Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Does Catcalling Work?

Two weeks ago the internet went crazy debating the street harassment issue, when YouTube video of a woman walking around New York City went viral. There was a hidden camera, tracking her for 10 hours walking through many neighborhoods throughout the city. This video created a great opportunity for dialogue, some of it was great, some complete garbage, but that's typically how it goes. My main stance on it was there's a huge difference to me as to what is street harassment and what is catcalling. As long as what is said to me while I walk down the street isn't disrespectful, and overtly sexually motivated I'm pretty okay with it. Honestly harassment is in the eye of the person being harassed. It is the woman's determination as to what is street harassment, perpetrators just have to respect the boundary she puts forth, its really as simple as that. I go further explaining my views on what I feel constitutes street harassment in a piece I wrote for Afro Punk titled, My Name is Not 'Yo Shorty'

One question that no one has asked is, does Cat Calling work? In my experience it has once,   I was in a relationship and engaged to man whom I met from being cat called. Yet, most of the time i'm typically annoyed by it and generally don't respond, or simply smile if there's something nice said. When I asked other women their thoughts  were pretty similar.

I polled some Ms.Vixen readers and the response was very similar to my thoughts. Most women aren't into being catcalled and are turned off by it. One reader states "I've never been catcalled and thought to myself 'Oh I hope he takes me out for dinner' The guys I've been attracted to weren't necessarily the ones that would catcall or harass a woman." Another reader  felt that catcalling has caused her physical stress, and she's glad this conversation is happening, a common sentiment among most Ms. Vixen readers and other women.

Another reader left a very interesting comment, she actually had a relationship with a man she met from a catcall,  and she remains friends with him  presently. She states "There's a difference between catcalling and harassment." Which I actually have to agree with, as I mentioned earlier I  had a relationship that began from a catcall, but I am also against street harassment. It’s all tied to respecting women’s boundaries and interacting with her in accordance to what she deems is okay for her. Where the problem lies is the false sense of entitlement many men feel that have over women. If we do not respond we are rude, stuck up bitches. I have even heard men say women want this, we want to walk around and get compliments. Let’s be clear, many of us don’t get dressed everyday  to look good for men, we dress to look good for ourselves. So, your acknowledgement of how we look can just be a thought and not something that needs to be heard.

The majority of women aren’t into catcalls, and all of us aren’t into street harassment. Whether it works or not depends on many factors, but the general consensus is It doesn’t. Are we open to friendly conversation, be we  would appreciate  if the entitlement you feel about us interacting with you cease to exist.

By Queen

Instagram @TheQueenspeaks_

Share this:


  1. While I do not find cat calling attractive at all, I do agree there is definitely a difference between cat calling and harassment.

  2. When I was MUCH younger I loved the attention. Now that I am older I find it annoying. I think it is generational as well.

  3. As long as what is being said it not overtly sexual, just like a "Hey baby" or a whistle or something then I don't mind. But there is absolutely a difference in cat calling and harassing!

  4. I don't find either flattering, attractive, or respectful. To me there is no difference between catcalling and harassment. There is, however, a difference between being respectful and not. It's all about the tone of voice, and words used. If someone just says something along the lines of, "Hi there, have a wonderful day!" it's completely different from something like, "Hey Beautiful! How you doin'?".

  5. I don't like or feel comfortable with cat calling, I agree it's not harassment but when something makes you feel uncomfortable it's not good either.

  6. It is totally gross. There are a lot of men who like to cat call out the passenger side of a broke down ride - to paraphrase a TCL song.

  7. I'm definitely not a fan of cat calling at all- but it's not harassment.

  8. Respect for self and respect for other is key when we confront this issue of harassment and cat calling. I also am not a fan but know friends who are now married due to a 'cat-call'.

  9. I think cat calling is distasteful. That is just my opinion. Or maybe I am too much of a romantic? LOL

  10. I find it annoying either way, and I also found it annoying when Gail King said it was a compliment and women shouldn't be offended.


Enter message here!

Back To Top
Copyright © 2014 Ms. Vixen. Designed by OddThemes