Once a week, I make this tiny little walk from the R train to my chiropractor’s office. Every time, nearly without fail, at least one guy on this block will catcall or otherwise tell me I am ‘beautiful’ or ‘pretty’, etc.
Writing that out, it sounds so mundane. It’s never been threatening, per se, and I’ve been catcalled since I was about 15, so why is this instance particularly annoying?
No matter when or where it happens, being called ‘pretty lady’ or told ‘you have nice legs’ from a stranger while you are just going about your business is pretty fucking weird. I wear glasses and a scowl most of the time when I am out by myself to ward off advances, but nothing really helps. All you can do is ignore the comment, keep pressing on, and hope it doesn’t escalate.
See, when a guy says that to you on street, you don’t know how to react - or how he’ll react if you ignore him, roll your eyes at him, or even if you simply say ‘thanks’. All of the sudden, humans start to feel like wild animals. Unpredictable.
Will that objectifying comment said in passing shift into obscenities, being followed or worse?
And this is why I contemplate taking a different route to my doctor’s office every week.