Written by Jesh Orquina
Being a woman in this society comes with a couple of issues and catcalling is just one of them. When catcalling is mentioned, people usually picture a man whistling at a woman walking down the street. Although this is the typical scenario, we want you to understand that there is so much more to it than just that.
When women get catcalled, they experience a mix of negative emotions that can last for hours or even days after the catcalling.
How each woman reacts to being catcalled varies but all women can agree that being catcalled makes us feel unsafe, harassed, and violated. Catcalling is something that no woman is asking for, regardless of what they look like or what they are wearing. Whenever we get catcalled, we are forced to go through something that makes us feel uncomfortable. No woman wants that.
Men, we don’t know what goes through your minds when you catcall a woman but we want to make it clear that if you think you’re brightening up our day or that you’re doing us a favor by giving us a “compliment,” you’re really not.
If anything, you’re just ruining our day by giving us unwanted attention. It’s not that we don’t like being complimented about our outfits or the way we look, it’s just that we can tell when your words or actions have malicious intent. You can compliment a woman without making her uncomfortable. Ask yourself if you would say or do these things to a guy. If not, it’s probably best to keep it to yourself.
Even though catcalling has somewhat become a norm in this day and age, that doesn’t make it okay.
That is why we want to let you know that just because a woman doesn’t react or fight back doesn’t mean that what you did is acceptable. It doesn’t mean that she didn’t get upset or scared because of a comment that you deemed harmless. Most women who get catcalled often find themselves unable to react despite desperately wanting to. When we get catcalled, we get so caught off guard that we tend to just freeze up. It is something that we never want to happen to us and yet it keeps happening.
Men, what we ask from you isn’t much.
We just want to be treated with kindness and respect, the way every person deserves to be treated. We just want to walk through the streets without having to worry about whether a random guy is going to catcall us or not. We just want to get from one place to another without feeling scared whenever we have to pass by a group of men. Is it really too much to ask for just this?
Catcalling has been a significant problem in our society for the longest time and now that women are finally speaking up, we can only hope that every single man takes the time to listen and understand. If both men and women work together, we can all turn the world into a better place for every single person.
Recently, San Mig Light hosted a Mahaba-habang Usapan session on catcalling. In the session, notable women from various fields talked about their own experiences about catcalling and their take on the whole thing. It’s a great intro for men on how we feel when we get catcalled. In the video are milliner Mich Dulce, director Samantha Lee, tattoo artist Wiji Lacsamana, writer and activist Naomi Fontanos, photographer Adriana Griner, and activist Noelle Capili.
To end this article, I’m leaving you with a few words to ponder on. In the words of Fontanos, “As long as catcalling exists, we’re far from gender equality. We’re far from being a gender-equal society and therefore, we’re far from being a just society. So for me, catcalling is actually an issue of injustice. When it happens to you, it’s so unjust. I think nobody deserves injustice in the world so let’s all work together to eradicate this kind of injustice in the society.”
San Mig Light