Cat-calling is not a compliment. In fact, it is the exact opposite of a compliment. Street harassment is just another way to objectify, dehumanize and sexualize women, people of the LGBTQIA+ community and other persecuted groups. It’s objectifying, it’s misogynistic and it makes people feel annoyed at best, unsafe at worst.
When I walk down the street wearing jeans and a t-shirt and some man twice my age yells out “Hey, nice ___!” I don’t feel flattered. I feel violated. I’m 14-years-old, I shouldn’t be sexualized for simply walking down the street.
According to a woman’s magazine, 65 percent of women and 25 percent of men report an overall prevalence of street harassment (including verbal and physically aggressive harassment). Seventy percent of LGBTQIA+ people and 49 percent of heterosexual people report acts of street harassment against them by the age of 17.
This is unacceptable. Violating another human being’s physical and mental space is just another form of assault.