Image courtesy of New York Natives, photographer: Hannah Howard Image courtesy of New York Natives, photographer: Hannah Howard
By Hannah Howard

It’s summer, and I just moved to Harlem, up by City College — all green trees and brownstones and grand churches, choirs reverberating with melodious spirit on Sunday mornings, electric.

“Let’s have dinner at Red Rooster,” my friend from college says, to celebrate my new ‘hood.’

“Of course.” I’ve never been. I’ve always wanted to go.

There are no tables upstairs, so we hang downstairs at Ginny’s Supper Club, where jazz bass and bourbon and crispy catfish leave me feeling all warm and tingly.

We talk and talk and say goodbye. The Harlem night is washed clean by an earlier downpour… leaves heavy on their branches, traffic hum on my back. It’s warm but blissfully un-sticky. I decide to walk the twenty-some blocks home. Maybe it’s block three, of four, when I start to regret my decision.

It’s not that I feel unsafe…or maybe I do. It’s a skin-crawly, stomach-churny sort of feeling: Just too many jeers, comments, eyes on me like I’m meat (I hate the word catcall. It comes from the mid 17th century, originally denoting a whistle of disapproval at a theater. The term feels jokey. These guys are not funny, and this does not feel like a joke).

I’m relieved and happy to get home, turn on the AC, close the door.

There’s a difference between a compliment and harassment, of course. Compliments are lovely, harassment is horrid. Sometimes it’s nuanced, some fuzzy line with lots of grey area, and I don’t have any answers about what’s ok and what’s definitely not. But I know how the latter feels; aggressive, sinister, and deeply unnerving. It’s yucky and unjust.

Last week, Hollaback’s catcalling video went mega-viral, followed by a torrent of conversation and controversy. But it’s not the video that got me thinking about this; it’s Istanbul.

Image courtesy of New York Natives, photographer: Hannah Howard

Image courtesy of New York Natives, photographer: Hannah Howard

My best friend Urs and I arrived in the heart of Kadikoy a week ago — a charming, narrow streeted, buzzy neighborhood on the Asian side of Istanbul — thrilled for sunshine, juicy figs, fresh fish, and hookah. We drank Turkish coffee so dark and gritty it gave us goose bumps. We rode the ferry to Eminonu and ate mackerel sandwiches from guys on boats, the briny fishes stuffed into fluffy bread with a pile of bright onions, prayer calls ringing, thrilling, beautiful.

Image courtesy of New York Natives, photographer: Hannah Howard

Image courtesy of New York Natives, photographer: Hannah Howard

But walking arm and arm, we kept squeezing each other’s shoulders.

“These guys! Oh my God.”

Istanbul is a modern city of some 12 million people. There are women in berkas, and women in tank tops, occasionally strolling together along the Galata Bridge, laughing and arguing.

We make sure to dress conservatively, long pants and nothing tight or revealing. We didn’t want to draw attention to ourselves. And yet: The stares — the intense, open-mouthed, relentless, intrusive, shameless stares. Men walk past us and turn around, and continue to stare us down, wide-eyed, open-mouthed.

It happens on the streets, on the metro, sitting outside and drinking our fiercely strong tea, savoring syrup-soaked baklava…in the early, foggy morning, in the afternoon, in the evening…by busy Taksim Square, at the Spice Market, on the sleepy Princes’ Islands….everywhere, always.

“Hi lady…Lady! Lady!” is the favorite salutation, followed by Turkish words we do not understand, but the most common is long, hard, intense stares. We shudder.

Urs and I have spent time together in Brooklyn and Barcelona, San Francisco and London, Bangkok and Tulum. We’ve told guys to fuck off or walked by fast, eyes averted. I don’t want to let the despicable behavior of the world’s population of atrocious men get me down or cramp my style.

Last night Urs and I had dinner with a lovely friend, Turkish by way of New York. Ege grew up in Istanbul, and has been living on the Upper West Side since 2007. She’s an actor and a teacher, and her husband is a musician and composer. We have a lineup of questions about this ancient, gorgeous city we can’t wait to ask her.

Image courtesy of New York Natives, photographer: Hannah Howard

Image courtesy of New York Natives, photographer: Hannah Howard

At Ciya Sofrasi we eat piles of rainbow-colored mezze on spongy bread, radish salad studded with plump pomegranate seeds, fava beans with verdant herbs, goat stewed with sweet, autumnal-spiced quince. We talk about fresh bread and goat cheese and olives and then, I ask her about the harassment.

Image courtesy of New York Natives, photographer: Hannah Howard

Image courtesy of New York Natives, photographer: Hannah Howard

All of a sudden, her obvious, lovely pride and joy about her city turn to apology, disgust.

“They’re awful,” she says, and we nod vigorously.

Of course, they’re not all awful. She’s married to a wonderful Turkish man.

“Sex is still totally taboo here, so when men see tourists, they think the can sleep with them.” She explains some of her observations, a sexism embedded deeply, differently, here. She tells us that women don’t speak too loud, or laugh too hard.

“This is one of the major reasons I don’t see a future here,” Ege says. She wants to have kids, and she doesn’t want to raise them in such a place.

I’m flying home today, but I know the story doesn’t end when I cross the Mediterranean, or the Atlantic.

Street harassment is a human rights issue. Women should be able to live their lives peacefully and safely, including the part that gets lived in public, on the streets of Istanbul and New York City and everywhere else. Too often, we can’t.

I don’t really know what to do. I assume middle fingers are not the solution. There are a million places I want to go, delicacies I want to eat, inside and outside and walking down cobblestone streets and wide boulevards, laughing as loudly as the spirit moves me to laugh.

317 Responses to Scoop Du Jour: The Occasional Terror of Being a Woman

  1. Dopatron says:

    Women can be such f-ing hypocrites.
    They go ape over a hot looking guy and LOVE attention from one, but the rest of the “average” guys are “scum” if they should so ever give a women a compliment about her appearance.

  2. drainagerelated says:

    It is best to go out of one ‘s way to refrain from notice people

  3. Tyler says:

    We must all stand in solidarity with the revolutionary struggle of upper class hipster white girls who are gentrifying Harlem and being subjected from leering black men or swarthy Muslims daring to take a peek at a white woman strolling around in his own country like it’s some kind of exotic tourist attraction.

  4. Tylerjams says:

    I do think this women should have done better research before she knew where she was going. I had a female friend telling me about how she went to Brazil in high school on some kind of sponsored trip. I was like did you have any idea where you were going..? The security was nothing and they saw many men exposing themselves and whistling… One of the girls on her trip was raped and murdered. I was like that is crazy. How could they let you guys go down there..?

  5. Artisticfame says:

    All my fellow men that say” it is just a man’s nature to be aggressive
    towards an attractive women” ,may not have been raised with 2 important words
    from their own dad’s it’s…….” self-control” .
    Yes “talk to a women, not about her” is a great
    awareness we should teach our boys at age 10 .

  6. POV4 says:

    The real men understand and show it in their posts. The others don’t like being called on their attitudes and behavior.
    And then there’s Young executive. He doesn’t actually know why he’s angry. He was just raised that way. He’s a card carrying hater of humanity. He hates whites, he hates women, he hates acknowledgement, he just hates. Period.
    Kinda sad really. Must be awful, living that way.

  7. Guest says:

    Here, for example, is an instance of something “yucky and unjust” that happened in Istanbul, I believe. The only spark of light is the universal, cross cultural disgust and outrage.

  8. Evilin Garnett says:

    And while I agree with some of what the author says calling something “yucky and unjust” does make her sound a wee bit entitled. The world is full of yucky and unjust things, and you can’t avoid a bit of it sometimes. It’s an imperfect world. If however, I was going to Fight Against Gender Injustice, which I am far too exhausted and confused to do much of, I’d start with female circumcision, bride burning, the Taliban shooting girls for going to school….I’m not saying that everything’s great here and we should just shut up but you know…..triage. Why would you expect your world to be free of anything “yucky”? What were you told your life would be? I think it’s a bit unrealistic to expect a hassle free world. Not that you just have to put up with harassment, either.

  9. Evilin Garnett says:

    Look, it’s indeed a natural thing for men to look @ women and vice versa. It gets complex because there is a difference between appreciation, intimidation and hostility and as the judge said, “I know it when i see it”. A nod, a smile, a “hey mami looking nice” can actually brighten my walk to work.
    Even if I’m not in the mood I get it that the man may believe he is giving me a compliment and sees nothing impolite in his behavior. In a cosmopolitan place you run into many people, many cultures, many paradigms of polite and impolite. However:

    A “ssst” (hissing like a snake), a “nice tits” a “hey, hey, hey can I get your number…why are you so stuck up” etc….even that “knowing” bitter, sneer that clearly says “I bet you’d gimme some if I was rich or had a sportscar or was a ‘bad boy’ or whatever” is harassment.

    It’s complicated, like ourselves.

    That said a little light flirtation greases the wheels of human interaction.
    I say this even as a person who has, twice in 2 decades, been jumped on the street and assaulted:once by a raging psychotic who grabbed my breasts hard enough to leave bruises in the shape of his fingers, and, years later, while walking alone in a mid-size mid-western city, by a seemingly innocuous young man who came up behind me grabbed, squeezed, then ran away…and gave me the finger…must have been a wee bit mad at women. And yes, I felt scared, attacked, & bullied but I still can tell the difference between harassment and harmless, though sometimes doofy, men who think they are just “showing appreciation”.

    Also, 2 terrifying incidents in 20 years are vastly outnumbered by the funny, interesting and pleasant interactions I’ve had with people of all genders,races and cultures while walking on the streets of cities. I wouldn’t trade it for all the gated communities on all the tropical islands on the planet.

    On the other hand, the hatred in the eyes of certain religious fanatics when they see women at liberty to walk or drive un-escorted, that’s IN-stantly recognizable.

    But, in this riotous, gorgeous mosaic-in-a-bubbling-melting-pot, we all might keep in mind that living in a city you learn to put up with other people. Not by being assaulted, of course, but by being—from time to time—annoyed. If you wish a life completely un-hassled by interactions with strangers, move to the suburbs and go everywhere in a car with tinted glass.

  10. kjair says:

    The world is not fair. It has never been fair to women in our history. Right here, right now is as good as it has been throughout the history of mankind and it gets better everyday. However, some folks,men and women are completely unrealistic in their approach to life and their expectations when dealing with other cultures, foreign & domestic. Its not my responsibility as a man or as a human being to “make sure” that you feel safe or comfortable nor do I generally give a rats rear end if you “suffer” from non-physical attention. I will be the first to step up if I see a man/woman physically manhandle another human being but cat-calling is lame and complaining about it, even lamer IMO. This idea that somehow women are never going to feel afraid or threatened if men just stop cat-calling is silly. Everybody wants to have it all, but it ain’t going to happen. If you are a woman, you will face male attention from puberty up until you die. Generally speaking, when you are attracted to the guy, you will be receptive, if you are not then you show disdain. Unless there is some red light/green light appendage that can indicate such, how will anyone know?Thank God we have been able to stamp out men physically crossing the line but if you think that verbal attention will stop, ever, you might just want to inquire about bridges in Brooklyn. Mothers, for god’s sake stop sending your boys mixed messages with the macho upbringing and then also wanting them to be prince charming. There is a reason why that crap only occurs in fairy tales and women magazines- its FANTASY! They are two divergent personalities in most people and they (people) really aren’t that sophisticated, and thus boys/men are growing up confused as heck in a wildly changing world. Fathers, stop with the macho crap also and teach your kids to be respectful. You are idiots if you think you can disparage people, cultures, race, politicians, family around your children and they won’t pickup on it and carry that discord with them. Practise restraint and stop the nonsense, but let your kids know that life is not fair and they cannot treat people with disrespect & fear just because it makes them feel safer or better about themselves; then perhaps 20 years from now the world and life for women will be a lot fairer.

  11. erasmocepeda says:

    Well, I find this astounding…

    First of all, harassment is very wrong. Every person deserves to feel secure in public places (at least). Men shouldn’t harass women. But that happens and it is important to try to understand how, where, when and why, in order to prevent it.

    I read several comments, of people that I would expect to be smart, yet I don’t find a lot of intelligence there.

    1. I’d suggest to understand that this happens, it doesn’t matter we don’t like that to happen. That’s why women need to take precautions (to take some little time and think where I’m gonna be, is my dress fine, is it a good time, do I know personal defense, can I beat four guys; think this and you may avoid problems).

    2. I’d suggest to try to analyze why this happens and how it begins. The media sells a lot (and uses sex to sell), so we have many young men (and older men) with a huge appetite for beauty (specially young, shaped women). This is is like making a big pile of sand, and we’re making it bigger every day (the society makes it bigger, of we allow the media to make it bigger). And then we feel outraged that some men did nasty things. Of course they do wrong, very wrong, but we also need to understand how this outcome was produced, from where did it come.

    And third, it’s very easy to forget, but our brain is 90 or 95% similar to any animal’s. It is not as an excuse, but even our rational brain (some milimeters think) uses and interacts (a lot) with the deeper reptilian mind. Sometimes is like the reptilian make the choice (a visceral, subjective, egotistical and arbitrary) and the neocortex comes with some handy rationalization to justify and sanitize that, because it would be uncomfortable otherwise).

    • guest963741 says:

      I agree that men are brainwashed to feel both entitled to sexually harass women (in most cultures) and are also sexually inflamed by the constant abuse of sexual imagery and themes in the media. However, we human beings need to take responsibility for how we raise our children and what we allow our boys and men to do to girls and women. Rape and sexual abuse happens to people of any age, from tiny babies to the elderly. In the U.S., according to the FBI, 95% of rape victims are female and 98% of rapists are male. Obviously there is something terribly wrong with how we raise our sons and our daughters. Our sons should be learning to respect females as full human beings – equal to them in human rights – and to recognize that NO ONE owes them sexual pleasure. Our daughters should be learning martial arts and self-defense in order to protect themselves during the transition away from our current female-abusing, patriarchal cultures.

  12. Dennis says:

    Blame it on Bush.

  13. jsng says:

    Don’t visit a place, that tolerates this type of behavior. Especially if you know how they’ll act.

  14. joeeeee says:

    It would have been instructive if you’d noted the race of the creeps in Brooklyn. Or, does it go without saying…

    • guest963741 says:

      I have been sexually harassed in the U.S. by men of every race – so have 99.99% of American women. Because we still have very racially segregated neighborhoods throughout the U.S., most of us are most-often sexually harassed by men of our own race – we’re just statistically more likely to pass them in the street.

  15. Bruning von Stauffen says:

    Funny, but all I remember of Turkey was car bombs, PKK terrorists & dead animals lying along the side of the streets.

  16. KaiHarate says:

    I dated a girl in Brooklyn once. I lived about an hour north. We both had eye opening experiences. If I left her for a moment or we met in public I’d witness first hand the verbal Avalanche she would endure when seeing her across a street or catching up to her if I dipped into a store myself. It was the first I’d ever seen of such open and blatant sexual mouthing off (that’s what it should be called , not catcall). She was very cute so she got it a lot. When I would walk with her they didn’t have the courage to do it but it was like a war zone the stares…the tension in the air…some thought about trying it but only a drugged out guy ever did. The rest were cowards simply because im 6’2″…yet not a fighter or rough looking.

    Then she came to my area. We went out shopping to usual places and went for walk in small city next to my town. Nothing. Some guys looked but she was fine with it just guys looking at cute girl. She went by herself next day to do some errands and checkout the area while I was busy with home project. She came home and immediately commented how it was first time since she was 14 that no man ever said anything to her. It was so routine and normal for her to be yelled at, “complimented”, followed, harassed, pressured to acknowledge a guy (some guys get furious or just won’t accept being politely ignored) that she came to just expect it like birds singing or the wind blowing. When she realized she was in a place where men were not perfect but at least they weren’t dogs (her words) it was like she had gone to a different planet. It was then I realized the crappy area with tacky stuff was actually a decent place to grow up.

    I was shocked how bold men were in Brooklyn. Where I come from, you’d risk scorn of other women around, a visit from a cop, or a fist fight from a local man not putting up with that type of behavior even if he didn’t know the girl. Where I come from, you’d have to be real careful what comes out of your mouth in public. Only a bar or drinking festival might you see one or two guys act up like you see every street and outside a church in Brooklyn. I couldn’t believe they were so comfortable talking out to women like that. I once saw a stunning your girl walk down a street and had to be 50 men of all ages yell out to her with all levels of “compliments”.

    She was shocked there was actually a place where you could go about your business and not have that wall up or a fear of something escalating fast. We went to Japan and Korea and the entire countries were like my area. It’s how you are raised to act in public. It’s all about where you come from. Men would band together and enforce street etiquette even if inside they were saying “wow, she’s hot”. There is respect for ladies but also recognition she is a human being first and foremost. I’ve never spoken to a female like these guys do. There’s a way to smile and be nice to get that hot girl to speak with you or just have that nice nanosecond as you pass by. You don’t have to say anything but should you be compelled it is something mannered mixed with lighthearted intention. If she responds, proceed. If not, walk on.

    Men are animals. I’m a man I know lol. It’s up to men to police men. It’s up to men to make sure men give women space and respect. If that is absent, the animals grow bold and confident and women have no power to stop it. There are lines you don’t cross. I grew up in a place where the rare few who acted like these characters in this article did…they are ostracized socially, on police “radar”, or need to be prepared to physically defend themselves if speak out to any female.

    I remember as a teenager, a lady was jogging along side road. A guy in passenger seat of car reached out and spanked her bottom. She was shocked and scared, he was laughing. She got license number. Within 24 hours, he was arrested and his face on front page of paper. He lost his job and got a dose of very bad publicity. Some may say that is harsh for what he thought was actually a compliment she had nice body. But he just learned you can’t do that where I come from. Every man reading that paper or hearing what happened and might be the type to perhaps want to “compliment” a beauty made a mental note “that’s not gonna be me”. There is a code of conduct enforced by local culture and upheld with no compromise. The super cute Brooklyn girl dated me…never once were any street guys the focus of her attention. And their behavior is main reason she moved out of the city for food.

  17. mitchT says:

    Istanbul? Not Constantinople now?

  18. AllenOutOfRosetta ByRaymond says:

    Any of these “men” who think treating a woman in this manner is acceptable, should be dropped in a male prison to see how threatened they would feel when it’s done to them.

