Holliday Grainger: Men who catcall should be ‘embarrassed’ by their behavior

Holliday Grainger

You may not recognize Holliday Grainger by name or face. She’s known in England for her roles in Great Expectations and Bonnie and Clyde. She recently appeared at TIFF to promote The Riot Club with Max Irons. Holliday brought up an interesting topic — catcalling — during one of her interviews.

The practice of catcalling is as old as construction sites. I’m oversimplifying the issue, of course. Most construction workers that I notice are employed by my city, and they keep a lid on it. All the times I’ve ever been catcalled, it’s been by occupants of passing cars. Sometimes they just yell random stuff without even seeing my face. They simply want to yell at a woman (any woman), which is frightening. Holliday believes that men who do catcall should be ashamed of themselves:

On the gym: “I never bloody go! It’s a complete waste of money! I used to go swimming before school. I was disgustingly motivated back then but for the last year, I haven’t actually used it. I enjoy jogging. I’ve got quite addicted to jogging.”

Working with Max Irons: “Max is lovely, we got on really well and we work well together.”

Her greatest irritation: “My mate and I were walking down the street and some guy followed us on a bike, being quite weirdly sexually threatening. Then some guy shouted at us out of a van, then another one shouted at us down the road and what did we get called? A slut, or a bitch, for not turning round. You forget that exists, then something like that happens and you think: how is that possible? Are you not embarrassed with yourself for doing that?”

[From Metro]

I agree with Holliday. Catcalling is gross. It doesn’t matter who’s doing it — man, woman, attractive or not. I still remember the first time I was catcalled as a junior high school student walking home alone. It felt like a violation.

There is a weird undercurrent on the internet of women who claim that catcalling is a beneficial practice. Really. New York Post writer Doree Lewak recently wrote a column about how women should just “deal with it” because catcalls are “flattering.” Ugh, really? Behind closed doors and with two consenting parties, people can catcall each other in the bedroom to their hearts’ content. If they’re yelling suggestive comments to someone on the street … that’s a threat.

By the way, have you seen Cards Against Harassment?

Holliday Grainger

Photos courtesy of WENN

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148 Responses to “Holliday Grainger: Men who catcall should be ‘embarrassed’ by their behavior”

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  1. Tiffany27 says:

    I’ve had dudes do this to me while I’m crossing the street and they’re in their car. WTF do they want me to do exactly? I truly don’t get it.

    ETA: That chick from the Post is gross for cosigning sexist behaviors.

    • liz_bee says:

      Walk up to them and ask, if you feel comfortable. The last time that happened to me I walked up to his window (at a stop light) and asked what he wanted, and he got pretty embarrassed. I don’t think it’s your (or my) responsibility to get these men to see their mistakes, but it sure doesn’t hurt to remind them that we are human beings. Please interact with us as such.

      • Esmom says:

        I like that idea in theory but I tend to think it’s better to not engage in any way. I have a friend who loves calling people out for crap like that, she is awesomely direct and not afraid of confrontation but I have told her more than once that I worry because who knows if the person she’s confronting might have a gun and be less than appreciative. Scary people out there.

      • Tiffany27 says:

        I wish i had your fearlessness, but tbh I’m 5’1″ and most men terrify me. It would be hard for me to confront creepers on the street.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        There’s no way I can advocate engaging with strangers. It’s too risky.

        That being said, I spent most of my twenties talking back to guys who harassed me. I just couldn’t help it..my big mouth always got the best of me. One day, I mouthed off and the guy didn’t like what I had to say, and he punched me in the face. I ended up in the hospital getting stitches in my chin.

        This isn’t meant to be a cautionary tale, because if I could go back in time, I would do it all over again. The guy that punched me–he wanted to send a message, and he wanted to shut me up. He didn’t win, because I spend many years after that still standing up for myself. Now that I’m older, I feel less inclined to talk back. I also don’t go out very late at night, and I don’t hang out in seedy neighborhoods so it doesn’t happen as often.

        But engaging with strangers is always risky. You don’t know who you’re dealing with and sometimes talking back just angers them more.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Wow, TOK that is terrifying!

        I once was followed by two guys in a car. When I didn’t respond to their calls, the drove up on the sidewalk to get closer to me! I was all alone, and even though it was daylight, I was terrified. I didn’t want to get hit by their car, but I was also worried about getting grabbed and thrown into their car.

      • HH says:

        @TOK – I’m sorry to hear that. Were ever able to prosecute him?

        I never engage because it will be the same reaction if I don’t engage. Men’s egos getting hurt and being called a sl*t, b*tch, or anything else to gain back their manhood.

      • Diana B says:

        OKitt, that’s scary. Did he got consecuenses for that act of savagery? God, the world is a sacry place.

      • Esmom says:

        Wow, TOK, that’s horrific. So sorry you had to go through that. Definitely reinforces my idea that it’s best not to engage with people who provoke.

        Tiffany, something similar happened to me — and I was actually in a car, not on foot, and these guys chased me for blocks. Even from the relative safety of my car, I was shaken up for hours so I can imagine how traumatic that was for you.

      • V4Real says:

        Wow TOK that’s horrible. I really didn’t think much about the catcalling before this site. I used to think it didn’t bother me much. In hindsight I think it did. My go to move to avoid the cat calling was listening to music through my ear phones or headphones whatever was popular at the time. At least thats what the cat callers thought I was doing. I would just have the earphones in my ear but the volume was down. I could hear what they were saying but they assumed I couldn’t. One guy actually said oh she can’t hear me because she’s listening to music. Oh I could hear you, you dick, I just pretend I couldn’t.

        I think some men are over that cat calling phase. As oppose to cat calls I get a hello, a hello pretty lady which I respond to better. But please don’t take my simple hello as an invitation to try and talk to me.

        The whistles didn’t bother me as much it’s the hey baby, hey sexy and other crap men spew out their mouth. Some women don’t mind the cat calls while others do and some are torn. It’s like Hoda and other women have said. We hate the cat calling but as soon as we walk pass that construction site and that construction worker looks up at you and then look back down without saying anything, you now have a complex of thinking, I’m no longer attractive to men because the cat calls have ceased.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Thanks guys. I wasn’t trying to elicit sympathy or anything (although it’s much appreciated), I just wanted to share a story that had a big impact on me.
        The detective followed up with me afterwards but they were never able to apprehend the guy (he ran after he hit me). My friend and I gave a description, but it didn’t help much.

        I do the headphones thing all the time, V4REal. I can tell you that you’re a city girl ;)
        I don’t get as much attention now that I’m in my thirties, but I can say with total honesty that I don’t miss it one bit. Maybe because I never took cat-calls as a validation of my appearance, but as a way to intimidate me. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy compliments from family, friends, co-workers, etc. But it MEANS something coming from people I trust and respect–it’s genuine. These kind of compliments are uplifting, not degrading, they make me feel big, not small.

