One part of my workday as consistent as my commute, taking a lunch break, or doing translations is catcalling. Whether it’s the honk of a car horn on my way to lunch or a conversation sparked by my appearance at the bus stop, every day, I always seem to receive some sort of unsolicited attention from the men of Miami. Naturally, the next thought would be, “How does that make you feel?”
Some women deem catcalling to be flattering. They see it as a man finding you just so attractive, that he can’t keep his opinion to himself. On the other side of the coin, some women find it to be very disrespectful and demeaning. I personally, find myself in the middle. I think that it’s flattering to know that someone finds you attractive, however the compliments and slight ego boost are definitely not worth the consequences and repercussions.
For example, I don’t like that I’ve never been to the coffee stop across from Government Center because there’s usually three men around the ventanita, and I don’t want to walk into a potentially uncomfortable situation. But on a larger scale, when men catcall women, it inherently encourages rape culture. Certain kind of comments and persistence turn a compliment from a stranger into street harassment. Street harassment is all about power, and the satisfaction that the stranger gets from disrespecting you and making you feel vulnerable and/or uncomfortable, which is the foundation of rape.
So overall, I think catcalling is okay when it’s a compliment and not harassment. But in the end, sadly, it’s not something I can control. Instead, it’s something women just have to put up with. At least on a micro scale, as one person, standing up against this type of disrespect is not worth putting yourself in danger. On a macro scale, maybe society can eventually learn to lean away from this activity, and in turn, end rape culture.