  19. Widdershins3 says:

    I’m horrified by how many rude, ignorant, deliberately hostile comments were made here and on Facebook. How can anyone defend obnoxious men who catcall women on the street?! It’s not a “freedom of speech” issue and if you’d ever endured it, you’d never, ever mistake it for that. If you’re concerned about human rights, then what about a woman’s right to simply walk down the street without being frightened?

    At 67, it still happens to me, so it’s less to do with age/perceived beauty than it is with the fact that I’m female and alone. And that’s wrong. People who defend it are defending bullying and the most frightening kind of sexist intimidation. What on earth is wrong with you?

  20. frabn says:

    Just remember that this isn’t necessarily affixed to sexism. I’m a 32 year old man, married with a child, a house, 2 dogs…the whole nine yards. And yet, I adore women. It’s hard to look away when I see a woman that catches my fancy. The thing is, I do nothing…I don’t harass, I don’t stare, I don’t try to brush up against them or “accidentally” touch them. It makes me sick when I see this behavior, it always has…even when I was younger, in college and at the pique of my hormonal urges…that kind of behavior always made me angry.

    A lot of times, the men who do this are absolutely awful human beings beyond that harassment. Lack of respect for women is deeply rooted in them, and you can guarantee that they are terrible in other aspects of their behavior too.

    Sadly, in that region of the world that you were visiting, that treatment of women is ingrained in the culture for a larger majority of people.

    If I were to see you on the street, and I did a double take when I saw you, and I just had to look at you one more time, I would say that you should take it as a compliment, but I would understand why you wouldn’t based on the type of experiences you’ve had.

  21. Hollywood Resident says:

    Young and stupid describes people that only learn the hard way. NY city has some 9 million people, Istanbul 12 million (plus a brutal & rapey concept of being ‘good muslims’) but if she wants to be in huge overpopulated rat nests like these, she will deal with the rats that inhabit them. Overcrowding creates a desperate intensity of competition, along with a sense of anonymity as they blend into the thousands of other men around them, making rape and harassment more accepted in the male mind within city environments. You wanna go drink some shitty coffee in a 3rd world shithole? Be my guest, but don’t complain about changing it, thats a weak western wet dream, simply accept what it is and the risks you ignored to be in that shithole.

    • guest963741 says:

      Another guy who doesn’t seem to grasp that feminism is an INTERNATIONAL movement for the complete liberation of all females from patriarchal oppression and that NO feminist woman will “retire” from feminism until ALL women and girls have been liberated. We’re going to scream about it from every rooftop on the planet until it stops, not stay home in safe little enclaves where some progress has been made and opine that every woman and girl in the markets of Turkey or the slums of Cairo or the wilds of Brooklyn should just suck it up and take it.

  22. Frederick1337 says:

    Awkward. I really want to sympathize with the ladies. But after all that Big Pimpin and all the the other things you girls make popular, I have run out of sympathy. Sorry. Fix yourselves and the men will follow. Quit listening to jay-z and making people like him popular. He is a scumbag. If you listen to him, you are making yourselves whores.

  23. Mike Renell says:


  24. Michelle says:

    The world will always have problems. It’s insane for you to think the places you visit will be perfectly welcoming for you when in fact everyone in the world has their own prejudices and judgements about you, even before you go somewhere. Hence, being a Western woman, people view you as “easy.” Unfortunately, that’s the reality of life.

  25. John Saxon says:

    It is rude and barbaric to make any kind of suggestive greeting towards a woman in a public place. In 61 years of being a man it has never once occurred to me to do so. The idea that it could somehow successfully lead to consensual sex or be construed as a compliment is preposterous.

    • Nonsumdignus says:

      Thank you. It is not really about sex. Like rape, verbal assault is about intimidation and control–just not as physical.

      I am glad to see that some men “get it”, because sometimes it seems so futile trying to get them to understand.

    • Angel says:

      I LOVE your comment and understanding of women as individuals and not animals. I wish that more men thought like you!

  26. Heartwood says:

    As a driver of a large truck I say back at you ladies. It is the women that cut me off all day as if their gender gives them privilege to ignore the law. I would like to see the results of traffic accident tallies where drivers ignoring the traffic code causing wrecks, by gender. I live in a southern state where the behaviors this writer chronicles are uncommon. The behavior I am seeing, by women, is not just nationwide but very dangerous.

    • guest963741 says:

      Balderdash. Men and teen boys pay higher insurance rates because insurers know through exacting actuarial studies how much more likely they are to have accidents, drive recklessly and neglect to follow safety precautions (seat belts, helmets on motorbikes, reduce speed in foul weather, etc.)

  27. SkarPhace says:

    I try to follow the following rule: if you wouldn’t act a certain way or say a certain thing to a woman you don’t know who is old and unattractive, then you shouldn’t act that way or say that thing to an attractive woman you don’t know. Treat all women you don’t know with the same respect and you will not offend them.

  28. m g says:

    the author of this piece comes of as somewhat obsessive, delusional (it seems she has self-esteem and self-perception issues, seems she is living a “terror” in her mind) and is quick to be negative towards men (even the mention of “of-course, not all, her husband is Turkish” comes off as trademark western feminist privilege). you always hear how women get depressed when no one pays attention to them, and this author seems to be making a point that “eyes off, you aren’t allowed to look.” epic fail.

    • guest963741 says:

      Yes, epic fail in your reading comprehension. No woman wants to be harassed in the street. That is not the “attention” that people crave as they get older.

  29. katemilletpiketty says:

    Men should not be allowed to look at her for any reason whatsoever without her expressed permission. In fact, men should not be allowed to even exist without her consent; moreover, the inhabitants of the entire planet Earth regardless of any history, nearby wars, income disparity, political and/or racial difference, biological and/or genetic difference, cultural difference, psychological biases and/or afflictions including but not limited to variable intelligence, or even the possibility of any actual species-wide attraction expressed toward her in the general or specific whether in an unattractive way or attractive way should prevent her from exercising her absolute sovereign right to exclusively enjoy the world at large as her precious little oyster offering untold nuance and beauty whenever–nothing more and nothing less than a frisson of boxed and bow tied excitement.
    Just for her.

  30. Dave Kalin says:

    It’s amazing to me that people are still this ignorant.

  31. Dave Kalin says:

    Honestly, I had no idea that people still did this kind of thing in America. It seems like something from a movie of the 1920s.

    I know it happens in the Muslim world. That is a direct result of sexual repression brought on by the oppressive haunt of Islam.

    • xMVince says:

      “I know it happens in the Muslim world. That is a direct result of sexual repression”
      Ding ding ding, we have a winner! If sex wasn’t such a taboo, people wouldn’t be so damn aggressive about it. More people need to share the love! It shouldn’t be so hard to meet someone as a non-alcohol drinker with a great body, family and job in my mid 20’s.

  32. John Morris says:

    Just curious – do the women writing here feel a responsibility for how pop culture trash acts? (Ex. by speaking up against the trash) Note that I can deal with it just fine but I’m wondering if these same women think public whoring is acceptable. I simply equate the men’s behavior that was described with the behavior of Beyoncé or Iggy Azalea or the rest. Poor behavior is reflected differently by different groups.

  33. Bri says:

    Inappropriate comments and cat-calling are one thing, but it should be noted that in many eastern European countries it is quite common for people to stare at you regardless of whether you are female or male. It is rude by western standards, but culturally it is fairly common even if you are a native.

  34. Hellsing says:

    Wow, what to say, before I go downstairs to feed my female cat, while walking past my female Mum and after dropping a quick comment on my female friends facebook…(First off, if you’re trolling, keep on going). Next, she paints a picture of a very unkind situation, though it is one that for many women is true. I was taught to the value of seeing things from other peoples perspectives, so I say, out yourselves in their place, how would it feel to you? Begin an attractive male, I’ve been in the position where women “catcall” to me and even get a little touch feelly, and believe it or not, it’s REALLY uncomfortable! And this is coming from a street fighter who know’s how to handle himself if things go awry. Now imagine if your in that woman’s position, you don’t know how to defend yourself? It’s like multiple threats surrounding you. Not so much fun. I really feel for the ladies, because they don’t have it easy. Minus the fact that most of us relied on our Mums when we got banged up, hurt, talked about as kids, right?
    Also, I take into consideration the lives of my daughters. And to you , I say what of your daughters? Do you really want them to grow up in a place where they are treated like items someone can just put in their pockets? Or like a means to personal gratification and that’s it? The women out there that we see everyday, that’s someone’s daughter, someones sister, someones (future) Mum. Let’s have proper respect for them, just as we would want someone to respect our our daughter/sister/Mum.
    In the end, part of the story is education. Some of those dudes in that story were doing what they did because they were TAUGHT that that’s what you do and if there’s not someone to say otherwise, they that becomes their truth. So it’s not that they’re bad people, it’s that the information they were given is bad. I say this part from experience. I used to do something because I thought it was right, until someone had the balls to confront me and say “You know…that’s not the best thing to do…have you imagined what they may be thinking/feeling in that position? What if you were in that position” and I sat back for a sec and really thought about it> I had no idea that what I was doing was wrong because no one taught me it was wrong and it’s what “I always did”. Some things are culturally grown and if they’re going to be changed, a re-education must be enforced, followed by an unwillingness to accept ill treatment.
    Though, on the flip side, I can say look at all the ladies waltzing around in Yoga pants (that have never seen an hour of yoga in their lives), wearing very revealing clothing, yet shouting “Look at my eyes, not my breasts”…though that’s another story. Another fire for another day.
    I’m done now. Time to feed my cat.
    (Thanks for reading. If you want to reply, please do, though let’s keep it civil, no expletives or ill willed comments)

  35. shawn says:

    and about how women should be treated, if you want to delimited with your PC crap which is what you are used to stay where you are. I remember the turks feeling sorry for me when I said i am going back to the U.S. your style of life is set with some rigid rules which lead you to sit round and drink and call it life. jee weez, how long do you want to live like that

  36. shawn says:

    i spent some time in istanbul over the last decade, have been there some 3 or 4 times. when you go near the tourist areas, the americans as usual are so within themselves you wonder why did they ever show up here. i make myself remember these guys cannot get out of their shells even with each other and when overseas, they sit around and not talk to each other, which is what they know

  37. Kelliayne Potomac says:

    I have the same problem when I’m in a foreign country. Because you’re an American, they always believe you have drugs on you and you are a whore!

