Catcalling is dehumanizing


While walking to class last Thursday, I heard an unfortunately recognizable whistle familiar to so many women. Nevertheless, I kept walking — face forward, body language unflinching, gait unchanged. I refused to give the men behind me any sort of sign that I heard them, any sort of recognition or validation in their gross objectification.

It shouldn’t be a woman’s job to teach men when they’re being sexist. It’s an emotionally laborious process to explain misogyny, and it often feels dehumanizing to have to establish  your personal autonomy. But it’s nonetheless necessary. Maybe if we speak up when this happens, we can decrease the consistency. Maybe one unexpected reaction will make the perpetrator think twice about catcalling in the future. Maybe choosing to actively handle the situation can dismantle a tiny pillar of the entitlement underlying the action. It is a process, after all.

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