size. He was like “Ayo ma would they fit in my mouth.” I ignored him and then started walking faster.
In these stories and others, female students expressed a common theme of being uncomfortable and feeling unsafe when catcalling happens.
“It made me feel weird and angry because I didn’t want the attention. I was just disgusted by the whole thing,” Junior Jaszmine Randle said.
The most interesting part of the entire interviews were the fact that all the females interviewed do not believe in engaging back with the person catcalling them.
“I don’t say anything back because I’m scared they might continue to pursue me.” says Junior Fatoumata Camara.
“I just try to get away as fast as I can.“
Despite the obvious discomfort they give, catc allers continue to do it. But why do men catcall in the first place?
“Guys tend to catcall because they want to show masculinity, or to show off in front of their friends, at least that’s why I do it ” said Senior Arsenio Gomez.
“A lot of men grow up in environments where this seems like the norm so they think it’s okay. The issue with it is that people don’t understand how that makes women feel.”
Men think we like being called out for our bodies and our appearances. They believe we are flattered by the attention and that them doing those things will help them “score”.
Junior Alexa Lahr believes the reason men catcall is because “They think they are supposed to be in charge of us and believe they can take control of us. It’s not the 50s, we aren’t just housewives anymore. Things need to change.”