  38. Lily says:

    Polite men who are classy with their attention get a real smile and genuine thank you, but douchey skeezy men get the look of death with a dash of don’t come near me or I will kick you in the jewels!!

    What really makes me mad is when men approach women at the gas station (especially at night) asking for money for gas. I have watched this going on for years and they target women due to our nurturing side. I have no problem telling them to it’s not ok to approach a woman at night and they need man up go ask a guy for help and shame on them for trying to take advantage of a woman’s vulnerability and/or making us feel uncomfortable or obligated to help them.

  39. xMVince says:

    Sex a taboo? Sounds like a horrible place to live.

    • Nonsumdignus says:

      No woma n wants to be harrassed. That is a myth you guys tell yourselves so you don’t seem so pathetic.

      • xMVince says:

        No, it’s not a myth. There are unattractive, lonely women out there who would much rather be harassed by guys than be ignored. Stop trying to act like such a spoiled princess and realize you’re lucky if you’re good looking.

        The harassment is just a side effect that can be dealt with rather easily, somewhat like when someone wins the lotto and they get messages from everyone they know asking for a handout – you’re telling me you’d rather not win the lotto and just be left alone!? Please.

  40. prince duomarr says:

    I purposely catcall women and girls, and will continue to. They should be happy to get the attention. If not, ignore it. The women I target will one day be older, fatter, and they will be routinely ignored. They will wish for the days when men like me gave them compliments on their looks. There is NOTHING wrong with giving someone a compliment; if we had showed more admiration for others, we wouldn’t have nearly as much tension between people. I will continue to do what I do, and no amount of complaining will stop me. Period. End of story.

  41. just plain stupid says:

    Shocker– another article of women complaining

  42. Baron says:

    Simple solution men, if you see a woman walking down the street, don’t say shit to them. Don’t look at them. Don’t smile at them. Do not acknowledge them in anyway shape or form. Maybe that will finally satisfy them, but I doubt it.

  43. JTbreaker says:

    If I yelled “I want to kill you and steal your watch” to another guy passing me on the street he’d probably feel threatened by that. If he walked by and I luridly gestured that I was going to cut his throat, a guy would be reasonable to feel threatened. So why do we have such a hard time believing that women feel threatened by words and calls that suggest a man is going to rape her? When you tell a woman you’re going to “do” her, that’s what it means. When you say “I’ma make you holler girl” that’s what it means. She doesn’t know you, and hasn’t consented to anything. You’re telling her you’re going to rape her. Why would she not be offended, disgusted, and afraid?

  44. CarolunS says:

    I spent a fair amount of time in Turkey as a young woman. A few times I got harassed but mostly not, and the harassment was just someone following me on a public street. Sometimes there is just a cultural difference that sends the wrong message. I was at a wedding celebration once in a small town (everyone can come to these) and there were two European couples there. The man from couple A danced with the woman from couple B once or twice and vice versa. I talked to a young Turkish guy that I knew and found out that from his point of view, this was a clear and public statement that Man A and Woman B were having an affair with each other and were not even trying to hide it. There are quite a few things that Westerners/Europeans do that send the message to Turkish guys that these women are sexually available somehow, even though that is not the message the women think they are sending. I am pretty sure that Woman B did not realize that she looked like a very public and shameless adulterer.

    • Judi says:

      Shows you the difference culturally. Neither is wrong, btw.

      • guest963741 says:

        Yes, there is something VERY wrong with a culture which equates dancing with adultery – and decides that raping her wouldn’t really be rape because she’s a “fallen woman”. We need to stop pandering to and enabling misogynist patriarchal cultures.

  45. sarvij says:

    Here’s my take on this – I’m a guy, and I grew up in a conservative manner and never looked women in the eye, especially when walking on the street. I was always taught that it is considered disrespectful and incorrect to do that. During the days I grew up, I always felt that women also were very dignified, and presented themselves in a manner that garnered immense respect. They also maintained their distance and were very poised even when among the closest of friends. Speaking of dressing sense, a fact is that women themselves detested women who would dress to “seduce”, so to speak. Such detesting is wrong, in my personal opinion. But respect is a two way street and neither party should forget that.

    In the past few years, things seem to have changed drastically. Young girls nowadays dress what was deemed “inappropriate” just a few years ago. How can the new normal be so different? In such a short time? I wonder who defines the patterns of behavior in society. Recently, I happened to watch a few teenage girl oriented movies released between 2000-2005, and then a few more of them released between 2008-now, and boy, it was like watching movies from two different eras.

    Of course, humans are subjective. I understand that life is not like math where 2+2 was, is and will always be 4. This change of culture is true of every 10 year period in the past 100 years in the US and the world. That is what history tells us. Of course, history also tells us that societal patterns emerged and remained steady for thousands of years in most parts of the civilized world.

    The explanation I hear about the change in this trend in societal behavior is that women are becoming more aware of themselves. But the reason for me doubting this explanation is that self assuredness and security is greatly a function of self awareness and focus on greater things of life. If a woman or man spends an inordinate amount of time on clothes, make up, hair style, and thinks much about others’ perceptions of her or him, she/he has a problem that needs introspection. I feel that both women and men of today have no identity of their own.

    I wonder, did women of previous generations also feel this kind of societal behavior from men? If yes, logically, it cannot be a function of their clothing trends or their behavior in public. If no, it could be due to a host of factors – that men are getting worse over time, or that women are getting more sensitive or misplaced with time. Or that both are being bombarded and changed with suggestions by entities that they don’t observe carefully.

    People would still be loved a lot if they served the poor and needy, or worked for the betterment of the sick and downtrodden. That’s also actually not required – they would be respected if they simply took care of their families and found satisfaction in their lives in the simple opportunities life provides them with.

    But.. life today is just not that way. Nobody is satisfied, ever. Husbands never find their wives “sexy” enough. Wives never find their husbands “cool” enough. Children never find their Parents wise enough. The youth never find their first love or jobs or salaries satisfying enough. Broken families, multiple girlfriends, multiple boyfriends, lack of direction, all these are becoming a norm. And it feels very sad to me personally, to see this new norm.

    I am sorry if I sound like I am demeaning the genuine insults and humiliations that women have to undergo daily at the hands of strangers. That was not my intent. The intent of my comment is to give them some areas of life that I think focusing on will help them gain so much strength that it will show in their body language, and men cannot look at them with disrespect. There will always be an aura around such people which will induce awe and respect in others. And yes, there will always be evil and cruel men. Such men deserve the strongest punishment.

    To end, like I said, I’m conservative in my ways of life (and this conservative has nothing to do with Republicans of the US, who seem to have hijacked the word). I understand that there will be a lot more liberal approaches to life. I just wonder whether balance is truly respected and sought by us.

    • Avi says:

      Sarvij, I am am a social and financial conservative too and i agree with most of the stuff you said. However, I was surprised by your comment that the Republicans have ‘hijacked’ the world. I guess it just proves that the most enlightened too could have ‘some’ miss-perceptions. I don’t like a lot of stuff about republicans. Honestly, I don’t have any political affiliations. But I think your comment was a bit far-fetched.

      The mental and spiritual emancipation that the liberal progressives are bring upon us is breathtaking. Look at the Ferguson and Eric Garner protests. They could not even pick a truly innocent ‘martyr’ of police aggression for a poster child – they had to go for thieves and criminals.

      • mjoecups says:

        You miss the point. These men where murdered in cold blood and no one was punished. Selling illegal cigarettes doesn’t justify murder.

        • HoosiersH8LibTards says:

          Brown was a thug who attacked a police officer after commiting a strong-arm robbery: he was killed while trying to kill a cop. Tough nuts.
          Garner was not murdered. He unfortunately died from poor health while resisting a lawful arrest. Tough nuts.

          • mjoecups says:

            You obviously believe all kind of lies, you should go back to your fox news.

          • HoosiersH8LibTards says:

            Every morning and every evening. But then I don’t need a news site to help me reach the conclusion that Treyvon, Brown and Garner were not ‘innocent and model citizens’. See, this little thing called the Internet allows individuals like myself the ability to obtain raw/factual data and form our own conclusions. Like arrest records; copies of witness statements and public statements made by witnesses; video and photo evidence; jury trial records.
            But keep drinking your MSNBC and Huff and Puff malarkey and you’ll be just fine. Baa-baa go the blind LibTard sheep.