        Man, reading all these stories from my fellow female commenters…the fear that we’ve all experienced through strangers’ threatening behavior. It just makes me so angry. So many of these stories have the same pattern too..

      • Diana B says:

        I do the headphones thing too!!! I can’t believe that a diversion tactic from terrifying unwanted attention made me so excited that I’m not the only one who does it. Sigh…

      • bettyrose says:

        It’s a tough call. When I was a tween & teen, I just kept walking and didn’t engage harrassers, but I knew they felt they’d asserted some control over me and I hated that. More recently I ignored a guy because I was in a hurry and he yelled “you’re not going to get laid with that attitude. ” so I spun around and yelled “I’m off to get laid right now but you’re not!” But I only felt safe because it was a busy street midday. I would never engage in an isolated area.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        TOK, it didn’t appear that you were fishing for sympathy. I think it is good that you shared your story, because we really should keep that in mind if you are going to give sass back….it comes with risks.

        I got into it with a guy in gridlock traffic one time, and after having him shout “f-you” to me 10 times, I had enough and shouted back “Not with your tiny d*ck!”. He then invited me to orally service him, and I said it would be impossible to find. While it was satisfying to let him know I wasn’t just going to tolerate his abuse, it was pretty stupid of me. He could have had a gun and I was a sitting duck in gridlock traffic.

      • Mikeyangel says:

        I was cat called, followed, and cars even stopped to try to pick me up when I was walking home from junior high school too. I always looked older than I was, but I am pretty sure the backpack gave it away that I was a student. I was always very cautious with strangers and not a trusting person which I am thankful for. Very scary. People really should be ashamed of themselves for this behavior.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Oh my gosh, OKitten, what a frightening experience. Somewhere else on here I said that I think cat calling comes from an angry or helpless feeling place in a man. I agree with you that as tempting as it is, confronting them is often unsafe. Not to blame what happened on you. That guy was completely at fault and I hereby put a curse on him that every time he is right in the middle of an important conversation he accidentally farts really loud and the person talking to him punches him in the face. But it’s probably not safe to engage. Very frustrating.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        UGH.
        I read that Rush Limbaugh said, “”How many of you guys in your own experience with women have learned that ‘no’ means ‘yes’ if you know how to spot it?”

        Grrrr!

    • FrenchLily says:

      It happened to me a couple of times and I confronted the guys. They got pretty embarrassed because they don’t expect us to react and one of them even apologized. But I guess it can be dangerous according to where you live.

  2. Chris says:

    Yeah they should be.

  3. Nicole says:

    In Toronto, catcalling will now get you fired from construction sites. It’s amazing how much more comfortable it is walking down the street. I love it.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      That’s how it should be. It’s harassment. Name another group of people besides women who are expected to put up with that kind of behavior? I’ve always felt that it came from either a feeling of entitlement that men have to women’s bodies or a place of resentment or helplessness. I don’t really care which. Just knock it off.

    • TorontoE says:

      Never had it happen at a construction site, however I notice Toronto is really bad for street harassment from moving vehicles. I tried once to defend a girl from harassment (I was I a cab, the men were in a cab beside me) and instead they harassed me from light to light. Calling me a slut, but also I was alone in my cab because no one wants to sleep with me. When I gave them the finger they shouted it was going to be, um, inserted in my mom. It’s usually not worth answering, unless a cop is close by.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      Seriously, Nicole? That’s amazing!

    • HH says:

      Just add that to the long list of reasons I love Canada. Did a short study abroad there in undergrad, and I loved everything about it. Well, in Ottawa. Toronto has such a different feel. I like it, but it doesn’t feel distinctly Canadian the way Ottawa did. If that makes sense and I hope it’s not offensive.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        That really is great. Sigh.
        The US is so behind..

      • Tiffany :) says:

        My limited time in Canada was spent in Ottawa. The people I met were sooooo incredibly nice. I have a lot of affection for the people of Ottawa!

      • Amanduh says:

        Aww…that’s so nice to hear!! Fellow Ottawaian here… :) I usually get “Ottawa is so boring!” because it is such a government city. Come visit any time, Celebitches!! xo

  4. CandyKay says:

    There is gross catcalling – sexual suggestions and profanity – and there is complimentary catcalling, someone saying ‘Beautiful girl!’ or ‘You look great in that dress!’ or simply whistling.

    I find the first appalling, and rather like the second.

    At any rate, I notice that most of the women protesting catcalling are in their teens and twenties. The problem ultimately solves itself: I find that catcalls start disappearing in your 30s and vanish entirely by the time you’re in your 40s – even though I’m the same size I was in my teens and have a similar hairstyle.

    And yes, this is true even in Europe. European men may be able to appreciate a beautiful older woman, but in my experience not as much as a pretty young thing.

    • Luca26 says:

      I totally disagree with everything you’ve said both are harassment. I live in NY city and whenever I ignore a ‘compliment’ catcall invariably the next thing out of the so-called admirers mouth is an insult. The intention is rarely to actually to compliment but simply to control and demean women.

      EDIT:
      Oh and by the way I’m in my late 30s. Your beliefs on this make me sad.

      • Godwina says:

        Seconded, Luca. Sad Godwina.

      • Mel M says:

        I’m with you Luca, I had both experiences and no matter what is said it’s uncomfortable.

        Loved her in The Borgias

      • OriginalTessa says:

        Totally.
        First it’s, -”Whistle, you’re looking fiiine today, honey!” And then when you ignore them it’s, “Whatever, bitch, you think you’re too good for me?”

        That happens more times than not.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Yeah I’m with you guys.

      • Diana B says:

        Yeah, I find it displeasing and scary on both cases. Why would I want some random stranger on the street commenting on my appereance? I always find myself holding my breath whenever I’m passing through men and if there is nobody else around it turns terrifying.

      • CandyKay says:

        Original poster here: These responses make me terribly sad. How awful that polite male attention has become a crime in eyes of many women. I find it pathological that when a sincere man makes a sincere compliment, you liken it to assault. What an insult to women who have to contend with actual aggression and violence.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        I don’t need “polite male attention” from strangers, Candy Kaye, I’m secure with my appearance, thankyouverymuch.

        It’s not about it being a “crime” or “assault” it’s about men thinking that women exist solely for them. It’s obvious this concept is lost on you so I’m not sure why I’m bothering trying to explain it. Sadly women like you make it harder for those of us who don’t enjoy being harassed by strange men because you make it known that *some* women enjoy it–that just validates and empowers men to continue to harass the rest of us. Sigh.

