Photoseries by Andrea Chan (@bluegirl1123)
You’re walking down a quiet alley on the way home when suddenly, you feel someone’s piercing stare. You don’t know who this person is; but when you pass by, the person lets out a loud wolf-whistle. Confused, you turn your head and realize that the person is still staring. Feeling scared and creeped out, you start walking away as quickly as you can.
This is only one of many possible situations that involve catcalling. Today, catcalling has become so prevalent in our society that it is no longer strange to experience it in our everyday lives.
Here, 22 people share their thoughts about catcalling.
22 People Share Their Thoughts on Catcalling
“My first experience with catcalling happened when I was 12 years old and at that moment, I suddenly realized how uncomfortable you can feel in your own city. Catcalling is not a compliment, not a joke, and it is definitely not “okay.” It is a form of sexual harassment and I strive for the day women can walk around their neighborhoods without feeling scared. Ultimately, all we want is respect; and respect is what we deserve.” – Kate Henson, Quezon City
“Catcalling is not trivial. I experienced it firsthand, in broad daylight, and not just once. I know, I know. I could’ve done something to stop them, but I was too scared. I tried to gather the courage to fight back against those catcallers but it was not easy. I couldn’t speak, walk nor breathe properly. All I could do was hope that by ignoring them I could also avoid the possibility of being harassed further.
Others would think it’s easy to shove off the frightening experience of being catcalled kasi verbal lang naman, but no. Despite your decent clothes and proper composure, men (and other people alike) will still call you names like “princess,” “babe,” “miss,” “ganda” and stare you down, you’d wish you could just disappear. Nakakatakot. Women aren’t supposed to regret being born female but in times like that you would just feel like it. Also, women aren’t the only victims of catcalling. Even the members of the LGBT community experience this. Catcalling should not be trivialized. It’s hard enough that we can’t do much about it on our own.” – Aubrey Salazar, Tanauan City, Batangas
“I’ve had the unfortunate experience of being catcalled and I hate how, whenever there are viral catcalling posts, girls always have to post a picture of their outfits to prove a point. “See, I was wearing slacks and long sleeves and it still happened to me!” It’s so unnecessary because it shouldn’t matter what you’re wearing. We shouldn’t have this imaginary dress code to avoid being in situations like this. Tayo pa yung pinapahirapan ng ganito tapos binabastos pa rin. Guys shouldn’t catcall ever period, end of story. Whether she’s completely naked or covered from head to toe, no one has the right to degrade and sexualize someone in public, and no one deserves it.” – Belle Feliciano, Antipolo City
“I absolutely HATE catcalling. I have been catcalled a couple of times before by some outrageous effeminate na gay people and I really felt disrespected. I hate how they act like animals and are okay with being that way. It’s degrading to be seen as an object that can be toyed with and I’m more than just “pleasure” to the eyes. I am a brother, a son, a student, a friend, a lover, and a dreamer.” – Russell Tee, Quezon City
“As far as I can remember, I have been getting catcalled since I was 13. It happens everywhere—In my village, at school, in the mall, in the elevator, or even on the road while I’m driving! Some people need to understand the fear and trauma catcalling has brought upon women like myself. The paranoia is real, and everyone has to stop trying to invalidate that.”
“It’s become such a commonality in today’s society, that more often than not, we tend to just brush it off when it does happen. I don’t want this stigma of it being an ordinary occurrence in any one’s life. In no way was it ever fun or funny to begin with. Catcalling is a shameful act that needs to be stopped.” – Celine Bengzon and her best friend Garie Sison, Quezon City
“I have been catcalled and honestly, it feels so degrading and disgusting. It’s disturbing how people take this lightly and think it’s normal to get catcalled regardless of what you’re wearing — they even expect you to take it as a compliment. It’s not normal. It’s not ok. It’s not a compliment. No one should ever feel like they’re entitled to make someone feel uncomfortable or scared and expect to get away with it.” – Melissa Despojo, Marikina City
More on the next page!