5 Rules For Dudes Who Cat-Call Women On The Street

1. Quit whispering.

Have something you need to get off your chest? Dying to comment on how fine I look today? Well, speak the hell up then. Go ahead. Don’t be meek. You’ve already taken it upon yourself to vocalize your thoughts on my appearance, so go on Miss J. Say it loud and say it proud; I don’t want to be the only one who knows what a scumbag you are.

2. Don’t call me shorty. I’m taller than you.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been totally bewildered by a phantom “shorty” cry. “What? Where did that come from? Did someone sneeze?” And then lo-and-behold, there’s some 4’9″ dude calling me ‘shorty’ like we’re on that level. And by level, I mean eye level. I know it’s a term of endearment, but I’m not a ‘shorty,’ and I’m definitely not your shorty. I’m like, 5’10” in a responsible heel, and tall enough to effortlessly knee you in the balls. Fall back.

3. Don’t tell me to smile.

Stoked on your concern for my happiness, but if you really wanted me to smile you’d cat-call me and then immediately get hit by a bus. An envelope of cash will suffice, too; please silently hand me an envelope of cash in exchange for a smile. You have to work for it, you know? Even something simple as tripping over your own feet is grin-worthy. Tripping over your own feet will ensure that I smile for at least five minutes.

4. Think about your end goal.

Let’s talk about your hopes and aspirations for a minute. Do you want to land a young, savvy wife with minimal cooking skills and a smile that you haven’t seen yet but are sure is quite lovely? My suggestion would be to quit standing on the corner hollering at every vagina that walks by. Is your goal to be crass and embarrassing, to bring shame to every self-respecting man burdened with the dishonor of knowing you, and to be a total dick to a stranger because you have no self-control? Oh. Cat-call away, then.

5. Actually, just don’t do it.

Believe it or not, most human beings have this thing called an inner monologue. An inner monologue prevents every mundane, offensive, inappropriate thought that crosses one’s mind from being articulated. It becomes especially helpful when you’re attempting to be a civilized person who respects other civilized people. Try it sometime. TC mark

image – Shutterstock


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  • lax

    I agree. 

  • http://www.oneyearintexas.com Perfect Circles

    Every man who cat-calls is scum and none of them read this website.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathon-Ferrari/100001319787228 Jonathon Ferrari

    Someone settle an argument for me, the phrase “What up girl?” counts as cat-calling, right?

    • Ally M

      Yes, but not nearly as terrible as “Hey, mama!” 

    • http://twitter.com/teresaelectro Teresa Lynch

      Depends. I’ve found in London the annoying version of ‘What up girl?” is “You alright?”

      I get annoyed and take it usually as they are literally ask if I can handle myself (i.e. know where I’m going and not a scared lamb in need of a man to take of care…)

      If you’re innocently asking me ‘how’s it going’, if you’re cute, I may smile. If you’re old enough to be my father, go away.

    • Danaynay


  • http://twitter.com/mnguyen My Nguyen

    YES, with the comment on smiling. 

  • Ally M

    “Don’t tell me to smile” So true. I agree, though. If said “caller” were to trip over his own low-hanging self worth, I too would giggle, and I’d be more than obliged to make sure he saw how big my smile was. 

  • http://mason-jar-memories.blogspot.com/ Grace Elizabeth

    I love this. The worst to me are cat-calls thrown out of a moving vehicle. I can’t even give you a dirty look after you and your ‘boys’ scream obsceneties at me. Rage.

  • Meghan Cline

    This is the funniest thing I’ve read on TC in a long time! #3 is SO TRUE. Very nice!

  • http://twitter.com/iamthe0nly Jordana Bevan

    i’ve started doing weird things when people cat-call/do related offenses to freak them out.
    like, usually when guys say “smile!” they try to make it an actual interaction. last time someone did it i (dramatically) threw myself against a building (nyc sidewalk) and started hyperventilating. at first he tried to talk to me cuz he thought that’s what i was trying to do, then he got freaked out and walked away (rude, what if i was actually having a panic attack?).
    also, if cat-call occurs in a busy area (so there’s no real threat of this person being able to do anything to you), just stopping and staring (not glaring, just staring) at the guy and refusing to look away makes them feel super weird. in my experience.

    • http://mason-jar-memories.blogspot.com/ Grace Elizabeth

      This is the best reaction I’ve ever heard XD

  • Tyler Adams

    “but if you really wanted me to smile you’d cat-call me and then immediately get hit by a bus.”  <- Awesome.

  • sneakypizza

    Whenever I get the urge to cat-call, I just save it til I get home and cat-call my cat. She thinks it’s hilarious!

  • Guest

    Cat calling is only really cringe-worthy for me when some dude calls me something offensive and/or I’m with my mother. 

  • Jackie Faith

    I cannot agree enough with the shorty rule. I’m over 5’10 in flats. Few men can call me ‘shorty’ and mean it literally. I never have been, nor ever will be, a ‘shorty’, in any manner.