      • From North of Boston says:

        Catcalling is just another indication that many men objectify women, acting like we are just there for them to appraise, and issue their edicts about what they think of us. As though we dressed for them and care what they think.

        It’s not intended to be “flattering” when it’s yelled from across the street, from a car, etc, and when ignoring it or failing to respond is immediately followed by crude insults. It’s harassment – I don’t walk down the street for their pleasure; I’m on my way somewhere – to my job, to my home, to the gym, to meet friends, to go on a date. And it’s a threat…even if THAT particular man isn’t going to harm me…the loud voice, the forceful insertion of their opinions, their wishes, their nonsense into my day, is just a few beats away from turning into threats, and insults…them yelling “bitch” and “slut” and a dozen other cruder things and blocking my way and following me, trying to touch me, especially when it’s more than one guy together. That’s happened more than once. And it’s damn scary. So yeah, being accosted by strange men on the street is not one of my favorite things.

        Isn’t there some sociologist who can go around tracking down men who do this kind of thing and find out what the f*ck they are trying to do? And why they think it’s their right to treat women as objects and get so vile and nasty when their “compliments” aren’t appreciated?

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Ugh. You’re complimented that a total stranger feels comfortable commenting on how your body or face or dress pleases them. Because that comes from such a respectful place. You’re part of the problem. Try not to be so needy.

    • Tiffany27 says:

      Girl, love yourself. Whistling and catcalls are not ok in ANY context.

    • grimsfairytale says:

      I respect your opinion about it but have to disagree. I feel any unsolicited statement about me and my body are violating. I don’t want it, and I don’t like an outsider’s validation, whether it’s “smile, bi*ch, you look sexy” or “you’re beautiful.” It’s violating, imo. I have men doing this all day at work. I work at a copy center. What do my looks have to do with my job, and who asked you, buddy? Why are we expected to OWE these people some kind of response? How is it okay to feel entitled to SOMEONE ELSE’S body? Like another poster said, is you went up to any other group giving unsolicited input, it’s harassment. Why not over sexual harassment, like this? Because stereotypes dictate we be polite, reciprocal creatures. Especially a random stranger. Afterall, as women we should NEVER want to embarrass anyone, right? 😉 it’s messed up that, as women, we have to be cautious JUST BECAUSE of our gender. A guy asks for your number, you don’t like him, but feel you must let him down easy and be nice. Or you’re a b*tch. You tell someone you have a boyfriend, they call you a liar and ask you to be “honest.” Either way, as a woman, whenever I reject untoward advances, apparently I am both a liar and a bit*h. How is This reasonable to have fear SIMPLY because of your gender? !
      This is why I will always support Slut Walk.

      Any interaction is always a trap, too. You respond? You’re a slut. You ignore? You’re a bi*ch.

      For our sad amusement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7IkNAzyR9k&app=desktop

      • Tiffany27 says:

        I HATE when men tell me to smile. Shut the f*ck up and worry about YOUR face stranger bro.

      • minime says:

        @ grimsfairytale
        Thank you!!! No one has the right to treat others like an object that is there to be subjected to their appreciation. That some people can take objectification as a compliment is beyond my comprehension.
        Extra thanks for the video, that made me laugh for all the times I had to listen to that sh*t. Usually I just use my emotionless poker-face when strangers say that and I might add in another language “I don’t understand” for the fun of it ;)

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I was told to smile once by a random guy after I just saw a bloody car accident. I was so disturbed by what I saw. To this day, I am disappointed that I didn’t tell him that I’m not here to decorate his world, I’m allowed to have thoughts and feelings that cause me not to smile 24/7. He was fat and ugly, and yet he held his approval out like it was something I should aspire to, just because he was a man (“you’re pretty, but you’d be beautiful if you smiled”)

      • grimsfairytale says:

        @theoriginalkitten I LOVVVEEE that series. So much. Thank you for linking it!
        @Tiffany27 exactly! It’s like “maybe I’m smiling, in a futile attempt to make you not want to talk to me?” I have resting bi*ch face. It doesn’t help though. It is my face and I will not force a smile to make others happy.
        @tiffany:) some sketchy guy on the bus once tried to sit next to me with MANY an open seat and then asked me to “brighten his day” by smiling and talking to him. When I say sketchy, I mean he was obviously a drug addict. Which is sad, yes. But I myself was not having the best of days having just hopped out of the dentist’s office at 9am. I told him “I’m not here to brighten anyone’s day” and put my headphones back in. Which may come off as bit*hy but i said it in a reasonable tone and it is a reasonable assertion to make that I am not an object you take out of the toy chest to play with to amuse yourself. I don’t owe strange men on the bus ANYTHING.
        @minime oh my gosh that is HILARIOUS. I used to pretend not to speak english when I was in my early twenties. But as I get older, I get more annoyed by it because I thoroughly understand that it is wrong and it is harassment and I should not have to worry about THEIR feelings. I’m basically just like “that’s inappropriate and unwelcome” and accept the bi*ch label that comes with the package when you as a woman are letting someone else (especially a man) know that they’ve violated your boundaries.
        But we don’t owe them anything and somehow we’re ungrateful bitches for not wanting to be their object?!
        Too early. Not enough coffee.
        Head. On. Desk.

      • I Choose Me says:

        I’m late to this thread but I could not agree with you ladies more. I can’t stand cat-calling and I’m relieved that now I’m older, I’m no longer the object of unsolicited comments about my looks.

    • Venus says:

      I’m in the US and I’m in my late 40s. “Complimentary catcalling” still happens to me and I still find it offensive every.single.time.

      One of the things I’ve been looking forward to as I age is becoming “invisible” to men. Ugh, I’m still waiting, and I’m really pretty ordinary looking.

    • Godwina says:

      I’m sorry you can’t see the issues of control and intimidation that lie at the heart of catcalling. And yes, most of us can tell the difference between a sincere flirtation and the former. This article isn’t about sincere flirtation done in a respectful manner.

      You win the prize for straw-feminist-izing this convo.

    • putchka says:

      Totally agree Candy. I was in my first thrush of puberty waiting at my school bus stop. A car full of boys whistled at me. Just whistled. I was in heaven. I’m now hitting 100, no more whistling but I NEVER had anyone insult me. I think this younger generation of “girls, not yet women” have been over conditioned to think that any unasked for male attention is insulting and/or scary. Mind you, I’m talking harmless flirting among most young’uns.

      • Ange says:

        Harmless flirting isn’t what is happening here. It’s unasked for, unreciprocated sexual harassment. If a guy strikes up a flirty conversation with me in a social situation and he’s respectful about it AND I actually want to be involved too I’m not going to get angry, I’m going to enjoy it. And that’s the difference, my feelings are taken into consideration, I’m treated with the respect I deserve and I’m not being called all sorts of horrible names for saying no.

