Cat calls or barking dogs?


We’ve talked recently about how it feels to be a woman walking down the street regardless of the time. It’s honestly scary and potentially dangerous because, well, I am woman. It would be unfair to claim that all men bark these absurd remarks and inappropriate gestures to women walking by just as it would be false to assume that all women find it attractive. Videos like these bring attention to the “silent” harassment that happens everyday and I say “silent” because harassment like this go unseen, and worse, unacknowledged. Or if it is acknowledged women are berated for “overreacting” and being “stuck up” or “too  good”.

This video shows a woman walking through all sects of NYC for 10 hours not speaking a word, simply recording the reactions around her (the comments under the video are worth a read).

I believe that more videos like these should be created to show that cat-calling does not only happen in cities but in all environments. Maybe people would pay more attention and take an active stand if they knew that the clerk at the grocery store wasn’t just checking out prices.

6 thoughts on “Cat calls or barking dogs?

  1. Hey Meghan, excellent post and video. Watching that makes me realize that even though I know stuff like this happens, we don’t really understand it until we actually see it. I figured in NYC that harassment like this is probably common and that the people there don’t make the time to care about what is being said, but that’s no reason to degrade someone when their minding their business. Sad to see how women are verbally harassed because to me that shows just simple lack of respect towards them. With gender roles and upbringings, I can see how some males were raised to speak their mind with what they like, and how some females were probably raised to not cause confrontation with others around them. That’s nice and all, but the context of how those actions are portrayed in this video is just wrong and disrespectful.

  2. Meghan, I saw this video a few months ago and was surprised to see how bad cat calling can be. It reminds me of an artists who stood for six hours and allowed people to do what ever they wanted to her body. Some people cut her clothes off, stuck rose horns into her stomach, one man held a gun to her head before another pulled him away. It makes you realize how easy it is to dehumanize people who don’t fight back. In class we talked about how we felt when we were cat called and most women said, that it made them feel like they were animals or a piece of meat, dehumanized.

  3. Great post, Meghan. I’ve always found catcalling one of the most outrageous forms of harassment out there. Having not even seen it in person, I’m always shocked when I hear stories from friends and acquaintances about experiencing it. Guys that would do this exist? They’re really out there?! I completely agree with your thoughts on videos like this – the more the merrier. Men need to see this to understand it, even if they would never do it themselves. If more people can be exposed to genuine sexist comments like these through videos and articles, then maybe it can make them more conscious about trying to put a stop to it. Knowing is half the battle.

  4. I found this post to be very insightful. As I watched the video, I couldn’t help but feel kind of uncomfortable, but I’m glad that I had that experience to feel that way since I have lived a life of privilege to an extent as a male. I think this video brought it home to me how unnecessarily hard it is for many women to just simply exist and min either business. This serves as a great call to action to change this construct.

  5. Meghan,
    I love this video because I think it does a great job of breaking the silent harassment you mentioned. It’s crazy to see how a woman wearing jeans and a t-shirt can get cat called like that. It just shows that society has taught males to act this way towards a female no matter what she is wearing. Now I’m not saying all guys act this way, but as you can see in the video there were quite a few who did.

    In my Gender Communication class we were discussing cat calling and our professor had us raise our hand if we have ever been cat called. It was no surprise to see that every girl had her hand up, but what was shocking to me was that some boys had their hands raised too. Cat calling isn’t something that men only do. There is this new shampoo commercial that actually shows a woman cat calling a man. As humans, we learn what actions are appropriate or inappropriate by watching others and imitating that behavior ourselves. Advertisements like that are promoting this type of behavior to society. If people produce more awareness vidoes like this, I would think and hope that this type of behavior will end!

  6. Meghan: I agree completely with your remark that more videos should be made. It’s really important to show the ways this behavior is perceived by women because a lot of men don’t understand how it makes her feel to be accosted verbally. I saw a video that was similar to this. The subject was a female walking through the streets. She noticed a habit of hers: She would regularly step out of the way for men when walking head on. This seems menial, but the implication is pretty significant. Why did she feel like her space was less valuable than his need to progress in his path? It was pretty eye-opening.

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