(Closed) Where do men get it in their heads that catcalling/commenting is a good idea?

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 31
Member
3094 posts
Sugar bee

MarriedToMyWork :  making comments about your body? I never referenced this or said that was okay.If someone tells you that you are looking nice today, that is an inappropriate comment about your body? But hey, that’s why the world goes around…different people in it and no problem with you liking what you like.

Post # 32
Member
5978 posts
Bee Keeper

I have to admit I’m one of those women who is flattered &  takes it as a compliment (as long as it’s not overly obscene). I just shake it off as harmless and a momentary ego boost. 

But it clearly makes many women uncomfortable, so this does make it unacceptable. Just because I’m not personally offended by it if it’s directed at me, doesn’t mean I’d trivialize the way it makes another woman feel. I think the answer is education, public awareness that this is not okay as I sincerely believe the majority of these catcallers are more clueless than predatory. 

Post # 33
Member
3564 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

valintine :  I feel the same as you.  If a guy complimented me like that I wouldn’t get upset or angry about it, I would just laugh and thank them for the compliment.  Pretty soon every male in the world is going to have to just quit giving women compliments because I wouldn’t be surprised if “You have pretty eyes” gets twisted into some sort of verbal sexual assault.  I wear my waist-length hair in a bun nearly every day to work, and one day when I wore it down I had a male coworker tell me that I had nice hair & that he never realized it was so long.  Then before I could even thank him he got flustered and was worried that I was going to get offended that he gave me a compliment.  WTF. 

I mean damn, this guy called you ma’am and said you had a nice pair of legs…it’s not like he said anything vulgar or sexual.  If he had got out of the car and said “You got a set of legs I’d like to see on my shoulders”…then yeah, I’d be taken aback and grossed out by that comment, that’s a totally different kind of cat-call.  

I keep seeing all these posts about how this is “objectifying women” and most of the time, it’s over a simple harmless compliment.  Shall we go back to the “What character would you have a romance with” post or the countless “Celebrity crush” posts, to point out the bees objectifying men and the obvious double standard here?  The ONLY difference is that women think it and don’t say it out loud.  I notice physical things about men & women that I find beautiful all the time.  That doesn’t mean I objectify them and look at them as some piece of sexual meat, it just simply means that I think they have nice legs…

 

 

Post # 34
Member
701 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

MissCountryGirl727 :  there is a difference between a coworker saying you look nice vs. a stranger pulling his car over to tell you that you have nice legs.

Post # 35
Member
115 posts
Blushing bee

MissCountryGirl727 :  I think the difference is in the context of the interaction– a coworker, whom you presumably know pretty well and have a friendly relationship with, can (theoretically; I don’t want to speak for all women/situations here) nicely compliment your hair without coming off as creepy because he knows who you are as a person and (most likely) appreciates you for more than just your looks. A stranger saying the same thing would be offputting to me– he doesn’t know anything about me, who I am, how I think, etc., so clearly the only thing I have of value to him at the moment would be my looks. That just doesn’t sit right with me, or with many other women.

Post # 36
Member
3114 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2016 - Surfer\'s Beach, Grand Cayman

Entitlement.

 

Post # 37
Member
3564 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

meliboo :  

Of course there is a difference in the scenarios in that one is a stranger and one is not.  In the OP the guy didn’t specifically pull over to say that to her, he was parking there.  My point with the coworker story is that in my opinion its getting kind of ridiculous to be so offended by a simple unvulgar, unsexualized compliment..and heyoh : basically proves my point.  

If I’m in line at the grocery store and random stranger guy says “hey, you have nice hair”.  I’m going to take the compliment and thank him.  Maybe he’s a hairdresser that appreciates hair, maybe he’s a nice guy trying to start up a conversation and break the ice with me, IDK…but I’m not going to get offended by something like that.  Basically what you’re saying is that people who don’t know each other can’t compliment each other because if someone gives you a compliment you think it’s somehow devaluing your self-worth.  

heyoh :  I am not trying to start an argument or anything, I’m really just voicing my personal opinion on this in regards to simple, nice, non-vulgar compliments, and I’m trying to understand the thought process behind you ladies who feel this way, because I find that I’m not very easily offended at all.  With that said, let me ask you this.  You said a “stranger” and then you said “he”…so would you have the same reaction if the compliment came from a female you didn’t know?

Post # 38
Member
9540 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

I was watching a comedy show on Netflix the other day and I think the comedian (Iliza Schlesinger – she’s hilarious, look her up!) actually hit the nail on the head about when it comes to sexual harassment, including cat calling, that it has less to do with the things being yelled at you but the underlying notion that if a man wanted to act on it he could.  Because rape culture is a real fucking thing and we are living in it.

So yeah when I’ve been cat called while walking down the street, I don’t just take it as a compliment. You want to compliment me? Walk over, talk to me, ask for my number. Being afraid of rejection? It’s bullshit. They aren’t afraid of rejection, they see you as an object it is thier god damn god given right to comment on.

Post # 39
Member
3114 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2016 - Surfer\'s Beach, Grand Cayman

MissCountryGirl727 :  There’s a huge difference between someone paying a genuine compliment in a moment where interraction makes sense, and yelling “nice ass” at a stranger in passing or whatever. What your co-worker did would not be considered catcalling by anyone, it was a compliment from someone you know in a social environment. 

Post # 40
Member
9540 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

MissCountryGirl727 :  The example of someone waking up to you in the store or standing behind you in line isn’t catcalling. It’s a man talking to you. He’s come up to you, he’s talking not yelling across the parking lot, he’s making conversation. That’s not cat calling. Some women still may not like it but it’s not cat calling.

