In honor of National Cat Day (since I’m not particularly attached to any feline) I’m going to talk about something that bugs me…Cat-calling.
Seen this shared a few times and just wanted to add my own feelings. So here are my feelings: it sucks. People on the internet have been like, “Oh, people are just being nice and giving compliments.” I don’t feel good when a stranger tells me I’m hot. I feel insecure. Funny how that works, but it’s true. And anyone can tell the difference between getting hit on and sincere flattery. It’s not that hard to tell.
Once upon a time I was upset when a coworker told me I “had to smile at him now” because he had done something I had needed him to do for my department. My boss didn’t get it and I don’t really blame him because how could he? He’s probably never been told to smile by someone twice is size. He probably doesn’t know all the connotations that goes with those kinds of statements. No matter how well-intended something might be (and usually it’s not) I’m tired of other people feeling like my outward appearance is what is worth commenting on. You don’t get to tell me what to do with my body and I don’t have to smile just so my face is nicer for you to look at.
So, yeah, you can tell yourself to just ignore them but you can’t really ignore the anxiety of being called out and feeling like you have to respond or worrying about the consequences of not responding. It’s hard to not be afraid when you’re constantly hearing stories of abuse, kidnapping, rape, and violence. When most of the world is afraid of you going out on the streets alone. We are trained to be afraid and it’s because we have reason to be. One in three women have been abused. One out of every three women.
It’s hard for me to get over the fact that some people will never take me seriously because I am a woman. That even my position or age or experience doesn’t matter. It’s hard to know how to dress or talk or act while knowing it won’t make much of a difference. It’s hard because people don’t realize how bad it is. I would love to just ignore it as people suggest, but it affects my daily life and the lives of people I know even more and that bugs me.
I’m not sure how we teach people to be nice and decent humans who can interact without being aggressive but it’d be nice to try and figure that out. Men to women, women to women, women to men, men to men…Why can’t we just treat each other like equals? We are so much more than the bodies we are in.
And I’ll close with this video because it points out just how ridiculous it all is: