Walking tall for women can be a challenge to say the least. At any time, walking through the streets, standing in a lift or simply buying some food, a woman can experience the dreaded “catcall”. Catcalling comes in many shapes and forms, perhaps a derogatory word shouted at a woman, a whistle, or a car honk. Sometimes it may even become physical. Why this matter is taken so lightly, is still left unanswered.
Women every day experience what we like to call “cat calling”, even though it is under many laws, such as the UAE law, a crime and one could even be sent to prison because of it. Despite the seriousness of this felony, it is still swept under the rug and not taken seriously. The name in itself, “catcall” proves that this act is degrading women; we are certainly not animals. It feels as if we are walking the same path constantly because nothing changes, these specific men continue to humiliate us.
Countless women post their catcalling stories online. One women named Maria Mazzini posted on ‘The Huffington post’: “I find it disheartening that I have to get dressed, put on my make-up, and head out the door with the knowledge that I will face some kind of harassment on the street, and so will many other women.”
Similarly, a girl named Jennifer who walks home from work everyday says that, there has not been one day that has passed without her being harassed by a man. It once became too frightening when the man followed her home. She had to ask a stranger on the street to walk next to her just to feel safe. This kind of behaviour certainly cannot be condoned.
Despite the obvious disrespect shown by catcalling, some think it is not a big deal, one may even take it as a compliment. “I like it when guys look at me and call me hot when I’m on the streets, it’s charming.” Said Rama, a student at Middlesex University.
However, it is not a compliment when a man is inches away from you, invading your personal space, or following you around on your way home, or yelling out insults to you as if you are nothing but an object. It stops becoming a laughing matter when ones safety is in danger.
Catcalling haunts women day to day, and echoes through the streets at night. We will forever hear the men shouting names at us, asking us to get in their car. If this inhumane act is not put to an end, it is going to be a long walk for a woman to feel at ease everyday when she leaves her home, and get the respect she needs.
- Feature Picture Source: Google Images