An Open Letter to the Men who Catcall
By Eunice Tossy
Recently I have discovered the reason why I always make sure I have my earphones before leaving home. I didn’t know the reason until I lost my earphone, and was forced to walk around without them. The reason is you guys. I might have unconsciously thought earphone were the solution, and so I even forgot why I needed them that much. Now that I don’t have them, I know why I need them.
Dear catcallers, you make my walk even to the shop uncomfortable. You make me feel like a sex object, and a painting which can be tossed and turned. Like something with no emotions, just for your ego.
Let’s talk about your ego. I don’t know why it’s your goal to catcall me whenever you see me, and sometimes even when you are with your friends you do it together. I guess you need a hobby, or to check your ego. So I figured maybe you grew up believing putting a woman down will pull you up, so you take that chance even in public places, to feel good about yourself as a ‘man’. Or, maybe that makes a bunch of your fellow men with toxic masculinity issues, think you are man enough temporary, because after preying on me, you get back to feeling low. Again, something so degrading of you to take part in shouldn’t be where you find your identity, or feel good about doing. Dear catcallers, I am a woman. A human. I have feelings, I don’t know if it has worked for you before. I mean you catcalled a woman and now you are married to her. Well, if that has worked for you, let’s work together to stop catcalling. Because my brother, your wife will leave you for another professional catcaller that she will find on another street. If I were you, I would be very insecure right now. Like really!
Let’s talk about why you do it. I don’t know. Maybe you saw other boys do it in school, and you wanted to fit in. We all want to belong right? I don’t know. Peer pressure right? I know. Maybe you think it makes a woman feel good, when you talk about her body parts and how much you want to hold her right there – on the road or public market. You think women want approval and attention from everyone they meet and as a man you grew up believing you are the one to provide it. I don’t know. You are doing a man’s job in society right? It’s a pity you didn’t take the time to discover your own individuality, instead you just follow society’s rules for who and what you should be and do.
Let’s talk about me. The catcalled. I forgot to introduce myself before! I am the one who feels down, feels shamed and doesn’t know which way to go now, because I know all eyes are on me after you’ve said, ‘your booty is big girl, I want to hold you right now mama’. I am the girl who doesn’t think that, that is a compliment coming from a man, I can’t even have eye contact with right now, because I feel unsafe and insecure. I am the girl you give unsolicited advice to, with your whistles and words. Like, ‘damn that skirt makes me see everything’. Thank you, I guess?! I am the girl you force to do things, because I am not an individual and you are my controller. You know like, ‘smile, you look ugly when you frown’. And I say to myself, ‘let me smile right now OMG, who wants to frown right now when what you told me is so funny, and my goal in life is to look pretty 24/7 ha!’.
Listen, I hate being catcalled. I want to walk the streets free, jumping my way like a 4 year old. I can’t do that now because your unsolicited advice will leave your mouth for the second time today. You would have given your advice the first time, simply because of the fact that I exist in a public place. Shame. It is disrespectful to me. I am a person who you can have a conversation with, and not shout at. I am a person who you can try to know if you are interested in, turns out you’re not. That’s why you embarrass me for no reason. I am a person, and individual, a human being, you should never feed your ego using me. That’s not how healthy people behave. Maybe you should try some therapy, or lose a couple home boys. Or maybe get busy, find a hobby, learn healthy masculine traits. Learn what it means to be a healthy functional man. Have values, value yourself and others.
I am a woman who everyday after you have catcalled me, I feel the urge to show you the middle finger, but I don’t. Because I have values, you should develop some. And check yourself on how you act in public, it will take you a long way. I am a woman, and I hate being catcalled. Save your voice, find a hobby. WHATEVER YOU DO, JUST STOP IT. Think about how it would make you feel if someone was catcalling your sister, mother or wife. Or more importantly, if you were in my shoes, everyday, all the days of your entire life. Someone once told me, as long as you are a woman this will never stop! I didn’t know being born a woman was a ticket to “Catcalled Land”. I didn’t know there was a sexist rule in the constitution, that everyone born a woman is to be catcalled. Matter of fact, I didn’t know it was something that you didn’t care about. You only care about how you feel. Sad. That’s narcissistic, and you are an unhealthy contribution to society.
A woman who hates catcalling.