    • Nola says:

      deleted.

    • Lauraq says:

      I kind of agree. There’s a different feel I get depending on what’s being said, who’s saying it, and how it’s said-it’s weird, but sometimes I get a warm, genuine vibe-some dude just complimenting a pretty woman-versus a creepy, predatory guy.
      It’s kind of like when guys call me ‘sweetie’ or ‘honey’. I’m a bartender so I get that (plus lots of sexual harassment) a lot. It bothers me when some guys call me that, because I can tell they’re being nasty or condescending. But there have been others where I could just tell they don’t mean it in a bad way, so it doesn’t bother me.

  5. Godwina says:

    Hollaback, Holliday! Word.

  6. Norman Bates' Mother says:

    I’m 25 and this past spring, when I moved to England, was the first time I ever experienced cat-calling. Before that I never understood what was the issue and I naively thought that only the leggy, cleavagy, conventionally hot women experience that but how wrong I was. I am an introvert and I hate being noticed which is a serious problem now because I am getting cat-called on a daily basis. The honking, screaming, waving, whistling – it’s horrifying. There’s nothing flattering about that. Those guys would do that to any woman – it’s not about their interest in us, it’s about their gross, unexplainable need to prove other people how macho they are. It only happens – at least to me – when there are at least two men, most times when there is a bigger group of them, sometimes with female friends. They are never alone because no audience makes it pointless.

  7. Kiddo says:

    “New York Post writer “…enuff said.

  8. Sixer says:

    Depending on mood, I can find catcalling instensely irritating or I can find it amusing. I never find it threatening, though. It’s just men being, well, not as good as women. And I knew that perfectly well anyway. I fail miserably at ignoring catcalls, however. Again, depending on mood, I might respond with a finger and some choice expletives or I might join in the game and loudly mark them all out of ten for sex appeal. Never going above 3, of course.

    • Kiddo says:

      Yeah, but in her example, she was called a bitch and slut, and that sort of thing takes on a threatening feel. Just a whistle isn’t as bad, although very embarrassing and uncomfortable. But when someone feels that you are obligated to, and they are entitled to, you responding positively to this invasion, then there’s something twisted going on with that person’s mind.

      • Mel M says:

        Exact Kiddo

      • cari says:

        Exactly Kiddo. It reminds me of being at a club and a guy asks me to dance. I have no interested in dancing with this stranger, and giving him permission to place his hands on me. Then after I politely say “no thank you” they take it as such a personal rejection, and start hurling insults. It is scary and intimidating. The rest of the night, I am trying to avoid running into them again, looking over my shoulder at times. How were these guys raised? When my son is older, and I ever hear him catcall a woman, he can rest assured it will be followed by my hand to the back of his head.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Cat-calling and street harassment, regardless if it’s a whistle or name-calling, is always about the same thing– men acting like women’s bodies belong to them, exist solely for their gaze, simply because we are trying to share the same public space. I find that intimidating and aggressive, not to mention disruptive and distracting. I have the right to go about my daily business without having strangers scream sh*t at me.
        I have the right to be left alone.

    • Sixer says:

      Yes. Fair enough.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      Well, that sort of depends of what they say.

      Once, this completely random guy shouted at from across the street – he wanted my phone number and when I said ‘no’ he proceeded to tell me how immature I was. Lol! I didn’t feel threatended but annoyed, and when the immature comment came I laughed because I wasn’t the immature one in that situation.

      Another time, two guys stopped me in the city centre at broad daylight and told me to pay the toll or they would rape me. Needless to say I was terrified since the street, despite it being a stone’s trow away from a major plaza, was deserted. I didn’t respond and got the hell out of dodge.

  9. als says:

    I saw Holliday in The Borgias and loved her, so glad she gets work because she is really talented.
    This is one woman that is gorgeous with very little to no make up, she’s amazing!
    And that woman Doree Lewak should be arrested for stupidity. Catcalls are gross either way, I don’t need a stranger yelling a compliment or an insult at me.
    I see Lewak praises the constuction workers for their direct attitude and fails to mention that if a woman took their ‘compliments’ seriously and approached them, they would piss themselves. So, are they direct or do they have a problem?

    • Maria says:

      im sad the borgias was cancelled. I wanted one more season out of it :(

      • GlimmerBunny says:

        I’m so sad about it being cancelled! I wanted more Cesare (Francois Arnaud, who should be in more movies/TV because he was insanely sexy) & Lucrezia (Holliday, she was so beautiful and good in that role) romance (yeah I felt a little weird for shipping incest but they were just SO HOT TOGETHER) and more of Jeremy Irons being a boss pope!

        :D

      • Mrs. Darcy says:

        Yes! Francois as Cesare is the sex, love his warped brother/sister love with Lucrezia too! I only watched the whole series recently on Amazon so am newly devastated there are no more. I so wish they would make more, Neil Jordan kind of p*ssed in his chips from what I gather though? Like he couldn’t be bothered making more, then published a novella of how it would end (which I haven’t read.) Major suckage.

      • Mel M says:

        Sigh, right there with you ladies. I’m in the middle of season 3 and don’t want it to end. Love Francois so so much and Jeremy Irons and Holliday! I need more Francois in my life.

  10. TX says:

    Catcalling, while annoying, is very easy to handle- I just ignore it.

    Then, if some a$$hole dude gets pissed and asks “oh what, are you too good for me?” I always look back and calmy say “yes, I am.” Or if they call me a bitch, I say “sorry I don’t talk to trash”

    If you react calmly but just as forcefully and make them feel lower than sh*t on your shoe, they will shut up. And I bet they think twice before doing that again. It sucks to be mean, but you gotta fight fire with fire sometimes.

    • Stephy says:

      I was 14, on my way to the bus stop for my first day of high school and I got cat called by a group of men waiting at the stop light by the bus stop. As a 14 year old girl who had no experience with that and with men it was very scary and demeaning in a way. I will never forget that experience because it made me very aggressive towards men who behave like that in public. There is no excuse for any person to act like that towards another being.

  11. IL says:

    The following is a true story. I had recently parked my car, removed my two year old sons pram from the trunk and was getting him out of his car seat and strapping him into the pram when I was cat called. Two guys in a passing van yelled out some unintelligible sound and when I turned around to look at them the guy hanging out the passenger side yelled extremely loudly “You know what I’d like to do to you lady!?”. The driver grinning beside him. My son, startled at the shouting directed at us and seeing me look up, said “What that man say Mummy? He a naughty man”. Oh and I’m a 37 year old mother of two. Nothing sexy about me at the moment, I guess a female alone in a car park bending over a pram was too much for them to resist.

