Leslie Tulip
Updated Sep 16, 2016 @ 2:21 pm
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10150285981083511
Credit: 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
The author in high school
| Credit: 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 assumption. The most infuriating thing about being catcalled is how it makes you question yourself.

10150285981083511
The author in high school
| Credit: Leslie Tulip

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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. false

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.