Cat Calling: A Crime Against Women


Bhargavi Pochi

Street harassment objectifies women and makes a majority of them feel uncomfortable.

Bhargavi Pochi, Staff Writer

Anyone who uses the internet is probably aware of the modern feminist movement that is bringing awareness to the world’s patriarchal society. For those who do not know, feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of social, political and economic equality to men – in other words, equality for all people. Today, major and minor forms of misogyny are being identified and women are standing up against everyday sexism. One of the major acts that is commonly committed by men is catcalling. Catcalling is the term used to describe unprovoked street harassment through whistling or sexually explicit comments, frequently targeted at women. The sexual objectification of women has been going on for too long and it is time for it to end.

Throughout history, women have been treated as sexual objects and have been subjected to sexism. From honor killings to daily life roles, women have been targeted by men because of their gender. Women are told to be “housewives” that cook, clean and care for children. They were thought of as “baby makers” whose sole purpose in life was to serve men. Nowadays, sexism has evolved and catcalling has become one of the most common forms of misogyny. While it has had some light shed on it with through videos, articles and blogs, catcalling is still a major problem that women face today. 

“I have personally experienced catcalling and it made me feel slightly uncomfortable and disrespected … in some way, [catcalling] should be stopped. I think boys should approach you in a nicer way than to treat you like you’re some sort of sex object,” junior Romys Duran said.

Now, some may argue that catcalling is flattering and that women groom themselves to please men – but it is quite the contrary. Many women say that they primp themselves for their own good, to make themselves feel pretty. Some men may claim that women are pleased when they get complimented and that men are obliged to comment on a woman’s clothing, appearance, body, etc. The superficial notion that people believe that women are shallow creatures maintains the sexist culture of America.

I think catcalling is inappropriate … as far as stopping it goes, it’s a more difficult problem … maybe an ad campaign that points out: ‘If this was your daughter, would you be okay with this?’”

— Marcos Balsera

Catcalling is a form of disrespect, and reduces a woman to a piece of meat. When a person makes sexually explicit remarks to a stranger, they are disregarding them as an individual, which further perpetuates today’s patriarchal society. Other people might believe that if a woman wears revealing clothing, she is “asking” to be catcalled. Catcalling is not a compliment and it is not appreciated. It humiliates a person and makes them feel uncomfortable. No one is obliged to comment on a stranger’s appearance; if anything, catcalling is totally unwelcome.

Catcalling is a form a sexism that needs to be stopped today. Everyday misogyny is no longer tolerated in today’s society, and the feminist revolution has been resurrected. Ending street harassment is one way that you could end the patriarchal mindset, and make the streets a safer place for everyone.