Catcalls And The Women Who Endure Them

by Conor Friedersdorf

There's a piece up at The Awl  the Good Men Project that raises the subject:

Street harassment has a negative effect on us all. No single man wants the actions of a few to be attributed to his entire gender, but studies show that male harassers impact victims’ perception and reaction to men in general. Still, most street harassers aren’t “bad men”they don’t fully realize why their actions are hurtful or disrespectful to the female population. Sometimes they don’t even realize they are harassing women at all.

That’s why it won’t end until both men and women start engaging with harassers.

This is a topic that astounds me everytime I discuss it with female friends, because I am utterly blind to it on the streets. It confounds me. When I traveled in Italy and lived in Seville, I witnessed men cat calling on a daily basis. So it isn't just that I'm personally oblivious. Yet in the United States I just never see it, whether on the streets of New York City or Washington DC or San Francisco or Los Angeles. Women I trust completely in all those cities confirm that it happens all the time. It's a very strange thing to wrap my mind around.