May 21, 2024

Gentlemen, I think it’s time to have a conversation about catcalling. Do you really think that yelling profanity at me from your rusty pickup truck is going to make me want to instantly perform sexual favors for you? Does wearing leggings make it okay for you to say inappropriate things about my legs or butt? No.

Since my start here at Wittenberg three years ago, I’ve been catcalled twice on campus. Granted, both were by townies and not Wittenberg students, but I think it’s something that needs to be addressed.

Yesterday, while I was making my way back home from work, two boys, whom I presumed to be about 13 or 14 years old, yelled at my from across the street asking if I “had any p***y to share.” I tried my best to pretend that I didn’t hear them and continue on my way but, they continued to yell at me over and over again. “Hey little lady do you have anything you can give us? I know you can hear me.”

These boys were in middle school at best. Middle school. Not only was I appalled at their audacity to yell something like that to me, but they were significantly younger than I am. Aren’t younger kids supposed to be taught that these kinds of words and actions are wrong and disrespectful?

This made me think about where those kids learned that behavior. At their age, it was probably something they saw an older friend or even parent do and thought it was funny at the time and decided to take a whack at it themselves. What I’ve been trying to figure out is what kind of parent it takes to condone this type of behavior?

At that age, it’s the parents fault for not instilling better values in their child. Even if the parents weren’t aware that their child was catcalling women, that child still should’ve had a strong enough moral ground to know that saying something like that isn’t okay.

This also got me thinking about the culture surrounding catcalling in general. Social media culture depicts women to be submissive to men in nearly every situation. Music videos and movies are the main culprit. They often depict women as sexually persistent and as willingly giving themselves over to men to be used solely for their bodies and nothing else.

This is not an accurate depiction of women in any way. Women will not immediately become submissive as soon as a man says he wants to have sex. That’s just not how it works. Changing this culture isn’t something that can happen overnight but, being more cognizant of the media you’re consuming and how you are treating others/being treated is a huge first step.

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