          • mjoecups says:

            Funny, you believe “raw data” like police reports. Then you call me a sheep? You are hilariously ignorant.

          • HoosiersH8LibTards says:

            Yes, when you look at raw data from various sources, some from the police and others from anti-police, and you find a common thread of agreement, Occams Razor dictates you have arrived at the most probable truth. Garner Video: Garner clearly resists arrest and is NOT put in a choke hold. Brown assaulted a store owner and committed Felony robery, Felony assault of a police officer and was in the process of charging the officer when shot. The list goes on and on….so, Baa, baa, baa goes the mjorcups sheep.

          • Judi says:

            Why didn’t they go by the cell-phone video. Video does not lie.

          • HoosiersH8LibTards says:

            Correct. It does not lie. The video clearly shows Garner verbally then physically RESISTING ARREST and then being restrained by several officers. It also clearly shows that he was NEVER put in a choke hold. Yet the Liberal media claims the video shows Garner cooperating and being put in a choke hold. So your argument of just going by the video is not definitive proof.
            All Garner had to do was put his hands behind his back and be arrested. I can’t think of a single situation which turns out good when 10 cops are present and say, ‘You are under arrest’ and you fight.

          • Judi says:

            Sorry, I was talking about Michael Brown video.

          • HoosiersH8LibTards says:

            There was no video from the Michael Brown shooting. The Grand Jury only heard physical and eyewitness evidence.

          • Judi says:

            There was a cell-phone video. I saw it on the news. Their were people out in the neighborhood & 1 person videoed it on their cell-phone. That is where they took some of the testimony from.

          • HoosiersH8LibTards says:

            Again, there is NO video of the shooting, period! The video you reference is of a young girl filming Browns dead body while claiming it was an intentional killing. It means nothing to a Grand Jury.

          • Judi says:

            Again, I saw it on the news that day. MB was walking down the street, he turned around & then went down.

          • HoosiersH8LibTards says:

            There is NO video of the actual shooting, period. There are several videos of individuals who came upon the scene and can be heard giving their opinions as to what happened, but there are many eye-witness statements which clearly state Brown beat Officer Wilson in his car, a shot was heard, and that Brown DID bum rush Wilson. Yes, there are several statements claiming otherwise, but those individuals contradicted themselves in subsequent testimony and some admitted to outright lying. Those who tell the truth do NOT have to remember what they said, whereas liars always trip over their deceitful webs.

          • shootmyownfood says:

            And the homeless guy in Phoenix. And the 12-year-old in Ohio. And on and on and on. But this is not the topic here.

          • HoosiersH8LibTards says:

            Baaaaa, baaaaaa, bah. I never claimed wrongful deaths, heck, even murders, occur at the hands of police. But you obviously believe there is some nationwide conspiracy going on. Baaaaaaa.

          • shootmyownfood says:

            Okay, you do need to reinvestigate. The owner of the store where the robbery allegedly took place said that Brown paid for his merchandise. He also stated that he did not call the police; it was another customer.

          • HoosiersH8LibTards says:

            ;-) Keep drinking the Kool Aid Libbie.

  46. ChiliJ says:

    Spent time in Turkey last year. Istanbul included, none of this stood out to me. No different than anywhere else. American women draw attention worldwide.

    Somebody call the waambulance.

  47. oceantracks says:

    I just don’t know any men with any class at all that would say something to a woman walking by them who is a total stranger.

  48. Matt says:

    How does the author know that these guys have stopped and are looking at her when she has passed them? Does she have eyes in the back of her head? Or is she turning around to look back at them? If it is the latter, well that is a sign of interest, as she is paying attention to what they are doing.
    Most of these articles seem like they are based off some narcissistic tendency of the author to brag about how they are so attractive men just can’t keep their eyes off of them. It couldn’t possibly be that they are attracting attention in a foreign nation because they look and are dressed different than what locals are accustomed to seeing.

    • mjoecups says:

      Your a tool. Obviously you where never a woman in Istanbul, but you feel qualified to try to blame the victim.

      It’s her psychological issue? Seriously? I don’t think you could possibly believe this stupidity? Unless you are completely insensitive to the world around you.

    • Judi says:

      Matt, you have to be a woman to truly get it.

  49. Respect says:

    A few things, first, some of the recent “catcalling” videos have been exposed as frauds. Second, the men started off as saying “Hello”. I guess for rabid Feminists, friendly conversation is not allowed either.

    Finally, as the woman said below, if you are a heterosexual woman, once you hit “The Wall” at about age 33 when your looks plummet, you better pray you have a tolerable personality, otherwise, it’s Cats and Bon Bons for your evening entertainment.

  50. masher says:

    Seriously. There is no way to really address street harassment. I suppose a giant PSA on being a gentleman, but what can be done except to teach your own boys to be gentlemen. Many “cultures” do a good job of this, and some don’t. Women can walk down the street unharassed in Fargo, North Dakota. Go there. Watch more of those “woman on the street” videos. Some are epic failures because some cities didn’t harass women at all. Some cultures respect women, and other’s don’t.

  51. SkiBum says:

    These very same women who shake in fear at a few whistles will turn around tomorrow and demand that they be taken seriously as an authoritarian figure in a competitive workplace. Can’t have it both ways. Either toughen up or accept you’re a victim.

  52. m3tavision says:

    A little logic: If you are an attractive person… then you attract attention.
    That catcalls are exactly that, your attraction working on men whom are programed to procreate. They are letting you know you are welcomed in their bed, anytime. That is how the world works.

    Why are you walking alone..? Why are you not at home with your children…? Where is your protective spouse..? These are all the things these “other men” are asking, when they cat call..

    Most who complain, know exactly what they are wearing beforehand, and are dressed to entice men… (or impress other women) on how much more curvy/beautiful they are. These same women would be shattered, if they dressed to the tees, and didn’t get one look, or one catcall.. it is the exact reason they get “doll’d up”, is to entice the opposite sex.

    The reason they shop and buy the close they do… to show off their looks. Instead of ample humility.

    BTW, as a male I have turned down the wrong streets and got jeers and calls… it was because I was on the wrong street. If I had been a women, I am sure those jeers and calls would be sexual in nature, because the wrong street is intimidating.

    • Kat Hudson says:

      Your “logic” only makes sense in a sexist world where objectifying anyone is okay because they “ask for it.” When I dress up, I do so for me. But I’ve been street-harassed coming out of a gym in sweats, when I was six months pregnant with my hair in a bun and no trace of makeup, when I was crying my eyes out running down the street from a bad breakup. I have never deserved this. No person does. Also, your grammar and spelling are atrocious.

      • guest963741 says:

        You raise a very interesting point. The two WORST cases of street harassment I have experienced (both involved a man in a car following me for several blocks spewing a non-stop stream of the most disgusting obscenities imaginable out of his car window) happened when I was very ill, crying and trying to walk home to take care of my health issue. In other words: I was openly weeping and distressed as I hurried down the sidewalk (in two separate incidents, ten year apart, in two different cities) and, each time, my being that (to his perception) vulnerable made me a magnet for a cruising sadist looking for someone to abuse.

        These kinds of experiences have made me absolutely convinced that street harassment isn’t about “appreciation” or “complements”. It’s about a male trying to exercise his power and control over a (his perception) vulnerable female. It’s sick.

        In both cases, the only way I got the man to stop was to go into a public business (e.g. running into a lawyer’s office and begging the receptionist to let me wait inside until he left.) Ignoring him, yelling at him, warning him that I was going to take down his license number and report him to the police, nothing I did short of removing myself from the street could get the stream of obscenities flying out of his mouth to cease. This was nothing less than sadism on his part – a desire to “enjoy” himself by inflicting pain.

    • JTbreaker says:

      You might be surprised at who actually gets catcalled. It’s not about what they’re wearing, it’s about how big a jerk a guy wants to be. It seems to be worse when they’re in groups. And there’s nobody to blame but the guy making noise. Guys started doing this to my sister by the time she was 14. She dressed like a librarian. But I don’t care if she was naked–a grown man has no business catcalling a 14 year old. It’s not about who she is, it’s about who they are.

    • Judi says:

      Nope, you don’t get it. Let me guess…………you are a man. Everyone wants & deserves respect. It can happen to men also. No 1 wants to be treated as a sex object. Including sex objects.

    • guest963741 says:

      Why are you walking alone?!? SERIOUSLY? Gee, because human beings are bipedal animals and we have stuff to do? Like go to work, buy groceries, visit our parents, shop for shoes, go to the doctor, pick up our kids from school…you know: live!?!

      • m3tavision says:

        Not really a retort^

        Cat calls don’t come out of the blue… and are not innocent. You can’t sashey down the baulvard, expecting people to move out of the way of your beauty and not expect people to notice.

        Those who get annoyed by cat-calls are the same women who get dressed for cat calls.

        • guest963741 says:

          You’re really not listening to women and girls, are you? I got sexually harassed on the street when I was a ten-year-old girl wearing no makeup and a normal, quite modest parochial school uniform. Women in their 60’s wearing modest clothing get catcalled. Women shouldn’t have to hide from toxic male attention – we should be able to use the sidewalks and go about our business without being abused. Learn to control yourselves, men. If some can control themselves, then all of you should be able to do so. This is not some impossible task. It merely requires that you refrain from behaving like hungry dogs.

