It’s on you: To the guy who catcalled me today
“HOOOTTT DAAAMMMN, where’d you get those sunglasses baby?” When I looked at you in unmasked disgust “yeah that’s right, I’m talking to you girl.”
Those were the first words I heard you say, but that’s not the first time I saw you. Thinking back, I reckon you saw me first. After all I was quite preoccupied driving into the parking lot. Prescriptions, errands, work- all of these ran through my mind as I drove past you and parked in a stall across the aisle.
I’m a pretty cautious person in general. I always wear my seat belt, I carry pepper spray and I always check my backseat when getting into the car. It was natural for me to glance in my rear view mirror before opening my door. I bet you saw me do a double take, when I realized you and your friend were leaning against the car, staring and waiting. I have to hand it to you, at least you managed to keep your jaws shut. That’s when I got an uneasy feeling in my stomach.
Not one to be scared off, I grabbed my keys and purse, figuring you would leave it at staring. There’s nothing wrong with appreciating what the good Lord gave someone, I myself have done so many a time, but you couldn’t leave it at that.
I got out of my car and took off my sunglasses. We both know what you said, how I ignored you and kept walking into the store. I’m sure you and your buddy got a good laugh, your ego was boosted and after you finished smoking you went on your way.
I’m sure that move has brought you some luck in the past, another girl may have been extremely flattered as you so generously provided her a self-confidence boost. I’m not that girl.
You had plenty of options, but as I see it you only gave me three. I could A) ignore you and keep walking, B) be flattered and actually give you the time of day or c) come up with a quick remark to shut you down. I chose option A, not wanting to waste my time.
Let me tell you your options now. You could have tried to act a little more natural as I got out of the car, not like a waiting panther. You could have struck up a conversation such as, “hey, how’s it going?” to which I would have replied with some pleasantry. Next you could have said, “man those are some sweet sunglasses, where did you get them?” At this point I probably would have stopped and continued to have a conversation with you, feeling safe. We could have talked about the lack of snow, the holidays, work or school. That could have been your shot.
Instead you chose to ‘be a man’, and cat-call. I pretended I didn’t care, but that wouldn’t be the whole truth. You made me uncomfortable, a little scared and confused. I started wondering if my sunglasses were too flashy, and that was why you acted so brainless? I wondered if it was a joke, to see just how uncomfortable you could make someone. I also considered that maybe, just maybe you thought this was actually how women like to be treated.
Now I’m sure in your low self-confidence case, it’s really hard to talk to girls. I know it’s hard to talk to guys, I can’t imagine how intimidating women are. But, that’s still not an excuse. Lucky for me, I’ve gotten to know some brave, mature men in my life. They’ve treated me how I should be treated, we’ve had some great times and both gone on in life a better person.
I might be making this into a bigger deal than you think it is. After all, it’s just a joke…right? Wrong. I hope one day you get it, get that women like to be talked to, not objectified. I hope you get that it’s not okay to purposefully make someone uncomfortable. I hope you get that women deserve better.
Tomorrow I’ll wake-up, start my day and not think of you again. After all, as far as I’m concerned you’re not worth it. I’ve got real men to spend my time with.