Are Women Overly Paranoid About Catcalling?

image - Flickr / Simon Laroche
image – Flickr / Simon Laroche

Dear Men,

Most of you probably think women are being entirely too dramatic and paranoid in our reactions to catcalling, and calling it harassment – Yes we know rationally that not all men are rapists or perverts, we also know logically just because someone hollered at us doesn’t automatically mean they want to rape us. We know that. But emotionally, we still fear. Why?

Let’s put it this way:

Say you are a rather short skinny guy, you know that if you go to jail, you’re rather likely to be raped right? The statistics of prison rape is a fact.

Let’s supposed you go to jail for something rather harmless like selling pirated DVDs, and get a year’s sentence. So now you are in jail and you know people get raped in here. Rationally, you know it’s impossible that all inmates are gay and sexually interested in you. In fact, maybe only a very small percentage of them could be.

But you’d still be scared, wouldn’t you?

You know not all of them are out to get you, but some might and you can’t tell who it would be. Yet you are forced to spend all your time with them, to share your space with them, and you know you might make eye contact with that ONE guy who could and would want to rape you.

Would you then not be suspicious of the guy who looks you up & down and smirk at you? What about the guy who comments on your butt looking good in your prison pants? And the guy who comes up to say hi to you and tells you he likes your smile?

Well, don’t be paranoid now! It’s just a compliment. They are just being friendly. Not all inmates want to rape you. Right?

Whether you agree that’s a fair analogy or not, that’s how many women feel every day, all the time. We know not all men are out to rape us, most would never dare do something like that, but we know there are some out there who would, gladly at that, and we can’t tell them apart on sight alone. Also we feel like the short skinny kid who did nothing really bad in jail, and we know anyone can bring us down with a single punch.

So that girl who glares at you in the subway, she is not thinking you are a horrible man that deserves to die, she is trying to find out whether you are part of the small percentage of men out there who can and want to do her harm.

You all should wear labels by the way, it would make communication so much easier. TC mark

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