Hollaback!

Back to Article
Back to Article

Hollaback!

Eva Magana, Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






¡Ay mamí!”Or “Hey sweetheart!” Catcalls are present in the lives of many men and women, all over the world.

Catcalling is commonly known as the act when a female or male is walking on the street and suddenly receives comments about their body or clothing from a bystander. Catcalling can also be categorized as sexual harassment. Catcalling can take the form of whistles, car horns and obnoxious or what some may see as flattering comments.

Thanks to the world of YouTube, viewers can clearly see how often this happens to all genders. Uploaded videos of catcalling are either claiming women and men are,“asking for it” (yourtango.com) by the way they are dressed. Being catcalled is uncomfortable for many and the danger of being harassed can make someone feel unsafe on the street.

When posed with the question, “Is catcalling different in your country?” Many people from around the world shared their personal experiences.

A women in a scandinavian country claims, “I’ve never experienced anything bad, I’ve lived in a big city for eight years and no catcalling, no scary experiences, nothing.” However, others in that same country claim, “Some guys have tried to small talk/flirt at the bus stop, and it’s made me uncomfortable because I don’t know if I should politely shut the conversation down.”

In Australia it is almost a ritual for some men to comment on a woman’s appearance as expressed through another individual claims, “ I’ve had unintelligible garbage yelled at me from out of a car window, and my sisters have had cans thrown at them also out of car windows while they’ve been riding bikes in the city. Nothing sexual, just random a**holes wanting to assert their dominance.” Another user comments on the same area the user before mentioned, “Never [been catcalled] but I live in a regional town which might make a difference. Occasionally people (including men) will say hi and chat at the lights … but never rude.”

In Italy, an American study abroad student comment to alittledrift.com site that,“ men standing in the doorways of the local bars murmured appreciative “mmms” and clearly audible “che bellas.” Over and over again, as a single female walking at night, I was subjected to their comments.”

It is almost certain that different responses come from the different area you are in.  Larger areas tend to be followed with whistles and stares while smaller towns and suburban areas at times not much catcalling is noticed.

A women in England located in the southern region of the United Kingdom expresses that it is unlikely to get catcalled, “I live in England and cat calling doesn’t really seem to exist here. Italy was a culture shock- lots of pestering, following me across the city, trying to block my way, etc.” Others with the same idea add in that they have,’never experienced it at all’.”

Canada users feel they also feel good about not having to deal with the catcalls, this user in particular said it is because the stereotypes that canadians wish to preserve, “ Western Canada, never been harassed. I think it’s because we fit into that polite Canadian stereotype.”

Catcalling is not just an international or world issue, it is a local issue as well. Males and females are catcalled all over the world, even right here in the city of Ontario. I interviewed many Ontario High School students about catcalling. Many of the young women I interviewed showed a deep concern and frustration with catcalling. At such a young age many girls have already been exposed to catcalling and have felt uncomfortable and degraded as a result. One student, Senior Jennifer Lopez expresses her frustration as she has been catcalled at our own school in the hallways, she ignored them and walked away. Another Ontario Senior Kenneth Rendon mentioned that along with some females not being okay with this action some in the other hand enjoy the being talked about. To see more student responses to catcalling visit ohsjagwire.org hit the YouTube tab on the homescreen and watch “Hollaback!”

Through these powerful responses it is clear how much of an impact cat calling has on many women and men. Catcalling is only a small fragment of the world of rape culture. The prominence of catcalling shows that there is a handful of people in our society who feel that it is their right to sexualize and harass whoever they please. Catcalling shows a disrespect towards, commonly, women. It propagates that women are merely a sexual object to hoot and holler over. Women are fearful of walking down the street alone in a busy neighborhood because of the possibility of being harassed by someone. No woman nor man  should ever have to deal with catcalling. No woman nor man should have to accept unwanted compliments and attention.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email