During, the meeting this past Tuesday we discussed the pressing issue of Catcalling. We explored the general definition of Catcalling or street harassment and how it affected our lives personally. A lot of insightful discussions were brought up from fears about stopping catcalling to the difference between Catcalling and a complement. Also different videos about Catcalling were analyzed.
Catcalling is more broad than just a “Smile for me” comment Stopstreetharrashment.org defines it as “Unwelcome words and actions by unknown persons in public places which are motivated by gender and invade a person’s physical and emotional space in a disrespectful, creepy, startling, scary, or insulting way”
Additionally, Catcalling is a very prevalent but very unspoken issue. According to an online study by stopstreetharrashment.org 99 percent of women had had an experience with Catcalling. Additionally, catcalling can be fear inducing with 27 percent of women reporting being assaulted by a stranger and 75 percent of women reporting that they have been followed by a stranger
This is a feminist issue because it involves male entitlement to women’s bodies. One interesting point that was brought up in the meeting is that women’s bodies are seen as public property that men feel like they can comment on or touch. Also this issue involves women’s ability to participate in public life. Many women may reduce or alter their activities because they fear street harassment
A big way to reduce the fear women face and to reduce the acceptability of street harassment is just to talk about it, whether its sharing facts like the ones listed above to cat-callers who do not understand why it is a “big deal” or by sharing your own personal experiences about catcalling with friends and family so that you can get support about the experience and start to change assumptions around catcalling.
If you want more information about Catcalling/Street Harassment you can go to