Post # 41
Member
115 posts
Blushing bee

MissCountryGirl727 :  You know, that’s a good question. A woman in a public bathroom did compliment my hair once, and because I could tell it was a totally sincere compliment that she wanted to pass along, I was fine with it. However, another woman on the train once leaned over and told me that I smelled “yummy” and that definitely weirded me out. I’m sure she just liked my perfume but I really didn’t like that comment.

So I think most of the time it depends on the situation and context– what words are being used? What’s the person’s tone? Am I alone or in an otherwise vulnerable position? Is the intent truly to compliment me, or do I get the sense that I’m being told “Your appearance pleases me” (in which case, I don’t appreciate that)? If all of those questions are answered in a way that makes me feel comfortable in the situation and gives me the sense that it was a sincere, kindly-intended compliment, then I’m more likely to be ok with it regardless of whether a man or woman said it.

Women are also (generally) socialized to be more cautious around men– of course not all men think the same way or act the same way, but honestly, I don’t want to take my chances and definitely am more wary of interactions with men I don’t know than with women.

Post # 42
Member
1987 posts
Buzzing bee

MissCountryGirl727 :  On the general subject of unsolicited remarks (because I agree with hikingbride :  in that most of your examples aren’t the catcalling described by the OP and that catcalling represents a whole other level of invasion/objectification), I’ve never had a woman get physically or verbally violent when I did not respond to her unsolicited compliment.  That’s happened multiple times with men, which is why, although I generally ignore comments from strangers no matter the gender, I am much more likely to keep one eye on a man who has attempted to approach me out of the blue.  Those of us who are often alone quickly learn that we are more likely to be regarded as potential marks for scammers or people generally looking to take advantage of someone.  Hard experience, beginning from the time I was punched and slammed into a brick wall when I stopped to offer someone help while I was in college, has taught me that when strangers lead with compliments they are trying to ingratiate themselves quickly/disarm my suspicions so they can aggressively demand something (ranging from money to sex), and that they may follow me or otherwise attempt to make me feel unsafe if I am not receptive.  

Thus, while I always engage in basic polite social chatter like greeting a shopkeeper or saying hello when I sit down next to someone on an airplane; always offer assistance in a situation where someone is in genuine distress; and am open to getting to know the people in my community (so the person I see at the coffee shop every morning who finally introduces him/herself and asks about the book I’m reading is a different case from the random person who interrupts me at my favorite caffè in Rome and wants to know if I speak English or not), it is my general policy to be suspcious of people who approach or compliment me out of the blue.  

Post # 43
Member
3564 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

heyoh :  I agree with and understand what you’re saying here.  It is definitely a difference in the context/vulgarity of the situation.  I just read your previous comment (and other PPs) as a “end all be all” in that you’d be offended by a compliment from a stranger in general due to feeling it de-values your self worth as a woman who has something to offer other than looks.  Thanks for answering! 🙂  Also, the word “yummy” is on the same level as the word “moist” so I definitely would have side-eyed the lady that said you smelled yummy..lol 

MarriedToMyWork :  I guess I just don’t find the words/actions of the guy in the OP to be that appalling, vulgar or agressive.  I do find it to be in poor taste that he yelled it.  I can totally understand being offended and annoyed or feeling threatened by someone yelling out vulgar things. I am sorry you have had those horrible experiences.  I guess it’s a matter of perspective based on our individual life experiences. In regards to my previous posts, I was mostly trying to comment on the way some of responses are coming across, as in a (nice) compliment in general from a man is now seen as offensive and makes a woman feel objectified.  My story with the co-worker was to show how that’s coming across to decent men in (my) real life…as if they are terrified to compliment any woman for the fear of being accused of sexual harrassment, etc. 

Post # 44
Member
2402 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I’ve been catcalled by all colors of men in different neighborhoods. (ETA in fact the first time I was catcalled it was a grown man doing it and I was 11-12 YUCK)  It’s not a compliment. Women have every right to feel unsafe because of it. Sure most men who catcall are just cowards trying to shock you. But there have been cases of women being raped, or even killed for ignoring a catcall or reacting negatively. It’s to put you in your place and make you either put your head down and carry on or say thank you as you try not to vomit because you don’t want to be assaulted. It’s not cool and people need to teach their kids that it’s not okay. If they really had an interest in you and wanted to pay you a compliment they would listen to the masses of women saying it makes them uncomfortable and instead speak to you like a person not a piece of ass. 

Also, I am just learning my Darling Husband and I may not be male and female because #1 his mom would have come unglued if she had ever heard her son had catcalled a woman (also he’s just a good person). #2 I, nor any of my female friends have ever suffered from endless giggling. In fact, I am not sure of the last time I giggled… although I laugh often at things that are meant to make me laugh. Like the women on this board promoting catcalling because obviously they must be joking right? 

Post # 45
Member
327 posts
Helper bee

valintine :  Yeah I love being objectified and treated like a sex object especially when I’m minding my own business and some guy screaming “you’re so sexy” at me. It really truly makes my day and doesn’t make me feel like a piece of meat at all 🙄  

In all honesty I’m sorry you believe this is some sort of compliment. It isn’t. It’s straight up sexist and makes a lot of women feel uncomfortable and frankly unsafe. 

The topic ‘Where do men get it in their heads that catcalling/commenting is a good idea?’ is closed to new replies.

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