My friend Ellie posted a funny video she’d found on YouTube to her Facebook page. It’s an acted clip of what it would be like if women catcalled men and it made me laugh.
It got me wondering about the nature of ‘catcalling’ and how for some reason it is absolutely a thing that men do to women but not something, on the whole, that girls (the ones that I know at least) would partake in the other way around.
I wonder why?
I know lots of women don’t like men whistling at them or beeping their horns as they drive past but to be honest, the majority of my friends (and I) quite like it and take it as a compliment as long as that’s all it is, a quick whistle or the like. I remember the first time someone beeped me as they drove past. I was about 12, walking with my friend and her Mum and it made me jump. I clearly remember my friend’s Mum saying ‘that’s what men do when they fancy someone and you’ll get it a lot because you have blonde hair’. I think she was a bit appalled and because I was 12 years old, rightly so, but I just felt very flattered.
Over the years I found it did indeed happen a lot. The blatant appreciation for the looks of a young blonde girl being vocalised by men but I never felt hassled or violated. In broad daylight with loads of people around it just feels like a bit of a giggle really. I’ve always taken it for what it is (I’ve never had any nasty experiences apart from when a guy flashed me which is entirely different – seriously, why do men do that?) and enjoyed the attention. It really doesn’t happen as much these days, two children, quite a few years and less than blonde hair have seen to that probably but I’d still feel a bit miffed if I walked past a building site and didn’t get at least one whistle – thankfully I still do to date. I really don’t see anything wrong with it.
But… And here’s my double standard which I don’t really even understand myself as on paper it should all add up to being ok… I would never whistle, leer or beep my horn at a man and would wrinkle my nose up if I saw another woman doing it for real, unlike laughing at the video above. Even if Mark Wright (celebrity crush, sorry to my husband but it’s true) walked past and I was safely inside a car whizzing past I couldn’t bring myself to ‘catcall’ a guy and never would have! Again, I wonder why but suspect because it’s just not very lady like?! More evidence, all round, that suggests I am most certainly not a feminist I guess!