Women don’t speak out against catcalling because they are “sanctimonious.” They speak out against it because it’s threatening and demeaning. Catcalling is terrifying specifically because it has the potential to turn into physical violence at any moment if the woman does the “wrong” thing. Writer Soraya Chemaly has documented just a few of these many news stories.
It’s disturbing that Lewak is so desperate for random men to approve of her appearance that she’s willing to take the risk that these interactions turn sour–not only that, but she’s willing to take that risk for all of us. She writes, “Oh, don’t go rolling those sanctimonious eyes at me, young women of Vassar: I may court catcalls, but I hold my head high. Enjoying male attention doesn’t make you a traitor to your gender.”
Most people who are attracted to men enjoy some sort of male attention, but not all of us enjoy it from any man, at any time, in any place. Kind of like I love pizza, but I don’t want people to shove pizza in my face every time I leave my apartment. Actually, I would probably start to kind of hate pizza if that happened, especially if trying to refuse the pizza led to slurs and threats of violence.