    • Eleonor says:

      Nearly the same.
      In July I went out to buy some stuff, it was hot and I decided to put on one of my fave summer dress. At a certain point an old sleazy man comes near me (I was walking in the street) and tell me
      “I’ve follewed you, you know how much I would like to eat you ???”
      I was in shock, I did not know what to do, I’ve started walking faster and he followed me for a while.
      I felt dirty, and it took me a while to wear that dress again

      • Nicolette says:

        OMG, I can only imagine how you felt receiving that comment it made my skin crawl just to read it. I’ve been in the same shoes as both you and @IL, out with my kids and some creep making lewd comments. So disgusting and disrespectful and the first time I experienced it was when my daughter was a newborn and I was stunned. What exactly do they think we’re going to do? Leave our children and run into their sleazy arms. I had a group of rabbinical students hanging out of a window as I was leaning into my car to get my son out of his car seat cat calling and whistling. When I removed him I carried him inside the building and marched into the front office yelling at the woman at the front desk informing her of what they were doing. She jumped up and immediately did something about it. Now my daughter is 22 and it infuriates me when guys make suggestive comments to her in front of me. When she tells me some of the things said to her as she takes the train home my blood boils. Still happens to me at times when I’m out with my son who is now 11. Bottom line is men just don’t care and some feel when you are out in public it’s open season for them to run their mouths as they seem to forget that they have mothers and sisters and I doubt they would want those things said to them. Just once I’d like respond with a nice punch to their pie hole.

      • Feebee says:

        Jesus, eww! I think that type of situation is the one you later think of all the things you could have said but honestly at the time you ARE in shock because what the hell? What did I do to deserve that? Oh, you wore a pretty dress one day.

      • Eleonor says:

        @IL and Nicolette: seriously this is hard stuff to explain to a child: I’d love to know what the head says to men like this.
        @Feebee: yes, and the weirdest thing of all is that this man was not that young anymore, in his 60′s probably, he didn’t seem scaring or strange, dressed the same way (the same age!) my father would dress, and when he started talking I couldn’t believe it, I was so puzzled, a part of me was (I live in France, I am Italian) “he cannot be saying THIS I am not understanding right”. Total denial, blackout.

  12. Luca26 says:

    I’m so disappointed in all the commentary about how to handle catcalling. If it doesn’t bother you that men behave this way harrassing women and young girls you are part of the problem. I hate to sound like a Jezebel poster but this is just sad it’s just a small microscopic piece of how indoctrinated we are in rape culture that women think it’s a badge of honor to ignore this behavior as a minor annoyance. It’s not up to women to cope with daily harassment it’s up to us to call out this BS and stop letting it happen on a daily basis.

    • Diana B says:

      Agreed. I think it is truly sad we have to feel terrorize just to walk on the street. One should not be subjected to that.

  13. kri says:

    first of all, Holliday Grainger is the best name ever. It is totally going to be the name of Taylor Swift’s next cat. Secondly, men are gross when they do this. Okay, some just say “Hey, babe” or whatever. Gross, but not scary. however, some are downright harassing and scary. Once I was walking home from work, and I heard a car slow down, so I looked over. The guy was really gross. I think he said “I wanna f6ck you” or similar. I just said “go f*ck yourself” and he started screaming, calling me a b*tch and a slut. Then the ultimate setdown-”Nevermind, you aren’t hot anymore” then he drove off. And women are supposed to be flattered by this?!

  14. Maria says:

    I recently went to Cairo for a wedding and before I left everyone was telling me how bad the sexual harassment is there and it was bad don’t get be wrong (they are more of a fan of the PSSST cat call and trying to “accidentally” touch you or run into you) but honestly, it wasnt anything worse than what I dealt with in DC during the summer. I saw this video on buzzfeed called “what guys are really saying when they catcall women” where one of the guys was like “THIS HAS NEVER WORKED” or something…it was hilarious yet sad because of how true it is

    edit: here is the video.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUJ24mblCLY

    • Norman Bates' Mother says:

      Have you seen the comments under that video – people arguing that a rape culture is a feminist bullsh-t and that it’s women’s fault when they are catcalled? What is wrong with them? When Celebitchy is the only entertainment site with a comments section that you read, you can get the false idea that the world is full of smart, reasonable and decent human beings but then you go to a random youtube video or JustJared and the reality slaps you in the face.

    • jammypants says:

      I was just about to post that. Even they don’t know how plain stupid it is to catcall.

  15. Jazz says:

    Guys who do this are disgusting, if they’re not cat calling, they’re yelling insults. It’s intimidating and ruins my whole day. And if you yell something back at them, they’re the type of idiots who think getting a woman angry is funny.
    When a friend and I were 15, a bunch of guys drove past yelling “suck my dick!” at us, then they drove down the street, turned around and came back again, yelling “You gonna suck my dick or what!”. We just yelled at them to f%*koff and then hurried home before they came back again. What the hell kind of piece of shit yells that at 15 yr olds??
    And some people think it’s flattering??

  16. OTHER RENEE says:

    This disgusting practice is indicative of rape culture. It’s just one notch lower. It’s a firm of sexual abuse, men enjoying dominance to make women uncomfortable. Makes me sick actually. I have a 20 year old daughter and I’m scared for her every day of my life.

  17. Um says:

    Street harassment is the pits. Last night I was walking the 2 minute journey from the train station to my flat (in London). It was about 9:30, so it was dark but there were plenty of people around. I was feeling fine. Then I saw it, the view every woman dreads. A group of late teen males hanging around on the street corner. I knew what was coming. As I walked past I got the usual ‘hey baby’, ‘you look hot, wanna come with me?’ etc to which I made no response. Behind me I heard ‘fucking slut’. Im a slut for not going off with a stranger? I see… I thought I was on the home straight, I could see my front door. Suddenly another guy, much older this time (I am 22 but look much younger, baby face), was by my side asking where I was going and if I was out tonight. He had crossed a busy road to get to me. I replied no. I sped up my walk. He commented on how fast I was as he virtually ran to keep up with me. I stopped to put my key in the door, he hovered behind me. I rushed through and slammed it shut, concerned that this guy now knew where I lived. Im lucky to live with my boyfriend and other male housemates, but the journey from the front door to our flat door is long, dark and only used by us. I was scared to be cornered in there.
    I know it doesnt sound like much, but I was shaken and angry that I felt that way. I have every right to walk home without this. I now feel worried to walk home again, in case they are there again.
    So, that felt good to get off my chest. I didnt tell my boyfriend, I didnt want him to think I was ‘showing off’ that men paid attention to me or making a fuss over nothing.
    I wont be going out with friends after work for a while, I dont want to walk that road alone again either.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      Your story brought me right back..So awful. I’ve had the same experience when I was walking fast and the harasser commented “you sure are fast girl” and started keeping pace with me. When I ran, he started running too. I jumped the turnstyle at the train station and literally flew into the train that was pulling onto the tracks. I hadn’t even realized that I was shrieking “get away from me!” the whole time until I sat down in the train seat, shaking and crying.

