When walking down Magazine St. a few weeks ago, my roommates and I stumbled across a sidewalk protest asking men to stop catcalling.
make a whistle, shout, or comment of a sexual nature to a woman passing by.
Growing up I never knew that catcalling was problematic, but through college I learned how catcalling was another way for men to engage in the male gaze and to also view women’s bodies as possessions. I used to think that it was a compliment when men tried to holla at me on the street corner. When I was younger, I would see the prettiest girls being yelled at and stopped on the street. So when it happened to me it was like an “aha moment”! I too was pretty.
Our society tells women that their self-worth is based off of men’s desire to be with them. And this shouldn’t be the case.
When I get dressed in the morning I get dressed for me. When I put on makeup, that’s also for me. I mean, I do enjoy the compliments I receive every now and then – but I know that I’m pretty because my momma said so and because I think so. No but really, I am beautiful because I say I am. I don’t think men realize that their behavior feeds into this system that makes some women feel worthless without this attention.
Writing this post makes me even think about women on Instagram. Many women, including myself and close friends and family, post pictures of their bodies. Now this act alone is not problematic – as women with gorgeous ass curves, we should be able to show them off and feel beautiful at all times. Guys will comment on these pictures with the heart eye emoji or send a message in our DMs, because somehow they think we posted that picture just for them.
Compliments are nice, they help feed into our egos. But too often I see men commenting on women’s pictures passing judgement and saying that the woman in the photo is only posting it for attention. Now I’m not saying that there aren’t women out there posting pictures for attention and for the likes. But why does that matter?
Just because a woman decides to walk down the street or post a picture of her natural beauty does not mean that she should fall victim to a man’s judgement or catcalling.