How To Handle Catcallers | SlutBox's Guide To Street Harassment
Whether it’s hoots, hisses, whistles or sexual innuendo, cat calling can be more than just an annoyance on your daily commute. Catcalling can be inappropriate, threatening, terrifying, and even dangerous. Most women, regardless of age or what they’re wearing, experience street harassment on a daily basis. Catcalling is never a compliment, but it doesn’t have to escalate or ruin your day. Here are our tips for handling catcallers.
Acknowledge, Don’t Engage
So you’re minding your own business, being a badass bitch, and you got spotted by a loudmouth creep. Ugh! Rather than freeze up, turn the situation back on them. Calmly and cooly tell the catcaller to stop. Need a line? Simply say, “no one likes that.”
If you’re in an enclosed space (like a subway car or an elevator) or alone in a dark alleyway, don’t clap back. As angry as you might be, you don’t want to escalate the situation. Don’t engage, and get yourself to a more populated, open space.
There’s a big difference between catcalling and physical assault or touch. If a physical boundary is broken, address it sternly. As tempting as it is, don’t slap him or pour your drink on him. Use your words! Clear, concise phrases like “Stop. Don’t touch me,” or “leave me alone” while maintaining eye contact will get your point across.
Make A Scene
If someone is following you, touching you without your consent or making you feel unsafe, make a fuss! Draw attention to yourself by yelling, “Help! Attacker!” Go over the top. Bystanders will lend a helping hand, and you might scare the creep off.
Call The Authorities
Don’t be afraid to call for authorities, whether its security at a bar or a bouncer at a club or a police officer on the street.
Make Him Uncomfortable
Catcalling makes the target feel uncomfortable, small, out of control and caught off guard. Flip the script, and make the catcaller feel uncomfortable for once. Start singing, repeat a nursery rhyme, or go over the top with fake gratitude at him “compliment.” He might just realize how ridiculous he sounds.
When in doubt, just ignore it. This is often the best response, especially if you’re concerned about escalating the situation. Harassers enjoy the attention, so ignoring them takes their power away.