It was two weeks ago on a Thursday night that I was making my way through the dark streets of Philadelphia to my girlfriend’s dorm. It had been a particularly heinous day with the little ‘uns, and after 9 and a half hours with teething x2, vicious colds all around, and one full meal ingested and promptly regurgitated all over my front, side, and everywhere in between, I was in need of some serious TLC from my lovely lady. (Nannies of the world will agree that one hasn’t lived until one has seen eight ounces of USDA Certified Organic Similac come back up and -all over one’s clothes. It is truly a sight to behold, lemme tell you.)
So there I was, 9:00pm , not a stitch of make-up on my face, clothes splattered with puréed food and reeking of sour baby formula. I not only looked like a hot-tranny-mess, I felt (and smelled) like one, too.
Imagine my surprise when, despite my bedraggled appearance, a car full of twenty-something boys slowed as they were driving by to shower me with charm:
“Where you going, baby?”
“What’s good, mami?!”
First off, homie, can you see? Because anyone with a pair of functioning retinas can see that I am in no way interested in your advances. In fact, I can guarantee you 102% that right now, the only thing that I want hitting on me is a hot shower and my Spongebob Squarepants pajamas.
I can laugh off small-scale street harassment, but it was a friend’s reaction to my recounted series of events that had me going “huh?!”
“You should have been flattered.”
I should…I sh–say what? I should have been flattered by what, exactly? A carload of kids hollering out their window after I had already dealt with children all day? Being whistled at like I’m some sort of playful Pomeranian?
The comment made me scratch my head, but I couldn’t blame my friend for her misconception. After all, aren’t we as women taught to simply sit down, shut up, and deal with it? We’re taught, unintentionally or otherwise, that from an early age, we are going to deal with this kind of harassment. My grandmother always told me to just keep my head down. She feared my quick tongue and loud mouth would get me in “trouble” with one of these guys some day. (As it were, I’m quite the loudmouth, so she might not be so far off base.)
Click the video. Laugh. Take it all in.
Comedian Kamau Bell posted that video interview about cat-calling in the big Apple. Every single one of the women that he interviewed claims that she has been cat-called or jeered at every single day of her life at some point or another. What’s more, the men that he interviewed actually thought that it works!. Some of these poor, misguided fools truly believed that cat-calling a woman on the street somehow boosts their confidence.
……….I can’t even…….
So without further ado, I give you my open letter to Cat-Callers:
To Whom It May Concern;
Contrary to popular belief, I am not interested in your advances or words about my appearance. Take some time to digest this fact. Moving on:
I am not going to react well to someone shouting “hey baby!” or “yo, mami!” across a crowded street, because I am not your baby, and I sure as FUCK am not your mother.
I did not wake up in the morning and dress my body so that you can loudly, crudely admire it from afar. (If you want to admire it, thanks, that’s wonderful. But don’t be such a creep about it.)
Furthermore, if you approach me in a disrespectful and inherently sexual way and/or treat me as a sexual object, I am going to assume that you are a rapist 100% of the time, every time.
Let it also be known that your advances do not boost my confidence, as you may have been lead by others to believe. It actually makes me want to punch you in the face, which I believe is the opposite of the reaction you were hoping for.
Cat-callers of the world, we women don’t begrudge you in your search for a partner. Everyone is trying to find someone to love, and you are no different. However, I must pose this question.
HAS THAT SHIT EVER WORKED FOR YOU?!
I have never, EVER (EVER!) felt the urge to chase down my cat-caller, brandishing a slip of paper with my phone number and begging him to take me out on a date. (I also realize that I’m gay, but lets forget that roadblock for the sake of this scenario.) Obviously, your approach isn’t working. Have you, creepy cat-caller, considered that maybe you need some new material?
I hope that my letter has caused you to reconsider your ways, in hopes that you A)Stop treating women like they’re objects and B)Avoid the inevitable black eye that is coming to you, should you mess with the wrong girl.