Leslie Tulip
September 16, 2016 1:48 pm
Leslie Tulip

When I started to write this article, I tried to remember the first time I was catcalled. I couldn’t.

The author in high school
Leslie Tulip

When I was a teenager in rural Michigan, which is where I grew up, I drove to the grocery store late at night to get cold medicine. I parked next to a minivan, and there was a man standing next to the van’s sliding side door. I figured it was just a dad helping his kids into the van.

In the grocery store, I purchased my cold medicine and started panicking about the walk back to the parking lot while my car was next to this guy’s van. I had watched enough Criminal Minds to know that I didn’t feel like risking it. I called a guy friend who lived nearby to come meet me. When my friend walked me to my car, we sat in the front seats for a moment, watching as van guy’s wife came out to meet him — a cart of groceries with her and a young kid in the seat of the cart.

“What a pig,” I remember saying to my friend in disgust.

If you’re reading this, it’s more than likely that you have experienced being catcalled by a stranger — statistics overwhelmingly support that assumptionThe most infuriating thing about being catcalled is how it makes you question yourself.

The author in high school
Leslie Tulip

The way we  question our outfits, regret our shoes, and assume that our love of fashion causes catcalling — it’s ridiculous.

The trouble with the comments made (explicit or not) is that they make the person receiving them feel ashamed for simply existing.

A catcall reveals a disregard for a woman’s humanity.

It signals that a woman is nothing more than her body, a pretty object for someone else’s attention.

Wear what you want. Feel safe and comfortable with your body.

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