Catcalling or Bearstalking: An Open Letter from a Concerned Male

You see that hot girl walking in the street? Is she catching your eye? Do you feel that urge? That unquenchable thirst hits you while she walks, flaunting her body; as if she's taunting you, as if she wants you to say something to her, something dirty, nasty, despicable. Now's your chance. Get ready, think of the most disgusting thing you could possibly say to a woman and say it. Go forth.

 Art by Kirsten Samanich @kir_andloathinginlasvegas

Art by Kirsten Samanich @kir_andloathinginlasvegas

Here's the deal: Whatever nasty, raunchy thing you think you're about to say to that woman (or any woman for that matter) is not what you should be saying.

What you should be saying is nothing.

You are not innovating the pick-up game, you are not impressing anyone, you are setting a poor example for men everywhere, and making women feel more and more unsafe in an already misogynistic world. Honestly, has catcalling ever worked?

Man: "LEMME SHOW YOU WHAT A REAL MAN FEELS LIKE."

Woman: "I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL DROP MY PANTS RIGHT HERE. I AM SO READY. JUST WHAT I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR IN A MAN: PUBLIC INDECENCY."

Does that sound right? No, it doesn't. Did you go for it anyway? I'm disappointed to bet that you did. She didn't respond to you, did she? She ignored you. I'm sorry(ish) that happened. But do you know what's crazy? It is absolutely okay for her to react in that way. Because that is her basic human right. She doesn't have to give you any attention, she doesn't have to respond to you. That doesn't make her a prude, a bitch, or pretentious.

Have some class and show some respect. If you really want to get to know a woman, don't holler at her in the street, and don't follow her in the hopes of getting her attention; in reality all you're doing is scaring her. They're not flattered, they're not excited because catcalling is what they've been waiting for their entire day; they're terrified. They're terrified because they don't know what you're capable of. If you're willing to go out of your way to follow a woman down the street on their nightly walk home, what else are you capable of?

Oh, you don't think you're scaring her, do you? Fine, let me put this in perspective for you:

Imagine a bear. A massive, snarling grizzly bear, following you in the street on your way home from work. This bear isn't doing anything but growling, speeding up as you try to get away from it. The bear isn't attacking, but you'd still be terrified, wouldn't you?

If you want to get a girl's attention, actually get to know them. Go on a date, strike up a conversation, share some laughs, get to know her. Be vulnerable. Show that you're willing to let her in and that she has nothing to be afraid of.

Although that might seem like a lot more work than hollering obscenities on 5th Avenue, it's the honest truth. You don't need to vomit the first thing that comes out of your mouth when you see someone attractive walking down the street; you need patience. A connection takes time, romance, and a little bit of luck.

And if you think catcalling will help speed things along, stop right there and shut your mouth. When she's ready, she'll be the one to tell you.