I used to think that catcalling was such an innocent exercise. After all, what better way is there to let some random person on the street know you find them desirable? I used to think it was the only way to express my sexual frustration to strangers, until I had it happen to me. I was catcalled by a group of rambunctious girls in a car and I didn’t like it at all. Now I know what ladies have been going through all this time.
First, it’s necessary to set the scene of my humiliation. It was a Saturday night and I was meandering around Jasper Ave. on my way to a social function. The party I was attending required formal attire, and I pulled out all the stops and was dressed to impress — imagine a mix between Don Draper and Pierce Brosnan. That’s how I imagine it, anyways. I spent hours working on my hair, bleaching my teeth and performing my vigorous facial scrubbing routine — go big or go home is my motto.
I’m crossing the intersection on Jasper Avenue and 101 Street when a car of four ladies rolls down its windows and one of them yells something sexually suggestive while honking their horn at me. The only words I could make out were “sexy” and “boi” — at least I’m pretty sure that’s how they pronounced it. I was taken aback and left unable to come up with a witty retort. The car sped away when the light turned green and I was left to pick up the pieces of my broken psyche.
Women everywhere should know that catcalling is definitely not the way to let a man know you’re interested, even if seems like the appropriate thing to do in that situation. I’m no stranger to yelling sexual comments to passersby on the street — I used to work in construction — but I feel like it’s my duty to get the word out to the larger female population that this is not okay.
People around me keep telling me that I should feel flattered by those catcalls — like it’s some kind of amazing compliment. Maybe I should, it’s not like I regularly turn heads when I’m strutting down the street. But to tell you the truth, I don’t feel flattered at all. I feel objectified and bullied. Sure, these women may have been trying to compliment me in a strange way, but it just ends up sounding barbaric.
Perhaps the worst part about this situation is that these girls turned me into nothing more than an object with their sexual leering — just a male piece of meat and nothing more. Yeah, they may have been trying to express their admiration for the clothes I was wearing or the way my hair was combed or the boyish charm I emit, but I’m so much more than that. It feels so shallow to only be wanted for your looks. I’m so much more than just a good suit and a confident stride. I have thoughts, opinions and desires that are important. I’m not here to be your eye candy.
There’s absolutely no reason why we can’t have positive, non-sexual catcalling. Those girls could have paid me a real compliment by sticking their heads out the window and yelling something like, “Hey boy, you look like you read a lot of books and have a pretty decent GPA. May I take you on a date?” Or something like, “Hello person who I don’t mind admitting is quite handsome, but don’t mean to offend. You look like a guy who’s backpacked through Europe once or twice. Would you like to walk up Whyte Ave. and then drink coffee in an independent hipster book store?” I would love to hear things like that on the street. However, I must settle for “compliments” like, “Hey, boy” and “Work it sexy.” It makes me shudder.
Ladies, next time you feel like catcalling a random guy on the street because you think he’s hot, don’t do it. In no way, shape or form is it a compliment. No man is ever happy or flattered to have some disgusting sexual drivel yelled at him by a passerby. It’s time to grow up and realize that real beauty comes from within.
The Gateway shows you how to stylishly channel your summer festival attendance into psychedelic print.
After many years of standing near the top of the market, Rockstar has developed various flavours to complement its original energy drink. In spite of these, it’s time to revisit the classic to determine whether it still stands up against its more eclectic brethren.