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Hey Bey-BEE

Dear Catcallers, Go Home

An open letter to the fellas who can't let a lady walk down the street in peace.

Dear Male Catcallers of the World,

Has the horn-honking, “hey baby,” bird-whistle method ever actually produced results for you? Did it land you a date or a hot sleepover with the woman you objectified? Were your impulsive desires fulfilled after you so crudely complimented the size of her butt?

Doubtful.

Newsflash, boys: women do not walk down the street for your entertainment.

When courting a woman, I highly recommend learning her name (not just her astrological sign) before announcing that you think she has a nice “booty” or before grabbing your private parts on the sidewalk and panting like an animal.

This behavior is commonly known as “catcalling” and it’s a man’s way of letting us ladies know that they admire our outward appearance. But this method isn’t exercised by all men.

There is a way to appreciate a woman’s curves, clothes and confidence without soliciting them for sex.

I know plenty of women who have been called “beautiful” and have had hats tipped in their direction. Doors have been held and bags have been carried as extensions of kindness. Some men buy us drinks in bars and make polite small talk until the last sip, and the brave guys ask women to dance.

So what’s your excuse?

A male friend of mine recently told me that he gets more action after treating women poorly than when he extends his respect. This line of thinking is twisted and crass, but it explains the alternate universe you’re floating around in.

The reality is, we all accept the treatment we think we deserve—and women certainly deserve better. Women owe it to one another to command respect from men, so that men can recognize what behavior is acceptable and what behavior is downright offensive.

But it is your job to live up to our standards of decency.

For me, appropriate behavior looks like a smile, wave or fist bump. It sounds like a casual, “You look nice today,” never “slut,” “ho,” “sexy,” or the like. Appropriate behavior means your hands don’t touch me unless I invite contact. When I pass you on the street, I shouldn’t feel your eyes on my rear end, or as if you’ve undressed me in your mind.

Make me feel worthwhile, special, beautiful. Make me want you to hit on me, because if you jump right in I will leave you treading water.

Above all, remember, gentlemen: “Wow, he whistled at me from his car window. I’m so flattered. Now I really want to have sex with him,” said no woman ever.

Sincerely,

A Fed-Up, Catcalled Young Woman

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