      I’ve been followed many times myself and it is HORRIFIC. Being a young woman, only 22 and feeling so exposed and vulnerable when passing a group of men–I empathize with you so much. I’m glad you live with a group of guys that could protect you if needed. Sad that we rely on men, but many harassers only back down when men intervene, because they respect men and if they see you with a man, they assume that you “belong” to him because they view women as property.

      Hugs to you and sorry you had to go through that, Glad you made it home safely.

    • INeedANap says:

      Wait a minute — when you’re literally chased down the street and to your door by a stranger, your boyfriend would think you were showing off and would get upset at you? Honey, you need to drop him like a hot potato.

      • I Choose Me says:

        I don’t like to comment on other people’s relationships esp. a stranger on the internet but that part made go, whoa!

      • Janet says:

        My ex-husband once took that attitude toward me, which is one of the many reasons why he’s an ex.

  18. Feebee says:

    I love how the “deal with it” is trotted out…. What they’re really saying is shut up, who cares how YOU feel about being insulted.

  19. Hawkeye says:

    As a gay man, I have never dealt with this crap, but I’ve witnessed it. A part of me really wanted to do the same thing to those guys – whistle at them and make lewd comments, because the men who can give it can’t take it. I brought this topic up with the kids in my youth group, and the girls all said that they wished someone who saw it would stand up for them, and that’s what I’ve started doing. The first time was when I was on a bus and I saw a guy sitting across a teen girl wearing a short skirt, trying to look up her skirt. She kind of confronted him but he had this disgusting grin on his face and kept staring at her. I got up and told the driver in a loud, clear voice that an adult man was harassing a teenager, and that guy got kicked off the bus. My heart was pounding and my hands were shaking, because I am not a confrontational or outgoing person and it dawned on me that the guy might punch me, but some people started clapping when the guy got kicked off and the girl started crying and thanked me. It’s gotten way easier to confront creeps since then (and even though some of them yell at me or threaten me, most of them slink off).

    • TorontoE says:

      Good for you!! The world needs more men like Hawkeye!

    • Feebee says:

      Aw, you’re awesome for doing that. And thank you.

    • Tiffany27 says:

      Thank you Hawkeye. I sincerely mean that.

    • Venus says:

      Seconding TorontoE’s comment. I think for attitudes to change, it has to be men showing other men that catcalling and harrassment is unacceptable, like you did, HawKeye. When a woman gets pissed, the men harrassing her find her objections irrelevant, because they’re not actually trying to make meaningful contact. But I think if a male onlooker says, “WTF, knock it off,” that has more authority and weight in the harrassers’s eyes than, yanno, what a woman thinks.

    • Cel says:

      Thank you, thank you, thank you!

      Wish more men who think this type of behaviour is unacceptable would do the same.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      You f*cking rule. The End.

    • Luca26 says:

      You are so awesome!

    • jammypants says:

      You are amazing. Also, it makes me so sad that so many women aren’t even seen as humans. Just objects.

    • Diana B says:

      Thank you for that, you’re awsome. I wish men here in my country thought like that. Sadly, that is not the reality.

    • Hawkeye says:

      No need to thank me, it’s the right thing to do, full stop. I was heartbroken when I heard every single girl in my group share a variation of the same story about street harassment. These are girls in their early teens. I can’t un-see it. I still get the shakes though when the odd creep responds back to me, with twink being the nicest thing I’ve been called to actual rape threats.

    • Eleonor says:

      That was a very nice thing to do. As a grown woman I don’t know how to handle a situation like this, a teenager is even more delicate situation, kudos to you :)

    • fille says:

      I wish that more men, when they feel they are able to, got involved, because not only does it have a greater effect when more people, men or not, get involved, but, seeing as the men who sexually harass and assault usually see only men as actual people, it often has more of an authoritative effect on them to be reprimanded by a man, someone they see as a person, rather than by someone who isn’t a man, someone they see only as a thing to be used by a person.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Wish there more men like you. You rock!

    • avale says:

      Thanks Hawkeye!! We need more people like you in the world.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      You make me very proud to be human. Thank you.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Wow, that is a truly amazing thing you did! That was an act of complete selflessness and bravery.

    • lunchcoma says:

      That was awesome of you.

    • Jazz says:

      We need more guys like you in the world Hawkeye!

  20. Hotpockets says:

    People can be horrible and degrading when it comes to cat calling. I remember standing on a busy street corner, while my friend parked her car to come meet me and I made a joke about having to wait for her by the corner. Maybe a minute later an SUV rolls up and the boys in the car start yelling at me, HOW MUCH HO? and what a slut, Mind you, I was wearing a button up coat and pants, very provocative. It was embarrassing. A part of me always wants to confront them, but you’re also giving them the satisfaction they want by engaging with that sort of behavior.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      I’m not sure..I agree that for some men, negative attention is still attention and that validates them. But by saying nothing, you’re sending the message that it’s ok–you’re allowing them put you in your place. Not that I’m saying how you handled it was wrong, not at all-you reacted instinctively and that kept you safe.

      But I’ll put it this way: you remember this incident vividly because of how the harassers made you feel, but if you had said something you would remember it as a time when you stuck up for yourself and voiced your opinion about their behavior.

      As I said above, I’m not advocating that women engage with strangers (I don’t want that on my conscience!) and I don’t think that there is a “correct protocol” when it comes to street harassment–women should not be subjected to this, period–but sometimes telling them how you feel can be empowering. Just something to think about.

      • Hotpockets says:

        I agree and disagree OK. I lived in a bad and dangerous city and I can tell you that when you confront these people, it will only make the situation worse. A friend of mine loves to confront, and every time she does, horrible things would ensue as a result. I’ve witnessed a knife being pulled, a male friend of hers was beaten so badly, he had to be taken to the emergency room trying to defend her after a confrontation gone wrong. Some man tried to throw a beer bottle at me when I had the audacity to say something to defend my honor. People are unpredictable and you don’t know how they’ll respond, especially if they’re not in their right state of mind. I don’t live in that place anymore, but one thing I’ll say is that you almost give those predator types a since of validation by responding, versus ignoring them and walking away. I think most of the time they want a response, because it’s the only way they can get a woman’s attention.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Yeah no..I actually agree. I didn’t mean my comment to be a judgment of how you acted in that situation..in fact, I wasn’t even trying to say that it’s a good idea to speak up. After re-reading my original comment, I actually should have just shut the f*ck up about it.

