Stop the catcalling, and let us walk in peace

Night out in New York City.

Night out in New York City. (Credit: iStock)

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A columnist for one of the daily tabloids recently penned a piece to explain why she enjoys being catcalled by construction workers -- and instructed other women to just get over it.

You ever had a moment when you realize you have just read one of the dumbest things you've ever read?

Yeah.

So, construction workers (or catcalling people in general) who feel empowered to yell or whistle at women, read this: Don't do it. Catcalling isn't flattering. I'm sure whatever you're building is more important than my eyes -- or curves.

When I walk to work, I don't need comments on my behind. Those comments aren't validating. I am secure in the validity of my backside. And no, I don't want to smile. I'm busy thinking about an upcoming presentation.

At the risk of sounding like a frigid prude, I don't care that you like my outfit. Actually, I don't care if you think I'm a frigid prude, either. I don't exist for your entertainment any more than you exist to make me feel good about myself. I don't want to talk to you, and unless my outfit is literally on fire -- like actually up in flames -- I don't want to know how hot it looks.

The columnist mentioned she experienced her first catcalling incident at 20. How nice for her that it took that long for it to happen. For many women it starts happening around puberty. Some even younger. For many it happens every day. And now catcallers might feel empowered to tell them to get over it, too.

She also wrote that "manly construction workers" made her "heart beat a little faster." Great. So just because you have a construction worker fetish we all have to get over our desire to not be yelled at?

If we had to accommodate everyone's fantasy nothing would ever get done. We all have self-esteem issues, and we all need validation, and if you get yours from street harassment, that's your problem (and your therapist's). But don't tell me to get over harassment because you find value in strangers wearing hard hats objectifying you.

And those of you who like those women walking down the street, don't yell at them or whistle. Just keep your mouth shut and keep doing whatever it is you're supposed to be doing.

Let us walk in peace.

Rachel Figueroa-Levin tweets as @Jewyorican and @ElBloombito.

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