Catcalls: You’re Doing it Wrong

Yesterday I was getting out of my car, parked on the street, when a jeep passed me, windows rolled down. The passenger then stuck a bike horn out the window and honked it in my face as they rushed past.

It had been a long day. The kind of long day where I just wanted to go inside and eat pizza in my sweatpants and watch Heathers. I had neither Heathers, clean sweatpants, or pizza though so I was resigned to be annoyed.

And then someone honked at me from close range and as my ear was ringing later, and the rage came over me — like it does from time to time, I had this thought. This …. biting little gnat in my brain.

Ostensibly, catcalling women on the street, shouting at them, honking your horn, revving your engine, is supposed to elicit a response of some kind, right? I’m no expert, but I assume that when you do something obnoxious it’s to get a response.

Like toddlers, right? I mean, that is your base of reference isn’t it? Because adult humans don’t do these things. Mature, rational, reasonable, intelligent humans do not act like drooling infants who cannot control their fine motor skills and act out on every hormonal or emotional impulse, so that’s what you intend, right?

I’m going to go with yes. Let’s assume you know you’re being a horrible person when you do this. Of course you do, how can you not? It’s not as if someone has ever responded to your “attention” with gratitude, have they? Do women actually clasp their hand over their heart and shout “thank you” as you fly past? Do they, perhaps, scream their number after you and wait for a call?

I’m going to go with no. So you’re doing it to be a dick then. Fine.

You’re still doing it wrong. Because you see, part of being a jerk is getting acknowledged for it.

Flying past me loses the gratification of seeing me flinch, seeing me scowl, seeing me resist giving you the finger because it’s a main street, my church is across the way, and I have been raised to not do that even when I really, really want to.

You missed all of that! And why? I will tell you why. Because you’re not courageous enough to slow down and wait for the reaction. You’re too terrified of the fallout. Whatever that may be. And to be honest, with me it’d just be a stern, clipped, irate response that will probably be more funny for you later than your hasty retreat.

In hindsight though, I do have to acknowledge that you’re not doing it wrong. You’re doing it exactly right as chauvinistic prick. You’re objectifying women and giving them no voice in the matter, no say, no way to rebuttal. You’re assaulting women on the street for your own amusement. And because no one can ever say it’s you, you can continue to do this as long as you like to as many women as you like and pretend later that you’re a “good guy”. But you’re not.

I know, I’ve made a lot of assumptions about you, you in the over-compensating vehicle with the excessively loud music. I’d like to stop making assumptions though. I’d like to get to know you in person.

I’d like to believe that once I got to know you and talked to you that we could discover the rational, reasonable human being in you. But there I go again, making assumptions.

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