        I agree 100% that women should behave in whatever way they feel most protects them and keeps them SAFE. That is by FAR the most important aspect to harassment–way more important than any “message”. My comment came across as preachy and I apologize.

        As I posted above, I’ve talked back many times and I felt proud of myself for doing so, but it also got me punched in the face so…yeah, maybe don’t take advice from me.

        I guess from my experience, the times that I’ve stood up for myself, it usually takes the offender by surprise and makes him stop. It also made me feel like I was doing something about the situation, but you’re right that every person and every situation is different. If being silent is what keeps you safe, then do it. Don’t do anything that you’re not comfortable with.

    • Hotpockets says:

      I always like what you have to say and I definitely see where you’re coming from. In the right circumstances, I will always say something, but if you’re alone, outnumbered and in a bad part of town, which in the place I lived in for 5 years, any part is a bad part, but I feel like over half the time it will only antagonize the situation. You have to consider who is harassing you, as well.. If it’s just some dumb frat dude in the middle of the day at the grocery store, then yes, I will talk back, but at night, when people are intoxicated and looking for drama, then it’s never worth it to even acknowledge their existence.

      • Mrs. Darcy says:

        In the right, safe circumstances (i.e. not at night, not in a bad neighbourhood), I think Original Kitten’s first point is one we should all take on board. If you feel genuine rage at something someone says to you, bottling that up is not healthy or fair. When I lived in NY you were almost expected to say something back – nothing too aggressive (because, you know, that would be RUDE lol) to instigate, but just a casual dismissal of some sort. Of course some men thrive on any attention, but it can be done in a way that lets them know you are not their for their sole pleasure in life, you are not taking their sh*t that day, thanks. It’s harder in less urban, confrontational places. Men aren’t used to it so react defensively like the sad little cretins they are. Trying to get them in an intellectual discussion like the posted Card Against Harrassment link, is kind of futile if the videos shown are any indication, Challenge a man like this and he will rarely put his hands up and admit he was wrong. I do like the idea of the cards though, and the social media/news shaming of real creeps.

  21. Chem says:

    My first catcall was when I was in 7th grade and It scared me a lot. But my friends who were more experienced about it helped me handle those situation, we just ignore them, like they didn’t even said anything, not even a look and that’s it.

    Here in México is very common, there are some very romantic phrases that guys tell you on the street but there are others very disgusting.

  22. LeAnn Stinks says:

    She’s gorgeous and plays Lucrezia Borgia on Showtime’s “The Borgia’s.”

  23. Hotpockets says:

    whoops. double post

  24. Yup says:

    I really don’t mind if someone passing by says hi beautiful or good morning gorgeous. It puts me on edge at first but once I walk by I smile. It’s a nice thing to hear once I’m awhile! I think they are saying it to just to be nice. But I have dealt with many strangers who are out of line. The other day I was sitting on my stoop and car pulled over and asked if wanted to hang out. Like…sure dude let me just hop in your car and let’s go. Do they really have hope that would happen?? Sometimes I don’t understand how they could possibly think a woman would respond positively to their aggressive comments. The scariest time was when I was in nyc walking home and this man said he wanted to come in my a$$ ( so romantic right) I was so scared bc he followed me but luckily it was able to get upstairs. Anyways – fellas say good morning or a nice hello don’t need to disrespect us and make us feel unsafe. We are not walking vaginas for your amusement okay?

    • Tincy says:

      Any man who talks this way to a woman he doesn’t know, is probably a rapist. I am serious. Especially if he tries to follow her.

  25. Micki says:

    …”"Are you not embarrassed with yourself for doing that?”…
    No, they are not. It’s a demonstration of power over you and a cheap way to boost the male ego.

    • JenniferJustice says:

      They are not embarrassed. They are actually haters. They know it’s not flattering, but actually degrading. It’s their way of saying, “since I can’t have you, F–k you!”

  26. Tincy says:

    Most men who catcall on the street at random women, are losers with very little education or low IQs. They have nothing better to do with their time than harass women, drink booze and get in trouble with the law. They should be embarrassed about their lifestyles, lack of education and lack of standing in society. Men who work construction sites and do catcalls should be fired automatically. Many of the buildings they work in have strict policies against workers harassing people going into and out of these buildings.

    • lunchcoma says:

      This isn’t true at all. I’ve been catcalled by groups of men in suits in the Wall Street area, and I’ve seen groups of drunk men who I know personally and who are employed, otherwise respected professionals harass other women.

      I do agree that employers should take action against employees who catcall on the job, though.

  27. JenniferJustice says:

    The only women who would find catcalls flattering are insecure women. No woman, with an ounce of dignity or pride would be so pathetically desperate for validation to find men yelling gross sh!t at her enjoyable.

    One time I was lunching with a co-worker when some guy yelled something and whistled as we were walking down the street. I turned around a shot him the evil eye. She hit my arm and said, “What are you doing? I like that. I want that.” Umm…..I’m still baffled by it today.

    • Star says:

      “The only women who would find catcalls flattering are insecure women.”

      Eh, one could just as easily say that the only women who feel “violated” by being told they’re hot or beautiful or gorgeous by somebody are “insecure women.”

    • pato says:

      I am very insecure. And I hate catcalls, even the “hi beautiful”. I don´t go telling men things on the street. And if I did, the police would probably stop me.
      I thought that kind of street harrasement happened just in this god forsaken third world country, but it seems men are idiots everywhere.
      We should do something about it. It´s frustrating.

  28. Miss M says:

    The last time it happened to me, I was walking to the gym in Brookline and an old man ( old enough to be my grandfather) said obscene stuff to me. I was so upset, but pretended I didn’t listen. Another man around his age passed by me and just looked at me, as he noticed how upset I was, but said nothing. I usually say something to show they should be embarrassed , but it was so unexpected that I was in shock. Disgusting old man!

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      Funny. That’s where I got punched in the face–in a restaurant in Brookline.

      • Miss M says:

        OMG! I am sorry, TOK. Looking back, I am glad I didn’t react. But it is so upsetting.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Yeah it’s crazy that you would have to deal with something like that and onlookers wouldn’t even intervene. SIGH.

        And Brookline is a very nice part of the city..just goes to show you…

  29. Janet says:

    This actually happened in New York City. A revolting creep on the subway unzipped and flashed a high school girl sitting across from him. She remained very calm, took out her cell phone and took a picture of him wearing a big smug grin on his face. What happened next was priceless. She sent the photo to the New York Daily News. The next morning the News ran the photo ON THE FRONT PAGE under the headline “Subway Flasher” showing the creep with his dangly parts pixeled out and wearing that nasty grin on his face. I don’t know who that brave child was but I wanted to give her a big high five. I hope his mother and all his neighbors saw that photograph. She probably bought him a one-way ticket on the next bus to Podunk.