  • http://twitter.com/philosolaktor Lakshitha

    Love this. So, so, so true.

  • asdf

    I tend to look at it as a cry for help. ‘help, i’m horny’. Have mercy.

  • Guest

    This article reminds me of an episode of Sex and The City (don’t judge) where Miranda finally stands up to some contruction worker dude and says, “You got what I want? You got what I need? What I WANT… is to GET LAID. What I NEED… is to GET LAID. I NEED to GET LAID.”
    And he totally backs down.

    I think very rarely are dudes who do this actually trying to get to know you or date you or do you, just intimidate you and make you feel small and objectified. The best you can do is not react one bit in my opinion.

    • asdf

      did i miss the memo stipulating, as a general rule, when mentioning SATC any ~self respecting woman~ has to apologise for indulging in the show?  

      That scene immediately came to mind also. I’m not sorry. Ah, Miranda.

  • Julia Kath

    my best defense has always to turn around, look them up and down, burst out laughing and move on. nothing else destroy’s a cat-caller’s self esteem so fast… (unless you manage to laugh at their penis)

  • http://twoseconds.tumblr.com/ Jesse Vaughan

    Ok, Rule 5 applies to everything, all of the time.

  • Chic_NY_Chick

    Love this!  #3 is my fave.  Yes, I’ll take the combo – hand me cash AND get hit by a bus.  I will smile for a week! ;)

    • Anonymous

       The bus thing would get a full, hearty laugh from me. Then I would record it and post it on YouTube with a hilarious Benny Hill soundtrack so that the entire world could share in the hilarity.

  • saradio

    Since you live in Paris, I’m sure it’s ten times worse.  Those men are ridiculous.  

    • alice


  • Michaelwg

    *Whistles at you*

  • Danaynay

    But WHY do they do it??

  • Kelsey

    one time, while shitty apartment shopping in the bronx, a man yelled “say, mama, you look like you want some cream in ya” in my general direction. i told him i was creamed out for the day. he looked more disgusted than i was.

  • Anonymous

    Relax, all of you. You know you think 2 things when you get cat called:
    1.) What a jerk.
    2.) I mean… I guess I do look pretty today…

    • littlekoishii

      Actually, my thought process runs more along the lines of:
      1.)  Just shut up already.
      2.)  Leave me alone.

      • littlekoishii

        Oh, and let’s not forget:
        3.)  Can’t you see these unnecessarily large headphones?  I can’t hear you, and even if I can, I probably don’t want to!

    • http://www.facebook.com/kischaford Kischa Ford

      Oh, the flaws in your theory! The worse I look, the more I’m catcalled. Perfectly coiffed, made up,  & wearing a pretty dress? No catcalls. Turned heads, perhaps, but no catcalls. Running out to the corner store in no makeup, uncombed hair, & sweatpants? Catcalls galore, hissing up to the rafters. How could this be, you ask?

      Because men who catcall aren’t looking to compliment women. They’re looking to assert their heterosexuality by subjugating women, & women who are dressed shabbily are perceived to have lower self-esteem, thus making them easier prey for insecure, predatory men.

    • Guestropod

      I usually think ‘hope THIS one doesn’t follow me for awhile before assaulting me’

      bc you know it wouldn’t be the first time

  • http://twitter.com/gioiaous Katie M. Gioia

    This is a very one-sided view of this situation. Catcalling is very prevalent in many other cultures, and is not considered “degrading” or anything of that nature. While I, too, may roll my eyes occasionally when being told to “smile, baby,” it’s much worse/more common in other countries, and no one gets outraged.

    • Anon

      This is terrible logic.Just because something is “common” or “much worse”  elsewhere doesn’t make it ok in places where it isn’t as prevalent or severe. 

      See: female genital mutilation, the holocaust, child labor

    • Lo

      i hope you die.

  • Anonymous

    And also, this is coming from a girl who has the following (below) on her tumblr. So you’re comfortable getting catcalled by anonymous creepers on the internet but hold antipathy towards guys who have the balls to do it in real life?
    “Anonymous asked: You look like vanessa hudgens & she’s hot, so…THIS NEVER STOPS SOUNDING GOOD TO MY EARS”

    • http://omgstephlol.tumblr.com Stephanie Georgopulos


    • http://omgstephlol.tumblr.com Stephanie Georgopulos

      You’re right, it takes a lot of balls to scream at me from a moving car. A random stranger on the street telling me I look sexy is in no way an anonymous creeper. I am far more threatened by a Tumblr user and will never accept a compliment on the internet again. Thank you for showing me the error of my ways.

      • Anonymous

        Hey, no problem!

        By the way, you look like Vanessa Hudgens and she’s hot.

      • http://omgstephlol.tumblr.com Stephanie Georgopulos

        In that case…

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