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May 14, 2008



Sucks. But then, every freedom has negative consequences, and freedom of expression is no different. This behavior has to be socially corrected; it can't be legally corrected. So let's all focus our disapproval, but not 911, okay?


Uh, freddie, I followed a link here (so am not familiar with other posts), but it doesn't sound like she is advocating any sort of law against catcalling. She is just disapproving.

Too Hot For TNR

Fuck you, Freddie. We can't outlaw you either. But we can socially correct you.


This shouldn't even be a topic for CNN. What a waste of time & lousy speculation. This could easily be asked 20 times a year if CNN just wants to pay salaries for nothing.

I've asked several guys from different backgrounds about this (my feeling is some of this is regional - what's o.k. or no bother somewhere, is big bother somewhere else). Pretty close to ALL the guys I've spoken with sympathize in a big way and are often confused as to why women don't simply ignore these jerks or say shut up or worse because THE GUYS THEMSELVES would. Same with more physical come-ons. Guys seem to be bigger defenders of women physically defending themselves than we think they are. Serious about that last bit. Guys are really fussy about who touches them - especially men and they totally get why you don't want some guy coming up to you and even appearing like they're going to put their hands on you. I'm rather old for this to be a problem, but if more gals knew how and defended themselves guys would quit this behavior and fast.


Okay, I'm gonna lose some friends with this one, but allow me to play devil's advocate.

First of all, catcalling is gross and I'm not going to defend it. But in regard to the other link above...

Reading through the "men suck" post, the first thing I thought was, "Well, if these lines never worked, these guys wouldn't be using them."

Then, I got to the end:

the worst part about it all is that i ALWAYS smile for the guy

LOL! Then why would you expect them to STOP doing it?

Human beings, by and large, are rational creatures. If a certain behavior routinely elicits the desired response, they're going to keep using it until it starts to fail.

See, the whole point of, say, the breast-pump line isn't actually to get you to whip off your top and start the suckling. It's to bait you into engaging in conversation.

If the conversation starter has led to further communication, it doesn't matter how you feel about the topic at hand. The conversation has begun, and the line has done it's job.

Honestly, I spit random bullshit at women I don't know all the time. I'm not a jerk about it; I try to make eye contact first and wait to see if it's reciprocated before I approach.

Am I trying to take all these women home? Absolutely not. But I, like 99% of the population, suffer from a good deal of social anxiety. What I've found is that talking to strangers--men and women, btw--is a good way to get over it.

The more bizarre/socially-unacceptable the conversation is, the better, as it moves me out of the narrow corporate boundaries of acceptable social discourse. This makes it more likely, when I find a single women who is mutually interested in engaging with me, I'll be able to have a conversation that doesn't involve a) her job or b) where she's from.

How does this work in real life? Pretty damn well. Do I creep out some women? Perhaps, but I'm a charming motherfucker and fairly good at reading non-verbal communication, so if the recipient seems truly offended I just apologize and walk away. But that's pretty rare.

Most women just revert to giggly, submissive mode and make small talk. Some will ignore me, become very uptight or give me the brush-off. A small percentage will engage me, but respond with something equally rude or bizarre.

Those are the girls I want to date--strong women who aren't afraid to stand their ground and express themselves honestly, even to strange men. By leading with something less than safe, I'm able to separate them from the pack.

Single guys, like everyone else on the planet, are trying the best they can, given the circumstances they are presented.

Does this mean you should tolerate all advances? Absolutely not. Some men are douchebags, for sure, and not worth engaging. And in cases where the guy is being truly offensive, or abusing a position of power, that kind of behavior should not be tolerated.

But true feminism is about empowering yourself to the point where you have enough self-worth to operate in society as an equal. It's not about shunting the level of discourse down to the point where all social interactions you may face meet your personal standards of innocuousness.

If you're unable to interact with an unpleasant stranger as if you are of equal value (or greater, in fact, since you clearly don't have to risk your self-esteem by talking to people you don't know), maybe you should, to use an unfortunate phrase, grow a pair.

All Love.


Two things here. First, while guys themselves might counsel yelling back or something, many women are actually afraid to. Catcalling is often done in groups and most women don't want to be beaten up (or worse) by a group of hooting guys. I know, that's probably not what would happen, but why risk it? The second thing is scythia's comment. This is soooo weird a way to meet women that I hope I never do. Creeping people out to figure out who to date? I'm speechless, pretty much...


Creeping people out to figure out who to date?

Nah, that's not what I meant to say. Let me see if I can put this more clearly...

There are some women who will be creeped out by ANY contact with a man they don't know unless it falls into a socially approved category (e.g. "Excuse me, do you know the way to...", "This is my co-worker, _____", "Here's your change, ma'am.").

Some of these women are my friends, and I've seen them routinely recoil from what I consider harmless social contact. They're nice girls, and I enjoy their friendship, but no way would I want to date them.

I don't try to be creepy. But I will be weird. Or bizarre. Or gross. Or full of shit. And I'll see if they laugh or recoil. The ones that laugh? Probably someone I could hang out with and have a good time. The ones that recoil? Have fun with the knitting.

It's just pre-selection. I know who I am and what I think constitutes fun. Rather than try to hide that for as long as possible in order to appear socially acceptable, then hope that after a few weeks of courting I'll be able to reveal my true self, I think it's better to start off by being as socially unacceptable as possible, and see who I connect with even when I'm acting dumb. That's all I'm saying.

Now, a lot of guys just have sex on the brain, so when they think outside the box, they inevitably go sexual WAY too early. Yeah, that's creepy. -10 points for all of them.

But I'll tell you what: They wouldn't be doing it if it wasn't working. There are girls out there who will respond to that sleazy shit. They're probably likely to drop the drawers on the first date w/o demanding emotional reciprocation, and that's probably what those guys are looking for.

Onto your other point: I would definitely counsel yelling back. It costs you nothing (and probably empower you) and it's what they want anyway. Win-win.

Catcalling is often done in groups and most women don't want to be beaten up (or worse) by a group of hooting guys. I know, that's probably not what would happen, but why risk it?

Because it will teach you the difference between realistic and unrealistic fear.

Sexual assault is real and I don't mean to diminish it, but I believe it's something like nine times more likely for a woman to be assaulted by someone she knows. The idea of a bunch of construction workers jumping offsite to gang-rape a woman who dared respond to a catcall is something out of a horror movie, not real life.

A lot of women I know are really afraid of rape. I had a roommate who would come home daily with stories of some creepy guy who looked at her the wrong way on the subway, and thank god she had her pepper spray handy, because who knows!

That's not an attitude conducive to living in a big city. It's going to keep you from interacting positively with 49% of the population. And it's not just misplaced fear; it also opens you up to where the real danger lies: acquaintances or "normal-looking" guys.

Be safe, but test your boundaries. You might discover there's a whole new world out there.

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