Post # 1
I saw this Cosmopolitan video today and showed it to my fiance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWEKD493IxY
I live in NYC and whenever I’m alone 8/10 times I get catcalled. When I tell my fiance this, I’ll say things like “Urgh. I hate walking alone this late at night. I felt like I was being followed.” I often get passing remarks like “Beautiful. Sexy. Damn mama.” or disgusting kissy faces and on a blue moon I get called a bitch ALL because I completely ignore these men on the streets. It bothers me to no end that my fiance doesn’t understand this, and I’m waiting to hear his reaction from this video since he’s at work. I just feel like my Fiance doesn’t understand what it’s like to have a fu*king vagina. He’s a super sweet guy but for some reason it just doesn’t register in his head how insecure and unSAFE I feel walking sometimes. There was a period when I got SO paranoid I started carrying a tiny swiss army knife around with me at all times. I’m constantly holding onto my keys or a sharp hair clip as a weapon when I walk just because.
Also, I am super sensitive about these issues because I was molested as a child and have trust issues. So I think it just bothers me that my fiance can believe what happened to me when I was young, but he doesn’t think it’s a big deal when I get catcalled now.
So, I’m just wondering… how does your SO deal with this when you are being catcalled/appropriated when you’re alone? Does he believe you? Is it enough to be a dealbreaker? Tell me your thoughts.
Post # 2
So just curious, how do you expect him to react? To offer to always go with you somewhere? To protect you? Say he’s going to beat the guys up? Just be more sympathetic? I also live in NYC and when I tell my Boyfriend or Best Friend about being catcalled he finds it funny/ridiculous/desperate/sad but knows that I can take care of myself.
To me it sounds like your past molestation and trust issues are impacting how you’re approaching this situation. Also NYC is not the place to live if you’re constantly feeling paranoid. Stay away from deserted streets, construction sites, the subway late at night, etc. to avoid those unsafe situations. While catcalling is certainly annoying and frustrating, I don’t give it a second thought when it happens and therefore it’s not a big deal to me (or my BF). And no, guys will never understand what it’s like to be a woman. They usually can’t wrap their heads around the fact that we do not appreciate unsolicited compliments :/
Post # 3
- Wedding: February 2015 - Mount Hermon
catpeaches: well we’re both feminists, so I usually call the guys out. If I tell him later, he usually is sad that society is so effed up and we talk about feminism for awhile.
I don’t always tell him because at some point it’s kind of just a given when I’m out alone.
As for your questions at the end, I couldn’t be with anyone who wasn’t also a feminist so yes, your FI’s reaction would cause me to leave him, although I probably would have not gotten past the second date.
Post # 4
catpeaches: He doesn’t React because I don’t feel the need to tell him when I get hit on, and no sane person would dare hit on me with my Fiance around. He’s a big guy.
Post # 5
Well, this is an interesting topic, one that I have 2 answers to:
1. No, you’re not being sensitive. Men who cat call women in passing are PIGS, but good luck explaining that to them. Your boyfriend, on the other hand, should be hearing you when you tell him it bothers you because it IS bothersome and NO woman should have to put up with it or feel unsafe that way.
2. Having said that, it doesn’t bother me as much as some women because I feel very secure in the fact that I can handle myself. I’m a 3rd degree black belt with 12+ mixed martial arts/self-defense experience and not at all shy about calling out someone who I feel is being creepy and/or making me feel uncomfortable. I’m also very, VERY good about not putting myself in dangerous situations. Again, I shouldn’t HAVE to, but I’d rather be safe/un-raped than stake my flag and die on the hill of feminism. Also… even though S/O is a feminist and has nothing but respect for women, it’s something of a turn on for him in that he loves that other men “appreciate” what a “specimen” I am on a purely aesthetic level. (I almost NEVER get cat called when I’m with him because he’s a giant 6”3 200 lbs. Marine, mind you.) I don’t hold that animal part of his brain against him, as it’s an extension of our very fulfilling, fetished sex life that I won’t go into detail about here.
So, for the most part I shrug it off and watch my back. If I really felt threatened or it upset me, though, I know S/O would be sympathetic and absolutely make arrangements to make me feel more secure. He knows I don’t like to be fussed over too much, but he is also very protective of me (when I allow him to be).
