Wait, wait, wait. So, let me correct that title a little before we get started, okay? I've compiled a list of ways to shut down cat callers that every woman needs to know – period. No qualifiers. Because, see, it's not just a problem that “cute” women face, so that's problematic – I'm sorry about that. Women get harassed on the street through no fault of their own – girls, too, young girls, teens, young women. It happens to all of us. All of us. And it's scary. Every time there's an article on this subject, you see a lot of comments about how we should learn to take a compliment, and we're over-exaggerating when we say it's scary or threatening, and we're outright lying when we try to talk about how often it happens. Catcalling isn't complimentary, though. That's not a compliment. There's also the fact that if we ignore catcallers, they continue to be abusive … and if we say something back, they continue to be abusive. So if you're a woman, you need these techniques to shut down catcallers – and it doesn't matter if you're cute or not.
Oh, I am totally serious. Be disgusting. Pick your nose. Make allusions to the rash that just won't clear up. Talk about your yeast infection. Basically, respond to repugnant behavior with repugnant behavior.
I love this! Bye, Ken!
I'm not even going to try to say that this will always make a difference, but if you drop some knowledge on a cat caller, maybe it'll give him something to think about. Maybe you'll be the last girl he harasses.
This, though? This can work. Invoking the memory of other women in their lives can give them pause, at the very least. This is why I praise girls who respond to male harassment online by sending screenshots to their mothers.
Has anyone ever told you to smile? What's with the sour puss, sweetheart? You'd be so much prettier if you smiled! So … smile for them. Just like this.
You know the look. Every woman has her own. Look at him like he is a fool spouting foolish things who also smells bad.
I say that not because there is anything gross or wrong about menstruation, but because alluding to your period in any way reminds the catcaller that you're a person, a woman, and not just a potential sex toy.
I know, ignoring catcallers doesn't always work. Sometimes, it results in even worse behavior. That's the messed up part – you can't win if you engage and you can't win if you ignore. Sometimes you have to choose the lesser of two evils.
Seriously. Just flat out tell your catcaller that he's a Creepy McCreeperson. Let him know that what he's doing does not arouse you or attract you in the slightest, it just creeps you out.
Oh, you like my ass? I like the shape of your head. It's so shapely, it's hard to believe that someone obviously dropped you on it when you were a child.
For real. Why do you feel that way, sir? Don't worry. I'll wait.
You can mock a catcaller without ever saying anything obviously challenging. Plus, again, reminding him of the other women in his life – especially his mother – can sometimes make him think. Sometimes.
Just for the sake of honesty, they ought to know the real score. You're not interested because you know you deserve better than some asshat shouting at you in the street.
Document everything. Let him see you documenting everything. You can even give him your Insta tag and tell him to check out your video. Peace, boy.
Don't be afraid to call out this behavior as harassment. The funny thing is how few men see this behavior as harassment.
I mean this in the obvious way, in that if you see someone else getting harassed, say something. I also mean that if you're getting ogled or trailed by a guy or a group of guys, say something first. Beat them to the punch. School them, drop an insult, kill them with kindness, or wither them with proof of your utter lack of interest.
If it goes being catcalling and some man lays his hands on you, push him off. Yell. Make a scene. Get him out of your space and out of your face.
Also, stand up for your sisters. If you see other women getting catcalled, followed, or otherwise harassed, stand up, step up, say something, offer support and assistance. We need to have each other's backs.
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