  53. David says:

    A man’s perspective:

    I’ve read a few similar articles of late,
    notably one on CNN several weeks ago, and it was a real eye-opener for
    me. I began to realize that, even though I think I’m being polite, I am
    actually doing things that make women feel uncomfortable. For example,
    often times at work my first words to a colleague willl be something
    like “you have really nice hair” or “that blouse looks great on you” or
    even just “you look very nice today”. The advice in a recent article
    was something along the lines of “when starting a conversation with a
    lady, speak to her not about her”.

    Point taken and my sincere apologies for being prisoners of our own genetic code… and I don’t mean that as an excuse. I have since made a real effort to change my approach, albeit well-meaning.


    • Thereas Onableman says:

      “I am actually doing things that make women feel uncomfortable. For example,
      often times at work my first words to a colleague willl be something
      like “you have really nice hair” or “that blouse looks great on you” or
      even just “you look very nice today”.”
      Here’s a hint: if a male co-worker said these things to you on a regular basis, would you think he was trying to sleep with you? Yes, you’d probably start to feel a bit uncomfortable too.

      • David says:

        Don’t be so obtuse. That’s exactly what I was trying to say… treat a woman with the same respect with which you’d like to be treated.

      • Joshua_T says:

        There is nothing wrong with approaching someone with the ultimate intent of establishing a sexual relationship. Your example regarding a male co-worker is inaccurate for the simple fact that a heterosexual man does not want to be approached in that way by another man.

        • shootmyownfood says:

          There is absolutely something wrong with approaching a co-worker with the intent of establishing a sexual relationship. That should never happen. There is a reason that many companies forbid workplace relationships – they rarely end well and affect many others than the two involved. Do your sexual hunting elsewhere.

          • Joshua_T says:

            Oh come off it. Many companies also do not forbid it, and both men and women approach each other in the work place. Many of these couples even end up married! Do you want to pretend that doesn’t happen? So, I will do my “sexual hunting” where I very well please, thank you.

          • guest963741 says:

            Creepy creep is creepy.

        • guest963741 says:

          Yes, and WE do not want to be “approached” by YOU in that way at work or on the street. Get it?

          • Joshua_T says:

            YOU should speak for yourself and not speak for all women claiming to know what they do and do not want. Say you don’t want to be approached at work or on the street, and then your statement will be accurate. Got it?

          • guest963741 says:

            Nope. I pretty much speak for all women when I say that we do not want some strange man coming up to us on the street whose intent is to “get sex”. It’s creepy, predatory and completely unacceptable behavior. You’re not in our circle of friends. You’re not even an acquaintance being vouched for by someone we trust. You are just some salivating stranger and you should expect to get maced for it if you’re too forceful. Back off.

          • Joshua_T says:

            I don’t think you understand. All the requirements you listed there are YOUR requirements. That is how you personally screen to find a mate. Good for you! But you absolutely cannot speak for all other women because not all women function like you do. You find it creepy. Some women find it creepy. Others do not, and based on that, don’t expect me to pay attention to your “instructions” for my behavior.

          • Nonsumdignus says:

            The fact that multiple women are saying it and making videos about it ought to clue you in. However, you are male and feel that your opinion is, of course, the coreect one, not those of those silly paranoid women.

    • Joshua_T says:

      The compliments would be well received coming from a man that the woman would actually be interested in. Of course, no system is perfect, so sometimes you will direct a compliment toward someone who is not interested. This need not be the end of the world. The person (female in this case) receiving the compliment can simply show she is not interested and then everyone moves on.

    • shootmyownfood says:

      Why would you ever tell a co-worker they have nice hair? That’s just weird.

  54. OGM says:

    This woman’s experience is valid. The question is how can it be stopped. Harasshment is very subjective. The author writes:

    “There’s a difference between a compliment and harassment, of course.
    Compliments are lovely, harassment is horrid. Sometimes it’s nuanced,
    some fuzzy line with lots of grey area, and I don’t have any answers
    about what’s ok and what’s definitely not. But I know how the latter
    feels; aggressive, sinister, and deeply unnerving. It’s yucky and

    It would be difficult to make staring illegal. Even
    creating a law to which a man cannot speak to an unknown woman would be
    very problematic.

    • m3tavision says:

      The difference between a compliment, & harassment… is whether or not the lady gets a cat call from someone she likes, vs dislikes.

      It is no more logical than that.

      When she arouses the interest of men she don’t like… she is horrified..! But if a bunch of tall-dark hansom Wall Street bankers calls out to her, she is enamored..

      Nothing wrong with words, voices or calls. It’s a form of communication.

      • Caeleigh Shae says:

        m3t, you are very wrong. Try being a woman on the other end of that. It doesn’t matter who it is, it can be frightening, it’s not a compliment, it’s not welcome unless you are a hooker, and if a tall, dark, and handsome Wall Street Banker is cat-calling, then he’s got an IQ of 12 and needs to find a a job at 7 friggin’ 11.

        • Brian Chase says:

          Only women with an IQ of 12 engage in flirting, I’ll have to write that down and insult the poor mentally disabled women (i.e. non-feminist) I’ve mentally taken advantage of and whom have mentally taken advantage of myself.

      • JTbreaker says:

        She didn’t say anything about what any of these men looked like or what was in their wallets. You’re taking a fundamentally male value–visual stimulation–and placing it on the author arbitrarily. Is it really so hard to believe that a good-looking man could be inappropriate enough to make a woman uncomfortable? Is it really so hard to believe that rich guys can be jerks? I have two sisters. I’ve seen what women’s values and comfort levels are from adolescence to adulthood, and I can tell you that good looks and money don’t make a woman feel any less threatened when strange men show an explicit sexual interest in them. Remember girls are raised knowing that sex is something that can be taken from them or forced on them. When guys force their sexual interest on women it does make them feel threatened. They have no reason to believe it will stop with words.

      • mjoecups says:

        Funny how the language I would like to use for you is blocked on this site. Nothing wrong?

      • Judi says:

        Respect works so much more than cat-calls, whistles etc.

      • guest963741 says:

        Your rocker. Get back on it. I have been street-harassed by guys who look like male models and NO I didn’t like it.

        • m3tavision says:

          I see, you do not like Males..?
          Or when they take notice of your beauty..?

          Then why even wear makeup, or dress up, or wear perfume..? Do you do all that to attract another Women..? Or do you constantly parade around trying to attract… then sneer at those who don’t meet your standards..? Then call it harassment…?

          Just wondering where you draw the line.. considering you’ve probably spent $100 this month on beauty care products, all to entice yourself..? Or another women..?

          Know yourself.

          My points stand correct, there is a difference between compliment & harassment..

          • guest963741 says:

            Look, you obviously have very arcane ideas about women. If I am going to a birthday party and meeting my husband and friends there after work, I might be dressed up when I walk to the bus or walk down the sidewalk to my car. That doesn’t mean that I am dressed up ***for*** every man who happens to see me passing by.

            If I look pretty in a dignified black dress? I might be on my way to my mother’s funeral.

            If I am wearing pink sweatpants and a tee-shirt? I might be on my way to my elderly grandmother’s house to help her with her housework – and pink might be HER favorite color.

            You don’t know me. You don’t know why I am wearing what I wear, who I am planning to meet, etc. Just let me pass without commentary or rude staring, thank you. I am not “parading” on the street ***for*** you or against you. I don’t know you. I am merely passing by, living my life.

            Respect my right to do so without harassment.

    • Seth E Newman says:

      Great plan. I don’t like something so let’s make another law against it. People need to be able to know the difference between right and wrong. We need better parenting and upbringing. Years ago this type of behavior wasn’t seen nearly as much because it wasn’t excepted by society. Making new laws won’t change the way people act. I have never looked a a female walking past, staring with my mouth open and making rude comments. The reason for this wasn’t because it’s not legal but because I was raised to treat females with respect and to treat others as I want to be treated. The ones that behave like that would be ready to fight if they heard someone talking like that to their mothers, wife/girlfriend or daughters.

    • HoosiersH8LibTards says:

      Shut your Nazi, Sharia Law loving trap! While I agree that calling a woman ‘cun_’ is reprehensible, last time I checked the United States has something called the First Amendment!

      You are arguing for censorship. Why not ban any Liberal saying? How about cutting out someone’s tongue for claiming Christ is your Savior OR that you don’t believe in God? Perhaps 20 lashings for yelling ‘A-Hole’ to a woman who cuts you off on the road?

      Sexual harassment is intentionally causing harm to another human being or expressly threatening to do harm were sexual acts are expressed.

      Calling a woman a derogatory word does NOT meet such a standard. Heck, you’d have to arrest a sizable portion of married couples or disgruntled ‘EX’s’.

      I think Hilary Clinton is a ‘F-ing Cun_’ and the only reason I did not type it out in full is because of online censors. Are you gonna arrest me? Try. :-)

  55. fred_reade says:

    As a middle-aged man who lived in nyc for 22 years i feel that a big part of the problem can be found in the comments. Men who dismiss the validity of this woman’s experience are really part of the problem. Feeling threatened and being completely disrespected are a problem and the writer of this piece did an excellent job articulating those feelings. Respect and empathy are key.

