The Cat Call Controversy

Why It’s Not Okay for Men to Comment on Women in the Streets

A digital rendering of  a man calling at a woman.

Photo Credit Jazz Dawkins

A digital rendering of a man calling at a woman.

Jazzarie Dawkins

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  • Why? It’s rude. No one ever asked for your opinion or what you think. Even if you consider it a “compliment”, you never know how they were or how your comment can negatively affect their day.



  • “But I meant it in a nice way.” That does not matter. What do you expect to happen once you say that to her? She doesn’t know what your intentions are and because of that, she may feel threatened.



  • “Well she’s dressed provocatively…” This will forever be an invalid argument, until it applies to both boys and girls. When a boy shows a little bit of skin, no one bats an eyelash. But when a girl does the same thing, does that give you the right to catcall her? No.


  • “She rejected me anyway.” Good. She probably felt threatened from your vulgar comments, but whether she rejected you or not, that doesn’t make it even remotely okay. Just because once you got a positive response, doesn’t mean it will work every time. In fact, it won’t work everytime.


  • “But it’s funny, I was joking.” Will it still be funny when your little sister comes home crying, saying that she was harassed by some guys on her way home? How will you feel then? Besides, does she know you were “just joking”? Even if you weren’t planning on doing anything after, does she know that?  Why don’t you consider her feelings and not your own?


In conclusion, there is no reason for anyone to comment on a stranger’s appearance. Catcalling has never made anyone feel complacent. Instead, one might feel jeopardized or in danger. If you’d like to compliment someone, you should do it in a less threatening way. It will never be funny and it will never be the victim’s fault, no matter how “provocatively” you think she’s dressed.