Tag Archives: catcall

Annika Scourse

Why do I need feminism? I am thirteen years old. I have always had a fiery passion for feminism and people’s rights. I read ‘Girl Up’ and heard about this online project. I thought that this would be a great place to share a story which really changed me. I was walking home from a school theatre rehearsal, in full costume, when I walked past a male builder, maybe late thirties? He gave me a strange look. I’d had that before and it annoyed me, but I kept walking. Then he stopped and I heard his voice- ‘nice legs you got there. just saying. they’re gorgeous,’ . I was shocked. No one had ever said anything like that to me, I did all I could at the moment, which was keep walking forwards, tears streaming down my face. When I got home and lay sobbing into my pillow, my feelings turned from fear to pure anger. Anger at him, anger at myself. Why had I gotten so upset? People were going through so much worse every minute of every day. Did I even deserve to be affected? Also angry at myself because I hadn’t spoken out. Why not? Why had I been so terrified? Why are girls like me scared to stand up for ourselves in front of sleazy men in the streets? I know the answers to those questions, and THAT is why I need feminism.

E

I was walking down a street in my neighbourhood with my sister (Im 14, she was 18) playing pokemon go, when a car beeps. We where unsure at first if the car was beeping at us or beeping at a car, but then it starts to follow us. to be safe we turned back the way, but then the car turns round (bear in mind this was a tricky corner to turn round in again.) and starts to follow us again, so we had to run for it. my sister and i where too scared to continue walking so we just went home, feeling scared and defeated. we had been going and playing pokemon go everyday until that happened and then we stopped completely. it sucks when you can’t even escape sexism in you’re own street. 🙁

Katia

I’m 16 and when I was walking to and from work in shorts, 2 or 3 cars had beeped at me or men catcalled me. This annoyed me so much and this happens to me even when I don’t wear shorts and when i’m just casually walking in public.

Althea D.

Now I’d like to start this out by saying that I am not a woman. I am a female assigned nonbinary person (which basically is transgender but not a man either) who presents very masculine. Now, most people when they see me still assume that I’m a girl, but the way I dress and act (thankfully) doesn’t often elicit attention from guys. So when some stranger at school today blatantly hit on me as I left the building, it was a pretty big shock. I was walking out after the final bell wrang when I hear someone near me say “excuse me?” I turn around and there is a student standing by the wall looking at me. “You’re thick,” is what he says. In the moment, I just respond with a confused expression and he turns away. I turn and walk towards my bus, appalled and still slightly shocked from what had just happened. I don’t know what this guy was expecting to come out of this. Oh yes, call me thick, random stranger, let me come make out with you right here and now. I’ll miss my bus, I don’t care. Never mind the fact that I have a girlfriend, am president of the GSA, and not even a freaking woman. Is this what he was expecting? In what world has that ever happened? Anyway, thanks for listening to my story. It’s small, but after a long, stressful day, this was definitely not welcome.

Priyanka

Today my best friend and I had been revising for our second year university exams at home in our flat in Leamington Spa. We decided to take a coffee break and enjoy the sun for a while at around 4.30pm on a Sunday afternoon. We stopped for Ice Latte and Cappuccino at a new spot. I had been feeling pretty irritated at some of the comments a male friend of mine had made about me “all in banter” (of course), and was airing my grievances. My friend and I took a walk around the block before returning home, as we continued our discussion. “How do you deal with wanting to flirt with someone, even if you feel they undermining or sexualising you?” “Why is it that people assume I only got my internship because I fill some type of “quota”?” we asked one another. Ironically, as we neared the end of our walk, a young man got out of his car to ask us where the nearest Nando’s was. I politely responded and gave him the directions, whilst continuing on my way. Unbeknown to me, this man was not alone, for across the road in two others cars were a group of guys. These guys (about fifteen of them collectively) swiftly all got out of their cars, and having noticed their friend ask me for directions, took it upon themselves to begin cat-calling my friend and I. “Join us for dinner!” “Give me your Instagram!” “Let’s just follow her boys – come on lads follow her”. It felt like I had been surrounded by men in less than thirty seconds – it was like being cornered. I sensed my friend’s nerves – so joked “it’s like they’re the seagulls from Finding Nemo – Mine! Mine! Mine!” I whispered. Whilst it was true, it wasn’t funny. I think the ironic timing of this encounter made me angry enough to come here and write about what I experienced. This happens all the time and it is a small snippet of a larger problem. I’ve experienced this before, and I will experience it again. My mother has experienced it. My baby sister has experienced it. But the point it – It is not okay to shout abuse at a woman because you are part of a large group of guys. It is scary and it intimidates girls. It is as simple as that. I hope they burnt your Nando’s.