    • Cassie Maas says:

      thank you for this

    • youngexecutive says:

      You liberal bigots make me sick. White people when they scream “respect and empathy” always mean for them (white feelings).. but not for anyone else
      Celebrating her “hood” ? What an ugly sentiment and racist word. She’s not from Harlem or Turkey. She’s the one who needs to show empathy and respect, rather than running around like a spoiled white American feminist.

      • Darryl Icht says:

        And you assume she is white based on what? Is there a photo? Even if she is, are you suggesting she doesn’t deserve protection from harassment because she is white? Do you have a point? Pre-judging is the root of the word prejudice, so take a look in the mirror. I am white and my screams for respect and empathy apply to people of all cultures, races, ethnicities and nationalities. I refer to the area where I grew up as the old ‘hood all the time. How dare you try to lump an entire race into your ignorant hateful stereotypes. Some whites are assholes. Most are not. Opinions like this do all people – but especially minorities – a great disservice. If there is a racist in this conversation, it is you.

      • Pennsylvanianne says:

        I’m white and I and other white people I know also call neighborhoods “hoods.” What isolated island do you live on?

      • John Novak says:

        We TRUE liberals will not be held back by the homophobic, xenophobic culture of hypermasculinated, regressive black men or their female followers. You had your chance in the 90s all the way up to when Al Sharpton supported those rapists in Florida. And Quanell X shamed an 11 year old Hispanic rape victim in Cleveland, Texas. Add to it the capitalist garbage that is modern hip hop, destroying DECADES of cultural progress liberals made against capitalist tyranny…a LOT of liberals and socialists are done walking around eggshells when it comes to the feelings of black men who continually piss on all things liberal and progressive. You might as well join the tea party because your not welcome here anymore with that regressive mentality. The 99%, including PROGRESSIVE black men and independent black women, will move forward with or without you.

        • Steven Wesonga says:

          Liberals with their “One size fit all” mentality. God created things in diversity for a reason; to make life different and interesting. With a little bit of mutual respect, everything would be just fine. Lefties, especially FAR lefties don’t look at things that way. They manufacture “Wrongs” out of nothing in order to multiply “VICTIMS” who they exploit to their political, social/economic advantage. Capitalism is not perfect, nor is socialism, but on the over-all, the former has improved the lives of millions around the world. When will we reserve the right again, to question anything without being labeled “Phobic”

          • disqus_mKxjpqugE2 says:

            While conservatives label and stereotype anything that doesn’t fall in line with their crap as somehow wrong,immoral,or abnormal? Conservatives are the ones living on the wrong side of history.The side that runs counterclockwise to cultural advancement.

          • Ted says:

            Your projecting your own preconceived feelings about, how I as as a conservative think, that is just ridiculous.

        • Ted says:

          Well you could always move to South America, or Russia, or even Turkey, and see how that homophobic, xenophobic, hypermasculinated bull flys there big words do not impress me.

        • Mike Moran says:

          You wrote “your” when you should have written “you’re.” Therefore, your point and your entire existence is invalidated.

      • disqus_mKxjpqugE2 says:

        What an insensitive bigot you are.Give it a break with the race card crap.This article is about women in general of all colors being harassed in public and you choose to make this into a racial issue.Where is YOUR empathy and respect? Perhaps on the inside of a garbage can in the “hood”?

      • Srey says:

        You sound racist……..

      • Lauravan says:

        You are clearly the bigot youngexecutive. Even your ID rings hollow.

      • shootmyownfood says:

        “Hood” is short for “neighborhood.” Are you seriously alleging that white people don’t live in neighborhoods?

      • Evilyn Garnett says:

        Well you showed her. You said her vagina was big. And you yourself are a) white and b) lonely.

  56. Joshua_T says:

    It should be noted that most of the “terror” she is experiencing is taking place only in her mind and is not neccessarily representative of actual danger presented in real life.

    • JTbreaker says:

      How is that an excuse? Can I wave an empty guy around at people since it doesn’t present “actual danger”?

      • MRK76 says:

        How empty is this guy, are we talking “no soul” empty, or “pockets hanging out of pants” empty?

      • Brian Chase says:

        Nice straw man, obviously waving a gun, an object that has the power to kill someone easily, at a person is the equivalent of doing something that will make a subset of a group, arguably not even the majority of the group, feel uncomfortable.

    • David says:

      Such a childish response. If you’ve missed the point this badly, I suppose there’s no use trying to explain things to you.

    • Rainbo says:

      Little boy, grow up some and then you might be allowed to play with the adults…

      • Joshua_T says:

        So you have nothing of worth to add then I take it.

        • Rainbo says:

          Point is you had nothing to bring to the conversation and I simply pointed out your lack of knowledge

          • Joshua_T says:

            Pointed out my “lack of knowledge” or just flinging mud? Why don’t you state your opinion on the article?

          • Rainbo says:

            Because you obviously had no understanding or empathy on the topic, you simply spouted a judgment without understanding the issue… understanding and empathy come with maturity…. some people never get there…. did you want to be one?

          • Joshua_T says:

            I do have empathy, and my empathy enables me to realize that there are many types of people in the world, and that includes those who are paranoid and imagine danger where there is none.

          • Rainbo says:

            Well la ti freaking da congratulations, you are a card carrying male with misogynist tendencies who belittles a woman for expressing the reality of BEING a woman in today’s world. That does NOT qualify as empathetic… were you empathetic you would have gotten it.

          • guest963741 says:

            When you get sexually harassed on a daily basis for years THEN you can tell women that we’re over-reacting. Until then, you’re just a male with privilege in patriarchal cultures denigrating women when we tell you how much we HATE the toxic, rapacious, vile male gaze. STOP IT.

          • Joshua_T says:

            Oh, and what do you know about male privilege? Are you aware of the disadvantages to being male? And when you say you hate the male gaze well… perhaps you should consider that maybe you just aren’t happy being female period, and do not like the fact that males are actually attracted to you (God forbid). Perhaps you would rather try out being male for a while? Then almost no other guys will look at you and neither will women. Then you will see what it’l like having to play the (apparently) reviled role of the gender that is supposed to initiate.

          • guest963741 says:

            Staring at us like we’re meat and you’re a starving stray dog is not how intelligent, compassionate men “initiate”. It’s uber creepy. See, we’re actual human beings with normal human feelings, like that creepy hair standing up on the back of the neck feeling that comes to all mammals when we’re being stalked by predators. If you want to “initiate”, get to know a woman AS A PERSON first, don’t salivate at her boobs or backside like a baboon. Don’t cat-call. Don’t try some stupid, hackneyed “pick-up artist” line on her in a crowded bar looking to “score”. Consider the fact that we are human. We have parents, siblings, hopes and dreams, taxes to pay, laundry to do – we just happen to be female human beings. We’re not alien purveyors of orgasms. We’re people – just like your sister, your mother, your grandmother, your aunt. People.

          • Joshua_T says:

            Oh my. You just compared a man showing interest to being stalked by a predator. lol Yes, you are people, specifically females which is why guys have interest in you sexually. Does that make you uncomfortable? Are you uncomfortable knowing that guys have a sexual interest in you? Well biology has set things up as such. If you don’t like that, perhaps reality (the real world in which we live) is not where you’d rather be. Oh, and I enjoyed all of your animal analogies. Amusing.

          • disqus_mKxjpqugE2 says:

            Do you prefer they drool and grope as an alternative? Right or wrong,it is the product of the male homo sapien psyche and testosterone composition.Ignoring it is a better solution.You are being visually attacked,not physically attacked.Know the difference.You are being overly sensitive on this subject.By chance,are you a lesbian?

          • Herstory says:

            As for brining preference into this, try asking your mother that question and see how she would tolerate it – then understand that the same disrespect your mother would perceive from you applies exactly the same to street harassment of other women.
            Also, before asking, warn her first that what your attempting to ask her about is sort of an exploration on interpersonal skills and then explain the context in which the whole thing got brought up.

          • Jacksaid says:

            Sometimes, people become one without wanting, too. They were just born that way. You know, the gene’s from their mother and father, conjoined to make that little fetus. He is who he is, and he just has to live with it. Its just his DNA. Sorry.

          • Judi says:

            Or is he down playing whole issue because he is one of them?

        • mjoecups says:

          Your lack of understanding about how victimization occurs is sad. It’s always the same. The white men tell everyone else how there is no prejudice. Just because you aren’t the victim in this scenario, doesn’t make the violence of it any less real.


          • Joshua_T says:

            Your lack of understanding about how the real world operates is frustrating. You’re preceiving problems where they need not exist and blaming those who do not agree.

          • Judi says:

            Don’t exist? That is in your mind.

          • disqus_mKxjpqugE2 says:

            Race card fail.Try again,please.Cleanse your mind of it’s perceived bias.Attempt to view others as fellow human beings,not as rivals,enemies,or threats.

    • DOUG says:

      While you may not agree, there’s literally no difference between “terror in the mind”, and terror as a reality. There’s absolutely no difference to that individual who’s experience the terror!!

      • Joshua_T says:

        And that should be their problem and not ours if that person is unable to preceive reality appropriately.

