There’s no single day when i don’t get catcalled.
At first, i thought that maybe it’s my fault, i wear provocative clothes, i wear too short of shorts, i wear dresses, fitted shirts, etc, or maybe because i wear too much make up to the point where i attract too much attention.i tried to change myself, i tried wearing pants even though it’s scorching hot on where i live (Philippines), i wore sleeved tops, i stopped wearing shorts and dresses.
but it made no difference, i still got catcalled on our street, at my university.
it made me realize how i am not the one at fault here. i started researching about street harassment and catcalling, i made it my mini-thesis for two of my subjects, i made it my topic on almost all of my concept papers and position papers.
it was hard, why? because not much is written about sexual harassment on streets, catcalling, wolf-whistling, and other forms of it. i was devastated when i think about how i wouldn’t be able to pass my papers with very few bibliography materials. but i was more frustrated, thinking that not much people would be able to write about this. not much books to educate people about the issue. there are only few blogs here and there but we all know that it is not much academically accepted as research materials.
i may focus on how i was getting catcalled every single time i step out of our home, but i’d rather stress on the issue on how this is not being talked about. it’s not just a simple ‘offending or inappropriate comment’. street harassment is the result of normalizing rape culture, it is about the entitlement of those who think they have the right to catcall somebody. street harassment is all about instilling subconscious fear to women and men, LGBTQ people who experience it everyday or at least once in their life.
Optional: What’s one way you think we can make public places safer for everyone?
Put up more information about it, educate people. educate victims, specially girls, on how to protect their selves, let them know their rights, what to do when they experience these. but most of all, address the root of the problem. educate perpetrators, specially men, not only the ‘do not do this, do not do that,’ but let them know the effects of their actions. what does these kind of comments do to a victim’s brain? it instills fear, it makes them conscious of how they look, it is not seen as a compliment, it’s seen as harassment.
– D. Saunders
Location: Manila, Philippines
Need support? Call the toll-free National Street Harassment hotline: 855-897-5910Share on Facebook