Thursday, November 6, 2014

Topic of the Week:The Viral Catcalling Video

So last week there was this video of this woman walking through NYC for 10 hours and it showed her being "catcalled" over 100 times. I think it's time I finally addressed this topic and give my absolute honest female opinion on it. It's necessary at this point that I do.

If you didn't see the video, here it is...

My opinion on this: I personally like to wear sexy/fitted/tight/stylish/unique clothing. It's an expression of my personal style and tastes and represents who I am. (There's nothing wrong with what she's wearing based on today's norms, but does it show her physique? I think we can all agree that she does.) Do I like to show skin? Yes...sometimes and to a degree. Do I get catcalled or get treated a certain way when I do? Absolutely. Do I personally like it? Most of the times yes. It depends on what's being said, and of course because it's a form of flattery. Someone gives you a compliment/insult, your ego is stroked either way. Did I ask for it? Hell no, but whether I accept it, ignore it, or whatever, it doesn't matter. I'm married in a relationship for 14 years, with two young daughters of my own and I don't feel like it's harassment when it's done. A man appreciating what he sees and saying to me "wow, beautiful..., God bless you mami, or hey sexy have a nice day" is not derogatory. Men can appreciate beauty just as we can. There's nothing wrong with appreciating a beautiful woman and her body. If anything it's a compliment. Have some men ever treated me in a disgusting manner? Absolutely, I've been called bitch, slut, hoe, etc, for not responding to them and that's fine too, I don't let it bother me because this is America and I wouldn't want to have it any other way where our personal freedoms are being infringed on, such as the Freedom of Speech. If someone were to put their hands on me, or invade my personal space, or do the stalking thing where they follow you, however that's a separate issue that needs awareness and regulation. Otherwise I am free to keep dressing the way I like, and people should be free to catcall as they like. I found this woman who sums it up perfectly. Her video is Brilliant: 

It's common sense that if you dress a certain way you will be treated a certain way. This is a no-brainer. This is not to be confused with rape culture what-so-ever. A woman is not asking for rape by dressing a certain way. I just feel that I'm not a victim when I'm being catcalled. I lived in NYC my entire life up until I was 18 years old. When I was 12 my father died, and I started walking home and taking the bus that year. My body was mature, and I dressed provocatively during my teen years; tight fitted clothing, short tight mini skirts, black stockings and calf length boots, fitted tanks, blouses, and shorts during the summers. I was 12 yrs old being catcalled regularly well until I came to FL where walking through the streets was no longer a norm and the population density was no longer within the same dynamics. Sometimes it doesn't even matter what you wear, but you're more likely to illicit a response wearing fitted clothing. Sometimes or maybe all the time we really don't care to hear how men on the street feel. But this video below says a lot, because feminists would say this woman wearing the hijab is oppressed. I'm all for feminism, women should be treated fairly, with respect and equal freedoms as men. We all should wear what we're comfortable in, but like everything in life: For every action, there is a reaction. Just deal with it or change yourself before you try to change others.

Another issue about this video is that a lot of people would like to make this about race/ethnicity, but I'm here to say absolutely not. If you were raised by wolves you will act like a wolf. It's common sense that there's moral degradation in society. That's the bigger problem outside of this "catcalling/let's get the government involved box..." Where we were sociologically 50-100 years ago, is so different than today's streets, and values. People used to have respect, and women used to be treated with respect and have ample respect for themselves as well. Go back in history and look at how women were represented in the media, compared to the objectification now and you'll see the difference. Steve Santagati makes a very good point in the video below.
Regardless of how intelligent we think we are, its human nature at the core, an animal instinct to attract, court, and procreate. Do these guys go about it wrong? Of course they do. Can they help it? Of course, I'm not saying they're wild animals with no self control, I'm saying that men are known to be assertively bold visual creatures and this is a natural behavior that's been socialized based on culture/environment. It pertains to those who are "uneducated, unwilling to learn, and who have embraced the role of ignorance, poor social skills, and crude understanding of relationship dynamics"
Amanda Seales below is asking for utopia... something that will simply never exist. Sexual harassment is a very important issue that I support to be dealt with, however someone hollaring at you on the street is harmless. The minute it becomes an altercation is when the line is crossed and a crime has been committed. She makes a very weak point about the woman in Detroit getting killed over standing up for herself, because the proposed legislation to be passed isn't about violence, it's about the freedom of speech.