Author (and photo credit): Sophie Sandberg
A main theme among these catcalls is that men get offended and angry when they don’t receive a response. This shows that they are sensitive to “rejection” and strongly believe that recipients of catcalls should be thankful for these compliments. This is blatantly untrue, damaging and sexist.
“I was on a run in Central Park when a man said ‘Hey hottie! Hello? I’m talking to you? Yeah fuck you, you ugly Bitch'”
“Once at Gotham pizza in Chelsea I was on my phone minding my own business when I hear this pizzeria guy try to catch my attention. Hey, what’s your name? Where are your parents from? I didn’t pay attention, I was on my phone. He literally starts screaming: hey you are you deaf? Mind you I didn’t know he was talking to me because I was busy waiting for my pizza pie because I wanted to go home already. Then, he throws his phone and says: your ugly anyways.”
“He said: Hey beautiful. Well shit. Why’d you make a face like that? I probably looked confused because I don’t know you and you’ve invaded my space”
“Today I was rushing to the train and a man called out ‘Want a ride, baby’ and gestured to his crotch. When I didn’t respond, he shouted after me ‘Oh okay, you’re gonna ignore me? I know your type. You think you’re all that. But you’re not. You think you’re hot but you’re not.'”
More about Sophie Sandberg and her Catcalls of NYC can be found here: www.catcallsofnyc.com
At age 15, I became aware of daily street harassment in NYC. “Hello Beautiful,” “Hey Sexy” and “Mmm Baby” accompanied my morning commute to my summer job. At first, I thought there must be something wrong with me, something that was provoking this behavior. I soon came to realize that this behavior was actually “normal.” I spent years feeling frustrated: as angry as I was, I never felt comfortable responding to catcalls. I was always silenced by the comments. At age 19, I found my way of responding. I started Catcalls of NYC– an Instagram account that raises awareness about street harassment in NYC. I write catcalls on the sidewalk in chalk, in the spot where they happened. My goal is to give people a place to share their story of harassment, use it to raise pubic awareness and ultimately denormalize catcalling.
These predatory comments are often made by older men towards younger girls. There is no confusion here. These men know they are talking to teenagers and pre-teens.