        • shootmyownfood says:

          So being afraid is only the problem of the person in fear? I fail to see your point. The reality for women is that we can be harassed or worse at any time. I personally don’t live in fear, as I don’t see the point, but I do recognize that many women live in fear 24/7 due to many things. Just because you don’t see those things doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

          • Joshua_T says:

            In some cases, being afraid is indeed the problem of that person, yes. If a person is not level headed and is too paranoid, they will be afraid in situations where there is no actual danger. Some women live in fear 24/7 because they are paranoid, that’s why. Sure some have actual stalkers and ex lovers or even current obsessed partners to deal with. Now that is a real danger, not some stranger off the street.

          • KittyCatWhat says:

            One in six women have been sexually assaulted; percieved assault, paranoia…really???? Grow up and stop the violence instead of chalking it up to “Good Ol Boy Club”…

      • Greg L says:

        Doug, your post makes be feel terrified (no particular reason; it just does). Therefore, you should go to jail.

    • Judi says:

      Nope, you are not getting it. If you read the posts, you may see it.

      • Joshua_T says:

        I have read the article and the posts as well. The thing is that many of her fears are irrational. I am against harassment of course, but the problem with harassment is that much of it has to do with what’s going on in the mind of the person feeling harassed. You have to look at the situation and consider are we dealing with a reasonable level of concern or are we dealing with someone who is paranoid. If it is a paranoid person, then they will experience harassment in situations where a normal person would not.

        • Judi says:

          We are not talking about paranoia here. & we are talking about in appropriate behavior here. Like how would you want your mother, daughter or niece treated, as they walk around, in public.

          • Joshua_T says:

            “It’s not that I feel unsafe…or maybe I do. It’s a skin-crawly, stomach-churny sort of feeling: Just too many jeers, comments, eyes on me like I’m meat”
            That’s paranoia

          • Judi says:

            Are you making a Psychiatric Diagnosis?

          • RobinPants says:

            A physical response to a physical situation is not paranoia. It’s a natural reaction. If you feel threatened by a threatening situation it is not paranoia. If I scream into your face and you get upset and uncomfortable, are you feeling paranoia?

          • Joshua_T says:

            What would be the threatening situation in this case, realistically?

          • shootmyownfood says:

            Jeers and comments – are you saying that they are imagined?

          • Joshua_T says:

            Some of them probably are, but even the jeers and comments that are real cannot harm you.

          • Nonsumdignus says:

            But the thing is, a woman nevers knows if the comments, catcalls, and other verbal assaults from either the packs of men or individual men will escalate into physical attacks.

            It is an all-too-real possibility that looms over every woman, every day.

        • KittyCatWhat says:

          1 out of every 6 women have been sexually assaulted…there is no paranoia…the threat is very real!

    • shootmyownfood says:

      Yes, that’s where fear ALWAYS occurs. There is no other place to experience fear, but since it wouldn’t scare you, it must be delusional, yes?

    • Judi says:

      & you know this how? Psychic?

  57. Joshua_T says:

    Comparing the behavior she witnessed in Turkey with that which she experienced in the U.S. wouldn’t seem quite fair to me.

  58. SuzyQue says:

    If it helps, when you become middle-aged, you become invisible.

    • Vitonio says:

      That’s the best post I’ve seen in a year.

    • DOUG says:

      Unfortunately, it’s a price a woman should not have to pay!!

      • SuzyQue says:

        I’m not sure I understand what you mean.

      • BlueDog says:

        Men looking at women has been part of all civilizations for thousands of years. Men are alpha and agressive by nature, some places more than others. Most women like to be “chased”. One of the top things many women find attractive in a man is his confidence. So some women don’t like it, then don’t wear makeup and dress appropriately.

        On a side note, 50 shades of grey was not made popular by men, but my women!

        • Judi says:

          Are you talking about dogs? Talking humans here.

        • Edward Buatois says:

          I’ve been hit on by women who were not confident, and that was a turn off. I’ve also been “chased” by women who made me want to get a restraining order.

          There is a happy medium where you can express interest in a woman without making her feel threatened or like a piece of meat, and that does not require her to defensively lose an interest in hygiene as you suggest.

          • Judi says:

            Well said! You get it!

          • POV4 says:

            Men looking at women is one thing. Harassment is another, and unacceptable.
            All the female based articles, posts, interviews, comments, videos, studies and activist movements against sexual harassment says you’re wrong.
            But what do we know. We’re only women, right??

          • Tyler says:

            Upper class white women, gentrifying Harlem, displacing the locals, expecting them to avert their eyes when they pass.

        • John Novak says:

          violent aspects of human nature must be curbed to avoid nuclear warfare. F*** the old ways and all the “respect” and “honor” that went along with them.

        • shootmyownfood says:

          I don’t know what “most” women you are talking about, but I personally have never enjoyed being stalked. FYI – wearing makeup is often necessary in a professional job; it in no way indicates that a woman wants to be subjected to harassment when they walk to and from their office. By the way, “Fifty Shades of Grey” is one of the worst written books I have ever attempted to read. Can’t say that women making it popular makes me happy.

        • Srey says:

          I guess you have the attitude if a woman is raped and is dressed in revealing clothing she was asking for it, she wanted it! Get out with your nonsense.

          Since you don’t know most women you can only speak of the women you do know about wanting to be chased. So if female wears makeup it’s for (boys) can’t be for men because a real man can show restraint. Who are you to gauge clothing as appropriate or not?
          I don’t agree with all of or the lack of clothing and makeup some women wear but it’s not my place to pass judgement on them, and it’s not yours either.

          A woman can be dressed in sweatpants, t-shirt, and sneakers and some men still act Ike they have never seen a woman before.

        • Judi says:

          Blue Dog (does the name fit?) You do not get it. Each can look at each other, that is not the problem. You are a man that will probably never get it. So for you to think you are an expert? No. This is just your opinion (which is way off base). Oh & 50 Shades is fiction. We need to talk facts, here.

        • shootmyownfood says:

          No, women don’t like to be “chased.” They like to be “courted.” There is a HUGE difference. And Fifty Shades is one of the most poorly written books I’ve ever attempted to read – couldn’t finish it. Anais Nin, on the other hand, writes some fine erotica.

        • JenniferC says:

          Most women don’t want to be chased. If you want to admire a woman, do it discretely and leave her to her daily routine. Don’t make elaborate sociological arguments in favor of men’s entitlement to harass women. If men looked at other men the way they do to women, they would be engaged in fistfights all day long.

      • Mike Renell says:

        Get THAT Pussy

    • Multitudes of Amys says:

      What denotes “middle age”? Because at the age of 38, I’m still subjected to street harassment and catcalls on an almost daily basis especially in the warmer months. I live in New York and don’t feel comfortable walking the streets of even “safe” neighborhoods by myself at night. But I also don’t look my age.

      • SuzyQue says:

        You’ll know when you get there.

      • BlueDog says:

        You are almost there …

      • Pennsylvanianne says:

        Wait until age 50 or thereafter.

        • shootmyownfood says:

          Hasn’t stopped yet, and there is no way any sane male would be interested in me in any physical way. I’m old, I limp, I wear glasses, I’m a bit heavy and I do not dye the grey out of my hair.

      • Tex says:

        “What denotes “middle age”?”


      • BD says:

        … and yet you feel compelled to tell us all you look good at 38… hating the attention and craving it at the same time… I get the Multitude tag.

        • Multitudes of Amys says:

          I do look good for my age, but my whole family looks quite a bit younger than their chronological age. So it’s mostly just genes. I don’t hate the attention but there’s a difference between someone giving you a compliment on the street and people saying and or doing things that are offensive and sometimes scary. And do you really get the “Multitude” tag?. It’s the title of a song. Do you know who wrote it and what musical they wrote it for?

          • BD says:

            Ooof… you have me on that one… I am guessing Hammerstein, or maybe Sondheim… I’m not much of a musical theater guy, just aware of a few of the greats.

            In all honesty, and a bit ashamedly since you are so nice, I thought your reference was a twist on the concept of the Many-Sides-of-Me, or maybe Devils Advocate, in response to my “hating and craving”… now I’m getting way to artsy literate, and I’m really just a construction schmo.

          • Multitudes of Amys says:

            Haha it’s actually is Sondheim. A song written for the musical Company that was eventually cut from the show. Obviously you can tell I was a musical theater geek in High School & College!

          • 86778677 says:

            Obviously BD looked up the song and then pretended to be guessing the right one. Sheesh.

          • Multitudes of Amys says:

            Yeah I realized that. Nothing is sacred anymore with Google. But a little humoring never hurt anyone.

        • POV4 says:

          She didn’t say she looks good in the above post, but so what if she does? I live in NYC, I’m “middle age” and average looking. Believe me, being beckoned from across the street because some prick wants to get to know me, men doing an about face to follow me, or having to shut up some jerk by threatening to call police is NOT complimentary. Harassment is not craved.

      • shootmyownfood says:

        I have to chalk up the occasional harassment I still receive to the perpetrators either needing glasses or being sexual deviants since I’m over 50 and not much to look at anymore.

      • Judi says:

        Yes & it is not all men.

    • shootmyownfood says:

      You got that right!

    • guest963741 says:

      It is a TREMENDOUS relief when we stop being chased by sexist pigs in the street. Men say we like it and will be disappointed when it stops. NOT TRUE. Predatory behavior is not a “compliment”.

    • shootmyownfood says:

      Not true. I thought so, but I waltzed through middle age still getting unwanted comments on the street, and now that I’m nice and wrinkly do you think they’ve stopped? Not so – it appears that street harassers all need corrective lenses.

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