Post # 6
catpeaches: i’m sure your Fiance doesn’t understand. i have had similar talks with my Darling Husband and he genuinely hadn’t thought about the female point of view for certain issues. I dont think he fully understands my point of view now but at least he listens and is open to the idea that others experience the world differently than he does, which is good.
the first time someone cat called me when he was with me , he was shocked. Not mad or upset, just genuinely couldn’t believe someone would be so rude. I was like “welcome to my life buddy!” It did give me some satisfaction.
unless someone makes me feel extemely uncomfortable I don’t talk to Darling Husband about the catcalls. It happens so much in my area it’s doesnt even bother me anymore. i mean, what can he do? if you are walking alone and don’t feel safe it seems like thats a bigger issue that will require some solution that goes beyond your Fiance.
Post # 7
MrsYellowDaffodil: i feel like you’re really lucky to have an SO who is a feminist. in my whole dating history i’ve never met one.
i do think about this a lot. like can i truly be with someone who doesn’t get it? i don’t think he would ever catcall (i can’t imagine him) but like ukitali: said, I honestly don’t know what I expect from him. maybe more sympathy? more of an understanding as to why this affects me so much. i’m not sure. i think you’re right that because of my past I approach this in a really extreme way.
Post # 8
MrsYellowDaffodil: HAH! The last time I was catcalled, I turned and asked “Has that EVER worked for you?”.. When he didn’t answer right away I followed up with a quick “Yeah, I didn’t think so..” and carried on. I dislike when it happens and do try to say something if I can.
I don’t tell my husband when it happens because what’s the point? He’ll just get annoyed that guys can be so inappropriate and then gets upset that I feel uncomfortable walking around by myself because of it.
Post # 9
- Wedding: October 2019 - City, State
im curious as to how his reaction to you telling him is so wrong? I’m a female and when someone tells me stuff like that the most I’ll say is something like “ugh! why are guys such pigs sometimes? stay safe girl! people be cray!” and I move on. I’m just not sure what you think he should be doing in response to you telling him that…. and I can’t imagine what he is doing that is making you think he just doesn’t care.
Post # 10
- Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa
catpeaches: I never really felt the need to mention it to Darling Husband, but it always happens during the day or if I’m someplace safe like the grocery store. I find it somewhat flattering (with a dash of disgusting. I don’t smile or say hi or anything, but it makes me feel a bit good that I must look nice today. Granted, I live in a small town right now, so it’s not like it happens to me every 5 minutes as it might with you commuting on the subway or by foot). If it happened at night, though, I would definitely be freaked out/ scared. I don’t think a dude is going to get it, because many guys think it’s innocent flirting and don’t consider how it would be to have it happen all the time or how scary it can feel sometimes.
Post # 11
catpeaches: I live in NY so I hear you. I get all the same catcalls and it’s annoying and embarassing. Sometimes it can even get scary when the people you are ignoring get nasty with you. I’ve had people follow me and get in my face and say some pretty crude things.
Most guys are bold and will do it regardless of whether or not my husband is with me but I definitely get catcalled more when he’s not around. He used to be oblivious to it (or so I thought) but he really was just ignoring it. After awhile he started getting more vocal about it and actually saying stuff to people like “come on man, that’s my wife”.
Post # 12
- Wedding: February 2015 - Mount Hermon
KC-2722: LOL I do that to. But, my personal favorite is to catcall them back. Really get into it to. Make the gestures, say the grossest thing you can think of. They’re too shocked top say anything else.
catpeaches: I took a psychology of gender course in college that completely changed our relationship and converted us both. Show him some videos by a woman named Laci Greene. She discusses a lot of topics about sexuality, body positivity and gender in a very approachable way. Really research what feminism is and talk to him about issues. You live in NYC? That’s a very liberal place, guarantee there are resources.
Post # 13
MrsYellowDaffodil: That’s kind of amazing! I’ll try it next time!
Post # 14
I have PTSD from multiple sexual assaults, so I have a really nasty fear reaction to being catcalled. I carried a (huge) pocket knife for years and at one point my fear and paronoia got so terrible that all I could do was sit with my back to the wall in our apartment closet and shake and cry. I couldn’t even let my Fiance near me for fear he would hurt/assualt me. After a couple days I collapsed from exhaustion because I was refusing to sleep, and after that my Fiance was able to get me help.
Luckily it’s gotten a lot better since then, but I don’t ever go walking on my own. The fear is too real. My Fiance will go out with me if it’s after dark or I’m in an unfamilar place. It hurts him to see me so afraid, but people do leave me alone when I’m with him.
Post # 15
SilverWire: *hugs*. thank you for sharing your story. i’m relieved someone can look at this from my point of view. i would really like to get therapy before i get married but time and money has stopped me from pursuing this further.
how did it get better for you? do you have any advice?