Catcalling Around The World

Oct 03, 2014

Six months in and 8 countries visited. What are some of the things that I’ve learned so far?

  1. I have very nice legs.
  2. I am probably very delicious (because that’s what I think when I say “mmm” at things).
  3. I have looked very nice and/or pretty and/or beautiful on several occasions on which I hadn’t even been trying!
  4. I am the love of several handfuls of men throughout these countries.
  5. I am worthy of at least 5 kissy sounds in a row.
  6. I look so good sometimes that I am lucky enough to have a man look at me for more than a quick glance.
  7. Saying hello and making any sort of eye contact with a man means that I definitely want him. Now.
  8. I am only here as an object to be desired.

And those are just the things that I was able to pick up using my native English language. Imagine how much more I could have learned about myself if I could speak a lick of Spanish! Luckily I will be taking lessons soon, so I will learn so many more things about myself!

But really. FUCK ALL OF THAT.


Now, some people just don’t understand what is wrong with having someone tell you that you look nice or that you have beautiful eyes, or just wanting to know your name. They’re just being nice, right? Why can’t we just take a compliment? Boys are just being boys, right? But then you ignore the harassment or say something back and now you’re just the bitch who couldn’t take that compliment.

And some people may say that it’s a cultural thing. That’s just how things are there. But why should ANY woman, regardless of where she is from or the “culture” she is surrounded by, or what she chooses to wear, have to put up with this harassment? It’s the same thing at home in the US, so is it also a cultural thing there that I should just have to deal with? Why is this something that is OK? Going back to the, “Oh it’s just boys being boys” argument, at what point will people start taking responsibility for their actions and maybe, just maybe, start teaching these boys (who range in age from approximately 6 to 66 depending on where you are) that this is NOT OK? Because the first question I have for any boy who has some “nice thing to say to me” is, “were you raised in a goddamn BARN?!” Since when was it a man’s job to make a woman, a perfect stranger, feel good about herself without being asked to? We don’t need a man’s approval or compliments to feel beautiful or more feminine. We can do that on our own, thanks. And no, complimenting a woman on her looks during a conversation in hopes of going on a date, for example, or having an actual relationship with her, platonic or romantic, is not the same thing. There is a difference between a genuine compliment and a harassing statement. We are smart enough to tell the difference.

And do we really need to talk about the fact that all of these unwated comments generally make women feel uncomfortable? Whether it's a strong-willed and strong-headed woman or a shy woman, at some point or another the remarks will be enough to make any woman feel cheapened, unsafe and uncomfortable to one extent or another. 

Jessica Williams, and the women she enlists to speak with on the matter, makes a good point in her video below. Her sarcasm and wit are readily welcome and provided me with some much needed laughs on such a hot topic…



What makes us ladies think that we can “just go outside wearing just a dress, or pants, or a red shirt?” We’re obviously doing it wrong!

So the moral of the story is, No. It’s not excusable, period. It's not excusable to call it a cultural “thing,” or associate it with boys just being boys or assuming that it was provoked (don't even get me started on that one). It’s not OK wherever you are in the world and I eagerly await the day for the boys out there to grow up and start acting like men and treating the women of the world (your mothers, sisters, daughters, grandmothers, girlfriends, wives, ahem) with respect.

And by the way, it doesn’t matter if the harasser is an attractive male or an unattractive male. It’s still wrong. A catcall is a catcall no matter who is saying it. 




Roam on!




Written by Jen Hays
Jen is a marketer with a passion for the digital world and an insatiable desire to travel and explore all that the physical world has to offer; marrying the two to share her experiences with and inspire all who join her along the way.

Find her on  | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram





Please add a comment

Leave a Reply

(Your email will not be publicly displayed.)

Captcha Code

Click the image to see another captcha.