Enough with the whistling, already

I think it’s been too long around these parts since I had a good old fashioned rant, no?
(If you disagree, feel free to ignore this and check back tomorrow for something a little more upbeat.)

I like to think I’m a pretty chilled person. About 90% of that comes down to sheer laziness and the need to save my mental energy for Things That Are Actually Important. Unless it’s going to cost me money, I generally try to employ the “don’t give a fuck” philosophy.

Bus running 15 minutes late? Sure, it’s frustrating, but unfortunately, it’s something that’s beyond my control. Breathe, play some Battleship on my phone, and try to control that twitchy foot.

T’s best friend dragging him/us into his latest drama with his off-her-rocker wife? Sure, it’s a case of same-old-same-old, but he’s made his choice, and T won’t give up on him, and it doesn’t cost me that much to listen for a few minutes and make the appropriate sympathetic/outrage noises in the right places.

Mayor caught with his pants down? Sure, it takes him down a few notches in my opinion (and trust me, I have absolutely no patience for cheaters), but ultimately, I am more concerned about whether he’s done a good job professionally. Can’t we get back to worrying about dying kids, uninsulated houses and internet privacy already?

Ultimately, the only logical reaction to the vast vast majority of crap that blows across our paths in life is this:

(George Watsky is a genius and I can’t believe I only just came across him. Look him up!)

But sometimes things break through that barrier, like it or not.

Sometime in the last couple of weeks, something in me snapped. It might have been after the first wolf whistle of the day, or the third, or the fifth.

We’ve been living here a month, and in that time, I have had more random dudes whistle at me from passing cars as I’m walking outside than I had in the 18 months we lived in our old neighbourhood, and in the 18 months we lived in another neighbourhood before that (a total of zero times in both cases).

Nothing about me has changed. I still have the same resting bitch face (in fact, it’s probably even more pronounced these days). I dress exactly the same way. I haven’t gained or lost weight. I haven’t had surgery of any sort. I still look more or less the same as I did a year ago, two years ago, three years ago.

So if it’s not me, what is it? Is it the fact that we now live in a  working class area, where houses are closer to the $500,000 mark than a white collar area where houses are closer to the $1 million mark? That we now live around the corner from a retail/industrial hub as opposed to just a strip of shops and some posh schools? Does it even matter?

I’ll be honest. The younger, more insecure me secretly used to like the attention. But I’m older and grumpier and way more impatient these days, and all of a sudden, I find it intrusive and disrespectful and just bloody annoying.

I want to wait for the bus and cross the road and walk to the supermarket in a peaceful haze, lost in my own thoughts and daydreams, without having someone’s “appreciation” pierce through at random moments.

I do not like feeling that my body, even when clad in wrinkly jeans and topped with unbrushed sea monster hair and smeared glasses, is something strangers feel they have the right to comment on out loud, whether through words or sound.

I’m well aware that many other women have experienced honest-to-God harassment on the streets, the kind that actually makes them fear for their own safety. I’m thankful I’ve never had to go through anything like that myself. But I now understand, REALLY understand, people who are fully anti-whistles and catcalls. No longer do I just sympathise with them, I can empathise.

Guys, be a bit more original, and stop being douchebags. Chur.

9 thoughts on “Enough with the whistling, already

  1. It’s okay to let your frustration out! That is why we have social media :)
    I hope that the bus story won’t through you too off your happiness.
    Happy New Year!

  2. I’ve only really experienced it in NYC because I’m out walking all the time and not in the privacy of a car. It really is rude. I don’t care what the guy’s intentions are. Clearly when I’m hauling heavy grocery bags down the street, or bundled up in winter clothes, or whatever, I just want to be left alone. It is definitely not a compliment. It certainly doesn’t make me feel good. I tweeted recently that a group of guys down the block from me, regularly say cat calls as I’m passing. This has been going on for two years now. Clearly I’m not interested.

    There was a girl who started putting up signs in a neighborhood in Brooklyn like “I don’t need you to tell me I’m beautiful” or “Be respectful and keep your thoughts to yourself” but they were torn down quickly because, as some men were quoted, “what’s with telling a girl she’s beautiful? why she gotta be a bitch about it?”

    Off topic, I was so confused by this title. I thought you were angry because people would whistle songs around you!

    1. Now that you mention it, I definitely find whistling in any form (including songs) kind of annoying. But maybe that’s just because I can’t whistle myself…

  3. Ugh catcalling and streetcalling are disgusting and always feel like a prelude to something worse. It makes me so mad I can’t even articulate my anger so I’m just going to scowl for now.

  4. Completely agree! It’s something about being judged in a sexual way with no say in the matter. It’s like, “I didn’t even want to be in the running, sir, so please keep it to yourself.”

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