Ellie

Just walking home along a the main road near where I live. As I walk past a group of about 6/8 men, I get a ‘hello darling’ muffled other comments and then a ‘woah, yeah shake that thang’ Im just walking down the road! Leave me alone. I want to turn around to them and tell them how horrible and intimidating this is. But I’m also not willing to make myself more vulnerable. Just keep my head down and quicken my pace. Now thinking about the fact that these men are going out tonight and will probably do the same to many other women makes me feel so unbelievably angry.

Laura

So today I was catcalled by two pervs. That I know of, at least. The first time was in the (very busy) train station when I was walking towards the ATM and a random guys that passed by me made those awful kissing sounds, to which I automatically responded with a Dutch word translating to “Pig” and I saw him looking back at me being very surprised that a woman actually critiqued him on it. Later on the train I noticed that I didn’t have my card in my wallet because I was so fuming because of that incident that I had forgotten to take my card out the ATM. So that’s awesome. Thanks for making the whole thing even more awful, creep. The second time was around 9 pm when I met a friend on a busy square in Antwerp. When I passed a guy with my bike I heard him shout at me “Hi baby, everything alright?” I stopped and looked back at him, asking him “Why would you say that?” and he as well seemed to be surprised by my response. He made up the excuse that he had mistaken me for someone else and when I told him he obviously did not and asking him what his problem was he got verbally aggressive. Some quotes: “Are you going to hit me now? You going to touch me?” “Fuck off!” “Whore!” “Slut!”. All whilst he was walking away from me, by the way. It seemed he didn’t really like to be confronted with his own sexism or my responsiveness. These situations have been non stop happening to me and basically every friend I have since our puberty and it needs to F-ing stop. I’m trying to force myself to respond to every catcall to my address, because I don’t want to ignore this shit anymore. It’s too important for that. Unfortunately sometimes I don’t find the courage to respond to catcallers, because I’m sensing a certain threat and danger, but seriously, to all girls an women: respond, react. Surprise them with us not taking this anymore. If we ignore it, then society will ignore it as well.

Isobel

So I was catcalled for the first time in my life today. My sister and I had just pulled up outside our house, and we were walking the twenty or so metres down the street to our front door. There were four boys behind us whom I had seen walking down the road previously, and at first I thought nothing of them – simply four boys walking behind us in that silly, irritating way where they manage to take up all the space on the pavement. But that changed when I heard one of them whistle just as my sister and I reached our front gate. I then clearly heard one say the word ‘sexy’. And I know it was directed at us. I know because, when I turned around to gawk from behind the safety of the gate at these unbelievably rude and offensive boys, they were smirking at me. Note that I am not yet sixteen. And yet these men, these complete and utter strangers, felt it acceptable to comment upon my body. I was not wearing anything remotely suggestive in a sexual context. Neither was my sister. And yet they still did that. Perhaps the worst part was when I stormed inside the house, spitting fire and fuming about these imbecilic and disgusting individuals, my mother told me to expect that sort of behaviour as I get older. To expect to be targeted by people who don’t know my identity and appraised like some sort of walking prize or sexual object. That honestly scares me. I’m a human being who deserves rights and dignity and respect as much as any other human being who exists on this planet, but despite this everyone seems to become conveniently hard of hearing whenever it comes to expressing that people of my gender – women – are human beings as much as men are. At least from this experience, I’ve learnt that if there is a next time I will find the bravery to stand and make my case against people who ever decide to target me or another woman using catcalling. If I face humiliation in the face of that, so be it. It’ll be better than letting a woman hold feelings of distress and shame no woman should ever have to tolerate.

Leoni

I’m 16, on two occasions when I was 14/15, I’ve been whistled at and cat called in the streets by much older men. 20-30+ year old men cat calling a 15 year old girl on the streets. I never thought anything of it until now, even at this age it seems as though it’s almost expected, I laughed about it. Why do people think acting like this is acceptable?

Rebecca

A couple of weeks ago I was meeting a friend for a few drinks. I left the house at nine and although it was dark I felt reasonably safe (what woman ever feels completely safe at night?!) since the bus stop is only five minutes away. A car pulled up outside the newsagents and the driver wound down his window and started calling out ‘hey gorgeous’ ‘oi pretty over here’. I’m sad to say that like most women I’m used to this kind of thing and I was trying my best to ignore him although I was really irritated. This clearly pissed him and he yelled out, ‘Do you even speak English?’. I turned round and tried to tell him calmly that I didn’t have to reply to him, at which he started swearing profusely. As I was walking away he yelled out that I should get myself to the gym and do some squats and get myself an arse! How many times when I have ignored a man’s advance have I been called ugly, stuck up, a bitch etc!!! It makes me so mad. And I really wanted to turn round to him and say ‘You know what, I do go to the gym, I do workout but not to please you but so that I can defend myself from creeps like you’. But I didn’t say anything more and he just kept kept laughing as I walked away.