The only thing I truly hate about living in New York City is the constant and unabashed cat calling that goes on; no other supposedly “civilized”, “liberal” or “cosmopolitan” city I have ever been to comes close in the constant and rampant sexual belittling of women in public spaces. Unfortunately, however, while there’s a pervasive attitude amongst men that it’s OK to tell every woman that walks past them that they should be fucked the ass, there’s also laws that make it very not OK for said woman to turn around and stab AssFuck McGee in the eye with a fork.
In my experience, the law does very little to protect women from untoward come-ons in the street. Because obviously, female bodily integrity is like, so passé, and we’re obviously now liberated enough that we’re totally chill with sexual objectification, because, you know, media, Kate Upton, rap music etc. Given that we’re on our own, ladies, I’ve developed a highly scientific guide to identifying different genres of cat callers in the field, and exactly what you can do to fight them (which, for the most part, is nothing, just get yourself to safety; or, if you want to be practical about it, just don’t dress like a filthy slut when you leave the house. Actually, don’t leave the house at all, boo you whore!).
Not that I’m encouraging violence against the men who have been kind enough to give you unsolicited compliments about your physicality. PUNK’D! Of course I am, spew all over the next douche bag that comments on your tatas! Imagine yourself giving him a huge wedgie that breaks his underwear elastic! In a fantasy world, this is how I’d get mine when I’m threatened by a man as I’m simply trying to walk down my block to the subway…
Drivers are the most frustrating group of cat callers because they honk or holler out the window at you and then they’re gone in a flash. As they go by I’ll often flip a bird, but they’re normally gone so fast they won’t even see it and then I just look like a crazy lady standing at a crossing waving my middle finger at nothing. In a better scenario, I’d take down the number plate, call up my friend who is a cop (first I have to get a friend who is a cop) find out where Horny Honker lives, and go slash his stupid tires. In the wise words of the siren Shania Twain, “So you got a car… That don’t impress me much!”
These are the guys that pass you in the street and say things like “You’re so beautiful, God bless you.” I still haven’t figured out how to fight these assholes because they keep invoking fucking GOD which is really unfair; it’s hard to tell someone to cunt off after they’ve just approached you under the guise of religion. I was raised properly–that is, to be respectful of idiots who use God as an excuse for moronic behavior–but if saying “God isn’t real” was effective as “Santa doesn’t exist”, then I’d really have a one-up on this particular breed of cat callers.
The Old Guys
Likewise, when a 100 year old man cat calls me in the street it’s really hard to snap back. My mother raised me to respect my elders, even if they are skeezy, gross old blokes mentally photographing me for the spank bank. The best revenge is being quietly smug knowing that the dude probably can’t get unassisted boners, and more to the point will probably die pretty soon. OK now I kind of feel sorry for him WHAT HAVE I BECOME?
The Pet Lovers
These are the disgusting dudes that make kissy sounds like they’re calling their cat or dog over to them. Feel free to unleash whatever torrent of hell language you have in your arsenal. I’ve tried telling one of these guys he was being rude but he just said “Meow!” You can’t have a rational argument with a completely demented idiot; people like this only understand a very base model of argument that revolves around creative slurs. In a perfect world, I’d be able to physically overpower this dude, strip him naked, put him on a leash and make him parade up and down the block on all fours making the purring noises he was making at me.
There’s nothing more terrifying than a quiet street and a big group of men, spraying each other in testosterone, targeting a lone woman with overtly sexual threats. This is where I have some high octane, Tarantino-style revenge fantasies.
The Baby Daddies
There’s a special place in hell for men who hold their tiny children in their arms while making lewd comments as you walk past. These guys are easy to shame, you just turn around, point to their little baby and say, “How would you feel if someone spoke to your daughter like that? Because I’m someone’s daughter too.” You don’t need to explain to them that you’re an autonomous woman that deserves safety in the street–that’s too grand of an argument–but explaining it on relatable terms definitely works. Ideally, you’d just snatch the baby and run, and raise it to be a polite, respectful, empowered human being.
The Men At Work
Any sort of group of men “working” on a construction site or in an industrial area is a cat calling nightmare. You can either cross to the other side of the street or call 311 and report the work site (I’ve done both, unfortunately crossing the street is more effective). So taking matters into your own hands, I’ve got two words: Asbestos. Contamination.
The Total Fucking Creeps
Then there are just some guys that are so vile, so horrifyingly forward, that it warrants a whole other level of self-defense. These are the guys that tell you they want to motorboat your tits, or who follow you for blocks that never seem to end spouting their disgusting commentary. Call the cops on these guys. You know what. Call the cops on all these guys. Every single genre of cat caller deserves to be dealt with by the law, and fantasy aside, maybe if we all started calling the police every time we were harassed in the street, the law would start dealing with the situation adequately. Oh, and I fully support a Wolverine key punch to the nut sack of any man that even thinks about coming close to touching you in the street.