  30. littlestar says:

    I hate cat calls too. It’s like whoever is calling out to you is somehow taking away your power at the same time, and it is a scary feeling.

    This summer when I was going for my usual run, I noticed two teenage boys drive past me in a black two door car. I saw them slow down when the saw me, and then do a loop around to drive past me again and then park their car about 100 feet in front of me. It was unnerving! Especially because of course I was running through the one spot where the few homes that were out there were far away because it is a nature reserve. I quickly crossed to the other side of the road and pulled out my phone, and had it ready to go in case I needed to call for help. Thankfully they got the message when I crossed to the other side of the road, but I now feel more wary when I go for my runs. F*ck those two teenage boys who made me feel scared in my own neighbourhood. And f*ck men who just don’t seem to GET the sexism women face on an everyday basis. Yup, I’m feeling mad today LOL.

  31. Ginger says:

    The first time I was ever cat-called was by prisoners. No joke! My hometown contains a large prison and some of the inmates who were more or less “well behaved” could work in the orchards surrounding the prison at that time. I was about 12 or 13 and it was hot out so I was riding my bike in shorts to my friends house. I just recall men yelling at me about my long legs and such. The guards didn’t even say anything about it! I think I rode the fastest time on that bike that day than I’ve ever done in my life. It was truly a frightening inititiation into womanhood. Since then I’ve mostly been yelled at about my derriere even when I have it covered up with a long top and pants. I have been followed on foot and in cars by men. I’ve lied about being married before (when I was younger and single) to try and get strange men to leave me alone. I mean, that sort of harrassment is appaling. I’m so happy to see a newer generation of women putting their collective foot down and saying that it’s not right and we won’t tolerate it anymore.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      ” I’ve lied about being married before ”

      That reminds me of #yesallwomen, and the comment someone made about how it is often safer to say you are married/have a boyfriend than it is to be honest and say you aren’t interested. I don’t think a lot of guys understand this type of thing.

  32. avale says:

    I don’t know much about this Holliday, but I like her!

  33. Mrs. Darcy says:

    I got catcalled by children tonight, two boys around 10, which I would not normally think twice about because kids where I live are little sh*ts generally, but this freaked me out because they were riding in a car. SO some adult, I didn’t see who, allowed their children to shout at me, in their car which was at a stoplight, and ask if I was a prostitute. They were clearly just joking, I was wearing workout clothes and am an old lady by pre-pubescent boy standards, but it really horrified me and if I wasn’t so f’ing exhausted from Pilates I would have walked up to the driver and said “Dude, wtf is wrong with your kids?” but I didn’t. But it kind of upset me, that boys are still being raised to think this is remotely f’ing ok. For the record, it is far more lurid and disgusting in the U.K. than the U.S. generally.

    • Mrs. Darcy says:

      Oh and I love Holliday, she rocks for calling out British man twats on their pathetic behaviour, it’s rife here.

    • Janet says:

      They start young. I remember when I was 13 or 14 walking down the street near my house and some smart-ass guy let out a wolf-whistle you could hear two blocks away and yelled “Hey baby, you got a shape!” I ignored him and kept walking and a little boy who couldn’t have been more than seven or eight walks up to me, eyeballs me up and down, and said “I can’t whistle but I sure can look!” I didn’t know whether to slap him silly or burst out laughing. I ended up doing the latter.

      • Mrs. Darcy says:

        If it’s just kids on the street (up to a certain age) I know it’s just them testing the boundaries of what they can get away with, and not in the same truly gross vibe as most adults who should know better than to catcall. I know they maybe don’t know any better/ or are showing off for their friends – which, while not cool, is not something I get worked up over. But the fact these kids were riding in a car with (I presume) at least one adult, made me more irritated. A little kid would make me laugh too, though I do think it’s sad we are not doing more as a society to combat it. Like I watch Mad Men and laugh/cringe at how awful the workplace was 50 yrs ago, yet in truth most women have to suffer it still in some form, it’s no longer acceptable and I don’t think we should be expected to rise above/ignore it the way some commenters say. Maybe some people can, but some people are more sensitive than others, some people can’t deal with being alone on a street at night and getting verbally molested. Why should that be the norm?

  34. From North of Boston says:

    This whole thread is like a textbook example for #yesallwomen

    We’ve all got these stories of strange men intruding into our lives – harassing, insulting, threatening. It’s awful…and there are hints in the stories here of women who were street-harassed as preteens and teens, that those experiences shaped them, and not in a good way. It made them less confident, more retiring, less likely to own their own space, because it did not feel safe to do so. So sad. :(

    – not everyone obviously…for some it caused them to step out and own their space, but that’s not something preteens and teens should have to wrestle with, before they’ve figured out who they are in their own worlds in the context of friends and family they feel safe with – why should strangers — rude abusive men – get to make such an imprint on young lives?

  35. Jellybean says:

    The problem is.. When they stop catcalling you…it feels like you lost something..

    • Mrs. Darcy says:

      Like what? Look, I know ageing sucks, I am heading towards big fat forty soon. But not once in my life has being catcalled made me feel attractive or better about myself. It’s made me think, on occasion “What am I wearing/doing to be attracting this idiocy?” when I eventually realized, nothing, just being a normal, everyday woman. You’ve lost the ability to attract small men who would never dare approach you in any meaningful way, who think it’s ok to shout at you like you’re an object, not a person? This doesn’t mean you are no longer attractive, it means you have finally risen above the lowest common denominator of society! You haven’t lost a thing.

  36. jhav1 says:

    she also played Lucrezia Borgias on the showtime (?) show The Borgias.

  37. Anath Pariah says:

    Even *I* have been cat-called. It’s really embarrassing.

    Surprisingly, I’ve faced my share of sexual harassment which escalated into bullying. People who believe that sexual harassment is always linked to physical attraction are sadly misinformed. Four years ago, I ended up reporting a co-worker for asking me questions about my sex life. I knew he was only asking me those questions because he thought he could make me feel ashamed about being a virgin.

    Men have pretended to hit on me as a joke. Actually, I was exposed to this at a very young age, but it wasn’t until high school when it started getting really ugly. In my ninth year, I was seated next to this group of boys in English class who made all kinds of ironic comments that gradually became more inappropriate until my grades began slipping. My performance in that class was stunted by my emotions. I’ve always suffered low self-esteem and I knew that every comment they made about me and my appearance was to be funny. I needed to have my seat changed.

    With that in mind, sexual harassment isn’t always inherently sexual. Sometimes it’s just about humiliation.

    I’ve always had a problem with men, and I probably always will. Growing up, it was the boys who hurt me the most.