(COMIC) Never Mind the War-Cocks

I’ve been thinking a lot about the dynamics between men and women for a long time now, and the conclusion I keep coming to is that it might, just might, be harder to be a woman that it is to be man. Why do I say that? Because women live with the constant possibility of rape. Seriously, that shit could come from anywhere or anyone.

Now hold on a second, ladies, don’t start beating the war-drums and yelling “Mhmm, that’s right!” just yet. Women are just as shitty as men are, just in different ways.

But back on topic…

Cat-calling. I saw this the other day while going on one of my long “writer’s walks”. A young lady was just moving along, minding her own business (and not dressed provocatively) and walked by a group of men who proceeded to call out to her. Nothing completely gross or weird was said, but I felt for that young lady because she looked incredibly uncomfortable as she looked straight ahead and walked away quickly. I admit, I wanted to follow her discreetly to make sure she got to wherever she was going safely, but then quickly realized that I would seem ten times more creepy than those guys if I did that. She walked off alone, and I don’t feel good about that at all.

Meredith Jessup, a blogger at theblaze.com, wrote an article on just this:

“Catcalling ‘encourages women to look at themselves as body parts instead of as full, whole, intelligent human beings’ and can cause women to fear for their safety, Fairchild says. ‘When a man catcalls you, you don’t know if it will end at that point or if it could escalate to assault,’ she added.”

That last part resonated with me because there is no way she could know for sure if the situation could devolve. There is a real fear there, and its that fear that woman feels that makes me angry at these guys cat-calling. Even if the woman is dressed “provocatively”, I think men should always exercise restraint – – although, ladies, if you think that dressing in a tiny skirt with your boobs hanging out won’t get you some creepy leers and jeers, then you need to grow up (Dave Chappelle had a great bit on that).

New York is considering passing laws on cat-calling. I’m not sure how they would do this, as the line between what could be seen as a simple compliment and something that makes a woman feel uncomfortable is thin, but I do think that something needs to be done. I’ve seen a man give, in my opinion, a very sweet and innocent compliment to a woman and she was very unnerved by it. I’ve also seen the stereotypical construction worker call out the grossest shit to a woman and she seemed to receive it pretty damn well. Obviously, there are instances where the harassment is cut and dry, but there are instances where its a bit hazy and left up to one’s perception and sensibilities.

Check out this blog to see how women can fight back:

http://www.ihollaback.org/

I like some of their ideas on curbing aggressive cat-calling, which involves you taking a picture of the men involved. I bet that shuts them up real quick.

I don’t think I’ve ever called out to a woman on the street because I know I would immediately feel like a shit-bag, although there was one time where I let out a somewhat involuntary “DAAAY-UM!” as my jaw hit the floor. In my defense, she was the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in person and I was sixteen.

I fully support the notion that something should be done in cases of aggressive come-ons by men, but I just don’t see how a preventative law could be passed that would still be fairly enforced. Where would the line be drawn? Could simply looking at a woman be criminalized?

I’d appreciate some stories if any of you ladies have some. What do you do when a guy (or guys) cat-call you? What do you all think about trying to pass laws that curb cat-calling? Could it be done effectively? Do law-makers need to even be bothering with this? Leave your comments below, please.

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