Why It’s Not A Compliment

(I wrote this several months ago – sorry it’s taken so long to see the light of day)

So I know it happens everywhere; to every woman; all over the world – and with the footage filmed by that girl and her brother in New York going  viral a few months ago (VIDEO ABOVE), the world is starting to see the problem. But why, oh why, do men feel the need to cat call (+other noises) in the street?

Having just moved to London I am witnessing and experiencing it more than ever before. It’s worse than anywhere I’ve lived before. Between my 2 flatmates and I we have at least one case to talk of everyday. One day whilst on my way to work, 7.30am and a man literally shouts at me in the street, despite being stood next to me : “HELLO SEXY LADDDDYYYYYYY”.

Several points I’d like to raise from this :

Firstly, I am wearing a bright yellow bobble hat teamed with a sports backpack and thus look like a toddler – this isn’t a look you should enjoy.

Secondly, no need to shout – I would probably have still heard if you’d whispered.

Thirdly, it’s very early, I don’t really need this aggravation when I’m barely awake.


Is a girl who is cat called EVER going to turn around and say “Ooo, why thank you kind sir, we should go on a date.” NO. Even the more promiscuous amongst us isn’t going to say “That lewd shouting really did it for me – let’s have a quickie”. We never enjoy it. Not when they kiss their teeth, not when they click, not when they shout things and certainly not when they stop their car in the street to try to chat. It’s not even a compliment, I’d like to think that’s their intention but honestly it’s usually a bit inconvenient, makes us feel objectified and a bit dirty.

So please, people of the earth, if you know someone who feels the urge to express their approval of someone’s physical appearance in tasteless jeers and clicks – inform them of their blunder and together we can hope that one day we can all walk home without some deluded gentleman hissing at us.

Hannah Brown

Edinburgh Graduate in French and Russian. Likes : Cats, Music, Cereal.

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