11 People Who Cat Call Women On The Street Explain Why They Do It


Found on r/AskReddit.

1. He knows a guy who does this

I know a guy who does this. He’s black, I’m white. I asked if he ever gets results from doing it and he says black women respond all the time.

I read somewhere that in Latin culture, the things a man said to a passing woman were referred to as “little gems” (whatever that is in Spanish) and once upon a time were much more complimentary and poetic. Instead of today’s “nice ass” it was more like “the sun embraces your beauty like a flower,” or whatever. And in Latin culture, at the time it was welcomed by women.

So I have evidence, albeit not amazingly well researched that this phenomenon is well received by both black and Latino cultures.

I don’t know what to do with that knowledge, but there it is.

Also, my wife has a relevant explanation. She says that every woman has somewhere in their head the assumption that (if they haven’t already) they will be raped someday. Any moment of any day may be the day. And when they hear a man catcall them on the street, they have the instinctual thought: “This is it. This guy is my rapist.” So if you’re a guy, and you do this, there’s a chance that the woman will receive it well, but there’s a much higher chance that whatever you said, the message you sent to her is: I am your rapist.

2. Because it worked once

I did this to a girl once. I was in the passenger sest and this girl was walking in the opposite direction, wearing really short jean cutoffs and bikini top. My 17 year old self was completely helpless against the torrent of hormones that forced me to yell out the window as we passed her the only word I could form with my foaming mouth…


I honestly don’t know what I was expecting, it’s not like we were going to slow down and talk to the girl or anything, but I’ll be damned if she didn’t turn around, smile broadly, and lift up her bikini top, she had some proper swingers. I couldn’t believe it had worked. I’ve never done anything like that since, maybe because I have a 100% success rate, but I guess the moral of the story is that there are some girls who respond very positively to this sort of behavior, and I guess its worth it for the guys who get flipped off or yelled at 99 times to find the 1 girl who will show her tits.

3. Independent man

Funny story. I’m a guy, if I would rate myself I would say I’m average looking. So I was coming back from the gym one day and it’s nice so I’m feeling good, sleeveless and all that jazz. Car full of hot chicks starts rolling past me. The two on the side closest to me start chirping and whistling. “Eyyy bay-bay!” “Looking good!” “How u doin!?” This caught me way off guard, what did I do? I just yelled back, “I ain’t no object, I’m an independent man!”

They drove off, and I never saw them again. So I just walked back to my apartment laughing my ass off at what just happened. To this day I wonder if they were serious and if they thought what happened was as funny as I thought it was. So moral of my story is it doesn’t just happen to chicks… I guess.. I don’t know what the moral was really. I have a weird life. That’s good.

4. “Builds character”

Cause we’re all dudes. It’s fun. It’s provocative. It gets people going. It just gets everyone all hype. Also it does work occasionally, especially if you’re in the hood or ghetto. And like another guy said, we need to be rejected as men and get used to it. It builds character.

5. For power

I catcall women to feel a brief moment of power and to try to get noticed. I’m a terribly ugly man, and have been looked down on and openly mocked by attractive women my whole life. A catcall or a car horn beep gives me a momentary feeling of power over them because I can see their discomfort.

6. Because some women actually like it

You can think of this as a practice in conditioning (positive reinforcement) using a variable interval schedule. It works much the same way that a slot machine works.

There is a percentage of women, however small that percentage may be, that will respond positively to the cat-calling. This positively reinforces the behavior. Via mechanisms like mini extinction bursts, variable reinforcement (as opposed to constant reinforcement, which would mean that the behavior would be reinforced every time) actually reinforces the behavior to a stronger degree. Think about gambling addiction. The slot machine only reinforces sometimes, but the urge to continue trying gets stronger and stronger.

So, as long as there are women that reinforce this behavior by feeding into it through attention, or giving into them fully, no matter how small that percentage, the behavior will continue.

This however does not defend the practice at all. Just the reason that is continues despite the majority of women looking the other way.

7. A mating call

Luckily or unluckily i am in an infantry division and a lot of my colleagues seem to find this normal behavior. Although i do not understand their point of view i have noticed it seems to work on a certain group of females.

It seems to be a way of flirting, a way of letting the other sex now they are physically attractive. Although i can not for the life of me understand how such demeaning behavior could ingratiate a man with a woman it somehow does work in certain circumstances.

In short, apparently it works as a mating call to similarly interested females.

8. It’s almost like Bernie Madoff’s returns

Low risk, high reward.

9. Because men don’t care

In U.S. culture (I can’t speak for others.) it’s actually seen as sort of positive to actually degrade women and, quite frankly, be a dick to all women that you don’t know on a very deep level. Abusing women in this verbal way seems to work however speaking from the people who do this however, so it’s their call. You see the “cool bros” looking like they obviously “don’t care” and just give women stares as if they’re disgusting or that they’re taking some sort of notes, and sometimes even downright disrespectful comments towards strangers.

It’s really a shame to me, as I hardly want to include myself as part of my very own culture anymore. So much disrespect and pointless tropes going on and off, from this sort of thing which in an unbiased perspective is clearly considered rude, to their over-usage of spray cologne, and typical behaviors. It seems the goal of this culture sometimes is to force all human beings to be the exact same and come in tropes that make absolutely no sense but remain in a predictable pattern.

I believe the abuse and that sort of thing comes from the whole “men are bigger and better than woman” sort of behavior. While this of course, should be regarded as entirely false, the large part of the U.S. male population seems to still behave in this way no matter how much they’ll blindly deny it failing to realize all of the cases and instances which makes them the perfect embodiment of the idea. I’m no supporter of feminism on the extreme levels of course, but I believe that in thought, and on shallower levels, males and females are entirely equal and should treat each other as such, not just on deeper levels.

10. For the laughs

The biggest reason, which has been said multiple times in this thread, is that we find it fun. Its not meant to be disrespectful or degrading. Just fun. Sometimes its received well and reciprocated, and sometimes its not. If its not received well then you should stop. If so, then hey, have fun. That is the point after all.

11. For the jokes

I’ve always been the pain in the arse that calls people out for calling and whistling at women, any where and any time at anyone. I’ve always said that it’s a form of bullying, but there was one occasion when I did wolf whistle at a woman.

It was a very good friend of mine who was walking the opposite way to me on a very crowded footpath in a large city. She spun around and was letting loose with the foulest language I’ve ever heard from her until she saw it was me. Boy, did I feel shitty.

She apologised, I apologised, and we’ve laughed about it ever since. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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