Letter: Stop the catcalling and harassment

On June 16, I was innocently walking along the sidewalk when out of nowhere, a car drives up, the passenger leans his head out of the window, and shouts “Hey girl, I’d do you!” Immediately, a whirlwind of emotions wash over me: anger, embarrassment, sadness, more anger. What’s the appropriate response? Do I shout back? Do I ignore?

By virtue of being a woman am I supposed to tolerate any passerby’s demeaning comments? No. Would it be acceptable for me to shout unsolicited critiques of his physical appearance at him as he innocently progresses down the street? No. So why should women put up with catcalling? We shouldn’t!

The degrading comments are unnecessary, disrespectful, and are setting women back. These micro-aggressions perpetuate the notion that women are objects open for criticism. The two seconds it takes a man to hurl his sexual comments represents years of oppression women have been forced to endure. No more!

The time has come to put an end to catcalling. Men, stop! Think before you speak! Let us walk down the street in peace. Stifle your need to embarrass us, because ultimately you’re embarrassing yourselves by engaging in such offensive behavior. Would you want someone speaking that way to your sister or your mother? No? Then stop. And tell your friends to stop. Passively allowing others to engage in street harassment is also perpetuating the problem.

Stop catcalling. Stop street harassment. Stop the patriarchy.

Kennon Meyer

Cedar Rapids


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