Playboy magazine published a flowchart designed by artist Shea Strauss titled “Should You Catcall Her?” that took the reader on a step-by-step process of whether or not you should catcall a woman (spoilers: you should only catcall her if she’s an actual cat, or if you have in “explicit terms” agreed to shout “sexually suggestive comments” to each other.) It’s a step forward for a magazine that prides itself on objectifying women in every way possible. While there is more work to be done (I mean, what actually goes on in the Playboy mansion), I’m glad they’re taking this first step.
We’ve talked about being catcalled before. It’s never a compliment. Being catcalled isn’t a fun thing, either. It makes you feel embarrassed and small. I recently moved to a new neighborhood (Hollywood) and found that I no longer liked to jog, because I was sick of the comments I was getting from men on the street, comments that the men no doubt thought of as compliments, like one stranger who shouted,
“You don’t need to work out!”
No, actually, I do, thanks; it makes me feel good, and I wasn’t put on the street solely for you to make vocal opinions about. I have my own life, my own struggles, my own goals and my own routine that does not involve you, sir. I’m not jogging on the street for your entertainment.
And when I told people this story, I got some comments like, “Well, what did you expect?” Like, Jesus, really? Is that where we’re lowering the bar, to the place where we allow this stuff to go on, because we should expect it? Like I’m just supposed to be okay with this, because, hell, it’s Hollywood, how dare you try to be an exercising woman in Hollywood!? What did I expect? I expected to have a morning of healthy exercise. I expected to put on my running shoes and hit the pavement. I expected to come back, sweaty, ready for a shower and to start my day. That’s what I expected. Isn’t that what anyone expects when they decide to work out? Why should I expect any differently? Because I’m a woman?
But I say, no way. We’re better than that. No one deserves to have their personal space invaded like that. If just one man reads the Playboy flowchart and has a change of heart, then I applaud Playboy. They’ve got a long way to go, and they’re working on it; clearly they’re trying to appeal more to women, and I appreciate this small step.
Ladies, have you been catcalled? What’s the worst you’ve ever heard? How did it make you feel?
Photo by Nikita via Flickr.
Almie Rose is a writer from Los Angeles. She has a blog, Apocalypstick. In addition to Dating & Hookup she also writes for Hello Giggles, The Frisky, Thought Catalog, and Genlux Magazine. Her book, I Forgot To Be Famous, is out now. You can follow her on twitter @apocalypstick. Her favorite pastime is eating and drinking and sleeping and then eating again.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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